How to Cook Eggs

Pefect Eggs
With Easter only a few short days away, most of us are probably getting ready to hard boil eggs. Some of you may be new to hard boiling eggs altogether, or you might have tried it in the past and been a bit disappointed with the results – or maybe you just want those perfect fried or poached eggs to go along with your breakfast? Whichever it may be, if you’re looking to cook perfect eggs, this is the article for you. The problem with eggs is that they are very easy to over cook. Pan fried eggs can end up burnt, poached eggs can end up rubbery, and hard boiled eggs can end up with that nasty greenish ring around the yolk. In this article I will give you three easy methods of cooking eggs. This article will explain how to perfectly boil, pan fry, and poach your eggs.
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Cooking Methods:

Method 1: How to Pan Fry an Egg
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For eggs sunny side up-
Step 1:  Over medium heat, using a non-stick frying pan (stainless or cast iron will work as well but non stick works the best) warm a small amount of butter, oil, or non-stick cooking spray. Crack egg/s into a bowl or saucer and gently slide the egg into the pan. Cook until the white appears solid, about 3 to 4 minutes. (The key here is to cook the whites all the way through while leaving the yolk still soft. If the heat is too high it will result in uneven cooking. You want to keep the heat low enough so it doesn’t burn but high enough so it still cooks)
Step 2: If you are having problems getting the whites to cook fast enough without overcooking the yolk, you can baste the top of the eggs with butter. Simply tilt the pan and baste hot butter over the top of the eggs.
For eggs over easy-
Step 1: Over medium heat, using a non-stick frying pan (stainless or cast iron will work as well) warm a small amount of butter, oil, or non-stick cooking spray. Crack egg/s into a bowl or saucer and gently slide the eggs into the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Step 2: Flip the egg over and cook for another minute or two.

Method 2:  How to Boil an Egg
Intro- Boiling an egg is actually really easy and if you follow these instructions you should have no problems what so ever. It is best to use eggs that are at least 3-5 days old because fresher eggs will be more difficult to peel. The eggs should also be pulled out of the refrigerator so they are at room temperate before boiling.
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Step 1: Gently place large eggs in a single layer in a pan with just enough cold water to cover the eggs completely. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Just as it reaches a rapid boil remove the pan from the heat, and cover it tightly with a lid. Let the pan sit covered for 17 minutes for hard boiled eggs (6 minutes for medium cooked yolks, and 4-5 minutes for soft yolks) and immediately transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water.
Step 2: Let the eggs sit in the cold water for at least 10 minutes before trying to peel them.
This method is for using standard large eggs. For other sizes you should follow this:
Medium sized eggs:
Soft Yolk- 3 minutes
Medium yolk- 5 minutes
Hard Yolk- 12 minutes
Extra Large eggs:
Soft Yolk- 5 minutes
Medium yolk- 8 minutes
Hard Yolk- 28 minutes

Method 3: How to Poach an Egg
Intro- Poaching is perhaps one of the hardest ways to cook eggs. The biggest issue is keeping the egg together in the pan. You want to be using freshest eggs possible because the fresher the egg, the better it will stay together. Older eggs have a tendency to come apart easily. It would also be a good idea to use a deep pan (at least 3 inches deep) so that the egg doesn’t stick to the bottom. You might want to add a little distilled vinegar to the water because it will help the egg stick together better.
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Step 1: Break an egg into a small bowl or saucer.  In your pan bring water to the point where it’s almost at a boil. To the point where there are small bubbles forming on the bottom of the pan (the water should not be boiling!). Turn the heat off immediately.
Step 2: Gently try to create a whirl pool motion in the water, and carefully slide the egg out of your bowl or saucer and into the middle of the whirl pool. This will help the egg wrap around itself and will help it stay together.
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Step 3: Put the lid on for about 3 minutes (or a little longer if you want firmer yolks). Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain well before serving.
If you want perfect shape you can use an egg poaching mold (showed in the fourth picture).
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14 Responses to “How to Cook Eggs”

  1. Donald — March 22, 2008 @ 1:16 am

    Great pictures! It’s taken me a long time to become proficient at egg making. I think your post will help lots of folks. Where was this 20 years ago?

    I have one of those poaching mold pans ’cause I never could master the whirlpool method; serious frustration was the only results I ever got.

  2. Bobby — March 22, 2008 @ 9:37 am

    Donald- Yeah, poaching can be a little tricky at times. They come out looking alot nicer with a mold anyways. I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

  3. Watson - Corporate Team Building — March 25, 2008 @ 10:03 am

    Those are pretty good pics, I will agree with Donald. I have never really know what poached eggs are until this. I really want to try it now. I am gonna try it the next time I cook an egg. Wish me luck. Thanks, I will be using your tips.

  4. Eddie - Bubble n Wrap — April 4, 2008 @ 2:12 am

    Great tip about whirling the water. Mine quite often sticks to the pan so I will def try this one. I remember some once telling me to add a drop of olive oil in before hand, this stops it sinking and stiking to the bottom.

  5. Bobby — April 4, 2008 @ 8:42 am

    Watson – I’m glad to help. Goodluck on your egg cooking adventures :)

    Eddie – Thanks… alot of people use different poaching methods, but nothing but water works just fine with a little practice. If your having problems with the egg sticking just use a deeper pan and add more water. Hope this helped and let me know how it turns out.

  6. Egg Salad — July 11, 2008 @ 7:10 am

    These are great tips for poaching – I have never really mastered it yet LOL!

    I would add too – for the cooling of the eggs after boiling, you can even add ice to the cold water, as the faster you cool them the easier they seem to peel. (Just loooked at the pic above and maybe there’s an ice cube floating there?) I have found it does help!

  7. Recipes for Deviled Eggs — September 4, 2008 @ 9:57 am

    I would agree with your tips for boiling hard boil eggs – the freshest ones are never easy to peel. But if you have to buy new ones from the grocery store for a recipe you are making right away, try to find the ones with the nearest expiry date on the carton. I know, contrary to finding the ones that are the freshest, but the fresh ones will be so hard to peel you’ll get pretty frustrated.

    Great tips!

  8. izmir food — October 19, 2008 @ 3:21 pm

    This is a delicious post… I never have guessed such an amount of ways to cook egg. I will definetely will try some of them I didn’t use before.. thanks a lot…

  9. May — February 7, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

    I love taking food pictures too and your pictures are amazing! I will be trying out one of your recipes next weekend. Could be NY cheesecake :D

  10. Irene Savoia — June 23, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

    Every time I pan fry an egg,the yolk will be fleeing all over the pan.Maybe more practice is needed.
    The egg you cook is great.

  11. mafe — June 25, 2009 @ 12:56 am

    a lot of thanks to Bob for this very helpful info on how to cook eggs. this things should be learned first by ladies out there who wanted to get married.

  12. Claudia — March 7, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

    The close ups are the most gorgeous egg images I’ve ever seen! They literally made my mouth water, amazing job.

    <3

  13. jacob — May 25, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

    that was awesome

  14. David Oswald — April 29, 2012 @ 7:19 am

    This is really an awesome article. I’m always telling everyone how wonderful a perfectly cooked egg is. When the yolk poors all over to create it’s own sauce. I learned a trick while working in a restaurant for the hard boiled egg. Boil the water rapidly first. Then drop each egg into the water gently. The shell will slightly crack, creating a barrier between the egg and shell. Cook 14 minutes exactly. Then immediately transfer to ice water to cool rapidly. The shell peels off easy and the egg is perfectly cooked every time.
    Thanks for your article. I’ll will definitely try your methods!

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