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Old 08-01-2012, 11:12 AM   #1
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How do I make good looking poached eggs?

I really enjoy making poached eggs and they usually come out very good, but looking nothing at all like many pictures. I'm wondering how they can produce such perfect looking poached eggs, or if it is somehow altered/edited to look especially good in pictures or on TV shows? For example, in this recipe photo:

Two Potato and Beet Hash with Poached Eggs and Greens Recipe | MyRecipes.com

Mine always come out much more scraggly looking and while they taste good and are cooked just fine, I can never get such a perfectly smooth and round shape. My method is:

1. Bring water to boil and then simmer in a skillet (few inches deep)
2. Add a splash of white vinegar
3. Break eggs into a small dish
4. Pour eggs slowly into water
5. Cook for 3-4 minutes
6. Remove with slotted spoon

Am I being foolish to think I could make eggs that look like that or is there a trick I am missing?

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Old 08-01-2012, 11:20 AM   #2
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There is a trick you're missing.

Once when I was watching Jacques Pepin, he poached eggs. After taking them out of the pan he carefully trimmed the egg so it was as pretty as the one in your link. He held the poached egg in the palm of his hand and used a paring knife to trim off the scraggly pieces of white. The photo you posted looks like it was trimmed down to the yolk.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:29 AM   #3
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You need to have really fresh eggs for the white to adhere to the yolk. The other thing is that you need to add the vinegar, more than you think you need, and stir the water while you are adding the egg, keep stirring until the yolk and white adhere to one another. I use "today's eggs" for poached eggs (not that I'm an eggspert, but I have laying hens, so I use the freshest eggs possible and mine are "hen temperature" because I use the eggs that are still warm when I collect them--not sure if bringing the egg to room temp / hen temp matters or not). I also find that using one of those microwave egg poachers is a lot easier than doing the water-vinegar method (clean up, timing, perfection). I usually lightly oil the poacher with a bit of vegetable oil or spray or, when feeling decadent, about 1/8 tsp unsalted butter, poke the yolk gently with a sharp knife, add about 1/4 tsp water, and cook on high for 50-55 seconds. Works for me every day. But, if you want to do it in a pan, be sure to keep stirring the water while adding the egg. If you do them in a pan, you can lift them out using a slotted spoon, drain them and trim if necessary. Or, you can put the little pyrex dish in the simmering pan of water and cook the egg that way--kind of like an improvised version of a pan that has the egg poaching cups.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
There is a trick you're missing.

Once when I was watching Jacques Pepin, he poached eggs. After taking them out of the pan he carefully trimmed the egg so it was as pretty as the one in your link. He held the poached egg in the palm of his hand and used a paring knife to trim off the scraggly pieces of white. The photo you posted looks like it was trimmed down to the yolk.
Thanks for the tip. Though, it seems kind of wasteful if I'm just preparing the dish for myself; oh well.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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maybe you can find some of these over there,i've got some & they work everytime.or the four egg poaching pan further down the page
Green poachpod® in egg poaching and boiling at the home of creative kitchenware, Lakeland
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankin View Post
Thanks for the tip. Though, it seems kind of wasteful if I'm just preparing the dish for myself; oh well.
If I was preparing the dish for myself, I'd care less about the appearance.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:11 PM   #7
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I also find that using one of those microwave egg poachers is a lot easier than doing the water-vinegar method (clean up, timing, perfection).
Interesting; I bought one of those and could never get the bottom of the egg cooked before the yolk solidified (if the yolk was still runny, the bottom of the egg was completely raw). Do you have a brand/type you recommend?
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:29 PM   #8
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I'd also wager that the photo in the original poster's link was taken by a food photographer. Those guys have a lot of tricks up their sleeves for making food look pretty.

I had a poached egg for breakfast just this morning (served over wilted spinach). Believe me, mine didn't look that nice, either. But it sure tasted alright.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crankin View Post
Interesting; I bought one of those and could never get the bottom of the egg cooked before the yolk solidified (if the yolk was still runny, the bottom of the egg was completely raw). Do you have a brand/type you recommend?
I put the water (about 1/4 tsp) in the cup first, and then the egg, prick the yolk, sprinkle a bit more water on top. Depending on the size of the egg, I usually start with 45 seconds and then add 5-10 seconds. I bought mine a LONG time ago, so I don't know what brand it was/is.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
I'd also wager that the photo in the original poster's link was taken by a food photographer. Those guys have a lot of tricks up their sleeves for making food look pretty.

I had a poached egg for breakfast just this morning (served over wilted spinach). Believe me, mine didn't look that nice, either. But it sure tasted alright.
If you have any of those eggs left, put them in a bowl of water and see if they float. If they do, they are older than 7 days' old and the white will not adhere to the yolk when poaching--no difference re: taste, just presentation. Fresh eggs don't float. They'd make great hb eggs because you need older eggs to get the shell to separate from the egg when peeling it. Trust me, fresh "today's eggs" are a b*tch to peel.
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