Q. “Poaching an egg is still a mystery to me. Please help with easy steps.” —Andy, Appleton
A. To properly poach an egg, start by preparing your poaching liquid. In a medium kettle, fill it about two inches deep with water and add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to it. The acid will help the egg white coagulate as it enters the poaching liquid, resulting in a much larger finished product. Without the acid the egg whites tend to get wispy and separate easily from the yolk, which is the focal point of what will be the poached egg. Bring the temperature of the poaching liquid to at least 160° F but no higher than 180° F. Crack the eggs into a small dish, and then carefully pour the eggs into the warm poaching liquid. The amount of time to poach them depends upon how many eggs you poach at one time and how you’d like the yolks in your finished product. Firm yolks will need more time (approximately 7-8 minutes) and soft or runny yolks will need less time (approximately 4-5 minutes). Remove the poached eggs from the poaching liquid with a slotted spoon and either enjoy them immediately or reserve them for your future use.