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How to Poach an Egg for the Perfect Breakfast

Despite their delicate texture, poaching eggs might seem like an undertaking best left to the weekends. However, with some practice, you can perfect this egg-cooking technique even for busier mornings. It will take about 10 minutes to poach an egg, and you can cook one or multiple eggs at a time to get breakfast on the table faster. By learning how to make poached eggs in the microwave or using an amazingly handy app that makes it easy for home chefs of all skill levels.

Step 1: Bring the Water to a Simmer

Lightly grease a medium skillet or large saucepan. Grease helps the whites from sticking to the pan, and adding vinegar helps to bind the eggs together. Fill it with water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmering (bubbles begin to break the surface of the water).

Tip: For a more flavorful result, 1-2 teaspoons of instant chicken bouillon granules can be added to the water while poaching eggs. This method is ideal if you want to poach eggs in another liquid, such as broth, milk, wine, or tomato juice.

Step 2: Add the Eggs

Carefully break the egg into a small dish, then slide it into the simmering water. Make sure to use the lip of the dish as a handle to prevent from breaking the yolk or spilling any egg white strings. Make sure to do this for up to three more eggs and keep them evenly spaced so none of them stick together.

Tip: The large eggs hold a more compact shape with a thicker white and centered yolk, so they will spread less during cooking. The fresher the eggs are, the better for poaching.

Step 3: Poaching the Eggs

Simmer eggs in simmering water for 3-5 minutes until the whites are set. Remove eggs from skillet and cut any rough edges for a more professional look. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Tip: Eggs cooked at too high of a temperature will have tough whites and powdery yolks.

Step 4: Serving Poached Eggs

Eggs are known for materializing and beautifying dishes such as eggs benedict. There are tons of other ways to serve eggs that depart from the breakfast/brunch group. You can coat eggs in a highly nutritious meal, top a veggie-filled breakfast, or use them for dinner! Poached eggs taste great with just about anything. Once you know how to make poached eggs, you’ll see how practical they are with any dish.

How to Poach an Egg in the Microwave

If you have no time to wait for egg cooked in an egg poacher? Don’t give up yet, you can still make a good poached egg. Try it in your microwave instead. Add ⅓ cup water, ¼ teaspoon vinegar, and a pinch of salt to a small microwave-safe dish and add one large egg. Keep the dish covered with a lid or plastic wrap until you’re ready to cook it.

Place the covered dish in your microwave on 80% power for 50 to 55 seconds or until the white is almost set, but still a little translucent and the yolk looks round with a semi-solid white layer. If you are using plastic wrap or a clear lid, you will notice that the white starts to solidify as it cooks, beginning with a light yellow color and progressing to a more pristine white color. For this reason, monitor your eggs as they cook so they don’t end up overcooked.

Carefully remove the dish from the microwave, if you want firmer whites, let it sit in the water for an extra minute. Uncover and use a spoon to scoop up just enough of the egg to allow liquid to drain out. Season with salt and black pepper, if needed.

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