Don’t ask why I publishing this now and though its short, it makes a point.
Poaching means to cook at low temp in a liquid medium, typically water but stocks can be used as well. The reason we poach is that water can’t get above the boiling point so you don’t have to worry about over cooking.
If you want a really badass roast for example, you would brown the outside of the meat at a high temp for a short amount of time for flavor and then finish at a low temp for a long time in a liquid so that the meat retains moisture without drying out and overcooking.
Most of the time when you think of Poaching, you’re thinking about eggs as part of a dish that I hate so much I refuse to even mention it on this site and one thing that would always piss me off is how few of my customers understood that what I was sending out was not under cooked, it was cooked perfectly.
When you poach, your going after a low temp, around 180F. You want the water to just barely be simmering. Part of the reason for this is that if you take a raw egg from its shell and place it in boiling water, the egg will get torn apart from the motion of the water. You only want to keep it in for about 30-45 seconds. The yolk is supposed to be runny!!! But the white is supposed to hold its own. Adding a splash of some type of acid, vinegar, white wine, helps this and is an old Chef’s trick I learned early on. A poached egg and a hard boiled egg are two different things.
Also, as a side note, when you raise a product above the danger zone and put it through a chemical process, its been cooked. I’ll explain more on this subject later since that will be a very long article.
So as I said, this is a short and sweet explanation but I hope it makes sense. Questions, comments? Let us know what you want to see.
PS. You don’t poach bacon.