As much as it is said that “you don’t even know how to fry an egg”, no one can deny that it is easier to prepare them cooked. They are also more versatile, healthy and grateful, as they serve as the basis for other recipes, an ingredient and a complement, adding high-quality proteins to a multitude of dishes. And despite everything, cook perfect eggs it has its intricacies.
Cooking is a basic cooking technique that consists of submerging a food in a liquid, usually water, to transform their physical and chemical properties through the application of heat. To cook an egg all you need is water, a source of temperature and a short but variable time, and you can also make steamed eggs.
So where is the mystery? There are two fundamental parameters that will change the final result: temperature and, above all, cooking time. The balance between the two will give us firmer boiled eggs or with the softest yolk, going through the stage of so-called soft-boiled eggs first. The cooking point will depend on the use we want to give it, and, of course, on our taste.
In addition, there are some tricks that we can apply so that the boiled egg can be peeled easily, avoiding that annoying shell broken into pieces that ends up tearing off part of the white, leaving us a mutilated and ugly egg. But we already warn that there is no perfect technique and definitive, because each chef has his own method based on his own experience and also his particular taste or style.
How to cook eggs: basic principles
Do not use very fresh eggs. It is better that they are a few days old so that they are easier to peel. Not too old – always unexpired – or the inner air chamber will be too big.
Cook them straight from the fridge. The thermal shock helps them cook better, with a firm but not rubbery white and a more honeyed yolk. In addition, we will avoid having to wait for them to temper.
Boil the water first. Eggs can be cooked from cold water or boiling water; we advise the second method. We will better control the exact time and, again, the thermal shock helps to obtain a better result. For the soft-boiled eggs, we need it to simmer, not spurt.
Introduce the egg carefully using a spoon. Eggs must not be dropped suddenly or they will risk breaking or cracking. Place each one in a soup spoon and gently drop it into the boiling water.
Lower the temperature. If you want hard-boiled eggs, wait 30-40 seconds and then lower the temperature to about 85ºC. The white will have curdled slightly, separating from the peel, but by lowering the temperature we slow down the cooking again, preventing it from being overcooked before the yolk is cooked.
Use a lid. There will be less heat loss and you will prevent the liquid from evaporating. If it is hermetic and transparent, the better.
Control the time. As precisely as possible, as you want the point. Stopwatches with funny little figures were invented precisely to cook eggs; you can use the phone clock or even look at the oven for reference. The table above gives a hint of the approximate time required for each doneness.
Water with ice. Have a container with very cold water and ice cubes ready to cut through the cooking quickly, unless you want to serve them hot at the moment. To peel them easily, leave them for at least 15 minutes.
To puncture or not to puncture?. If you want to get perfect eggs, without the gap left by the air chamber, there are two options. The first is to prick the base with a pin or needle, but this can cause water to get inside. In theory, adding vinegar to the water would prevent the liquid egg from spilling out, but to avoid risks, it is better not to puncture them and trust the temperature control and the ice bath mentioned in the previous point.
Put plenty of drinking water to heat in a saucepan, pot or casserole large enough so that the eggs do not collide with each other, that has a lid. For a maximum of six eggs, we will need about three liters of water. Also prepare a container with ice water and ice. Don’t cook more eggs at the same time or the temperature may drop too low.
Once the water is boiling with joy in spurts -without exaggeration-, take the eggs out of the fridge, washing them with water if they were cold, and place them in the water one by one, using a soup spoon, gently dropping them onto the surface.
Bill 30-40 secondsPut the lid on and lower the heat to leave a softer power, without losing the total boil. Time the exact minutes according to the doneness you like or need, from 6 minutes if you like them very juicy to 15 so that the yolk is completely curdled, but without gray tones. The ideal for most recipes is to leave it for 10 minutes. After this time, turn off the fire.
Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon by quickly placing them in the ice water bath. Wait about 15 minutes before taking them out, or let them cool completely. They will be easier to peel if you leave them overnight, out of the water, dry in an airtight container, in the fridge.
To peel them more easily break the shell all over, gently, and proceed to remove it under running water, leaving a strainer underneath to collect the pieces.
Soft-boiled eggs and mollet
put plenty of drinking water to heat in a saucepan, pot or casserole large enough so that the eggs do not collide with each other. For a maximum of six eggs, we will need about three liters of water. Prepare a container with ice water and ice if you want them mollet.
When the water has started to boil at a gentle power, no strong gushingTake the eggs out of the fridge – wash them under the tap if they are dirty – and place them in the water one by one, using a soup spoon, gently dropping them on the surface.
Put the lid -optional-, if you have one, and cook them keeping that temperature for about 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat, scoop them out quickly with a slotted spoon, and serve immediately on an egg rest with a teaspoon.
For version mollet, cook them in boiling water at higher temperature for 5-7 minutes, rapidly cooling in ice water.
Recipes to take advantage of them
Boiled eggs enrich with protein dishes such as salads, hot and cold soups and creams, toasts, sandwiches, sandwiches, pasta dishes, stir-fries, stuffed vegetables, canapes, etc. If they are hard, they can be cut into wedges, slices or chopped, and if we leave them with the liquid yolk This will melt with the rest of the plate, creating a kind of succulent sauce that will also give uniformity to the whole.
Photos | iStock – Unsplash – Pixabay – Andrea Nguyen
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