Make Perfect Poached Eggs-In Your Dreams

I’m the worst person to let loose in the kitchen, but I’m still trying to learn how to poach eggs. Sena gives me some supervision, but stays within shouting distance because we want to avoid kitchen fires.

I searched the web for guidance as well. Poaching an egg probably requires advanced college degrees in chemistry, physics, and biology. But they won’t help you poach eggs unless you abide by a few basic rules and sacrifice a fatted calf to the God of Poaching.

I do OK cracking eggs—as long as you don’t mind eating a few eggshells. I could probably learn how to crack an egg with one hand (like a badass according to one article), but I want to avoid exposing my fingers to salmonella as much as possible. I’ve seen those videos. The inside of the egg including the yolk pretty much explodes all over your hand. Like a lot of men, I’m pretty fastidious in the kitchen. I’m not sure why professional cleaners in Hazmat suits storm the house occasionally and occupy the kitchen for a few days.

That’s why it takes me several hours to poach what are supposed to be “3 minute” eggs. I save some time by cracking the eggs with your standard drill driver using a carefully chosen Phillips head bit. Always keep your tools next to the slotted spoons and spatulas drawer next to the cooktop.

My poached egg yolks are always either so hard they break your molars or so runny you can drink them from a glass—a small juice glass is fine.

I guess the freshness of the eggs is important. I’ve never tested them by dropping them into a pot of water to see if they float or sink. If they sink, they’re probably OK. If they float, you should throw them away. If they levitate out of the pot, you forgot to take your prescription medication.

Now, it turns out there are two opposing camps on the vinegar issue. Some say this will fix the wispy whites problem. Others say avoid vinegar at all costs because of the risk of explosions. I recently tried adding a few drops of vinegar to the water in the saucepan. I’m ambivalent about it because I still got the wispys although the whites did seem a little firmer. But that’s probably only because I cooked them too long—again.

I think I have better luck putting the egg into a little bowl and then slipping the egg into the water in the saucepan. I do this very gently—always wear a helmet. Sometimes the white parts still scatter all over and even outside of the pan, covering the cooktop, getting all over the floor, flooding the dining room and clogging the electrical outlets. Hey, it’s time for corn flakes!

I don’t use ramekins, which sounds like sheep from another galaxy. I didn’t even know what those were until I looked it up on the web. They’re little bowls.

You can even buy an appliance called an egg poacher. They cost around $32 at Amazon. If I buy that, then I might as well buy an egg cracking tool. It’s called an EZ Cracker Handheld Egg Cracker and it costs $10.

You want perfect poached eggs? Look in the want ads under Poachers for Hire. Don’t call them if their ads show snapshots of wild animals.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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