How to not boil an egg

You wouldn’t believe the difficulty we’ve had boiling eggs. There was this set of instructions we liked on the internets, but we neglected to print it out and now the site is gone. Just about everywhere insists that the way to do it is:

  1. Put the eggs in a saucepan in cold water
  2. Bring the water to a rolling boil
  3. Take off heat, cover, and let sit for twelve minutes.
  4. Chill the eggs in ice water

This resulted in about a dozen not-particularly boiled eggs. The technique is far more fiddly than you might think depending on the size of the sauce pan, the material your sauce pan is made of, whether or not Mercury is in retrograde, etc.

Here’s the one that works for us:

  1. Put the eggs in a saucepan in cold water
  2. Bring the water to a rolling boil
  3. Reduce heat to a bare simmer for 12 minutes
  4. Chill the eggs in ice water

Image Credits: Thudfactor / John Williams

3 thoughts on “How to not boil an egg

  1. I always go for 18 minutes off the heat, and they come out fine. There may be some altitude level differences though between here and there that make things different.

    • The eggs cook based on how rapidly the water they are in loses temperature. If the vessel you are cooking in loses temperature slowly, you can get away with this trick; if it loses temperature rapidly, it either lengthens the cook time or the water will get too cold to cook the eggs all the way through.

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