How to perfectly boil an egg

By
Hannah Koelmeyer
Added
26 August, 2014

The foolproof method for perfectly boiled eggs, every time.

Boiling an egg. It should be simple. In fact, it should be the easiest bit of cooking you can do – the recipe method is essentially all there in the description of the dish. Boiled. Egg.

boiled egg

Yet all too often you crack open that shell to discover a mess of translucent white or a chalky, crumbly yolk you have no hope of dipping your buttery toast into. It’s a devastating moment and it's no way to start your day.

Never fear though, boiling an egg really is simple, you just need to get your times and temperatures right.

How to boil an egg

  1. Use cold water. Take your eggs straight from the fridge, place them in a small saucepan and cover with cold water.
  2. Cover the saucepan with a lid.  
  3. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. You want the water to come to a rolling boil as quickly as possible.
  4. Remove from the heat as soon as the water has boiled. Remove the saucepan from the burner entirely.
  5. Set your timer: 6 minutes for runny soft-boiled eggs; 7.5 minutes for medium, still-gooey eggs; 10 minutes for hard-boiled eggs (leave for an extra few minutes if you like your yolk really hard).
  6. (Right now is a good time to do things like putting your toast on, making your coffee or starting the morning quiz.)
  7. Remove from the saucepan. Once the timer goes off remove the eggs with a slotted spoon.
  8. Place in ice water. Place the eggs in a bowl of ice water. If you’re having eggs and soldiers, leave for about a minute and then transfer to egg cups before lopping off the tops, if you want to fully peel your eggs leave for at least 2 minutes.

And it's that simple. Well, it's mostly that simple: the times can vary a little bit depending on the variety and size of the egg, and your own exact preferred yolk texture, but the ones above will get you most of the way there. Experiment with adjusting the times a little bit and create your own perfect formula.

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