Poach the Perfect Egg

My absolute favourite breakfast of the moment is poached egg on crisp double toasted rye spread with rich wholegrain mustard. I’m generally eating it 5 times a week, it is so good!

As a kid we had a poaching pan (looks like a frying pan with individual little cups sat in water that you pop an egg into to keep its shape) but I figured there had to be a ‘proper’ way of doing it without the need for another pan in our teeny kitchen. Also that poaching pan was such a pig to clean that it rarely got used.
So, mum & I researched all we could on poaching the perfect egg. We tried vinegar in the cooking water, swirling the boiling water to create a vortex, even cling filming the egg for goodness sake.
The lot. All nonsense.

The only way to make a perfect poached egg is to use a super fresh egg, ie one that is less than 2 days old. That’s it. If you don’t have your own chooks and have trouble getting really fresh eggs then you’d be better off investing in a poaching pan.
As a note if someone asked to buy my eggs who was also mad about poaching I would gladly sell them just laid fresh ones (as opposed to ones that are 4 or 5 days old), ask your farm gate supplier, even if they charge you a little more for them it will be money well spent.
This duck egg was laid an hour before, look how it holds together.
The science bit to back my very bold statement above; an eggshell is porous, it slowly ‘breathes’. The older the egg is the more air is inside, the more air inside, the more watery the white will be. When you break a super fresh egg into a pan the white is jellylike and holds itself together, with an older egg the white is all runny and just dissipates into a mess in the pan. Yuk.

Roll on tomorrow morning!

4 Responses to Poach the Perfect Egg

  1. Wow! You have just answered an age old question… I always wondered why I could never get a poached egg that stayed together.
    Now to find someone who will sell me their fresh eggs…

    Oh…& is it true that an older egg is easier to peel when hard boiled?
    Or is that a fresh one too?? I can never get the blooming shells to come off. gah!

  2. Good grief – thank you for this. I’ve tried hard to get a method that is foolproof every time, and concluded that I was the fool as I never succeeded. Now I know …. all I’ve got to do now is find a source of fresh(er) eggs.

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