Slow-Poached Eggs

This is a ridiculously easy way to make poached eggs. Not that I’ve ever made poached eggs the traditional way, even though I adore them. I really love eggs: the creaminess of the whites, the richness of the yolks.

Once when I was a kid I made a soft-boiled egg to go with frozen Costco chicken fries. The crispiness of the breaded chicken dipped into the gooey golden yolk was so good! My brother came along and decried me for eating “fully grown chicken dipped into unborn chicken babies.” Apparently he thought it was a pretty cruel wait to enjoy chicken. Then he asked me if he could have some. Go figure.

Eggs really are nature’s perfect food and this is one of the simplest ways to showcase them. Plus it’s really impressive when you crack open a seemingly uncooked egg and a poached one slides out.

eggs in a 140 degree bath

Slow poaching eggs is easy. Take a giant pot of water and put on the stove. Put a steamer rack in it so the eggs aren’t close to the element. Pop a thermometer in and bring the water up to 140˚F and hold it there. Drop the eggs in their bath and let them soak for about 40-45 minutes. Done!

By the way, Chang says that 140˚F is “the temperature of a very hot bath.” I stuck my finger in water as suggested and all I have to say is this: David Chang, you take hot baths!

Note: if you want impressive photos of your slow-poached eggs, don’t put them in a white dish. White on white, it doesn’t work. Guess I should have broken that yolk!

slow-poached eggs in saucers

You can find the slow-poached eggs recipe on Kottke.org

26 Comments add yours

  1. how do people live without bacon and eggs?

    i really do feel sorry for vegans.

    Nathan,
    Living without bacon and eggs isn’t living.

    steph on February 18th, 2010 at 1:44 pm
  2. how exactly do you peel ‘em after?

    You gently crack the eggs on a counter top or cutting board then plunge them in the water and gently peel. The water will seep between the shell and the egg and make it easier for you to peel.

    steph on April 22nd, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    With onsen tamago (hot-spring eggs), which is exactly what this is, you can just crack the egg into a bowl as if it’s raw. Usually it’s served in a soy broth and eaten with a soup spoon. :)

    Nooblet on July 11th, 2010 at 1:05 am
  3. How do you keep the water at 140 degrees?

    Use your biggest pot and stabilize the temperature by using a thermometer to keep track. If it gets too hot, add a couple of ice cubes. It’s a babying process; you really need to watch the stove while it’s happening the first time you try making these eggs. Once you know what setting to keep your stove at, you won’t have to watch the temperature as much.

    steph on May 18th, 2010 at 11:13 am
    elevatordrops on May 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm
  4. I got myself a lab hotplate with a thermostat http://en.allforlab.com/catalog/catalog_detail.asp?itemgrnum=2069 its a lot less hassle than standing next to the stove with a thermometer and i can sous vide in it for ages… its worth a try if you can get one from your local lab supply place

    How much does that rig cost?

    I was lucky enough to have my boss give me the hotplate (i work in a science type field), the thermocouple cost me AUD 100.
    if you check ebay, you may be able to pick one up for a few hundred dollars, i have even seen reasonable water baths for that kind of money on ebay.
    I have my rig running at the moment with pre-seared steaks at 52C… its an experiment to see if the seared flavour will pass into the meat during the cooking process.

    Zorg on January 9th, 2012 at 10:40 pm
    PissedOffChef on January 7th, 2012 at 9:45 pm
  5. I just tried to make these, followed the directions exactly and my eggs were still liquid when I pulled them out. Any suggestions as to what I did wrong. All I can think is that my eggs must have been larger than his.

  6. I think that your thermometer might be indicating the wrong temperature. The first timew I tried cooking the eggs this way they took much longer than 45 minutes to cook. I them testes my thermometer and realized therin the problem.You can test your thermometer by placing it in boiling water (212 F)

    good luck

    Unless you live in Denver.

    WJC on March 30th, 2011 at 2:43 pm
    pierre normand on March 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm
  7. At its very hottest, my tap water comes out at 140. I’m betting I could put the tap water into a thermos, drop the eggs in and come back 45 minutes later!

    Did this work???

    Helen on December 10th, 2013 at 9:46 am
    PissedOffChef on January 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm
  8. You didn’t crack the shell. These are soft-boiled eggs, not poached. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poached_egg

    Tom Anderosn on June 18, 2012 at 6:58 am
  9. Actually my previous comment was also incorrect. They are not poached, not soft-boiled. The correct term is “coddled”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coddled_egg

    Tom Anderosn on June 18, 2012 at 7:03 am
  10. If not immediately used I would guess you could refridgerate them. Any thoughts on reheating without soft boiling?

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