After eating scrambled eggs every morning it was time to do something radically different, but I'm not willing to give up on the eggs just yet. Poached eggs can be difficult to pull off, especially if you try to do it like a chef on TV that seems to do it easily and turn out a perfect poached egg every time. If you're not serving this little spherical white thing in a 3 star restaurant why should you do it like he does?
The typical method is to swirl your water around in a sauce pan once it's reached the perfect temperature and gently drop the egg in the center. After pulling it out you clean it up with paper towel, season and serve. Sounds easy doesn't it? Well, it never turns out that way for me. My eggs are just never fresh enough and more importantly more than one egg that way is not happening in less than 15 minutes.
Today I'm going to show you how to make simple poached eggs in less than 5 minutes! Yes, multiple eggs!
The ingredients are very basic and very inexpensive. Some things may be optional or substituted, such as the Mountain Dew can be substituted for Coffee. The measurements are based on my taste, but it's highly variable (season to your taste). Here's the grocery list:
The tools we need are very basic and you don't even have to pull out a sharp knife!
The first thing required before cooking any dish is to get setup and prepare your ingredients. So fill your pan with water from the tap (cold is fine), add the salt & vinegar to the water, and crank the heat up to medium high. The vinegar shouldn't add any detectable flavor to the eggs, but it will help them coagulate better. Now, crack each egg gently into it's own container (if you break the yoke you might want to just do scrambled eggs). For the final preparation, slide your sliced bread into the toaster, but don't start it yet! I'm assuming you know what toaster setting is best for your toaster as it can vary greatly. Keep that in mind, because the eggs will take a certain amount of time to complete (about 4 minutes). My toaster completes in about 3 minutes so that's perfect. If your toaster has already been used within the past few minutes it will toast even faster so if it's easier for you to go ahead and toast before you start the eggs, do it now.
Now it's time to wait. The water needs to reach 190F, but just over 185F would probably do just fine as it will continue to rise until you start dropping the eggs in. The problem is the water will also drop in temperature when the eggs go in, so if you start at 190F you might have to adjust your stove's temp just a bit to keep it up. I usually don't have to worry about adjusting much and I'm on a pretty basic electric stove. Here's the trick, don't let that water reach boiling point (200F depending on your altitude). It might simmer very slightly, but that's OK. Trust me, it's easier than you think, just be patient and don't use HIGH heat.
Just as soon as the water reaches the right temperature (190F), it's time to drop in the eggs and get everything going. Timing is going to be important now. First, disperse some of those bubbles on the bottom of your pan (don't slosh the water around too much or you'll have a rough time keeping your eggs in place). You don't have to do this, but if you don't, your poached eggs will have the dimpled texture of a golf ball. Now, very gently slide your eggs into the water keeping in mind which one went in first. Most likely you'll need to actually submerge part of your container in the water to get a gentle enough drop. You want as much of the egg white to stay in a small area. Immediately after you have done that, start your timer for 4 minutes and 20 seconds. I used to go longer, but this helps me not rush as soon as that beeper goes off. Oh, and by the way, it's a good time to start your toaster too. Have the butter ready for the toast as well.
When your toast is ready go ahead and butter it while it's still hot. Hopefully your toast was ready before the timer went off. Now, just as soon as that timer goes off, grab your plate of toast and gently scoop the eggs out of the water (letting the water drain). Place the eggs directly onto the toast, but be careful because they tend to be a little slippery and you might miss (like I often do). Add a little freshly ground black pepper on top of the eggs and that should complete the deal. I don't usually add salt to the finished eggs since I poached them in salty water, but if you need to, add very little.
Now all you have to do is break into that egg and let the gooey madness flow across the buttery toasty tundra. A gooey interior is a sign you did a great job! The best part is this takes less than 10 minutes with practice.
Sure... it's cooked! If you think an egg has to be hard boiled and completely solidified to kill all bacteria you would be wrong. Runny yolks does not mean mean uncooked. Let me prove it to you.
Egg white starts coagulating at 144F and the yolk at about 150F to 158F (Egg Safety Center). Which is good because you want a coagulated exterior but not a coagulated interior. To start killing the bacteria we're worried about the egg just needs to be 145F for about 15 seconds (FDA 2013 Food Code, 3-401.11 Raw Animal Foods, pg. 80). So your poached egg is in the safe zone and you can be pretty sure of that if the egg white is coagulated for more than 15 seconds during our poaching. We poached it for longer than 4 minutes, giving it plenty of time if your water was the right temperature.