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When It Comes To Poached Eggs, Fresher Is Better

Plate of poached eggs and toast
Plate of poached eggs and toast - Monicaninker/Getty Images

Poached eggs are the delicious, picturesque, and super healthy version of eggs that make for a great start to the day. Yet many people feel it is quite a task to achieve flawless poached eggs at home. Don't worry though, it is possible to poach an egg perfectly every time. One way of ensuring this is to work with the freshest possible eggs. The fresher the egg, the thicker its white portion, which means it firms up faster when heated and also helps the poached egg retain its shape.

Apart from firm egg whites, fresh eggs also have smaller air pockets in the rounded base of the eggs, which increase in size as the eggs become older and start evaporating some of their internal liquid. For poached eggs in particular, the form and texture are of greatest importance -- the whites should be firm and evenly shaped, while the yolks should be runny.

Read more: 14 Liquids To Add To Scrambled Eggs (And What They Do)

How To Check For Freshness Of Eggs

floating egg test
floating egg test - Arthit Pornpikanet/Getty Images

Now that you know the importance of using fresh eggs when poaching them, you may also be interested in learning how to check for fresh eggs. Ideally, you will use the eggs you bought most recently at the store. However, some store-bought eggs may not be absolutely fresh. Check for freshness after cracking them open by observing the state of their whites. As mentioned above, if they are thick and opaque, the eggs are certainly fresh, if they are runny the eggs aren't so fresh.

Another nifty little trick for checking freshness before cracking open the egg is to place it in a bowl or glass of water. A fresh egg will likely sink to the bottom as the liquid within hasn't had a chance to evaporate. On the other hand, as mentioned above, older eggs have larger air pockets which makes them float.

If you are very keen on having a poached egg but you only have a batch of less-than-fresh eggs on hand, you could try another trick. After cracking the egg, place it in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Any extra liquid portion will slowly fall away, leaving behind the firm whites which are easier to poach.

More Tips For Perfect Poached Eggs

poached egg on toast
poached egg on toast - Tatiana_didenko/Getty Images

Apart from working with fresh eggs, keep these few tips in mind if you are keen to make perfect poached eggs. You could swirl the water into a vortex and quickly drop the cracked egg into the center of the twirling water. The constant and fast round movement helps the egg white to adhere to the egg yolk in a nicely rounded shape. However, do bear in mind this only works if you are poaching one egg at a time, which can be quite impractical.

Some people advocate adding vinegar to the water to help the egg retain its shape, but the vinegar can flavor the egg a little, which may not be something you like. Using a light vinegar could avoid this particular problem. It is also advisable not to use too much water as excess water makes the egg bob around and lose its shape. One to two inches of water is enough. Once you remove the eggs from the pan, be sure to dab away the excess water on a paper towel before seasoning and serving as per your preference.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.