Continuing on my quest to master the humble egg, today I went zinging around cyberspace to learn all there is to know about boiling an egg.
I guess this may seem a little too basic for anyone who has been cooking for some time, but I will admit that sometimes I over-cook my eggs when the kids request a nice runny egg for dipping soldiers of toast into. So I imagine if I can get the timings wrong, than there are probably hundreds of other Dads out there wrecking their kids breakfasts as well.
How to boil the perfect egg
- Bring a pan of water to the boil. Have the egg at room temperature. (If chilled, add 30 seconds to the cooking time).
- Carefully lower the egg into the water with a perforated spoon.
- Time the cooking from moment of immersion, keeping the water simmering or gently boiling, and not boiling to vigorously, which tends to crack the shells and toughen the whites.
- Remove the egg from the water when you have reached the correct time for the egg desired (see handy timing below)
- 4½ minutes will give a just-set white and a moist but runny yolk.
- 6 minutes will give a well-set white and a moist but runny yolk, set on the rim but thick but wet inside.
- 8 minutes will give a hard-boiled egg that is just set to the centre of the yolk.
- 12 minutes will give a yolk that is dry and crumbly when mashed.
- Do not pierce the shell of a fresh egg as this will encourage cracking. A small hole in the rounded end of an older egg (2-3 weeks old) made with an egg pricker or a needle is recommended, however, as the sac contains air which expands during cooking and may cause the shell to crack.
- Eggs taken directly from the fridge need an extra 30 seconds to cook.
- Fresh eggs take longer to cook than older eggs as the air sac is very small. Cook for an extra minute if the eggs are very fresh (less than a week old).
I have found this informative video that gives a slightly alternative method for boiling eggs. It is basically the same as the method I outlined above, but the timing is slightly different because the egg is added before the water boils.
Vodpod videos no longer available.