Thursday, December 12News For London

How to boil an egg

Easter is a special occasion for a sweet tooth but when preparing for the egg hunt you can’t ignore the basics. Reporter: Hayley Daen. Sub editor: Cristiana Ferrauti

Nearly a year ago, I received a shocking phone call from my 23-year-old brother. I was greeted with a hurried ‘hello’ before he delved into the real reason he had called. He could not for the life of him figure out how to boil an egg.

“Well, first you need to bring the water to a boil,” I instructed.

“And how do I do that?”

What may seem, to some, an integral skill is actually an art, difficult to master. There is far more to making an eggscellent boiled egg than you might think.

As spring marches onward, Easter is just on the horizon. And with Easter, comes chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks, and the athletic event of the year- the Easter egg hunt. While you may have been brainstorming hiding places all year long, there is another factor that is the linchpin to the ideal hunt. A perfectly boiled egg.

The age of the egg


Before embarking on the journey to the perfect boiled egg, ensure that you select the right egg. As in dating, age does matter. Size? Not so much. Freshly laid eggs are more likely to stick to the shell, making peeling difficult. Instead, choose an egg you’ve had at least a week for easy peeling.

Hot off the draw


While they say the easiest way to boil a frog is to start him in cold water and slowly raise the temperature, you’ll achieve the best results if you start your eggs in water that is already boiling. This way, you avoid having an exterior that looks as if someone has already nibbled a bit.

Some like it hot


Although you must start your eggs in boiling water, letting them cook fully in 212 degree water the whole time will yield chalky, crumbly centres, and thick, rubbery whites. Instead, let your eggs boil at 212 for 30 seconds, before finishing them at a very low simmer (about 180 degrees).

Time on your side


While a watched pot never boils, be sure to watch your eggs carefully. An egg left to its own devices will end up sulphurous and unappetizing, and no one wants that. Instead, aim for 7-9 minutes in 180 degree water for a yolk that is not too runny and not too chalky.

Ap-peeling eggs


One of the most important factors for achieving a successful peel is to chill them completely. Shock your eggs! Get them before they know what’s coming, and immediately submerge them in an ice bath once you’ve removed them from the simmering water. Before you start peeling, crack them gently on all sides. Then, peel them under a constant stream of cold water for perfect results.



That’s about all there is to it. It takes time and attention, but you, too, can boil a perfect egg. Start with cold eggs, cook them hot, chill them quickly and totally, crack and peel under running water. And don’t forget a good shake of salt and pepper for the best egg ever.