We’re Completely Mesmerized by This Technique for Poaching 30 (!!!!) Eggs at Once

updated Feb 24, 2021
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It’s January, we’re in the tenth month of a still-raging pandemic, and every day the news gets just a little bit wilder, so it’s both extremely confusing and totally understandable why everyone seems to be talking about this video by J. Kenji López-Alt that teaches you how to poach 30 eggs at once.

Nobody is having brunch parties, so it’s unclear why you might need so many eggs, but it’s also undeniably fascinating to think about the fact that this is possible, and to watch it in action. Perhaps now is a good time to learn so you can show off later. Or you could scale it down and use the same kind of magic for a more normal amount of eggs for the family. 

The technique is nothing new: Kenji, who writes for the New York Times and is the author of the Food Lab and the column of the same name at Serious Eats, has been demonstrating it for years, and it is basically a large-scale version of the one in his book (which just says it’s for as many eggs as desired).

The video, posted on his YouTube channel in November, is a simple 15-second POV shot, starting with the key to the recipe: the eggs are all cracked into a strainer, “so that the poached eggs come out more compact and more importantly the water doesn’t get crazy cloudy from the runaway whites,” he explains. Then they get lowered into the salted water and stirred lightly for about four minutes. 

That’s all that’s in the video, but he notes afterward that you can transfer them to an ice bath and then save them for a few days, dropping them in hot water to warm them up before draining and serving. Still doesn’t seem to account for making 30 eggs, but making a few poached eggs in advance could help to get quick breakfasts on the table.