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Personal Chef Secrets: How to easily poach a lot of eggs @ once!

What You Will Need To Poach Eggs

What You Will Need To Poach Eggs

Poaching eggs is something that I think a lot of people have struggled with doing. It can be messy, its kind of a pain in the ass and the biggest obstacle to overcome is trying to make the decision of when is the egg done! As a personal chef in Chicago brunch is always such a huge hit so I often have to poach many eggs at once for benedicts, breakfast sliders and clients simply trying to be healthy. I will show you an easy way to do this and keep it so super simple that anyone can do it, including you! 

Here’s what you will need! 

1 Large Pot With Lid (2.5 Gallons)

¼ Cup Kosher Salt 

2 T Rice Wine Vinegar 

1 Large Metal Bowl 

1 Dozen Large Eggs 

1 Small Bowl

Basket Strainer/Slotted Spoon 

Cell Phone Timer For 3 Minutes 

Shallow Pan (10×13) 

Paper Towel 


First Things First! 

Salt your water

Salt Your Water

Fill the large pot about ¾ of the way full of hot water and add the ¼ cup of salt. Turn the heat on high and bring the water up to a boil, then turn the heat down so that the water lightly simmers. Taste the water it should taste like the ocean if it doesn’t add more salt accordingly. 

Once you get the pot of water heating up pour your rice wine vinegar into the large bowl. You can then begin to crack one egg at a time into the small bowl then gently pour that bowl into the large bowl. You do not necessarily need to do the whole double bowl thing but if you crack the eggs directly into the large bowl and you crack a yolk then you have to deal with that whole thing so the small bowl basically acts as a buffer. 


If you do crack an egg simply just make a scooby snack and whip up some scrambled eggs. 


The Vinegar

Once all the eggs are in the bowl gently swirl the bowl around so that the vinegar gets evenly distributed around all the whites of all of the eggs. If you think there isn’t enough vinegar to reach all the egg whites add another tablespoon and gently swirl again. Let the eggs and vinegar rest for 5 minutes. Below is what that timeline looks like.

At the end of the 5 minutes, you can see there are parts of the egg whites that have begun to “cook” as well as the definition of the egg’s membrane much clearer. This also helps strengthen the egg whites for the saltwater bath that comes next. 

Let’s talk about the vinegar for a second. Truthfully you can use any vinegar to achieve this result. However, I use rice wine vinegar because it has a sweet light flavor. Traditionally, cooks will put vinegar in the water and what that does is help keep the whites separating from the yolks and helps keep the proteins together. 

 So let’s do the dance! What we are going to do is now bring the water up to a boil and slowly dunk the bowl into the water and let the water fill the bowl and gently release the eggs into the water. Take your slotted spoon and around the outside of the pot stick your spoon about halfway down and gently swirl the water once or twice to keep the eggs from sticking to the bottom. Turn the heat off and cover the pot and start your timer.

Set Up For Pulling Out The Eggs

Egg Set Up

Set Up For Pulling Out The Eggs

Take your shallow pan and line the shallow pan with one or two layers. Once the time goes off the easiest way to get all the eggs out at once is by using a basket strainer and gently corralling the eggs in a circular motion. The next best thing is to use a slotted spoon but you should do it as quickly as possible to avoid overcooking of the last few eggs. The basket strainer can rupture the eggs it’s very important that when corralling the eggs you do so carefully. 


Let the eggs chill momentarily and enjoy! 


Frequently asked questions


Will the eggs taste like vinegar? 


If you let the vinegar sit too long it might. However salt and vinegar work together to create a natural balance with food so chances are what you taste in your final egg might taste enhanced because of the salt and vinegar but you may not be able to put your finger on the exact flavor but you will love it. 


What happens if I don’t have rice wine vinegar? 


In a pinch, I have used every vinegar, anything from apple cider and sherry to pomegranate vinegar. The only one I would not recommend is balsamic. That will definitely change the color of your eggs and has a very harsh noticeable flavor. If that’s all you have though, it will still work. 


What happens if I break a yolk in my bowl with all of the other eggs do I have to start over? 


If you break a yolk take an empty eggshell half and scoop the broken yolk out of the bowl. The eggshell is very cohesive with the eggs its hold so the yolk will happily pop right back in there. Even if you cant extract the yolk, it won’t hurt the other eggs – keep pushing forward!