How to choose and use a silicone egg poacher
If you can master a poached egg, you can not only quickly create a meal on its own but also add a delicious compliment to salads and sandwiches. But the technique isn’t the easiest to learn and a perfect egg is hard to get right – you want liquid yolk inside and silky, smooth white exterior. The hard way to poach eggs is to water bath them – swirling the water, adding the egg and hoping that the poached egg will be nice and smooth. If you don’t want to rely on faith with your eggs, you can significantly improve your skills in no time at all. There are many egg poachers that make the process much easier and less about luck.
How Does It Work?
The technique behind the poachers is easy, but you should first understand the traditional water method. When you cook it traditionally, you should carefully and slowly drop an egg into boiling, whirling water. The poll helps the egg create a protective shield around the yolk and then get stabilized quickly.
The hardest thing to control is the drop, because the egg will spread all over the water if you do it wrong. With the right poacher, the egg will stay in shape and carefully enter the water. Then the whites slide down the walls of the poacher, gently getting into the bath. The yolk comes first, and then the white creates a shell.
You may know that poachers have many holes on the bottom. They let the water in and out the poacher to boil the egg. This allows for the heat to transfer to the egg instead of going through the walls. If you just rest your egg in a bowl in hot water, it will steam and won’t get that smooth texture that we like in poached eggs. The holes also allow for even heat distribution, so the egg cooks evenly.
Silicone is the most popular material for egg poachers. It’s very flexible (you can stack them to save kitchen space) and resistant to heat. The poacher is sitting in hot water, so you can easily remove it by grabbing it with tongs. You should never grab it with your hands. Another benefit of silicone is that eggs can get sticky and pain to clean of metal utensils, but a silicone spatula can go in the dishwasher.
Finding a good egg poacher
There are many different egg poachers but finding the one that will serve your need isn’t as easy as it may seem. The last thing we want is an item that can’t poach an egg, making them explode. The lid of some poachers doesn’t close tightly or eggs just stick to the poacher walls. You can avoid all these by choosing the right poacher. There are 4 things you should consider before you buy one:
- Size. Different egg poachers suit different needs. For a small family a 2-slot poacher is enough while 4-piece poachers are better for large families. There are also single-slot egg poachers for a single person.
- Materials. Manufacturers use silicone, ceramic, stainless steel and plastic to make the poacher. Stainless steel and aluminum models are the strongest and last forever while ceramic heats up and keeps the heat much longer, and silicone and plastic are light and compact materials that have nonstick surfaces.
- Design. A quality poacher should have a shape that holds eggs of different sizes. Make sure the lid fits tightly and prevents spillage. Otherwise, you can create a huge mess.
- Nonstick surface. Cleaning is a breeze when the surface is nonstick. It will also minimize the ruining the coating and staining.
Scan Pan Impact 20cm Egg Poacher
This poacher keeps the eggs suspended over water instead of having them plunged in. This is not the traditional poacher, but does the job well. The poacher comes with a tight, see-through lid and has a removable pot that slips into place. You can cook four eggs at the same time, one egg takes around 3.5 minutes to prepare. This is suitable for all stovetops including induction. The quality is great for the price.
Premier Microwave Egg Cooker
This egg poacher is not only very useful, it’s also very cute. It comes in the shape of a heart and can go in the microwave. The manufacturer states you only need 90 seconds to make perfect poached eggs. Add a little butter to every tray and poke the yolk with the fork or everything can get a bit messy. Without butter, the egg will stick to the surface.
The OXO Good Grips Silicone Egg Poacher
This egg poacher comes conveniently sits in a pot of boiling water and holds an egg that quickly cooks to perfection. All you need to do is to fill the water to the mark of the cup and bring liquid to boil. Carefully place an egg into the poacher and it will slowly slide down into the other half of the poacher. The cooking time is around 3 minutes depending on how soft you like your eggs. Then lift the poacher out and remove the egg with a slotted spoon.
If you need more than one poached egg, it comes in a set of two and you can quickly prepare eggs for a big crowd. When you place an egg into the poacher, let it sit for 30 seconds or until it slightly set. Take the poacher out of water and move it over. Place another egg and repeat the process until you have as many eggs as you want. When cooking is done, just flip one end on top of the other for convenient storing.
KITZINI, Silicone Egg Poacher Cups
This egg poacher can cook 4 eggs at the same time, making it a perfect option for big families. It can tolerate high heat up to 400F and is microwave and dishwasher-safe. The material is BPA-free silicone that is safe for our health. The surface is nonstick, so cleaning is never a problem. The poacher can be washed by hand as well, a wipe with a wet cloth is enough to make it clean. You don’t need to sprinkle the poacher with oil before you put it in the microwave.
Fusionbrands, PoachPod Ceramic Floating Egg Poacher
The poacher is made of ceramic and you get two in a set. The company claims the technology is patented and it helps produce perfect poached eggs with no contact with the heating surface. The second layer of the poacher is stainless steel, so it’s made to last. It also provides even heat distribution while the silicone handles protect your hands. It’s also PROFA, BPA and PTFE free. You can wash it in a dishwasher.
Calphalon Nonstick 4-cup Egg Poacher
I think that a good egg poacher should be durable, has a long service life and be very easy to use and clean. This egg poacher is one of the best on the market because it obtains all these features and more. The pan is made of specially treated aluminum and it can survive many years of regular use. With this poacher, you will be able to treat your family members with poached eggs in no time at all. Besides, aluminum heats up evenly and quickly, resulting in nicely cooked eggs. The surface is nonstick; eggs can be easily removed with any spoon.
I must say that the handles and the lid can handle high heat up to 400F. Maintenance couldn’t be any easier. The manufacturer ensures safe use of the product by treating the handles with a special stay-cool coating. You don’t need a kitchen towel or oven mitts to hold the poacher; you can hold it with your bare hands while cooking. Another feature that I like about it is the transparent lid. You can easily see and control the process. The manufacturer gives 10-years warranty, proving its durability and quality.
This poacher is designed to suit different cooking tops, you can make poached eggs on almost anything. Safely place them on electric, gas, glass or halogen top or just bake the eggs in the oven, they will always be delicious. It can even be used as a skillet for many recipes except poached eggs. To make this, remove the cups and the poacher will become a medium-sized pan.
Making a delicious breakfast for the whole family is easy with this poacher: you just need to make the eggs, fry some bacon or ham with cheese and combine the ingredients in one dish. Just think of the delicious aroma and creamy whites with runny yolks on slices of savory bacon. You can even use the skillet for cooking sauces and drippings or making regular foods like potatoes and pasta. This versatile poacher has all chances to become an important appliance in your kitchen.
Easy way of cooking the perfect poached eggs:
- Take the pan and fill it with about 2 quarts of cold water. Make it 4 inches deep. Add 0.5 tablespoon of salt and 30 ml of vinegar and bring the liquid to boil (avoid the highest heat).
- Gently crack the egg into a clean plate and make sure the yolk is intact. Each egg you’re going to poach should be in its own separate dish.
- Carefully stir the water in a circular motion to create a whirlpool-effect.
- Lower the dish with an egg to the water surface and in one smooth and gently motion pour the egg into the boiling, swirling water.
- Repeat the process with all eggs, turn the heat to low and cover the pan. The eggs should cook in around 5 minutes.
- Take a metal spoon and scoop every egg put of the water. Let them drip for a minutes and blow with paper towel. Serve while hot.
A Few Notes to Remember
In addition to everything I’ve said before, there are several more things to remember to make sure your poached eggs are always cooked to perfection:
- If you need to cook for a big crowd, make sure to take a big pot. The more water you add, the longer it will keep the heat. This will allow you to cook more eggs one by one.
- You can refrigerate and reheat poached eggs. To refrigerate them, just add them in a container with ice water right after cooking, and place them in a fridge. Reheat in warm water and serve immediately.
- Fresh eggs often give better results, so if you want to make perfect poached eggs, you should choose farm ones.
- Cooking times for a perfect egg varies depending on its temperature and size, but not much. If you cook without an egg poacher, 5 minutes is enough. With egg poachers, you should keep the egg in water for 3 minutes. At 2 minutes it will be very runny. 5 minutes will make it thicker, but the yolk will still be runny.
There is something about poaching eggs that makes people stressed. If you don’t master the technique, everything can fall apart the last second. Fortunately, there are gadgets that help you make perfect poached eggs in less than 3 minutes. You can microwave eggs or even bake them in the oven with these poachers, no oil or butter required to create a delicious meal. The companies I’ve talked about make quality egg poachers for everyone who is serious about poaching eggs to perfection. Some of them last for years, so you can always make an occasional egg on toast.