How to poach an egg four different ways

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  • Poached eggs can be enjoyed on their own, as well as topping salads, sandwiches, and muffins à la eggs Benedict.
  • You can poach an egg using a pan of water and a spoon, but there are also dedicated egg poaching cups and gadgets to make the process much easier.
  • Here's how to poach an egg along with all the tools you need to do it perfectly every time.
  • Read more: How to make pizza without an oven

Let's talk about how to poach an egg. It's a topic that trips up chefs on every reality cooking show, as poached eggs have a reputation for being notoriously hard to prepare.

The term poached comes from the French word poché, which means pocket or small pouch. This method of making eggs results in a sort of pouch around the yolk for a tender, delicately cooked egg white and a runny yolk. It's a delicate process and one that requires a bit more practice than scrambling eggs, but there are plenty of techniques and gadgets that make it easier.

We break down how to poach an egg in four different ways with a variety of tools.

How to poach an egg

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You already have all the tools you need to poach an egg in your kitchen, and all the skills you need right there in your two hands. This means a decent small or medium saucepan and a slotted spoon. I've always liked the affordable pans from T-Fal and OXO's stainless steel slotted spoon.

How to poach an egg:

  1. Fill the pan halfway with water and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer.
  2. Crack an egg into a small cup (like a measuring cup or teacup).
  3. Gently "slide" the egg into the water by lowering the cup into the water then tipping it so the egg slips out with minimal disturbance.
  4. Simmer for four minutes, then lift the egg out with the slotted spoon, letting it drip a bit before serving.
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How to poach an egg in the microwave

COZILIFE

Poaching an egg in the microwave is the easiest way to do it, though the egg whites tend to be less delicate and sometimes some of the yolk cooks depending on where it was resting in the whites.

All you need to poach an egg in the microwave is a set of poaching cups like these ones from COZILIFE.

How to poach an egg in the microwave:

  1. Pour about a quarter cup of water into your egg-poaching cup.
  2. Gently crack an egg into the cup, then pierce the yolk with a toothpick (to prevent explosions).
  3. Cover the egg with another tablespoon of water.
  4. Microwave at full power for one minute.
  5. Remove from microwave carefully and serve.

And that should be that. If your egg is too runny, next time try 1:10. If too hard, try 00:55. And so on.

If you're looking to poach four, five, or even six eggs at a time, then you need to get some more serious hardware.

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How to poach an egg with an egg poacher

Eggsentials

Egg poachers are stovetop cooking tools that feature multiple individual cups for eggs and a base in which water can simmer, causing the eggs to cook through trapped steam.

These handy egg poachers remove most of the chance of messing things up and they're pretty cheap too. I recommend the poachers from Excelsteel and Eggsentials.

How to poach an egg with an egg poacher:

  1. Pour a little less than an inch of water into the pan and bring it up to a steady simmer.
  2. Crack an egg into each poaching cup.
  3. Put the tray with the poaching cups into the pan, then put on the lid.
  4. Wait five minutes (tweak as preferred) then remove the pan of egg cups.
  5. Carefully slip the eggs from the cups and serve.
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