How to boil an egg
Here a few tips on the different ways to boil an egg in the shell.
1- Preparing your eggs. Before any technique, first ensure that they are fresh. Do this by placing them in salted water. If they float it suggests that they are not fresh. Discard of eggs already slightly cracked, and if possible, cook eggs from room temperature rather than cold water to avoid the shell breaking due to a rapid change in temperature.
2- Soft boiled for immediate consumption.
Here you want to have the whites of the eggs cooked through, with the yolk slightly runny. Pre-boil some water on the stove, and once simmering, lower the eggs into the boiling water using a large spoon. The size of the egg being cooked dictates the cooking time with a medium sized egg taking 5 minutes to cook to perfection once submerged. Add 45 seconds for a large egg, and take off 45 seconds for a small egg (egg sizes differ per region, so use these boiling times as a guide, and remember what works best for you). Once the time is up, remove the eggs from the boiling water using a spoon, and serve immediately into an egg cup before chopping off the narrow top of the egg for you or your kids to enjoy (preferably with buttered toast cut into strips).
3- Hard boiled in a rush for immediate consumption.
Need a quick, protein rich snack on your way out of the house? Boil the water as in step 2, carefully place the eggs in, but leave to boil for 9-10 minutes. Once the time is up, run the, under cold water into cool enough to handle. The easiest way to peel an egg is to gently crack it all of the way around, and then to peel it with one hand only by rubbing the face of your thumb over the egg (using two hands, and therefore your tips of your fingers, will often peel the shell away from the skin, making it incredibly difficult to remove the rest of the shell without taking away chunks of valuable egg white). Eat immediately after peeling.
4- Hard boiled for later consumption.
The difference between stage 4 and 5 is that you want to avoid the eggs developing a grey layer around the yolk, this would usually occur if left for a duration after boiling. Here you want to place the eggs in a pan of cold water and then bring to the boil with a lid on. Once the water is boiling, turn off/remove from the heat, and leave the eggs in thee boiled water for 10-15 minutes (do not start the timer until you have taken the water off of the heat. Once the time is up, chill the eggs in cold water in a bowl, cracking them slightly when placing them in to allow for easier peeling, until at room temperature, and then place in the refrigerator. Hard boiled eggs kept in the refrigerator should be consumed within 4 days.
Add salt to the boiling water to make the eggs easier to peel and to help the cooking proteins coagulate should the egg crack upon submersion.
To test if an egg is hard boiled, spin in on a hard surface. If it spins quickly with no wobble, it will be hard cooked all of the way through.
DO NOT BOIL AN EGG IN THE MICROWAVE- the pressure difference will irrevocably damage your microwave.
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