Poaching an egg isn't terribly difficult on its own, but if you have trouble keeping your eggs in a neat little pouch when you crack them into your water, the secret may be twofold: first, make sure to swirl the water a bit before you crack the egg into your saucepan; second, grab an old aluminium can. Here's how it works.Photo by Danielle Scott.
Swirling water with a spoon is an old trick when it comes to poaching an egg -- the swirling motion will help keep the egg together in the centre as it cooks. Reader Mary writes in to point out that if you poach eggs often, or poach a lot of eggs in one sitting, save the next aluminium can you empty, rinse it out and cut off both ends. Then, when you're ready to poach an egg, rub the inside with a little oil (just to make sure nothing sticks) and lower it into your hot water, right over the swirling centre of the pan. Crack the egg into the can, and when the egg solidifies, pull the can up. Set a timer, let the egg cook, and pull it out with a mesh ladle when it's finished.
There are a lot of ways to poach a perfect egg, but this sounds like a helpful crutch for people just getting started or who want to make sure every egg is perfect every time. It may not be necessary, but it's useful. Do you have any egg-poaching tips? Have you tried this method before? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks Mary!