We decided to test a trio of egg poachers, relative newcomers made from paper, silicone and ceramic, to see how well they work for those who need a little help.
After boiling water in a pan for each, then lowering the water to a simmer, hereís how they poached.
Want to poach an egg sans gadget? We tried the method in Michael Ruhlmanís ďEgg: A Culinary Exploration of the Worldís Most Versatile IngredientĒ (Little, Brown and Co., $40).
An egg white has a looser part and a thicker part and ďthe fresher the egg, the more of the thicker part of the white there will be.Ē His method draws on a tip from Harold (ďOn Food and CookingĒ) McGee, who uses a slotted spoon to drain off the loose white so you get fewer flyaway bits.
This method is adapted from Ruhlman: Heat a pan of water to a simmer. Crack an egg into a small ramekin. Pour that egg through a deep slotted spoon into a second ramekin. Return the egg to the first ramekin, stir the simmering water slightly, then ease the egg into the water. Let it cook to desired doneness. (He suggests 90 seconds. When we tried the method, it took several minutes to produce an egg as firm/runny as we liked.)
Then use the slotted spoon to gently lift the egg out of the water. Be sure itís done as you like and return to the water if itís not. Drain the egg while in the spoon on a paper towel before serving.
Perfect Poach by Tovolo
Price: $5 for a packet of 20, tovolo.com
What it is: A nonstick paper bag (think a pocket or pouch) thatís recyclable and biodegradable.
How it works: Put the bag in a small glass or cup, open side up. Crack egg into the bag and place in a saucepan of simmering water. When cooked, remove bag with tongs or slotted spoon, allow to cool slightly and drain. To serve, grab the bagís bottom seam and give it a shake and the egg slips out.
Pros: No need for cooking fat. Easy to use. No cleanup.
Cons: Donít expect a picture-perfect ovoid shape. And youíll need to replenish the supply.
Egg Silicone Poacher by Cuisipro
Price: $12 for a set of 2, cuisipro.com
What it is: Perforated nonstick food-safe silicone cups with a metal hook for hanging on the pan plus a handle for lifting.
How it works: Fill a pan with water to line marked on the cup. Lightly grease cups. (We used nonstick cooking spray.) Hang on side of pan of simmering water. Crack egg into a ramekin and pour into silicone cup. When the egg is cooked, remove cup from water, drain and use a spoon to gently scoop egg from the cup.
Pros: Handles were cool enough to touch during cooking. It produced a nicely shaped egg. Dishwasher safe.
Cons: Needed to grease the cups. Still got some flyaway shreds. A bit fussy to clean by hand.
Poachpod Ceramic by Fusionbrands
Price: $19.99 for a set of 2, fusionbrands.com
What it is: Ceramic-coated stainless steel with silicone grips.
How it works: Grease the cups, crack eggs into cups, then float in a pan of simmering water. Cover the pan and cook until done. Remove pods with slotted spoon, then loosen around the edges to remove.
Pros: Easiest to work with. Produced the nicest looking egg. Dishwasher safe.
©2014 Chicago Tribune
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