How to Poach an Egg

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How to Poach an Egg

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

You don’t need to be an expert to perfectly poach an egg. Follow these helpful tips to wow your guests!

imageGetting started:
Fresh eggs are the best for poaching. The fresher the egg, the less likely they’ll spread and you end up with leggy scraggly whites.

Crack your eggs into small ramekins so you have more control when you slip them into the simmering water. Add a few capfuls of white vinegar, and a pinch of salt to the water. The vinegar helps to firm up and set the egg whites so you don’t get those leggy strands of whites. Use a medium sized saucepan that is deep enough to completely cover the eggs in water- a depth of 5 inches will help create a pretty tear dropped poached egg. If you’re making a large batch of poached eggs, use a bigger pot, and a small pot for smaller batches. 

imageBring your water up to a very-very light simmer, really almost to the point right before the water starts to simmer. You do not want bubbles breaking through the surface. Use a large spoon to create a whirlpool in the water. Carefully slide your egg into the center of the whirlpool while making sure the yolk does not break. The whirlpool will help to wrap the whites around the yolk making the desired compact tear drop shape of a perfectly poached egg.

imageGently stir the water while the egg poaches. Work in small batches so the temperature of the poaching liquid doesn’t lower too much. Cook the egg for about 3 minutes, so the white is set and the yolk is thickened and warm.

imageRemove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon and drain off on a paper towel. Blot the egg dry and season with salt and pepper. If you’re entertaining, you can make poached eggs ahead of time by just reheating them in barely simmering water for 1 minute.

If you really want to impress the pants of your guests, the final step is watching Jamie Deen’s video on making blender hollandaise.

Now put it all this newly found knowledge together for a match made in food heaven, Paula’s Fried Green Tomato Egg Hollandaise. Yum!

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Reader Comments:


I am wondering if Paula has any tips on how to bake a cake that is flat or level on top. Can it be done? I have a cake recipe in which the center of the cake is several different rainbow colors. If I cut the rounded top off the cake to level it, then I lose some of the colors which ruins the rainbow/tie-dye effect. Thanks for your help on this.

By Evelyn Allen on April 19, 2012


I saw your commercial for Smithfield ham and went to Walmart and purchased it. Today, for Easter I made it. Delicious and Easy. Thank you.

By Barbara Matusic on April 08, 2012


How can i tell when the all purpose flour is expired if i dont have its original packaging anymore

By amarilis on April 03, 2012


Hey Paula, Believe it or not .my Dad was a Chef and when we were little kids my Daddy would make us Poach Eggs just like this way. and he would put it on Toast...yum.. I sure do miss that....Thank for the memories...

By Brenda on April 03, 2012


I just read your book & loved it. My daughter & I have been asked to fix Easter Breakfast for our church about 250 people. Our pastor wants scrambled eggs , bacon or sausage & hash browns. Since the breakfast needs to be ready by 9:00am We would like to fix everything the day before and just heat it up . Do you have any suggestions we really need your advice.We both think you are terrific & love you Please help us not make a mess of our breakfast! Sue & Deanna

By sue nance on March 31, 2012

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