Boiling an egg may not be rocket science, but timing is
important because the trick to perfectly cooked eggs is actually NOT to boil
the eggs at all. Here are some simple guidelines for cooking soft-, medium-,
and hard-cooked eggs.
Put the eggs in a saucepan and add enough cold water to
cover them by about 1 inch. Set the pan over medium-high heat and as soon as
the water reaches a brisk simmer, start timing. As the eggs cook, adjust the
heat as needed to maintain a brisk simmer. (Though we talk about hard-boiled
eggs - and we’re using that term here - the fact is that cooking eggs in
boiling water cracks the shell and makes the eggs tough and rubbery. A simmer
works much better.)
Soft boiled: 2 minutes The white is solid, but the yolk is
still runny. Serve in an egg cup for breakfast. Use the side of a small spoon
to crack and remove the pointed end of the egg, making a hole in the shell
large enough to fit the spoon. Or use egg scissors, if you have them.
Medium boiled: 4-1/2 minutes The yolk is solid but still
dark orange-yellow, moist, and dense in the middle. Beautiful and delicious
quartered on a salad.
Hard boiled: 8 minutes The yolk is completely solid, light
yellow, and crumbly, with no sign of the telltale green or gray ring around the
yolk that’s caused by overcooking. Perfect for egg salad or deviled eggs. Need
more ideas for what to do with hard-cooked eggs?
When the eggs are cooked, carefully pour out most of the hot
water, leaving the eggs in the pan. Set the pan in the sink under cool running
water for a few minutes until the eggs are barely warm. If the shells are
stubborn, try peeling them under running water. The fresher the egg, the more
attached the shell, so for boiling, older eggs are preferable.