Gransnet forums


How to poach the perfect egg!

(93 Posts)
Sophiasnana Fri 13-Nov-20 08:28:09

Very basic question, I know. I love to cook, and my DH says I’m very good at it. But....I cannot poach an egg! What is the simplest, failsafe way?

Riverwalk Fri 13-Nov-20 08:39:36

Use a cup/mug and half fill with cold water, crack egg into water and put in microwave for 60 seconds. Timing varies, you might need another 10 seconds if you want it firmer.


NfkDumpling Fri 13-Nov-20 08:43:52

I can't poach an egg - or soft boil one either. But DH can on both counts so I let him do it!

Spangler Fri 13-Nov-20 08:52:36

Riverwalk, I envy you, try as I might I have never been able to poach an egg by that method, my attempt looks more scrambled than poached.
To overcome that I use an egg poacher pan. Look at the picture, you see the little cups, they are supposedly non-stick. Don't believe it, I grease every cup with a smear of Flora.
Fill the pan with water, you need just enough for the cups to float. Place it on the hob and bring to the boil. Crack the egg and tip the white and yoke into the cup, repeat for as many eggs as you are cooking. Cover with the lid and cook for three minutes, sometimes a few seconds more if the eggs are larger, you need to watch them. Once cooked, tip them straight out.

tanith Fri 13-Nov-20 08:57:08

I do mine in a deep frying pan with a lid, simmering water a touch of vinegar drop in the eggs carefully, lid on and simmer till they are soft cooked. I use a slotted spoon to get them out. It works for me.

Iam64 Fri 13-Nov-20 09:00:33

There must be some kind of skill you either have or you don't. I love to cook but I'm in the can't poach an egg gang. My daughters are all ace egg poachers, they've patronised/helped me but mine just don't come out well

honeyrose Fri 13-Nov-20 09:01:05

What a “simple” food eggs are, yet not an easy thing to cook perfectly! I pour boiling water into a saucepan, bring back to the boil, break an egg into a cup and carefully tip into the water. Repeat with the other egg(s). Cook for about 3 minutes. Sometimes a kind of white scum rises to the surface, which can be removed with a slotted spoon. I haven’t tried the microwave method, but will do so.

Grannynannywanny Fri 13-Nov-20 09:02:06

Riverwalk I’ve never heard of that method but I’ll be trying it before the day is over

honeyrose Fri 13-Nov-20 09:03:24

BTW, I don’t put a lid on the saucepan whilst poaching the eggs.

GrannyLaine Fri 13-Nov-20 09:07:15

You do need really fresh eggs so that the whites aren't watery.

Zaseret Fri 13-Nov-20 09:10:04

I recently discovered this foolproof way to cook poached eggs. Take a ramekin or similar and generously line with cling film with a large overhang. Smear oil around the film in the ramekin then crack the egg into it. Tie the cling film up into a parcel and lower into simmering water. I recently poached some wonderful duck eggs for 4 and a half minutes. Result, perfectly shaped poached eggs and barely any washing up as the ramekin is clean and the pan has just boiling water. It’s easy to snip the cling film off on a “holey spoon” and slip onto the plate. Enjoy!

Sophiasnana Fri 13-Nov-20 09:27:28

Thanks everyone. I’ll give every one a go! Fingers crossed...

Bathsheba Fri 13-Nov-20 09:27:38

Zaseret that sounds clever, but I'm afraid I wouldn't want to eat any food that's been heated in direct contact with plastic film. It's one thing to loosely cover a dish with clingfilm for the micowave, where the film doesn't actually touch the food, but the method you describe is a whole other thing shock

anna7 Fri 13-Nov-20 09:29:49

I use those little paper bag things, I think they are called poachies. Perfect every time.

Missfoodlove Fri 13-Nov-20 09:33:21

Like tanith I use a deep sided frying pan.
The important thing is that the water only simmers.
It must not boil.

The other method is to bring a pan of water to a simmer add white vinegar and salt now stir the water vigorously quickly add the eggs, the swirling water keeps the yolks and whites together beautifully.

Gwyneth Fri 13-Nov-20 09:46:21

I’m also very hit and miss when poaching eggs so will be giving these ideas a try. Thank you everyone.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 13-Nov-20 09:50:54

Delia will tell you. Google it.

midgey Fri 13-Nov-20 09:55:01

I only use vinegar on old eggs.

Elusivebutterfly Fri 13-Nov-20 09:56:49

I can't cook them in a poacher as Spangler does. I find the bottoms set hard but the tops don't cook and it takes ages.

JessK Fri 13-Nov-20 09:58:20

Pour the egg from a cup while you are swirling the boiling water and add a tiny bit of vinegar to the water.

Granny23 Fri 13-Nov-20 10:00:02

My favourite is a poached egg on top of a lightly smoked haddock, I cook the haddock in a large frying pan till almost ready then break an egg on top of the fish, cover with a clear glass saucepan lid and closely watch until the egg is 'just right.
Wheech the fish with the egg on top onto a plate and serve with toast. It is soooooo good.

Grannynannywanny Fri 13-Nov-20 10:00:11

Reporting back to say I tried
Riverwalk‘s method in the microwave for breakfast. I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. Needs a little tweak as the mug I used was narrower at the bottom. I’ll definitely try it again and next time I’ll use my wide soup mug which should give a better shape.

Thanks Riverwalk

TerriBull Fri 13-Nov-20 10:02:20

Anyone who is a fan of "Four in a Bed" will know that poached eggs at breakfast time is a benchmark where some of the contestants have stumbled and others have excelled. Many of them quake in fear at the thought of such a challenge, which clearly it seems to be! I'm not a great fan of eggs and tend to stick to omelettes, frittatas or scrambling. One of my sons and his girlfriend love the whole brunch eating out thing, well not at the moment of course, but when they do it tends to include a combination of poached eggs, smashed avocados and sour dough and they reckon they are connoisseurs of the perfectly poached egg.

ExD Fri 13-Nov-20 10:06:56

It does t matter what you try, you must have a very very fresh egg. The the White will wrap itself found the yolk as the water swirls round.
You can add salt, vinegar or nothing at all but the egg must be fresh. Farm or farm shop?

Grannynannywanny Fri 13-Nov-20 10:12:33

Anyone who is a fan of "Four in a Bed" will know that poached eggs at breakfast time is a benchmark where some of the contestants have stumbled and others have excelled
TerriBull I was thinking about that programme and also The Hotel Inspector. The presenter Alex Polizzi always ordered poached eggs for breakfast when she was doing her inspection.