Cooking

Crack a Cold One

The tip for better poached eggs you may never have heard
Photo: Dave Katz/Tasting Table
Better Poached Eggs

Add vinegar to your water. Prick the egg with a pin and boil for 10 seconds before cracking it. Create a whirlpool effect in the water. These are just a few of the many tips out there for poaching eggs.

Then there are the hacks: Use a steamer to hold the eggs, or poach a batch in a muffin tin in the oven, or use a silicone egg holder if you're really lazy (just kidding about the lazy part—we support any method that gets more poached eggs on the table).

All of these various tips and hacks have merit, and are worth trying out. But one thing they all have in common, however, is that they add an extra step. Here's a tip you may not have heard before that requires no extra steps at all.

Use cold eggs.

A cold egg white has more structure than a warm one, which helps the egg form together when it hits the hot water. Additionally, the cold yolk takes longer to heat up, which gives your white additional time to set, making it more likely you'll end up with the desired runny yolk and firm white, as opposed to an overcooked yolk.

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So next time you go to poach eggs, make things easier on yourself and wait until the last minute to remove the eggs from the refrigerator.

When it comes down to it, poaching eggs isn't difficult—it just requires practice. Look at it this way: There are worse techniques you could spend a morning trying out, because at least with this one, you'll end up with breakfast.

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