All about eggs. Part Two; how to boil

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

  1. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Have the egg at room temperature. (If chilled, add 30 seconds to the cooking time).
  2. Carefully lower the egg into the water with a perforated spoon.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Additional Knowledge

  • 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).

Alternative Method

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.


4 thoughts on “All about eggs. Part Two; how to boil

  1. Recipe Chefs

    I love food, and I really enjoy reading your blog very much thank you for sharing this post. Feel free to check out our recipes.

  2. Pingback: All about eggs. Part Three; poaching « Slightly Domesticated Dad

  3. Pingback: All about eggs. Part 4; how to fry « Slightly Domesticated Dad

  4. Pingback: All about eggs. Part Five; scrambled eggs « Slightly Domesticated Dad

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