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How to Boil an Egg

By Edited Sep 13, 2015 0 4

From assuming the role as a delicacy, to making a great complement to toast and pancakes in the morning, eggs come in many different shapes and sizes, dependent on their particular animal of origin. Just as varied as their look, shape, and size, are also the numerous ways that man has devised to actually prepare them. From scrambled eggs, to sunny-side-up/dippy eggs, to boiled eggs, eggs have generally provided humans with a great source of essential vitamins and proteins that are necessary to sustain life.

Things You Will Need

a Saucepan

Step 1

When one mentions "boiling an egg", you must seek clarification and differentiate between whether or not they would like a "hard-boiled egg" or a "soft-boiled egg". Both methods of preparation are slightly different in their steps, and will generate a final product that is different in consistency.

Step 2

For both "hard-boiled eggs" and "soft-boiled eggs", dependent upon how many people you will be serving, you will now have to decide exactly how many eggs you actually need. When you have reached this determination of desired eggs, you will remove them from your egg carton, in your refrigerator, and allow them to sit for 10-15 minutes outside of the coolness of your refrigerator.

Step 3

For both "hard-boiled eggs" and "soft-boiled eggs", you will now go to your kitchen cupboard and retrieve a saucepan that will be placed on your stove. Gently and delicately, you will now place your eggs into your saucepan on your stove. The amount you boil at a time doesn't necessarily matter as much as the actual size and diameter of your chosen saucepan. Because eggs have a natural propensity to jump around a bit, when heat is increased, using a small pan will help to keep eggs from slamming into each other and cracking. A larger pan would allow more room of freedom for this error.

Step 4

At this point, whether you are making "hard-boiled eggs" or "soft-boiled eggs", you will have to pour cold water into the pan, over top the eggs you hope to boil. When poured, you can use a measuring cup or a glass, and the water should completely cover your eggs' top, but no higher than one inch above them. It is important that you not overwhelm the eggs with too much water, but rather, just enough to cover them.

Step 5

At this point, for both types of egg boiled preparations, you will have the cover to your saucepan handy because you will place it on top of your saucepan once you have brought your water/eggs to a rolling boil. A covered saucepan will produce eggs that are boiled and prepared more quickly (than had you not used a cover), and is actually recommended by many people.

Step 6

Once you have achieved a rolling boil for your water and eggs, you will immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and remove your saucepan cover. For "hard-boiled eggs", the amount of time you allow for them to simmer will actually depend on how large your eggs are. Ten to thirteen minutes allocated for simmering is typically recommended, with thirteen minutes being for those eggs that are larger in size, and must have the extra time needed to fully cook/boil the interior of the egg.

For "soft-boiled eggs", you will allocate a much lesser degree of time to achieve the runny yolk product that you hope for. Typically, "soft-boiled eggs" require anywhere from four to seven minutes to cook, dependent upon how firm and consistent you hope for your egg yolk to be. If you would like for it to be runny, you should allow it to simmer for around 4-5 minutes, although, anything less than 4 minutes would be undercooked and would place the consumers at risk for Salmonella. If you would like for your "soft-boiled eggs" to have a creamy yolk texture, you should try to shoot for around 7 minutes simmering time. Bear in mind, these time allocations and requirements will fluctuate dependent upon the actual size of the egg, as well.

Step 7

Once your eggs have boiled to your desired consistency, you will now remove them from your saucepan. Dependent on how many eggs you cooked, you can place them on a nearby plate or container to be held while you move your saucepan from your stove to your kitchen faucet. While at your kitchen faucet, you will want to run cold water over it, and that that cold water settle for a few minutes, in order to allow for rapid cooling of the saucepan. Be cautious not to touch any part of the saucepan, except the handle, with your hands, or a burn injury could result.

Step 8

For "hard-boiled eggs" , for the sake of making your egg easier to peel, some like to crack the shell ever so slightly. You can do this once or twice, and doing so will allow for steam to escape from the inside of the boiled egg. You can make this crack by using a simple spoon or knife end.

Whether you choose to consume your eggs raw, scrambled, sunny-side up, or 'hard-boiled' or 'soft-boiled', eggs play a tremendous role in the daily lives of many people. From being a welcoming jump start complement to the rest of their breakfast, whether at iHop or Perkins, to holding a very significant and profound cultural and seasonal significance, at the heart of the egg are many of the nutrients that we humans need to sustain life.

Tips & Warnings

Because salt naturally raises the boiling point of water, while some advocate its usage in boiling eggs in water, this should be avoided so as to keep from overcooking the egg. One reason why people say to use salt is because is does help to peel off the eggs' shell much easier. Even still, there are alternative ways where you can peel off the eggs' shell much easier, without risking overcooking the eggs because you used salt. Ultimately, the dryer the egg the more difficult they will be to peel, so you can remedy this by placing your boiled eggs in cold water while they are cooling down. With regards to peeling, as well, more fresh/new eggs actually are more difficult to peel while older eggs have more of an air bubble and are easier to peel.

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Jul 30, 2010 1:11pm
Good tips on how to boil eggs.
Jul 30, 2010 1:39pm
I love eggs any which way! But these are great tips on boiling an egg. Great article!
Aug 3, 2010 11:57pm
a few little tidbits of new info in there for me. It's great to learn new things. Thanks solxdier!
Sep 3, 2010 3:24pm
Nice tips man! I'll boil a few eggs every once in a while, and I always seem to undercook or overcook them - this article helps lowly wanna-be cooks like me out tremendously. Thanks!
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