Poached Eggs (Melbourne Broadsheet)


A large pot
Good quality white vinegar or lemon juice
Free range eggs

Heat the water
To achieve a poached egg with a firm, cooked white and a runny yolk, start by adding 5 litres of water to a deep pot. Heat the water to 98°C, then measure out 100mL of vinegar. Add it to the pot, along with a generous pinch of salt. The addition of vinegar lowers the pH level of the water, which in turn speeds up coagulation and results in a smoother appearance for the finished product by preventing the white from forming string-like trails behind the egg. Be sure to use good-quality vinegar, or even lemon juice, to eliminate an overpowering sour taste.

Crack the egg
Take a fresh, 50g egg from the refrigerator and carefully crack it into the pot. The secret is to crack it as close to the water as possible. If you drop the egg in from a height, egg white tails will form. You also risk the yolk bulging out from the white. Cooking too many eggs at a time can cause a dramatic change in water temperature and, as a result, inconsistencies in shape. Up to 25 eggs are cooked in a 15-litre pot at The Kettle Black. For your 5-litre pot, don’t poach more than eight at a time.

Cook the egg
Leave the egg in the pot for 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Stirring to create a rounder poached egg is a fallacy, so no need to do that. Although it is possible to coagulate eggs at lower temperatures, as seen in cafes serving the popular 60-degree eggs, cooking at reduced heat results in gelatinous egg whites. Generally, people prefer their whites cooked through and their yolks oozing.

Trim and serve
Remove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon and carefully lay it on an absorbent cloth until the excess water has drained. This will also help remove surplus vinegar. For aesthetic purposes, trim any egg white tails to form a perfectly round poached egg before serving.


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