Perfectly cooked poached eggs are a thing of beauty.

It is not only lovely to look at but quite delicious and healthy to eat, especially due to the fact that no oil or butter is used to cook it. A poached egg is supposed to have a soft and somewhat runny yolk with a delicate and tender egg white. The overall shape is supposed to be oval or tear shaped and if there are any egg white strands, these should be easily removable without disturbing the overall shape. In this article, we will look at how to make poached eggs as well as some of the best tips to ensure that your eggs come out perfect, every time.

The traditional recipe is to add an egg to water that is lightly simmering. To poach anything is to submerge it in water that is not quite boiling and the typical temperature of the water should be between 160–185 °F. The most tricky part with poaching eggs is dropping the cracked egg into the water so that it keeps its shape in the water and doesn’t fall apart or turn the water into a cloudy mess.

perfectly cooked poached eggs by Cafe Strand in Falmouth UK (what's their secret?)

Our first tip is that you should always use extremely fresh eggs for poaching. Unfortunately, older eggs tend to be quite difficult to poach and they usually unravel in the water. However, fresher eggs are not only more delicious but they tend to keep their shape during the poaching process. If you’re not sure how to get the freshest eggs, you can simply ask for them at your local market. Alternatively, when you’re at the supermarket, you should choose the tray of eggs that are at the back of the cooler since these are typically the freshest eggs of the lot. In the event that you don’t have the freshest eggs and you still want to poach them, then you can use an egg poaching pan or a silicone egg poacher that will help your eggs to keep their shape.

Another tip is that when you put water to simmer, you should never add any salt to the water. Unfortunately, many people make this mistake since they think its a great way to flavor the poached egg. However, salted water will actually cause the egg whites to break up, which is definitely not desired.

Thirdly, the temperature of the water is also very important and it is essential that the water does not boil. You can initially bring the water to a boil and then turn down the heat so that the water goes down to a simmer before adding the egg. You will know the water is simmering when there are barely any bubbles or you can check the temperature so that it is between 160–185 °F. You should also have at least 3 inches of water in the pot so that the egg is properly immersed.

Before you place the egg into the pot, you should create a small whirlpool in the simmering water. You can do this using a spoon, however, be careful to create a gentle whirlpool so that when you pour in the egg, the whites will stay together to create the perfect shape.

Lastly, when placing the egg into the water, be careful to ease it gently into the water. You should break the egg into a small cup first and then carefully pour it into the simmering swirling water. Once the egg is in the water, you should time it for three minutes and then remove for the perfectly poached egg.

The chefs at Cafe Strand in Falmouth (UK) use a very different method that produces perfectly cooked, perfectly formed and delicious poached eggs every time. Here’s the method;

– get a sous vie water bath to 60° C (water bath reviews here)
– add the eggs still in the carton
– cook for 45 minutes
– remove from the water
– remove from the shell by cracking the egg gently

Voila! The perfectly cooked egg and no vinegar taste too! Bonus

To wrap things up, we have just looked at the best tips to create poached eggs. Be sure to follow through with each tip and your eggs will definitely turn out perfectly every time.