11 Ways You’re Cooking Eggs All Wrong

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Common mistakes you make while cooking eggs, and easy ways to fix them
Peeling Eggs

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11 Ways You’re Cooking Eggs All Wrong

Eggs

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Eggs are a staple ingredient in many classic recipes, from frittatas to baked Alaska, but on their own, they can be dry and tasteless. The mistakes that render them that way are easily fixable, and will improve your cooking techniques for tastier eggs.

Cracking Eggs on the Side of a Bowl

Cracking Eggs

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Crack eggs on a flat surface, not the side of a bowl, to prevent eggshells from landing in your food. Also, crack eggs into a small bowl before adding them to whatever you’re making, so you can scoop out any rogue pieces of shell.

Dropping Eggs in Boiling Water

Boiling Eggs

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Don’t add eggs to a pot of boiling water; you’ll end up burning your fingers, cracking the egg, or both. Place the eggs in cold water, and then bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes (about five minutes for a runny yolk) in the hot water. Overcooking eggs will result in a sulfurous smell. Then plunge the eggs into an ice bath, with cold water running over the top of them, to completely stop the cooking process.

Trying to Peel Cold Hard-Boiled Eggs

Peeling Eggs

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After boiling the eggs and setting them in an ice bath, start peeling the hard-boiled eggs, as soon as they’re cool enough to handle.

Over-Cooking Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

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Most people overcook their eggs when scrambling them, because they cook over a high heat. Scramble your eggs over a low to medium heat, gently stirring them with a fork or spatula as they cook. This allows for curds to form, leading to silky scrambled eggs, rather than dry ones.

Over-Beating Eggs

Omelette

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Don't overbeat the eggs before adding them to the pan, as this will result in flat, dense omelettes. Add a little bit of water or cream to make your omelettes light and fluffy.

 

Poaching Old Eggs

Poached Egg

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When poaching, older eggs will spread out more in the water than fresh eggs. Old eggs develop air pockets in the top and will be runnier than new eggs. Avoid using older eggs for poaching, and keep them for other egg-cooking techniques, such as hard boiling or scrambling.

Poaching Eggs With Salt

Poached Eggs

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Add a little bit of vinegar (no salt) to simmering (not boiling) water. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, and then gently drop the poached eggs into an ice bath to stop the cooking process, and to wash the vinegar off. When you’re ready to eat, heat the poached eggs up in boiling water for 1 minute.

Only Poaching Eggs in Water

Shakshuka

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The easiest way to poach an egg is to do it in sauce instead of in water, for dishes like shakshuka or eggs in purgatory. Fill the base of a pan with tomato sauce or chopped tomatoes and create little craters for the eggs. Cover with a lid and heat until cooked through, for a quick and easy meal.

Not Using Nonstick Cookware

Fried Eggs

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Nonstick pans are better than stainless steel or cast-iron for most egg dishes because you want to avoid the egg sticking to the pan, and you don’t want browned eggs.

 

Seasoning at the Wrong Time

Seasoning

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Season the eggs before you cook them, not after. For scrambled eggs and omelettes, add salt and pepper while whisking, or even before you start cooking, to ensure the eggs are evenly seasoned.

 

Not Freezing Egg Whites

Egg Whites

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Don’t waste unused egg whites. Instead, store them in the freezer. When thawed, these whites actually whip better than fresh whitse for dishes like meringues or macarons.