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How to Boil an Egg

Learn the difference between soft-, medium-, and hard-cooked eggs as well as how to get the technique and timing right to avoid overcooking them. 

Sarah Breckenridge, videography by Gary Junken and Michael Dobsevage, editing by Cari Delahanty
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Learn the difference between soft, medium, and hard-cooked eggs and two different methods for making perfect hard-cooked eggs without overcooking them.

There are few things less appetizing than an overcooked hard-boiled egg: they’ve got that ugly gray ring around the yolk, and the white is tough and rubbery. There are a couple of culprits: one is just cooking the eggs too long. The other is actually boiling them. Because even though we call them soft- or hard-boiled eggs, the key to getting them just right is never let your water reach a true boil. (Read the article How to Boil an Egg for an at-a-glance guide on timing). In this video, you’ll learn the difference between soft-, medium-, and hard-cooked eggs, and we’ll teach you two different methods for making perfect hard-cooked eggs without overcooking them.

For more information on how to cook eggs perfectly, check out The Food Geek’s Guide to Cooking Eggs—it covers everything from how to tell if your eggs are fresh to how to make the best scrambled eggs. And for more recipes and ideas, view our slideshow featuring delicious ways to incorporate leftover hard-cooked eggs.


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