How do you cook a boiled egg?

The answer to this question is carefully. Even the simplest of cooking tasks can go wrong.  I have a few important rules for boiling eggs.

1. Don’t ever boil eggs that have come straight from the fridge, because very cold eggs plunged straight into hot water are likely to crack.
2. Always time your eggs. Trying to guess the timing or even remembering to look at your watch can end in disaster.
3. Remember the air pocket. During boiling, pressure can build up and cause cracking. A simple way to deal with this is to make a pinprick in the rounded end of the shell, which will allow the steam to escape.
4. Always use a small saucepan.
5.  Never have the water fast-boiling: a gentle simmer is all they need.
6.  Never over boil eggs (you won’t if you are timing them)
7.  If the eggs are very fresh then allow an extra 30 seconds on each timing.

Soft Boiled Eggs:

Place your egg in the saucepan, cover them with cold water by about 1cm, place them on a high heat and, as soon as they reach boiling point, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and give the following timings:
3 minutes if you like a really soft-boiled egg
4 minutes for a white that is just set and a yolk that is creamy.
5 minutes for a white and yolk perfectly set, with only a little bit of squidgy in the centre.

Hard Boiled Eggs:

The number one rule to hard boiled eggs, is to use eggs that are at least five days old from their packing date.

The method is as follows: place the eggs in a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them by about 1cm. Bring the water up to simmering point, leave to simmer for 6 minutes if you like a bit of squidgy in the centre, 7 minutes if you like them cooked through.

Then, the most important part is to cool them rapidly. Run them under a cold tap for about 1 minute, then leave them in cold water for about another 2 minutes.


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