Why do some simple cooking techniques — such as how to boil eggs — seem so complicated? It's not that the task itself is hard; after all, cooking perfect boiled eggs hardly requires a lot of talent in the kitchen. But when the time comes to actually make a boiled egg, we tend to pause and ask ourselves: Am I truly doing this right? Is there a better way to boil eggs?
If you've ever wondered how to boil eggs, you're certainly not alone. The good news is that it won't take you long at all. In fact, you're just about 20 minutes or so away from a perfectly cooked breakfast (or even less time if you prefer your eggs boiled on the softer side).
How to Boil Eggs to Delicious Perfection
- Place your eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a saucepan. Fill the pan with cold water that covers the eggs by at least an inch or two; the more eggs that you're cooking, the more water you should use.
- Turn your flame on high, and bring the water to a full rolling boil. Many people find that adding a dash of salt — up to 1/2 tsp. — to the water helps prevent cracking of the eggs (and as a bonus, it makes them easier to peel later).
- Turn off the heat, but keep your pan sitting on the hot burner. Cover the pan, and let it sit. If you want your hard-boiled eggs well done, they should be ready in 10 to 12 minutes. However, less time is needed if you like your eggs more on the soft-boiled side. Other factors that may affect the timing of your eggs include the shape of the pan, the size of the eggs, and the ratio of water to eggs.
- Strain the water from the pan and then run cold water over the eggs to cool them quickly and to stop them from cooking further. If cooking a large batch of eggs, remove them with a slotted spoon and carefully place in a large bowl of ice water.
Other Helpful Tips for Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water at the start may help keep egg whites from running out if an egg does crack while cooking.
- When cooking a large batch of eggs, don't be afraid to sacrifice one to check for doneness. After 10 minutes or so, remove it with a spoon, run it under cold water, and break it open; you'll be able to tell if your eggs are done or if they should cook a minute or two longer.
- The best way to store boiled eggs is in a covered container in the refrigerator. Eggs can release odors in the fridge, which is why it helps to keep them covered.
- Be sure to always eat your boiled eggs within five days.
You're ready to make an egg-cellent breakfast!
Get more of your egg questions answered in the video below: