- Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver shared a hack for perfect poached eggs that includes plastic wrap.
- He recommends cracking an egg into a small dish lined with oil-brushed cling wrap, tying a knot close to the egg, and dropping it into simmering water.
- When I tried the method, I was pleased with how the egg turned out; despite ridges on the top from the plastic, the bottom was smooth and round.
- The method takes some effort, but it’s a great way to get a beautifully shaped poached egg.
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In a video tutorial posted to YouTube in 2014, Oliver used cling wrap to keep the egg in a perfectly round shape while poaching. He said it’s an ideal method for someone looking to poach more than one egg at a time.
I’ve found that one of the most common struggles of poaching eggs is getting the whites to stay together around the yolk rather than spreading apart and forming wisps of cooked egg throughout the pot. Theoretically, the wisps are less bothersome when you’re poaching one egg at a time, but it still makes for less-than-perfect presentation.
Oliver’s wrapping method gets the wisp situation under control while allowing the home cook to drop as many eggs into the pot as needed.
You can watch Oliver make poached eggs using plastic wrap at the two-minute, 45-second mark:
Jamie Oliver pops the eggs into oil-lined plastic wrap to form parcels
Oliver starts by lining a small dish with food-safe plastic wrap. He suggests spreading a very little bit of oil around the plastic to coat the sides before cracking an egg directly into the bowl.
I don’t have plastic wrap in my kitchen, so I used a bag instead. It was just as easy to shape into the bowl and rub with oil as Oliver made his system look.
I cracked an egg right into the bag and twisted it closed as close to the egg as I could. This part probably would have been easier with the cling wrap since it’s a thinner material than the storage bag I was using. Since I couldn’t tie the bag in a knot, I used two twist ties to keep the bag closed, which worked well.
Oliver says poaching takes around 3 minutes in simmering water
I brought a pot of water to a boil and then let it reduce to simmer for three minutes. Once the bubbles in the pot got tiny, I carefully placed my bag of egg into the water and set a timer.
Through the bag, I was able to watch the white turn from translucent to opaque, which was a neat thing to witness.
If you’re going the plastic bag route, I’d suggest tying off the top so that it doesn’t extend above the top of your pot – mine kept wilting over the side from the heat.
I pulled out the bag after three minutes, untied it, and carefully placed the egg onto my tomato-topped toast.
While the top of the egg had ridges from the bunched plastic, the bottom was perfectly smooth and round. It looked better than any poached egg I had ever made before.
This method yields stunning poached eggs, but it’s a lot of work
Overall, I think this method of poaching eggs is great for when you need to make more than one at a time, or when you’re really concerned about a single egg’s visual presentation.
The use of plastic isn’t ideal, in my opinion, and getting each egg pouch set up is very hands-on. But, if you’re hosting a group brunch or trying to elevate your at-home eggs benedict to restaurant quality, it’s an easy way to ensure a beautiful dish.
- Read more:
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This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author(s).
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