Monday, 13 September 2004

How to Boil An Egg

I know, I know, you must have thought this is a no-brainer. Well my children don't know how to do it properly yet so please indulge me in setting their boiling knowledge straight.

Now the thing about hard boiling eggs is not to boil them but to simmer them to minimise the cracking of the shell. Bring them to rolling boil and then turn the heat way low and simmer. Also the choice of eggs is important. You should use eggs that are about a week old. Fresh eggs when hard boiled are quite hard to peel. Other people pierce one end of the eggs I think to make the yolk stay in the centre (I'm not so sure about that). They also should preferably be in room temperature to reduce cracking. The greater temperature changes it goes through in a short span of time the greater the chances of cracking.

To Boil an Egg

* Method 1:
  1. Put room-temperature eggs in a saucepan and add enough water to cover them.
  2. Bring to boil. Once it boils, cover (if it is not yet covered) the saucepan. Turn off heat and begin timing.
  3. For hard-boiled - let stand in saucepan for 10-12 minutes depending on the size of the eggs.
  4. Drain water from saucepan and fill-up with cold tap water. Keep it submerged for about 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Drain cold water and serve boiled eggs hot or cold.

* Method 2:
  1. Put eggs in a saucepan and add enough tap water to cover them by about 1/2-inch.
  2. Bring to boil. Once it boils begin your timing; turn down heat to low and simmer.
  3. For hard boiled - simmer for 10 minutes. Cook for less time if you want the centre more squidgy.
  4. For soft boiled - simmer between 3 - 5 minutes. The less time you cook the softer the boiled egg will be.
  5. Remove from saucepan and submerge completely into a container with cold tap water (or drain the hot water from the saucepan and fill it up with cold tap water). Keep it submerged for about 5 minutes draining and refilling again if the water becomes quite hot. This submersion is done to stop the egg from further cooking. If you cooked soft boiled eggs and did not cool it down immediately you could well end up with hard boiled eggs.

* Method 3:
  1. Keep eggs chilled in the fridge.
  2. Bring a saucepan with water to a boil (make sure the water is enough to cover the eggs).
  3. Lower the chilled eggs straight from the fridge. Start timing at this point.
    Bring the water to a simmer and cover.
  • 14 minutes - hard boiled
  • 12 minutes - hard boiled with a little soft spot centre
  • 10 minutes - hard boiled with gooey middle
  • 8 minutes - fully set white and yolk with soft gooey middle
  • 6 minutes - soft boiled with firm white, yolk starting to set
  • 5 minutes - soft boiled with firm white, runny yolk
  • 4 minutes - soft boild with very soft white and yolk
I adapted this last method from an Epicurious article with excellent tips as well on how to quickly peel eggs. Apparently, boiling eggs straight from the fridge helps a lot in being able to peel eggs easily.


ting-aling said...

Ha ha now this is fun. When my kids tell me they don't know how to do things, more often than not, they are just lazy to do them. I can put up with them once in a while but such occurence never escape my memory and I drag them into doing things they say they don't know once I am into it. Tough Mom huh!

Dr. Emer said...

This was very enlightening!

My usual strategy (hehehe, if you can call it that) is to place eggs with water and when the water starts to boil, I put off the fire right away. I get the eggs and voila! they're hard-boiled, and just the way I like it.

Thanks for this post. I might improvise on my method a bit.

rolly said...

And I thought I knew how to cook! Simple things like this are taken for granted kasi sabi natin, pwede na yan! how wrong can we be? Thanks for posting this. Now I know why the egg cracks everytime I cook hardboiled eggs.

celia kusinera said...

ting aling: That's what I do, too. Drag them to do things for themselves - they're not doing too bad actually.

Doc Emer: thanks for dropping by. So more hardboiled eggs for you later?

Tito Rolly: Hallo! Egg mayonnaise mamaya?

Manang said...

Celia, things as simple as this are quite common topics in cooking magazines! Haha! I once saw an article in Cook's Illustraded: "How to create the perfect omelet" and their method was basically the method I have developed and used since I was in elementary, the same techniques I used for my scrambled eggs, derived through repeated trial and error of cooking.

doc Emer, one cooking magazine also suggests the same thing: Turn off the heat once it boils then let egg stay inside the pan for 10 (malasado) to 12 minutes (hard-boiled) before eating. But I am used to cooking it the same way Celia does.

Matapoor said...

Know what, my husband pierces a pin-sized hole (using the cork screw lightly) sa egg before boiling. Don't ask me what for just that it always turns out better than when I do it.

Tanggero said...

More egg recipe please!

celia kusinera said...

Manang: Yes we should have these once in a awhile kasi minsan we thought we knew how to do basic things yun pala meron pang mas effective ways of doing it. O naghahanap ng egg recipes si Tanggero, post mo naman ang omelette recipe mo - sarap lalu na kung may cheese and ham yum!

Matapoor: Hi AnP, I found out now what that piercing is for - so it won't crack. I tried it out several times before but I ended up with a completely cracked egg after piercing it. I haven't tried again since.

Tanggero: Yes sir! more eggs dishes for you! Ayan si Manang magpo-post ng omelette niya. :-)