How to cook an egg

The key to cooking eggs is gentle handling and lower heat.


We refer to eggs cooked in the shell as boiled, but eggs should never be boiled — the shells could crack, and boiling will make the whites rubbery and the yolks dry.

Use this technique for the perfect soft-boiled egg: Put cold eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with cold water until there is at least an inch above the eggs. Put the lid on the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately remove pan from heat to stop boiling. Let eggs stand in water 3 to 4 minutes or until cooked as desired. Remove eggs and rinse under cold water. Cut off larger end with a sharp knife. Place in eggcups and season with salt and pepper. Serve with toast soldiers.


Use fresh eggs with thick whites. Bring at least 4 cups of water to boil in a wide mouthed saucepan. Break the egg gently into a cup first, then slide into the water. The whites will feather a bit — coax them around the yolks with a flat whisk. When the water boils, reduce to low and simmer until set, about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and use a cloth or paper towel to pat the bottom of the egg dry.


The goal of soft and creamy scrambled eggs, even for those who like their eggs scrambled hard, can be achieved by doing this: whisk the eggs in a bowl with water, not milk. Water creates steam, helping the eggs stay fluffy; milk creates tough scrambled eggs.

Melt a large knot of butter in the pan (or use olive oil for a different flavour) even if you are using a non-stick pan. Never let the pan get too hot. When you pour in the eggs, let them set for a moment, then start slowly stirring with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, creating pillowy mounds of egg. Take off the heat a few moments before they are done; the eggs will finish cooking in the pan.