Cooking eggs well on a consistent basis can be deceptively hard, but we’re here to help. Executing a perfectly cooked egg dish is all about technique and, in some instances, about having the right tools.
Here’s a short list of tips and tricks for hacking “simple” egg preparations.
The key to making the creamiest, softest scrambled eggs ever is to cook them low and words.
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First, whisk your eggs in a bowl until well combined and a bit frothy. Heat a nonstick pan over low heat and add a small amount of butter or oil, enough to coat the pan. Before the fat gets too hot, pour the eggs into the pan and allow them to set for about 30 seconds. Resist the urge to stir them right away. Letting the eggs set briefly helps them stay fluffy during the cooking process. Using a silicone spatula, gently stir the eggs, moving them around the pan in a circular motion. Add salt at the end of the cooking process, not at the beginning. And skip adding cream, milk or water – all you really do need is eggs.
Believe it or not, there’s a better way to make hard-boiled eggs than boiling them. Yep, you read that right. The technique we’re sharing here is the best way to prepare farm-fresh eggs for snacking or for making recipes that call for hard-boiled eggs, like egg salad, deviled eggs and Salad Niçoise.
For this technique, steam is your friend. Place a heatproof colander or steamer basket in a large, deep pot that has a well-fitting lid. Transfer the eggs to the colander and add enough water to just touch the bottom of the eggs. If your colander is low or has very short legs, prop it up with a heatproof ramekin so you don’t boil the pot dry. Bring the water to a boil and cover the pot with its lid. Steam the eggs, with the water at a low boil, for 20 to 22 minutes.
Using silicone hot pads, carefully remove the hot colander or steamer basket and run the “hard-boiled” eggs under cold water or prepare a cold-water bath and immerse the eggs in water until they are cool enough to peel.
A lot of people avoid frying eggs because the flipping technique can be frustrating to perfect. So, we say skip it altogether and use steam to help cook the eggs. You’ll need a nonstick skillet with a well-fitting lid. Warm the skillet over medium-low heat and add a teaspoon of butter or oil. Swirl to coat the pan. Avoid getting the fat too hot, as it will brown the edges of the egg (unless you like that sort of thing, of course).
Crack eggs into the pan, season them with salt and pepper and cover the pan with its lid. Cooking time depends on how you soft you like the yolk, so set a timer or keep an eye on the clock.
- Sunny side up: Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Over medium: Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Over hard: Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
If you’re committed to flipping your fried eggs, try these simple tips to make it easier: Use a non-stick pan, add ample fat and heat your turner before sliding it under the egg to flip it.
Perfect poached eggs may seem like the pinnacle of egg cookery, requiring the skill of a French chef. But trust us, all you need is a little patience and some pointers on the technique. Unlike frying or scrambling eggs, poaching doesn’t use any fat, so you can consider it a healthier cooking option.
Start by bringing a pot of water to a simmer. The key to beautiful poached eggs is to crack the egg into a cup or small bowl without breaking the yolk. When the water has reached a simmer, use a spoon to start stirring the water in a circular motion, creating a tornado-like movement. With the other hand, gently slide the egg into the water and keep moving the water in a circular motion with the spoon. Depending on how runny or soft you like your yolk, cook the egg for 2 1/2 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the egg from the water and place it on a paper-towel-lined plate before plating and serving.