The Unique Way Ina Garten Makes Poached Eggs

Under Ina Garten's sweet, Barefoot Contessa, home-in-the-Hamptons exterior lies a kitchen renegade. Garten has plenty of unique tips, tricks, and recipes up her sleeve, and this time she's serving up ideas when it comes to a popular breakfast item. A rebel with a slotted spoon, Garten is taking conventional poached egg wisdom and throwing it out with yesterday's milk. She's ushering in a new era of poaching, guys — get on board, or get out of her way.

Actually, Garten's approach (a-poach?) to poaching eggs is like everything else she does in the kitchen: fun, easy, and practical. While there is no shortage of recipes espousing the "perfect" poached egg (like this one from Alton Brown, who famously has a scientific, rigorously rigid MO when it comes to cooking), Garten's method, as seen on Food Network, is unique in that it challenges the status quo and allows for a bit more freedom. Here's what you need to know about her twist on cooking poached eggs.

Garten's method makes cooking for a crowd much easier

First and foremost, in Garten's garden, the eggs you use must be fresh. A fresher egg means a more "together" membrane, which helps keep your egg intact when you drop it in simmering water. Next, Garten turns up her nose at vinegar. Like Jamie Oliver points out on his Food Tube show, it's not necessary when the eggs are fresh, and it will make your eggs taste like vinegar, which is gross. (Unless it's what you're going for; in which case, great!)

And finally, Garten leaves the swirling out of it, and simply uses a wide sauté pan with a couple of inches of simmering water. The width of the pan means you can do multiple eggs at once — great for when you're hosting the Clintons or the Gates family at your summer home — and there's no need to create a water tornado the way you would in a pot. Let the eggs simmer for a couple of minutes, then sit for ten, and you're on your way to delicate, silky poached eggs. As the punk rock, kitchen anarchist herself would say: how easy is that?