How To Poach

Poaching is a great way to cook delicate proteins such as fish. It is a moist method of cooking that gently and evenly cooks a protein without allowing the protein molecules to coagulate too quickly which can result in the finished product becoming chewy.

Basic Technique For Poaching

  • Heat poaching liquid (usually stock, wine, or court bouillon), to anywhere between 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit. A good visual guide is when bubbles start forming on the bottom of the pan but do not break the surface.
  • Some chefs will heat their poaching liquid to upwards of 200 degrees to counteract the cooling that will occur when the protein is placed in the liquid.
  • Monitor the temperature of your poaching liquid with a good thermometer to make sure that the temperature remains consistent.
  • Poach your protein to the desired finished temperature (about 130-135 degrees for fish and 135-140 for meat).
  • Remove protein and allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes depending on size and weight.

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There are 2 Comments

GreenBake's picture

I tried the restaurant method of poaching an err some time ago, but didn’t know if the 1 T. salt/quart of water was table salt (non-iodized) or some other type of salt. Having the eggs float to the surface when done is just plain cool.
The method worked well, but wanted to know the real ratio for my culinary education.
Could you clarify and/or repost the original FCS page?
My recipe was:
1 quart water
1/2 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon table salt
The original tip was from the following page on the Free Culinary School page (URL won’t work now, of course):
jacob burton's picture

The table spoon of salt is referring to basic iodized salt. I would throw some on the scale but I don't have any iodized salt either at Stella or home. Generally, you'll need about 1/3 more kosher salt by volume to equalize the same amount by weight.