I need some help, how do you poach a perfect egg? I had a bit of an aversion to eggs when I was younger (I was fussy) but now, I love them! Having recently discovered the joys of brunching in London I began eating poached eggs and decided to try making my own – queue lots of trial and error and the odd hard boiled egg on toast.
I turned to Google and learnt that poaching the perfect egg isn’t as easy as it would initially seem.
Felicity Cook even struggles and tried her had at 5 different poaching methods whilst buzzefeed suggested some genius hacks to try. I’ve tried the traditional whirlpool method, the Jamie Oliver cling film method, and the Julia Child method using a safety pin (my flatmate thought I was a bit odd when I asked to raid her sewing box so I could make eggs).
Just when I think I’ve cracked it (excuse the egg pun) when I try it again, I’m left with hard yolks or underdone whites so I don’t feel as though I’ve found a ‘Kim-proof’ method yet.
I know that I need very fresh eggs and I’d like to be able to cook multiple eggs at once (up to 4) so any advice that anyone can offer would be much appreciated. To help you maybe figure out where I’m going wrong this is what I’ve been up to –
Whirlpool method – Nigel Slater suggests bringing a pan of water to the boil, breaking the egg into a cup, creating a whirlpool and then turning the heat off and putting a lid onto the pan for 2.5mins, lifting it out with a spoon and then letting it air dry. This sort of worked, the white set and I had a runny yolk, but it wasn’t the traditional poached shape. Also I only managed to poach one, when I tried to poach another it didn’t work. I think the whites from the previous egg had done something to the water.
Safety pin method – Julia Child suggest pricking an egg with a pin, boiling it in its shell for 10 minutes and then poaching the egg like normal. This method didn’t work for me at all! Despite making a whirlpool it didn’t keep its shape and it ended up in the bin.
The Jamie method – The clingfilm trick seemed just what I was after, it wouldn’t matter if my eggs were a bit old, or I wanted to poach multiple eggs at the same time, but I have had mixed results. Despite oiling the clingfilm, the eggs often stick. Sometimes the clingfilm breaks which just makes things messy and you sometimes end up with an air bubble in the sack which means the eggs don’t cook as well as I’d like. Initially the eggs were overdone, until I realised that the heat was too high. I’ve since learnt that a simmer needs to be 85 to 93°C. This morning when I tried to poach 4 eggs, I threw two away as they were messy and underdone, that’s the main problem with this method, you can’t tell if they are done when they are in cling film.
Hopefully you can help me with my brunch woes…