Speed Up Your Poached Eggs And Crack Them Straight Into The Water

Those who've poached eggs know the basic steps for achieving the ideal version of this elevated breakfast. First, heat some water in a pan. While waiting for it to boil, crack the eggs into a bowl or ramekin. Once the water comes to a simmer, swirl it with a spoon or ladle and pour the eggs in. Once their whites are set, remove them from the water.

Although they only take several minutes to cook, the egg-poaching process can be challenging, particularly on a busy morning. Luckily, there's a way to make preparing this dish substantially quicker and simpler, as one of these steps is not needed. Though it may be an unconventional way to poach an egg, you can actually crack them straight into the pot. Not only does this save the step of using bowls, but it reduces cleanup, making your morning slightly more streamlined.

Before you get cracking, though, there are some things to keep in mind. Ignore them and you might wind up with a mess instead of a meal.

A faster way to poach eggs

To take advantage of this trick, make sure your egg carton is nearby and open while you wait for the water to come to temperature. Once it's simmering, give it a stir. Swirling the water with a spoon, as chef Gordon Ramsay has been known to do, will create a whirlpool effect. This, plus some salt and a splash of vinegar, helps to keep the egg's shape slightly more uniform. While the liquid is in motion, grab an egg and crack it into the water. Repeat with another egg or two until you have the desired amount.

There are a few ways to make this already simplified process even easier. First, having the eggs within reach is necessary so the water doesn't stop swirling before you have time to crack them. If you're poaching multiple eggs, placing a trash can beside you for the egg shells will help reduce the time between adding each egg.

While adding each individually may take a few seconds longer, this egg hack eliminates several steps along the way. First, you don't need to find and grab a bowl for each egg. Though this part isn't that time-consuming, it's one less thing to worry about when cooking eggs on a busy morning when you're still half-asleep. Perhaps more significantly, it saves cleanup time, which means fewer bowls to wash or load into the dishwasher.

When not to use this hack

Although this method can save time in the kitchen, there are some instances where it doesn't make as much sense to use it. One of these is when poaching large quantities of eggs. Cracking each egg into the pot takes longer than dumping them in from bowls, meaning more time between adding each one. This isn't ideal for a cooking method where a few moments can mean the difference between runny or jammy yolks, as the eggs will finish at different times. If you're ambitious, though, Food Network has a system: add the eggs clockwise around the pan to keep track of the order in which they were put in the water. This won't work with the whirlpool motion, which moves the eggs around; you'll need to use vinegar to hold the whites together instead.

More importantly, don't try this trick if you aren't confident in your ability to crack eggs without losing pieces of the shell. Once in the water, bits of eggshell would be difficult to remove without breaking the yolks, which would be a tragedy. Plus, finding a bit of eggshell while enjoying your breakfast isn't fun. In this case, try cracking the eggs into a strainer so that you can remove any debris before cooking.