How to Boil an Egg

Patrick Mooney
 hard-boiled egg

Often when people try to express they are clueless in the kitchen they say something like "I can't even boil an egg," which is true. No one can. The water boils not the egg. The egg cooks. Still, not to get too picky, anyone can cook eggs. All it takes is a little time and a touch of focus.

Basics of Boiled Eggs

The easiest way to boil an egg is to put the egg in a pot of cold water, with at least an inch of water above the top of the egg. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat, cover the pot and wait. For a soft-boiled egg, take the egg out of the water after 3 minutes. For a medium-boiled egg, remove the egg after 5-7 minutes

How Long to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

There are multiple ways to hard boil eggs. However this method is one of the best because the eggs are less likely to overcook, which can cause the yolks to turn an unappealing green.

  • For hard-boiled large eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan, in a single layer, covered with water.
  • Heat until your water has come to a full rolling boil, remove it from heat, cover the pan and let the eggs sit in the water for 12-13 minutes.
  • For jumbo or extra large eggs, cook for 13-14 minutes. For small or medium eggs, cook 10-12 minutes
  • Once this time has elapsed, place the pan in your sink and slowly add cold water to cool down the water temperature; this prevents the eggs from overcooking.
  • Once your eggs are cool to room temperature, you can use them immediately in egg salad, deviled eggs. dye them for Easter or refrigerate them for several days to keep and use later.

Other Boiled Egg Methods

There are other ways to boil an egg. If you prefer to add eggs to already boiling water, allow the water to continue at a low boil once you add the eggs, and cook for 10 minutes for a large egg. Don't allow the boil to get too high as this will knock your eggs around in the pan and they will be more likely to crack.

For a quick soft-boiled egg, you can cover it in water in a microwave safe container, then nuke it at 10 second intervals until done. However, do not use this method for hard boiled eggs as they can explode. Alternately, if you have a rice steamer, you can steam eggs for 20 minutes to create perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs.

More Tips for Perfectly Boiled Eggs

Note that using eggs that have been in your refrigerator at least a week to boil makes hard-boiled eggs easier to peel. Also, if you add a little vinegar to your boiling water, your eggs will be whiter and it will also help the whites coagulate and seal if your egg happens to crack.

Egg Safety

If you plan to eat a soft-boiled egg, look for pasteurized eggs. It is possible for eggs to have the salmonella virus which is only killed by complete cooking, which is not achieved in a soft-boiled egg. Although the odds are about 1 in 1,000 that you will contract the virus, if you want to be safe, either hard boil your egg or look for pasteurized.

Take It for a Spin

To test if an egg is done, take the egg and rest one end on the table. Which end? Either the large or small end. Give it a spin. If it spins, then it is hard boiled. If it does not, then you need to cook it more. Practice this a few times and then when you've mastered boiling an egg, move on to frying them. Now go play with your food!

How to Boil an Egg