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Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken
Tag Archives: poached eggs
Poach eggs in water with vinegar for a better shape
June 2, 2022Posted by on
Eggs set up when their proteins denature, typically when exposed to heat. But acids–such as vinegar–also can cause egg whites to denature. Thus, some people add vinegar to the poaching liquid on the theory that it will give eggs with a nicer shape.
Nice theory, but it doesn’t work. The problem is that acid denatures egg proteins slowly, and by the time the vinegar has an effect the eggs are already set up from the heat. And the vinegar can make the eggs a bit tougher and, of course, add a vinegar taste. So, skip the vinegar!
What about salt? It has no effect on the cooking but can help the flavor.