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How to Boil that Perfect Egg

Updated on April 16, 2013
When in doubt have a cup of coffee! If there is a question, gaze into a cup of coffee, often the images, will give you the answers, or at least other things to ponder upon.
When in doubt have a cup of coffee! If there is a question, gaze into a cup of coffee, often the images, will give you the answers, or at least other things to ponder upon. | Source

Who was it that once said, u can't burn boiled EGGS

The tricky art of boiling eggs, so any one can boil an egg, right?

A member of my family (who will remain anonymous) decided to cook breakfast on Sunday morning.

She came through to the outside braai area, sat down and was chatting away with us. After about 15 to 20 minutes or so, we enquired as to when are we having the breakfast? Her reply was, that we should not worry, as she was serving us boiled eggs and toast. My wife asked her when she was going to start with the toast and eggs? Well the eggs have been boiling all the time we have been out here, and I was going to start the toast now!

So are we going to have burned toast, so as to taste complement the burnt eggs, there was a giggle and her reply was.

"They are boiled eggs, and you cannot burn boiled eggs, silly", in her stern adult voice.

The result was that, my 12 year old daughter then, had a secret revealed to her in cooking ... that you can indeed burn any thing culinary ... even boiled eggs!

As you see, we have a couple of FRESH eggs, on the left, And the right a couple of that are NOT FRESH
As you see, we have a couple of FRESH eggs, on the left, And the right a couple of that are NOT FRESH | Source

First Step

Before you even start to boil an egg, is to check that it is still fresh!

The only way of checking an egg, for boiling, that I know of, and one that works, is the floating test.

To do carry this out, all you need is a pot of water, you can use the same pot that you are going to boil them in, unless you prefer to use another dish.

This is what you would do if you are not going to boil the egg but need to use it for baking, frying and scrambling, etc..

Simply have the pot or bowl, filled to at least 3/4 full, it must be at least a good six inches taller than egg.

Lower the egg into the water, it should sink to the bottom and stay there - Fresh Egg

If the egg rises up and floats at the surface, like an ice berg/cube, then it is not Fresh.

If the egg starts to rise and lift of the bottom the bowl, but not reaching the surface, rather do not use it, as it is just starting to turn.



Second Part of the Egg Saga

Eggs in the pot and the pot is starting to warm up.
Eggs in the pot and the pot is starting to warm up. | Source

The Second Step


Place the eggs in the pot with the tap water, place it on the stove, then switch the plate onto high!

You will note that I have not added vinegar or any other of those items that you read about that stops the egg from cracking.

As the egg is in the water they will gradually heats therefore there is no dramatic change in temperature, which is what normally cracks an egg.

Now the tricky part of the whole breakfast, lunch or brunch, or it is in most families, different preferences of how you Prefer your eggs cooked, as well as why you are boiling them.

That is the problem, also there is the dynamics involved when the family sits down for the meal.

So in order to, in some ways, assist you to solve that. Here is a simple method to assist you in alleviating that problem.


It Is All In The Timing!

Before we start you need to understand a couple of terms, these are important.

Firstly, when a recipe calls for a boiling water, or a rolling boil this is what it looks like!

Source
Centre - Very Soft Bottom Left - Very Very Soft
Centre - Very Soft Bottom Left - Very Very Soft | Source
Medium
Medium | Source
Hard Boiled
Hard Boiled | Source

The cooking timing for your eggs

So now we have the eggs that were in the pot that has reached The Rolling Boil stage.

Start The Clock.

Watch the time this is the critical part

  1. After 3 minutes remove the very very soft eggs - these eggs have only a small fraction of the whites firmed up and the rest of it is warmed through ... extremely runny.
  2. After 4 minutes remove the very soft eggs - these eggs have more of the white formed with the centre parts still runny.
  3. After 6 minutes remove the medium soft eggs - these eggs have the whites and outer parts of the yellow firm, with most of the centre parts of the yellow still runny.
  4. After 8 minute remove the medium to hard eggs - these eggs only have the very centres of the eggs still slightly runny.
  5. After 10 minutes remove the hard boiled eggs - these eggs are firm with no trace of softness.


A final Word

A floral arrangement for you!
A floral arrangement for you! | Source

Enjoy Cooking

There you have the method for cooking the simple boiled egg.

Final Note

The timing of cooking may need to be adjusted slightly for altitude, as this was cooked at 16,000+ feet above sea level, so do a test run, before you try out on the family.

Lower lying areas you may ned to adjust by cooking for a minute less than temperatures given.

Boil an Egg

Did this Hub help you to boil that perfect egg?

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    • Just_Rodney profile image
      Author

      Rodney Fagan 4 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Precy Anza,

      Thanks for sharing the anecdote, it is easy to sometimes leave something to watch itself. While you are distracted by another task.

      Sometimes to disaster, yet at other times, sometimes to the betterment of the end result, Talking cooking, mainly but also with some of my abstract photos, overlong exposures.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 4 years ago from USA

      And you had me giggling here Rodney... with the first sentence :D I had burnt boiled egg before so I really believe that even boiled eggs can be burned too. It's not that I don't know how to cook, I was boiling egg and walked into my room and went online.... then I forgot. I still remember my mom's facial expression, she can't figured out how did I burnt the egg :) Thanks for this hub!

    • Just_Rodney profile image
      Author

      Rodney Fagan 6 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      It could be out by next Holloween ... Spooky stuff, that

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 6 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Oh a meal and a mystery! Spooky and exciting! Get the book - don't wait for the movie!

    • Just_Rodney profile image
      Author

      Rodney Fagan 6 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Candie V, Methinks that the Fried Eggs Mystery, should be the next that needs to be done - To A Turn!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 6 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Thank you my friend! Looking forward to it!

    • Just_Rodney profile image
      Author

      Rodney Fagan 6 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Candie V, only a pleasure to pass on these long lost primers, I enjoy the passing on the "skills" that I have learnedc over the past half centuary.

      Still more to come, I will be back .... I never left just got kinda quiet for a long period.

      Thanks for the hugs, they are very welcome .. returned with a whole lot of warmth.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 6 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Rodney! Just found this one - and I must say - a huge challenge for me (so I bookmarked it)! Thank you for the primer on cooking eggs! Love the pictures - you add so much great detail! Hugs my friend!!

    • Just_Rodney profile image
      Author

      Rodney Fagan 6 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Thanks samiaal, glad yo enjoyrd it and found it useful.

    • samiaali profile image

      samiaali 6 years ago

      Hi Just_Rodney, I liked your Hub very much! Thanks! :)

    • Just_Rodney profile image
      Author

      Rodney Fagan 6 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Eggsacctly what is needed for brekkie with some crisp home fried potato chips!

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 6 years ago from South Africa

      eggsellent!

    • Just_Rodney profile image
      Author

      Rodney Fagan 6 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      PiaC, the trick or knack of peeling a boiled egg is to place it directly from the pot/saucepan into cold water, let it cool down to a temperature that you can handle the egg.

      Then give egg a hard tap, as to crack the shell, with a spoon then peel the egg shell away from the egg. starting at the end that has the air pocket. Be sure to peel the thin membrane off with shell, it makes it easier.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • PiaC profile image

      PiaC 6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I think of myself as a moderately accomplished cook, but I have to say that boiling eggs always get to me. I never get the exactly correct consistency, and then mangle the peeling process. I'd love a Hub on how to peel a boiled egg please!

    • Just_Rodney profile image
      Author

      Rodney Fagan 6 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Sarovai, Thanks, I am pleased that you enjoyed the hub and found it useful. After writing many cooking hubs and a couple of cook books, it is amazing that one sometimes works on the assumption that not every with the exception of Mexico, as well as a couple of odd spots, are not at the same altitude above sea level as me.

      I have discovered this especially with the cookbooks from Engalsnd and Australia,

      Thanks again for the comment.

    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 6 years ago

      Well said. With the final note , whosoever read this hub, must opt for their place. Otherwise your research on boiling eggs is very interesting and helpful. Thank u for sharing this tips.

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