Perfect Poached eggs start with eggs that are at room temperature. This is so that when you put the eggs into a pan of hot water to cook they do not drop the temperature of the water down too much.
Whether you are cooking for several people at once or even just a couple of eggs for yourself it can always be a bit tricky to get everything ready at the same time. I would always recommend that you part cook the eggs individually first and then place into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. This way you can then prepare everything else you need for the dish. Once ready you put all the eggs back into simmering water for a single minute to finish off all the eggs at the same time.
Timings for Perfect Poached Eggs
For soft poached eggs cook for 2 mins 30secs and then remove with a slotted spoon put into iced water ( this how the wife likes them)
If you prefer medium eggs cook for an extra minute so 3 mins 30secs and then put into iced water.
When ready to serve put the part cooked egg(s) into simmering water for 1 min only.
Method for Perfect Poached Eggs
Bring a pan of water, 1tsp of salt and a splash of white wine vinegar to the boil and then turn the heat down a touch so it is still gently simmering.
Get a bowl of cold water and add some ice cubes to it
Crack an egg into a cup.
Whisk the water into a vortex and then stop
As the whirlpool starts to settle pour the egg into the middle of the pan and start your stopwatch.
After about a minute give the water another gentle stir
(crack another egg into the cup if you are making more than one poached egg)
Once the allocated time it up transfer to the iced water using a slotted spoon.
Remove any scum from the pan, bring back to boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer, whisk up to a vortex whirlpool and then cook another egg – repeat as required.
Then you can sort out whatever else you need to do, toast muffins, steam asparagus, make hollandaise sauce for Eggs Benedict etc.
When you are nearly ready to dish up bring the pan of water back to the boil, turn the heat down a touch, add ALL the eggs back to the hot water for exactly 1 minute – ( if there are lots you will need to up the heat as soon as the eggs go back in BUT don’t let it boil..) remove with the slotted spoon to a dish that has some paper towels in it to mop up excess water and then transfer to your dish.
Note: The above is based on large eggs so if you are using medium eggs you might want to drop about 15 seconds from the timings of the first cooking stage.