This Is J. Kenji López-Alt's Secret To Poaching Many Eggs At Once

Poached eggs are a tasty choice for breakfast, whether you eat them as part of eggs Benedict or with a simple piece of buttered toast. Their delicate shape and silky, runny texture feels a bit more sophisticated than your average fried or boiled egg. They also may seem more intimidating to make than other forms of eggs, especially when you have to poach multiple eggs at once.

Food professionals, especially people who have cooked in restaurants, understand how to make large quantities of food. Chef and recipe developer J. Kenji López-Alt, culinary consultant for Serious Eats and chef/partner at California restaurant Wursthall, is one such pro.

In addition to his other work, López-Alt regularly posts home cooking videos on his YouTube channel. In one video from November 2020, he poaches 30 eggs in the span of 15 seconds (via YouTube). He cracks many eggs into a mesh strainer, gently lowers them into a pot of water, and voila: perfectly poached eggs. Understandably, the internet was impressed. "Everyone seems to be talking about this video," Naomi Tomky wrote at The Kitchn.

Poaching many eggs is simpler than it seems

J. Kenji López-Alt breaks down his technique for poached eggs in the video's description. Start by cracking eggs into a fine mesh strainer, which helps remove extraneous egg white strands. Then, softly tip the eggs into salted, simmering water. Notably, López-Alt doesn't add vinegar to his poaching water, explaining on Serious Eats that straining the eggs eliminates the need for it.

Once the eggs are in, López-Alt says to stir the water gently with a wooden spoon, taking care to swirl the water without prodding the eggs directly. After about four minutes, remove the eggs carefully with a slotted spoon.

While impressive, The Kitchn notes López-Alt has discussed this egg poaching technique before, namely in his book The Food Lab.

The average home cook may never need to poach this many eggs. But who knows, you may find yourself hosting a brunch full of people who demand at least four poached eggs each. Or, more realistically, you can save some of the eggs to eat later — in his YouTube video description, López-Alt explains poached eggs can be stored for a few days in the fridge. Once you master the art of mass egg poaching, you'll be prepared for anything.