Perfect Boiled Eggs

Inspired by the Argh! Careless Cooking Errors thread.

Put eggs in pan, cover with cold water, put top on pot, turn heat on high. Just wait until the water boils and turn off the heat. The eggs will cook in the water in about 20 minutes. Never again wreck a pot from boiling it dry!

But that takes twice as long as just putting an egg in boiling water for 10 minutes (followed by a cold bath to arrest cooking).

I like Alton’s method better. Eggs in enough water to cover them by one inch or so. Bring right to a boil, remove from heat.* Wait 15 minutes. Pour out hot water, replace with cold water. When eggs are cool enough to handle, peel immediately. Salt to taste. Gobble.

  • He accomplishes this with an electric kettle. Me, too.

IMHO, the objective should be the best-cooked egg, not the fastest-cooked egg.


i like my eggs full grown and barbequed

ok, so what about a perfect soft boiled egg then? I keep overcooking mine.

I can vouch for the OP’s method working wonderfully…as long as you don’t turn them off and then forget about them for a few hours.:smack:

On the other hand, the freaky greenness of the yolks was quite striking.

I am eager to find this out myself. I plan to try Alton’s method tonight and simply wait 5 minutes instead of 15.

This means the egg is badly overcooked.

Guilty of overcooking, I leave them on the stove overnight most of the time. My SO is positive I’m going to get salmonella one of these days. But I’ve been doing it for years and it hasn’t happened yet.

America’s Test Kitchen also reminds you that after you pour out the water, move the pot (with the eggs still in it) back and fourth a few times. Bang 'em up, get the cracks started and they’ll be easier to peel.

Shock them with ice water, not just cold water out of the tap.

Well, they become overcooked if you leave them in the hot water more than fifteen or twenty minutes, which was my point.

I always seem to under cook mine. I use AB’s method. I guess I don’t let water come all the way to the boil.

Sorry I misunderstood.

It seems to me that that method would depend on how big your pot is, how much water you put in, and how hot your stove gets. Methods that start with the water already boiling ought to be much more predictable.

6 minutes at the boil works for me.

I’ve found that if you peel them right away, after the cold water, they peel much more easily than if you let them sit around for a while.

This method has been around for a VERY long time. I’ve been hardboiling eggs this way for 40 years and learned it from my mother, who had probably been doing it that way for as long.

Perfect soft-boiled eggs:

Put the eggs into a bowl of warm tap water for at least 15 minutes, so that they will be warm and not crack and leak from too rapid a temperature change when they hit the boiling water. If you try to start cold eggs out in cold water and bring them slowly to a boil, it’s too hard to judge just when to start timing them. The pre-warming eliminates this ambiguity.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a full rolling boil. Put the pre-warmed eggs into it and instantly set your timer: 3.5 minutes for large eggs, 4 minutes for jumbos. This assumes you like just-set whites and runny yolks, like me. Serve 'em up with hot buttered toast.

That’s OK.

Now I set the timer and all is well with my eggs. They no longer impart a worrying hue to the egg salad.

No, no, no. A perfect egg is cooked at 65° celsius (149° fahrenheit) for about an hour. Or at 67° celsius (153° fahrenheit) if you want a thicker yolk.

And salmonella can’t survive for more than a few minutes in temperatures over 60° celsius, so cooking for an hour you should be safe.