The Secret Method For Perfect Poached Eggs

The search for the perfect poached eggs: a challenge to some only slightly less difficult than Frodo destroying the One Ring. Gordon Ramsay runs a MasterClass on it, literally (via MasterClass). But even the celebrity chef's explanation has, disappointingly, only received three out of five stars. To master Jamie Oliver's hack, you'll need plastic wrap (via Insider). Nigella Lawson's method involves leaving behind some of the egg white in a cup before slipping it into non-boiling but nonetheless bubbling water (via Hello). (Say that 10 times fast.) And if for some inexplicable reason you have a burning desire to poach 30 eggs at the same time, then we suggest you turn to J. Kenji López-Alt (via Today). 

Otherwise, we have another suggestion for you: no vinegar, no plastic wrap, and only a little bit of salt needed. As it turns out, the secret to truly foolproof impeccably poached eggs is a simple tool that has been floating around kitchens since the start of time. 

The surprising key to perfect poached eggs

Do you have a strainer hiding in your kitchen cupboard? Maplewood Road swears that's all you'll need to pull off poached perfection. You should follow, of course, Poached Egg Basics 101: use fresh eggs, watch the water temperature, and never skip the swirl. But the strainer makes all the difference. As per Maplewood Road, begin the poaching process by cracking each egg into a mesh strainer, letting a little bit of the egg white drain. Yes, this a bit like Nigella Lawson's technique, but 10 times easier. Only after you've strained your egg (swirl it in the strainer if it needs a little extra motivation) is it ready to go into your simmering (not boiling) water.

As per Epicurious, this simple step ensures that no loose egg white tendrils will escape into your water, ruining an otherwise Instagram-ready breakfast. (Poached eggs and avocado toast, anyone?) Try lowering your egg into the water while still inside the strainer, if you're intent on shaping it symmetrically. That way, per Epicurious, you can shape the egg to your liking with a spoon, only releasing it from the strainer after the egg has started to turn white.