The best way to poach an egg depends entirely on who you ask. Celeb chef Alton Brown uses the whirlpool method (agitating water with vinegar and salt so it spins) to poach one or two eggs, according to Food Network. Ina Garten, on the other hand, uses a large sauté pan and omits the whirlpooling altogether.
Nigella Lawson chooses to crack a fridge-cold egg into a tea strainer to get rid of the extra liquid (doing this removes the stringy bits of fluff from the cooked egg), and then puts the egg into a cup — but here’s where she goes off script.
While the egg is in the cup, Nigella adds a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to help the egg hold its shape (via BBC). The egg then goes into the water after the pan comes to a boil and then the heat is turned off. If more than one egg is involved, the water is left on, but left on a temperature so low it barely breaks any bubbles. The egg will cook to perfection after four or five minutes.
Lawson’s cooking method isn’t limited to preparing poached Turkish eggs, of course. We imagine it would help you turn around a mean eggs Benedict, too.