How to Hard Boil an Egg and More

Eggs are quite possibly the ultimate food: they’re cheap, easy to prepare, full of healthy, lean protein, and, when consumed whole, can even increase HDL, or good cholesterol. If you’re an institute-trained chef, feel free to skip this article. For the rest of us, read on to learn some things you may be doing wrong when hard-boiling, soft-boiling, and poaching eggs.


How to Hard Boil an Egg

Carefully place the eggs in a saucepan in a single layer. If there’s not enough room for all the eggs, use a bigger pot, or cook them in batches. Cover them with an inch of warm water, add a pinch of salt, and bring them to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the water to a simmer, and let boil for another minute. After that, remove them from the heat source, cover them, and let stand for 10-12 minutes, depending on their size. Once they’re done, cool them with baths of fresh water.


Use for: breakfast, a quick protein-packed snack, to garnish a salad, or in egg salad.


How to Soft Boil an Egg

Soft-boiling eggs is a little trickier, since it’s difficult to overcook hard boiled eggs. Start by bringing a pot of water to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer, then use a large spoon to carefully place eggs into the pot in a single layer. Boil them for 5-7 minutes, depending on your yolk preference. When finished, run them under cold tap water for 30-60 seconds.


Serve them in egg cups, which hold the egg in place for easy cracking. Once they’re cracked, scoop them out with a spoon, dip toast into them, or both.


How to Poach an Egg

Poaching an egg is not unlike soft-boiling an egg without its shell. Start by bringing a pot of lightly-salted water to within a few degrees of simmering. Crack the eggs into a small bowl, as it will be easier to transfer them into the pot. Using a long utensil, create a whirlpool in the water, then gently slide the eggs into the whirlpool. Use a wooden spoon or rubber scraper to fold any lingering egg white back toward the eggs. After 3-4 minutes, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.


Serving suggestions: fold drained eggs onto buttered toast, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and enjoy. Or, if you’re feeling especially inspired, make Eggs Benedict: a split English Muffin topped with ham, bacon, or lox, poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce. 

Lou Tenney

Lou Tenney

Contributor at Cigar Advisor

When he's not busy writing, editing, smoking cigars, or raising his many, many children, Hayward " "It's Lou, not Hayward" " Tenney spends his days combating confusion about his real name (it's Hayward, but please - call him " "Lou" ") and mourning the matrimonially-induced loss of his moustache (what's he gonna do with all that moustache wax he made?).

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