Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Basics: Poached Eggs

Poached eggs, if you've never seen them made, can be quite intimidating, especially when not using the little egg-poaching cups. However, I didn't want to buy an egg poacher and I used to hate cleaning the little cups in the one at my parents house, so Paul and I had to learn how to poach eggs. Thankfully, I have a 1946 copy of The Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book! Here are photos of Paul doing the honors so I could take the photos.  He's a much more patient egg-cracker than I am and somehow manages to almost never break a yolk. That's why he's the egg-poaching master. No worries--you can be, too.*

Poaching eggs 1
1. Using a 13" covered skillet, bring salted water to a boil. It should be enough water to fill half the skillet and enough salt to be about 1/2 tablespoon per 1 quart of water. Just estimate.

2. Carefully break an egg into a saucer (be sure this is a saucer that can withstand boiling water). You need to be sure to keep the yolk in tact.  Very fresh eggs with hold together better.  (You can use the older ones for boiling.)

Poaching eggs 2

3. Slip the egg into the salted water.
Poaching eggs 3

4. Repeat until all eggs are in the water (you should be able to poach 4 to 6 at a time).

Poaching eggs 4

5. Turn the heat down to medium, cover the skillet and cook the eggs 3 to 5 minutes. We usually only do three minutes if the eggs are going into a dish that is cooked after the poached eggs are added.

6.  Place a cloth over a plate. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and drain on the cloth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

*If you do happen to break a yolk, you can use that egg to make:

Yesterday on The Past on a Plate: Salmon with Lemon-Dill Butter and Life This Week: August 22, 1938


  1. Oops, if I double post here it's because I forgot the word verification...

    I love poached eggs, especially on top of things like salads and hash. This method is the one that Andy uses--he does all of our cooking, except for the occasional baked good, which I do--although I think we do have one of those multi-compartment poachers. Less dishes to wash with this method, always a good thing!

  2. This takes me back, my mom and dad were big on poached eggs. It's one thing I've never quite mastered so I'm digging your tutorial! I love that you used a vintage cook book (you can't go wrong with BH&G) and I love that you listed ideas for using broken eggs!

  3. I love poached eggs on the weekend. Do you ever put vinegar in your water? My hub. does. Seems to be another way to ease process along?

  4. Baroness- We haven't tried vinegar, but we use free-range eggs from our CSA, which seem to have a higher surface tension than store-bought. I'll have to keep that in mind, though.

  5. ive never had poached eggs before, actually ive never had a raw yolk before. i should try it sometime :D


  6. Great tutorial! How sweet that your husband helped with your post~he's a keeper!

  7. Poached eggs are just the best! They're my ultimate comfort food and what I cook when I'm home alone.

  8. Been a while since I last cooked poached eggs and it was an epic fail, it turned out looking like egg drop soup. LOL

    I can do this!

  9. I have NEVER been able to poach an egg. I'll have to try again with your great instructions and photos!


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