Drop an egg in simmering water to poach, and you immediately get lots of thin wispy threads of white spinning out into the water no matter which method you use. Once poached, threads cling to the egg and give it a bumpy, unkempt appearance. Edible and delicious, certainly; show-worthy, not as much.
Ruhlman's trick is to get rid of those wispy whites before dunking the egg in the water. He cracks the egg into the bowl of the perforated spoon and lets the loose whites drain away. The reason why all the whites don't escape is because an egg actually has two layers of whites around the yolk: the outer white and the inner white. The outer white is generally looser and more liquidy, while the inner white stays gelled together around the yolk.
You lose a little of the white with this method, for sure. But these whites are usually lost during poaching anyway as scooping up every last strand with a slotted spoon is nearly impossible (or so we've found!). At least this way, we can strain the whites into a container, freeze them, and use them later for meringue or to round out a soufflé.
Michael Ruhlman sells his perforated "Bad Ass" egg spoon through Open Sky. We've also seen similar spoons in kitchen supply stores being sold as skimmers and slotted spoons. We're not really sure that we would pay $27 for a perforated spoon (!!! Who does he think he is — Rösle?) but it's an interesting technique. Have you tried it?
• Get the Tool: Egg Spoon, AKA Bad Ass Spoon, $27 from Michael Ruhlman and Open Sky
• Read More: Bad Ass Perforated (aka Egg) Spoon on Michael Ruhlman's blog
(Image: Donna Turner Ruhlman via Open Sky)