If you’re in a panic about making brunches for bunches, a video featuring Bridget Lancaster of America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School guides you with tips for cooking eight perfectly poached eggs.
Lancaster starts her instructions with a major detour from most poaching techniques. She uses a large skillet with a lid instead of the typical saucepan. She explains that this not only allows for cooking a larger quantity, but the skillet’s shallow sides also prevent breaking the delicate yolks when transferring them into boiling water.
After adding water to a level just below the skillet rim, Lancaster adds a small amount of white vinegar to keep the eggs from fraying, as well as salt to add flavor. As the water heats to a boil, she notes her essential trick for ensuring that a large number of eggs are ready to serve at one time. The cooking instructor cracks two eggs each into four cups so that she can add all eggs to the the water at one time, ensuring yolk consistency.
The other major deviation from typical poaching techniques is that the skillet is removed from the heat before the eggs are placed into boiling water. Once the water boils, Lancaster transfers the skillet to an unheated burner and adds all the eggs at one time by submerging the cups and gently allowing the eggs to flow into the skillet. The instructor then covers the skillet with its lid and lets the whites set as the water cools. She removes the eggs after 5 minutes, noting that a dozen eggs would increase the cooking time to 7 minutes.
These tips come at a time when eggs may start reappearing on tables everywhere. According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans released by the federal government, eggs are no longer considered a cholesterol-filled taboo as previously believed.
Next time you’re cooking for a crowd, visit Lancaster’s tips for some perfect poaching.