10 Ways to Cook a Perfect Egg Slideshow
January 25, 2013
One of the most familiar forms of an egg, a scrambled egg is when the egg yolks and egg whites are beaten together and sautéed. Crawford tells us that the secret to scrambled eggs is that they have to be fluffy. "The key to fluffy scrambled eggs isto getair into the eggs with a utensil like a fork (maybe two) because air causes natural fluffiness," he says. "The fluffiness is what’s been lost in some flat scrambles. The product should look like whipped cream." The other important thing to remember when making scrambled eggs is to keep the heat at a moderate level so that they cook evenly and are evenly covered.
An over-easy egg is when an egg is cracked directly into a pan and is cooked on both sides. The specific description of an over-easy egg is when "the white [is] slightly runny but cooked [around] the edges, and [it has] a runny yolk," says Crawford. To perfectly cook an over-easy egg, cook it on high until just before smoking, wait 30-45 seconds, and then flip gently and immediately remove from the pan.
This is a carbonara-like recipe for pasta, except that you top the pasta with an over-easy egg. You’ll see that an over-easy egg is the perfect way to finish this dish, because it allows for the pasta to become clothed in the runny yolk without it becoming too wet from runny whites.
A sunny-side up egg is a fried egg that has only been cooked on one side, resulting in a runny yolk and set whites. This egg is close to an over-easy egg, except the yolk does not come into direct contact with the heat, so it will be slightly runnier. Also, the heat should be much lower than when cooking an over-easy egg.
Balsamic Fried Eggs
An over-medium egg is an egg cooked on both sides, but for longer than an over-easy egg. Start the way you’d cook an over-easy egg, but just cook for one minute on the second flip, says Crawford. The white will be firm around the yolk and the yolk will be medium-cooked.
If you’re one of those people who loves their bacon egg, and cheeses doused in yolk, then you probably also hate when the egg is too undercooked so that the egg whites are runny. This BLT sandwich cooks the egg over-medium, the perfect point at which the yolk will remain runny but the egg whites will be set.
A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked completely submerged in water. The egg white will be solid and the egg yolk soft. To make a poached egg, bring a pot of shallow water to a simmer and add a dash of an acid like white vinegar to poach the eggs in for three minutes. For the best results, says Crawford, use fresh eggs, and if you’re serving a crowd, take the restaurant approach and pre-poach the eggs and keep them in an ice water bath. Just drop them into simmering water for a few seconds before serving to heat them through.
Popular in the 1970s, a basted egg is an egg that is put in a pan with a little bit of water and broiled in the oven to set the whites. The yolk is extremely runny, while the whites are cooked through.
There’s no water added to this recipe, but contributor Yasmin Fahr adds some spinach and tomato to her eggs before baking them in the oven, giving the egg enough liquid to cook at a moist level, just like a basted egg.
A boiled egg is an egg that’s been cooked in boiled water in its shell. To make boiled eggs, cover a single layer of unshelled eggs with 1 inch of cool water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let sit for 12 minutes.
Crawford describes an omelette as a "fluffy folded egg dish," similar to scrambled, except that it’s folded over to resemble an envelope. Depending on where you are in the world, you’ll make your omelette a certain way, says Crawford. An American-style omelette involves making scrambled eggs, adding additional ingredients like cheese and vegetables while scrambling, and then folding it over. The French-version of an omelette is when you cook an egg in a small pan over medium to low heat, scramble it slightly, add the additional ingredients, and then let it set to form a seal on the bottom before folding. In layman’s terms, the difference between an American omelette and a French omelette is that a French one will have a smooth, golden skin (with no hint of the additional ingredients) on the outside, and the inside will be slightly runny.
We’re on team France when it comes to omelettes, and because Julia Child was the queen of French cooking, we always turn to her recipe when we go to make one.
Similar to over-medium eggs, the "hard" part of this egg refers to how done the yolk is. "For over hard eggs, on the first flip, you cook to over medium, then flip again and bust [the] yolks," says Crawford. After you break the yolk, you cook the entire egg through.
Mcdonald's Egg McMuffin
This recipe reminded us of a basted egg as well, but you’ll see that it’s also somewhat of an over-hard egg because the yolk has intentionally been broken. Instead of flipping the egg, though, the McDonald’s test kitchen adds a little water and cooks it in a covered pan until the entire egg is cooked through.
The basic definition of a frittata is "an omelette that never gets folded," says Crawford. Frittatas almost always have more additional ingredients than omelettes, say Crawford, and can be finished in a covered pan on the stove or in the oven.