Poached eggs are a very civilized breakfast food. There are only two good ways to poach eggs, and one of them takes constant practice.
The technique that takes constant practice involves swirling boiling water to create a vortex in the center of the pot and dumping a raw egg into the vortex.
Before revealing the way that works for everyone, a word of warning about things that don't work. Among these are silicone pockets that you dump into boiling water with an egg in each and metal poachers with non-stick egg cups. Silicone is a great insulator, so the eggs cook from the exposed end only. The non-stick stuff eventually comes loose, leaving you with bits of Teflon in your eggs.
What is needed is an egg poacher with uncoated metal cups. Mine has stainless steel cups.
Also needed is an understanding that poached eggs will stick to metal cups unless you put a film of fat between egg and cup.
So, put a little water in the bottom of the poacher and put it on the stove to boil. Spray each cup lightly with cooking spray, then place about a quarter-pat of soft butter in each cup and thoroughly grease the inside of the cup, all the way to the rim, by spreading the butter around with your index finger. (You can use more cooking spray instead of butter, but you still have to spead it around with your finger.) Break an egg into each cup.
When the water is boiling, put the egg cups in the tray and cover the poacher. You will need to experiment with the cooking time because it will vary depending upon altitude, taste, and the whims of Chaos. Start with 3-1/2 to four minutes.
When the desired time is up, remove the poacher from heat and lift the entire tray out of the pan and onto a plate. My egg poacher has nifty little insulated handles on each cup. Don't forget that these nifty little handles are hot as blazes because they've just been steamed for over three minutes. Be careful!
Serve your poached eggs on toast. For elegance, serve in a pre-warmed cup. Or, for real excess, make eggs Benedict with them.
Orignially posted: 2012-02-26