While poaching eggs in a pot of boiling water isn't exactly rocket science, it's sometimes tough to get the eggs to look right while using this freestyle method. For more picturesque poached eggs, an egg poacher is the ticket. Using an egg poacher is perhaps the simplest way to poach eggs. The device provides the chef with a way to get an evenly cooked, perfectly round poached egg each time.
Fill a saucepan (either one from the kitchen or the pan that came with the egg poacher) with a little less than 1 inch of water. Set it on the stove.
Fit the egg cups into the egg-poacher frame (if necessary) and make sure they are wiped clean. Grease the bottoms and sides of the cups with a small amount of butter; even if the cups are non-stick, this will ensure that the eggs will slide out easily.
Crack an egg into each of the cups. If all of the cups aren't being used for eggs, fill the remaining cups halfway with water to keep the frame balanced in the pot.
Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat slightly. Lower the egg-poacher frame gently into the saucepan, cover and allow the eggs to cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Two minutes will yield a soft-cooked egg, while 4 minutes will yield a hard-cooked egg.
Remove the poacher frame from the pan and gently lift each cup out of the frame (if they're removable). Slide the eggs out of the cups with either the device provided with the poacher or a fork. Be careful not to pierce the yolk in the process. Serve.
- Steve Woods