Recently, we were asked: what's the best method for boiling an egg?
Some of you are smirking now, right? How can someone not know how to boil- an-egg? Well, wipe the smirk off your face. You may know how to boil an egg, but how about an egg boiled to perfection?
What defines a perfectly boiled egg, anyway?
Perfection for our egg question is defined by what results we want for the white and the yolk. A 2- minute egg has a very soft, gelatinous white and a barely cooked yolk. Cooking the egg 5 minutes results in a firm white and a solid, tender yolk. 6-8 minutes on the heat, and the yolk lightens in color and becomes smoother in texture. 12 minutes is hard- boiled in our book, and as far as we like to cook our egg(s). Past 15 minutes in simmering water or cooking at a rapid boil and the danger zone of the grey- green tinged, over cooked yolk is upon us.
how to after the jump
All tasks in the kitchen boil (pun intended) down to temperature, timing and technique.
Tips for boiling an egg:
1. Purchase fresh eggs from a farmer, you can see and taste the difference between a farm fresh egg and a store bought egg. Don't take our word for it, try it yourself sometime.
2. Check the packaging date on store bought eggs. Ideally use eggs within 5 days of packaging date.
3. Bring eggs to room temperature or run under warm water for a couple of minutes.
4. Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan.
5. Fill the saucepan with lukewarm water, enough to cover the eggs by 1-2 inches.
6. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the water to a low boil (small, slow bubbles).
7. Remove the pan from the heat and place a cover on the pan.
8. Set timer for desired doneness.
9. Remove eggs from pan and gently place in an ice water bath to stop cooking. Allow eggs to cool.
10. Crack the entire surface of the egg on the counter. Peel under cold water.
Some cooks pierce the large end of the egg before cooking with an egg pricker or pin to release pressure and avoid cracks.
The time recommended is for large eggs.
If you are in a hurry and boil the eggs directly from refrigerator, increase cooking time by 2 minutes.
Older eggs are easier to peel then very fresh eggs.
Placing a small amount of vinegar in the saucepan with the water will make eggs easier to peel.
Tip: Peel the egg in the ice water bath rather than running cold water