Tuesday, December 12, 2023

How to cook the perfect boiled egg

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Who does not know how to boil an egg?

A boiled egg- looks simple enough to make, but is it really that simple?

Boiling an egg might sound like a straightforward task, but achieving the perfect boil can be surprisingly elusive. A poorly boiled egg can dash your breakfast hopes. If you’ve ever struggled to get your boiled eggs just right, you’re not alone. While we grasp the basic concept of needing a stove, pot, water and eggs – the mystery lies in why the eggs occasionally crack or end up undercooked or overcooked.

Fear not; I’m here to share some foolproof tips for achieving flawlessly boiled eggs every time.

Firstly, let’s address the basics – how to determine if your eggs have gone bad. No point boiling rotten eggs.

Take a wide cup or bowl, fill it to three quarters with water and gently place the eggs in the bowl. If the eggs sink, they’re good and if they float, it’s time to toss them.

Once you have your eggs, let’s start boiling!

Read on to discover the secrets of boiling the perfect egg (both soft and hard boiled).

How to perfectly boil an egg —

This method of boiling eggs is pretty foolproof, it’s time you all give it a try —

Step 1: In a pot or saucepan, add enough cold water to make sure it covers the eggs by about an inch.

Step 2: Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

Step 3: Once the water comes to a boil, add your eggs to the pot. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot and make sure the water is boiling.

Step 4: Cover the pot with a lid and remove the pot from the heat while the eggs are still inside the pot. Make sure the pot is still covered and do not lift the lid. Set a timer for the type of boiled egg you want.

Step 5: While your eggs in boiling water are set aside, fill a large bowl with ice and water. Make sure this bowl of iced water is ready to place the eggs in as soon as you take them out of the pot. This is to stop the eggs from cooking for longer than desired.

Step 6: When the eggs have been cooked for as long as you want, use tongs to remove the eggs from the hot water and immerse them gently into the bowl of iced water.

Step 7: Once the eggs have cooled enough to be handled comfortably without burning yourself, knock the shell with a spoon to crack it and use your thumbs to peel the shell away. Rinse the egg under cold water to remove any bits of shell and pat it dry. Voila! Your boiled eggs are ready.

Hard boiled eggs and soft boiled eggs are essentially boiled the same way, at the same temperature. The only differentiating factor is the amount of time it is boiled for.

Timing is key for the kind of boiled egg you want —

Two minutes:

The yolk is completely raw and runny and the egg white isn’t set all the way.

Four minutes:

The yolk is sticky and still very runny but the white is more or less set.

Six minutes:

The yolk is a little thicker but still a little runny in the centre and the white is fully set. A liquidy yolk and soft white is best to describe a six minute boiled egg.

Six and a half minutes:

A soft, jammy yolk with a fully set white. This is a fan favourite type of boiled egg.

Eight minutes:

The yolk is set but still quite soft. A medium yolk and fully set white. Slightly harder than a soft boiled egg.

Ten minutes:

Both the yolk and the white are fully set. The egg is in its early stages of being a hard boiled egg, with just a touch of softness in the middle.

Twelve minutes to thirteen minutes:

A hard boiled egg!

A few tips and tricks to keep in mind while boiling eggs —

  • Decide on how many eggs you plan to cook, then choose a pot that can fit them all comfortably.
  • Make sure you gently place your eggs in the water. They shouldn’t crack when placing them in the hot water.
  • As you’re waiting for water to boil, don’t forget to take the eggs out of the fridge to let them sit on the counter and warm up.
  • This is important. Reduce the heat to low while placing the eggs in the hot water to avoid burning yourself or cracking the eggs.
  • Whether you’re making hard-boiled eggs or soft-boiled eggs, do not go over the recommended time of storing them in the fridge. You can store boiled eggs either in their shell or peeled. For maximum freshness and a longer storage time, store them in their shell.

Hard boiled eggs can last up to 1 week in the fridge while soft boiled eggs are good for only 3 days.

Finally… What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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