Boiling an egg sounds so easy to all of us. All you need to do is put the eggs in water and boil them for some time. Nevertheless, the aftereffect of this simple cooking procedure is not always desirable. You might have already seen outcomes, like an overboiled egg, cracking of the eggshell in between boiling, and difficulty in peeling the shell of boiled eggs. The point is that even the easiest cookery methods require a certain amount of care from the cook's end. For boiling an egg perfectly, proper timing is pivotal along with bearing in mind other culinary basics.
Some useful tips for making perfect boiled eggs
Φ Low temperature setting and using an appropriate size utensil for cooking. We tend to boil eggs immediately after taking them out from the refrigerator. If cold eggs are put directly in hot water, it increases the chances of cracking.
Φ So, the answer for 'how to boil an egg without cracking the shell' is to set the chilled eggs aside for some time to let them attain the room temperature.
Φ Also, you can consider pin pricking at one end of the egg so that the pressure built inside the egg, during boiling, escapes through it and reduces the chances of cracking.
Soft Boiling an Egg
➜ Soft-boiled eggs have a nearly set egg white with a fairly liquid or creamy yolk. For cooking perfect soft-boiled eggs, take a small saucepan (or medium-sized one if you are boiling many eggs), and pour enough water to cover the eggs by approximately 1 cm.
➜ Gently place the eggs at the bottom, one by one, with the help of a tablespoon. Put the saucepan over high heat and wait till the water starts boiling.
➜ Immediately reduce the heat to a simmering temperature and strictly note the timings. If you love the taste of a true soft-boiled egg, remove the container from heat after 3 minutes.
➜ In case, you like an already set egg white with a creamy yolk, set the simmering time to 4 minutes. Thereafter, run the boiled eggs under water to cool them down.
Hard Boiling an Egg
► Making perfect hard-boiled eggs is a bit simpler than making soft-boiled ones. This is because the timing is not so stringent in hard boiling eggs.
► Place the eggs in a saucepan, and slowly pour some water to cover them till the level reaches to about half an inch above the eggs.
► Place the saucepan over a burner, set at a high temperature. Bring the water to a boil, and thereafter, let it boil for exactly 3 minutes at this high temperature. Following this, remove the saucepan from the heat and cover the lid.
► Allow the eggs to set for about 8 minutes. Then, place the hard-boiled eggs under running water to cool them down.
Boiling an Egg so it Peels Easily
➜ Difficulty in peeling boiled eggs is a common incidence with freshly laid eggs. In case you feel that they are not even 4 days old, then do not forget to increase the boiling time by 30 seconds.
➜ Follow the same steps of hard boiling an egg. After allowing the eggs to stand in water for 8 minutes, transfer them to ice water.
➜ Keep the boiled eggs in ice till the ice melts completely. This way, you can peel the shell easily, without shredding the boiled eggs.
➜ Another alternative is to add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in the water.
➜ Allow this water to boil for 7 minutes, and let the eggs stand in hot water for another 3 minutes. Then, run them under cold water for the easy peeling of the eggshell.
If you follow these above methods, you do not have to deal with unpleasantly cracked or rubbery-textured overcooked eggs. Never overboil the eggs else you will notice a grayish green layer on the yolk part. In such a case, the egg white becomes very difficult to digest. Overboiling also reduces the nutritional value of eggs to a certain extent. So, if you know for how long to boil an egg, you can make perfect boiled eggs for a healthy breakfast and benefit from all the nutrition it has to offer.