While poached eggs make a lovely and elegant brunch addition, I find myself shying away from them when I'm cooking for more than a few people. The timing and logistics of poaching eggs for a crowd can be tricky.
There may be a solution, though — swapping out your saucepan for a muffin tin and a little bit of water. Whether you want two eggs or two dozen eggs, this method seems quick, easy, and almost too good to be true. Curious to see if this method really worked, and whether it matched up to traditional poached eggs, I put this tip to the test.
The Original Tip
While this method appears various places across the web, I spotted the original tip on the Today Show website. The idea is that by using a muffin tin you can make a dozen (or more) poached eggs in less time and with a lot less effort than the traditional method.
The original tip starts by preheating the oven to 350°F (180°C). It directs you to add one tablespoon of water to each cup of the muffin tin, then crack an egg into each of the cups. After baking for 13 to 15 minutes, the egg whites should be set, and the yolks runny.
See the Original Tip: Amazing Holiday Cooking Hacks via Today Food
The Testing Method
To test this method I used a standard-size 6-cup muffin tin and poached two batches of eggs, following the directions specified in the original tip. However, instead of cracking the eggs directly into the muffin cups I cracked them into a ramekin, then poured them in.
I baked the first batch at 350°F for 14 minutes, then let them cool for a minute before using a small slotted spoon to carefully remove each egg from its cup.
I baked the second batch at 350°F for 12 minutes. Again, I let them cool and for a minute after removing the tin from the oven, and used a slotted spoon to remove each egg from its cup.
If you want a quick and easy way to make poached eggs for a crowd, break out your muffin tins!
Best Timing: The original tip suggested cooking the eggs for 13 to 15 minutes to achieve set egg whites with runny yolks. I was disappointed to see that the yolks in the first batch (cooked for 14 minutes) were fully set (albeit still a little soft) when I took the tin out of the oven. The second batch (cooked for 12 minutes) was spot on with runny yolks and perfectly firm whites.
If you like runny yolks, I recommend poaching the eggs for 11 to 13 minutes, and if you prefer the yolks to be a little more cooked, poach the eggs for 14 to 15 minutes.
When taking the muffin tin out of the oven you'll notice that the water has risen to the top, and sits on top of the egg. It can be easy to mistake this for an egg white that's not fully set.
Taste and Texture: The taste and texture were the same as traditional poached eggs. The only difference is the shape, which is evenly rounded and taller from being molded by the muffin cup.
Verdict: This is a mind-blowing tip!
While the muffin tin method proved extremely easy, I found myself missing the shape of traditional poached eggs. So, for those times I'm making just a couple poached eggs I'd probably to stick with the traditional method.
(Image credits: Kelli Foster)