Eggs 101

Learn the basics of eight easy ways to cook eggs

By Jane RodmellJane Rodmell

Eggs are an easy and versatile food that can be served at any meal. There are hundreds of ways to cook eggs—we’ve picked out the basics that everyone should know.

A good general rule, with only a few exceptions, is to cook eggs over medium-low heat, and do not overcook.

 

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Soft-boiled eggs

Photo by Craig Hatfield

The perfect soft-boiled egg has a slightly thickened, yet still runny yolk and a soft, just-set white. Use a large enough pan to cover eggs with at least an inch of water. Bring the water to a boil; reduce heat so water is just above simmering point, with a few bubbles breaking the surface. Gently lower egg into water with a spoon. Set timer for 3-5 minutes, depending on how soft you like your egg. To prepare ahead, plunge the soft-boiled egg into ice-cold water to cool completely; reheat by immersing in hot water for a minute. If you are boiling a large number of eggs at once, put them in a basket and lower them all into the water at the same time to ensure even cooking.


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