1. Fresh eggs are best
According to the Good Food team at BBC, "If you don't have fresh eggs, it won't be perfect." The older the eggs are, the more fluid the white of the egg will be, and you won't be able to achieve a nice tight bind from your poaching.
2. Bring your water to the perfect temperature
You want your water to be simmering for the perfect egg. This means you don't want a full boil, but you don't want very still water either. Just the right amount of motion in your water=just the right amount of motion to form your poached egg.
3. Add a splash of vinegar, but NO SALT
Vinegar (white will do) will help the proteins in the egg whites bind more quickly, giving you that perfect "teardrop" shaped poached egg. Adding salt to your water, however, will cause the whites to break up, giving you a messy poach. Wait to season until after cooking.
4. Master the "vortex" or "whirlpool" method
Use a spoon to stir the water and create a gentle whirlpool or vortex. This will allow the white to wrap around the yolk for maximal coverage. Don't stress this step too much, you just need a little movement.
5. Crack your egg into a small bowl/cup/ramekin first
This allows you to make sure your yolk is solid (sometimes, they can be runny) and gives you more control of how your egg enters the pot. Slowly tip the egg into the water, making sure the white enters the water before the yolk.
6. Don't touch
Let it cook for three minutes. Don't mess with it. If you've done your whirlpool correctly, the egg will form itself.
7. Remove, drain, and enjoy!
After three minutes, remove from the water with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on a paper towel. Then you're ready to top your toast and start your day!
8. Or, you can try one of these hacks
If you don't feel like the "whirlpool" method is your thing, some of these hacks/devices make poached eggs a little easier
Try a dedicated egg poaching device. This allows you to cook more than one egg at a time and eliminates the need to swirl your water.
You can use an oiled up plastic baggy to contain your egg as well. Place some plastic wrap over a cup or shallow bowl, spray with non-stick spray, and crack your egg into the middle of the plastic. Gather up the corners and tie the home-made bag tightly with a twist tie. Drop this into your simmering water and cook as you usually would.
Finally, you can use a mini mason jar! Spray the mason jar with non-stick spray, crack the egg inside and seal tightly. Make sure your pan has enough water to cover ~3/4 of the jar and bring to a boil. Cook your eggs for 8 minutes. Once they're done and cool, run a knife around the edges of the eggs and turn the jar upside down over your toast.
You can even prep your mason jars in advance by storing them in the fridge. It's important, though, to make sure you take the jars out of the fridge and to room temperature. Cold glass + hot water= broken glass and a lot of misery.
Check out this video to see how truly easy it is!
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