Every Poached Egg Technique Tested

Joel Golby tries all available methods for egg poaching so you never have to read about this stuff ever again

Every Poached Egg Technique Tested
Every Poached Egg Technique Tested

The Warm Tap Method

What is it? A slightly faffy method taught to me by my friend Janina.

How easy was it? You place your egg – in its unpoached, uncracked form, ie just an egg – in warm water from the tap for a few minutes, before cracking it into just-about-to-boil water then turning down the heat. And it works: the egg doesn't spread like every other failed poaching attempt you've made in your lifetime.

How'd it taste, bro? Like a poached egg, with the secret ingredient of smugness, of knowing you did a job well all on your own. You're a big boy, now, son. You're a big boy and daddy's so very proud of you.

Every Poached Egg Technique Tested 1

The Designer Object Method

What is it? The stark, white Joseph & Joseph M-Cuisine Egg Poacher.

How easy was it? Well you kind of have to faff a bit: dribble a bit of cold water into two little detachable trays, then crack two eggs, then add more water, then use a small slip of paper to calculate the cooking time, which is always wrong, so then you have to microwave it for five extra seconds then check, then deem the egg white too albumen-y, then give it five extra seconds, and then the toast is burnt, and oh god it's all gone wrong.

How'd it taste, bro? Oh, bad. The M-Cuisine is a machine that somehow cooks the yolk to a solid rubber ball without even touching the white, which science would suggest is impossible, but apparently not.

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The Poachies Method

What is it? It's Poachies, the fun disposable egg poacher!

How easy was it? To put in the water? Very easy: open a Poachie into a mug, crack in an egg, then slip the whole thing into water, where it immediately seals shut, flops on its side, and takes on the vague shape of an egg. Getting it out: it is hot, wet tissue paper with an egg inside and you need tongs both to get it out of the water and to pry it open to get the egg out. Tongageddon. Buy, like, six or seven more pairs of tongs than you currently have in your kitchen. Be prepared.

How'd it taste, bro? The Poachie made for a very decent poached egg – pornographic yolk dribble, thick consistent white – although it doesn't ball up into a fat round shape like a decent poached egg does, instead sort of forms a flat, long fried egg shape. If I wanted a fried egg, Poachie, I'd fry an egg five separate ways in one day! Until I never wanted to see an egg again!

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The Mesh Basket Method

What is it? Yee haw buddy, it's the Chef'n Yolkster egg poacher!

How easy was it? The Chef'n Yolkster is a small mesh net with feet that you stand in a pan and bring to the boil, a little like you're about to murder a lobster, and then crack an egg in and let it simmer for six minutes. It is exceptionally unfun to clean out afterwards. Think about it. An eggy mess net. Tap's going. You've got washing-up spray all down your trousers. You're crying, you're in tears. And still it's not quite clean.

How'd it taste, bro? Good enough. The Chef'n gives you a decently poached egg but it only cooks one at a time, and what kind of maniac wants one poached egg? A single poached egg is very close to being "death row murderer's weird last meal request" in terms of bleakness.

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The Clingfilm Method

What is it? An egg in some cling film.

How easy was it? It's an egg in some cling film, mate, what do you want me to tell you. It was an egg, right? In cling film. I call this invention "egg in cling film".

How'd it taste, bro? Easily the best poached egg. Pro: beautiful drippy yolk. Pro: gorgeous, thick, sliceable white. Pro: satisfying round shape. Pro: easy to do, with a mug and a bit of cling film pinching. This is the way. This is the way to poach eggs now. Wrap your poaching devices carefully in cling film and boil them until they don't exist anymore.

Words and eggs by Joel Golby