Poached Eggs—Stealth Mode

December 20, 2010

When I was younger, I knew that if you wanted to cook someone a surprise breakfast, you shouldn’t make poached eggs, because they just made too much noise. I always knew when we were having them for breakfast, because as soon as I got out of bed, I could hear them rattling in their dishes. My mom always makes them in little, round glass dishes, placed in a skillet of almost-boiling water. Even with the skillet lid on, they still bump into each other the whole time they’re cooking, announcing to the world that poached eggs are on the way.

A couple of days ago in cooking, I discovered a whole new way to handle poached eggs. Using a sauce pan of almost boiling water, you stir in a swirl, and drop the egg directly into the pot. A swirl, I thought at first, this is going to be really hard. In my mind, I would be attempting to create a miniature hurricane in the center of my pot, stirring with one hand while simultaneously pouring in the egg. As it turns out, it wasn’t quite so hard. All I had to do was get the water moving, then set the spoon down and pour my egg in before the water stopped spinning. Then, I could cover the pot, and walk away for four minutes.

Oreo carefully pours in the egg.

Unfortunately, a crucial step is turning off the burner before you walk away. Being preoccupied with the dishes and the newness of the kitchen, I forgot, of course. It was a true ‘teaching moment’ for Ms. Ruble when both Oreo’s and my pots boiled over, allowing for not one, but two demonstrations of how to properly handle a boiling-over pot.

Luckily, my egg survived, with only a slightly abnormal shape to show that anything had gone wrong. Perhaps my favorite part of Cooking so far was getting to eat those hot, poached egg sandwiches. We had toasted English muffins with cheese, and combined with the eggs, and a little salt and pepper, they were delicious. Breakfast first period, lunch third: it seems like I did nothing but eat on Wednesday!

Carefully preparing English muffins for the sandwich.

For your own delicious, fast breakfasts:

Poached Eggs:


Fresh Eggs

1-2 teaspoons of vinegar (can also use rice vinegar) (optional)


Shallow saucepan with cover

Slotted spoon


1. Bring water in a saucepan to almost boiling. If the water is already boiling, lower the heat until it is no longer boiling. At this point, you can add one or two teaspoons of vinegar to the water, if you want. The vinegar will help the egg whites to congeal more easily.

2. Working with the eggs one by one, crack an egg into a small cup. Stir the water in a clockwise motion until you create a swirl, place the cup near the surface of the hot water, and gently drop the egg into the center of the swirl. You can use a spoon to gently nudge the egg whites closer to their yolks if needed. This will help the egg whites hold together.

3. Turn off the heat. Cover. Let sit for four minutes, until the egg whites are cooked. Lift the eggs out of the pan with a slotted spoon.

One trick to make the eggs stay somewhat contained is to take a ring from a mason jar and place it in the pan. Drop the egg over the mason jar ring and let it settle in the ring, then turn off the heat and cover.

(Note: This last piece is really just extra work. If my egg whites held together through the pot boiling over, I’m sure you won’t need a ring either.)

Yum! Enjoying our poached egg sandwiches.


-Piña Colada


2 Responses to “Poached Eggs—Stealth Mode”

  1. Fun post, Pina Colada! Glad you enjoyed our breakfast 🙂

  2. […] Prepare the poached eggs. (Recipe for that can be found from a previous Woodlawn Kitchen post found by clicking here.) […]

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