From French omelette to boiled, fried, scrambled, deviled, and poached eggs… eggs are a truly tasty, versatile, and affordable ingredient in your home kitchen.
Cooking eggs is all about two things: (1) technique and (2) timing. If you get these two right, you’ll make eggs like a Michelin star chef every time you fire up your stove.
Check out our list of 7 classic and easy-to-follow recipes that you can get inspired from to cook perfect eggs for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner.
#1. Soft Boiled Eggs
Soft boiled eggs have firm whites and soft yolks. Some folks like their yolks thick and runny. Others prefer them mostly set and, in a way, jammy. Here’s how you can make both.
It’s All About Cooking Time
Making soft boiled eggs is all about timing. In a raw egg, the proteins are folded and curled up. When you cook the egg, the heat causes the proteins to uncurl and connect to one another.
The longer you keep the egg in boiling water, the ‘hotter’ the egg becomes on the inside. Which means the proteins will bond stronger to one another. As a rule, the egg white becomes tighter and the egg yolk firmer. This is why you should never overcook eggs; they’ll become rubbery.
If you boil eggs at a temperature between 85°C / 185°F and 90°C / 194°F, here’s how cooking time will affect them:
- 2 minutes cooking time = whites not fully set, raw yolk;
- 4 minutes cooking time = whites fully set, thick and runny yolk;
- 6 minutes cooking time = whites fully set, yolk mostly set but still runny;
- 8 minutes cooking time = whites fully set, yolk mostly set but tender;
- 10 minutes cooking time = whites fully set, yolk fully set.
My two cents? Have your phone’s timer app handy when boiling eggs. Or, as in my case, get an Alexa Echo, a.k.a. the most talkative timer in the world.
Experiment until you find the best cooking time for your tastes and preferences.
Making the Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs
If you keep eggs in the fridge (as most people do), take them out and let them warm up at room temperature for anywhere between half an hour and one hour.
Bring the water up to a boil, then lower it to a gentle boil. Add 1 to 4 eggs to the pot. Now start counting.
To make eggs with a thick and runny yolk, cook in a gentle boil for 4 to 5 minutes. Leave to chill in an ice water bath for 5 minutes. Crack, peel, and serve.
For eggs with a mostly set and jammy yolk, cook for 6 to 7 minutes (less time for smaller eggs and more time for bigger eggs). Put the eggs in a bowl of ice water and chill for 5 minutes. Crack, peel, and serve.
Home cooking is all about making delicious food for you and your loved ones, and having fun along the way! It’s also about creating your family recipes as you cook more and more over time.
Soft boiled eggs make for the perfect experiment:
- Take 3 eggs and put them in a gentle boil;
- Countdown 6 minutes and start to take each egg out at different times (6:00 minutes, 6:30 minutes, 7:00 minutes);
- Write down the time for the one you liked the most in your cookbook.
#2. Hard Boiled Eggs
Here’s how to make egg-cellent hard boiled eggs (pun intended) every single time.
How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs
Take the eggs out of the fridge and let them warm up at room temperature for 30 minutes to one hour. Big differences in temperature can cause the eggs to cook unevenly.
To make hard boiled eggs, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, then reduce down to a gentle boil. Add the eggs to the pot and countdown 10 to 12 minutes (less for smaller eggs and more for larger eggs).
When the time has passed, fish them out and leave them to chill in ice water for 5 minutes. Crack, peel, and serve.
How Long Can I Keep Hard-Boiled Eggs in the Fridge?
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says that you can keep a hard-boiled egg in the fridge, in the shell or peeled, for up to 1 week after cooking. If you’re about to have a really busy day or week, hard-boil a bunch of eggs in advance and use them in your lunch or dinner prep.
Unless you like cold hard boiled eggs straight from the fridge (I personally don’t), put them in a heat proof bowl, pour boiling water until the eggs have completely been submerged, and leave for 10 minutes. Then crack, peel, and serve.
#3. Fried Eggs
I’ll never forget my first real English breakfast. I was in an old hotel near Hyde Park in London. It was dark and cozy, with creaky wooden floors covered in carpet, aristocratic furniture in the rooms and common areas, and walls decorated with wallpaper.
Early in the morning, I went looking for where they served breakfast. Turned out there was a small dining area in the basement you could reach by going down a set of spiral stairs. “We only serve english breakfast on Sundays, sir,” I was greeted. Fine by me! “How would you like the eggs, sir?”
“Fried, I said.” I waited patiently and then came the most traditional and tasty English breakfast I’ve ever had in my life. Bacon, sausage, and blood pudding. Charred sliced tomatoes and mushrooms. Beans in tomato sauce. And a couple of eggs fried to perfection.
Every time I fry eggs, I try to recreate that time in the basement restaurant in London.
How to make the perfect fried eggs?
- Use a non-stick pan. My personal favorite is the Lodge 8-inch cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one handy, you could also use a ceramic- or teflon-coated pan;
- Heat your pan to medium-high temperature. Brush it with extra virgin olive oil and/or a cube of butter. If you’re adding butter, melt the butter before adding the egg;
- Crack the egg into a bowl first, then pour it gently into the skillet. Doing so will give you more control and precision over how you pour the egg;
- For sunny-side-up eggs, fry the eggs until the whites are set, but the yolks are still soft and jammy. Or flip them over and cook for 15-30 seconds for over-easy eggs;
- Slide the eggs out of the pan and into your plate. Season with salt (best to use sea salt, kosher salt, or Himalayan pink salt) and black pepper. Serve while still hot.
If you’re making bacon and eggs, cook the bacon first, then use the bacon fat as an alternative to butter and/or olive oil.
Just like with soft boiled and hard boiled eggs, play around with the cooking temperature and cooking time until you discover the perfect recipe for you.
#4. Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are soft, creamy, and yummy. Here’s how to make them in your home kitchen.
Use a non-stick pan. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet, a ceramic skillet, or a teflon skillet will do. That’s not to say you can’t cook scrambled eggs in stainless steel; it will be one notch harder compared to using a non-stick surface.
My scrambled recipe only has eggs, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil.
You can, however, add some milk, cream, or yogurt to your egg mix if you like your scrambled eggs creamier. Just don’t go too heavy with it because too much milk or cream will water down the eggs.
Crack 3-4 eggs in a bowl, add a pinch or sea salt, and whisk them by hand well. To avoid shell contamination, crack the eggs on a flat surface like a cutting board or your kitchen countertop.
Mix the eggs thoroughly to prevent strands of egg whites; you want your scrambled eggs to have a consistent texture. Whisk the eggs for 40-60 seconds and you’re ready to move on.
Brush the pan with extra virgin olive oil and heat up on low heat. This is the key to making soft and creamy scrambled eggs. If you use medium or high heat, you’ll end up making an omelette.
Start swirling and sweeping with a spatula as soon as you add the eggs to the frying pan. Don’t stop until the eggs are cooked to small curds.
When the scrambled eggs are soft and still a little runny, they’re done. Slide them onto a plate, leave for a minute or two (during that time, the scrambled eggs will continue to cook until their internal temperature drops).
Serve on a slice of grilled whole wheat bread or rye bread and complement with cherry tomatoes and mushrooms.
Is there an egg dish more popular than the French omelette? A dish so simple, yet so hard to make. In cooking school, they teach culinary students that a chef is only as good as the omelet they can make.
Surprisingly to some, it comes from a rich history. Food historians say the omelette recipe has been around since ancient Persia, or 6th century BC. Much later on, in the 16th century, the French started calling it ‘omelette.’ But medieval French guidebooks used the terms ‘alumete’ and ‘alumelle’ for the recipe two centuries before.
My favorite omelette is fluffy and soft. Here’s how I make it:
- Crack 3-4 eggs on a flat surface and into a bowl. Add sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper;
- Whisk well, for at least a minute, until the whites and yolks have turned into a consistent egg mixture;
- Brush a non-stick skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Over medium heat, pour in the eggs and tilt the pan, so that they fully cover its surface;
- As the eggs start to set, use a rubber spatula to drag the cooked edges into the center of the skillet. Tilt the pan to let uncooked eggs move to the edge of the pan;
- Once the bottom is set and the top is still soft and runny, fold in two. Slide out of your skillet and on to a plate;
- Before you serve, sprinkle fresh chives on top of your omelette.
Personally, I don’t add milk or dairy to my omelette. But if you like to do so and you prefer the taste (your home, your kitchen, your rules), why not? You could add whole milk, cream, Greek yogurt, or even cheese.
When I do feel like adding cheese to an omelette, I go for Greek Feta cheese, English Mature Cheddar cheese, or Swiss Gruyère. I don’t add the cheese to my mixture, but instead shred it on top of my omelette before I do the fold. That way, I get a slightly-melted cheesy middle.
#6. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are great for Easter, spring parties, and summer picnics. Here’s how to make them.
Hard boil as many eggs as you plan to make. For dinner at home, I find that 3-4 eggs will do. For a house party or picnic, you’ll probably want to make some more.
For a reminder on how to make hard boiled eggs, go back to recipe #2 in this list. For deviled eggs, your optimal cooking time is between 8 and 10 minutes.
As soon as you’re done boiling the eggs, put them in an ice water bath and leave them to chill for 15 minutes. This will make your life much easier when you start to peel them! Crack and peel the eggs, then slice each in half lengthwise.
Using a spoon, scoop out the yolks to a bowl. I like to use a tea spoon for this since it’s big enough to scoop out the yolks, but not too big to slice into the whites; you want them intact for the rest of your recipe.
Smash the egg yolks into a paste-like mixture with a fork. Add mayonnaise (my favorite is Heinz Seriously Good Mayonnaise or Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise), Dijon mustard (there’s no better than Grey Poupon here), apple cider vinegar, and salt (sea salt, kosher salt, or Himalayan pink salt).
Place the right amount of the mixture back into the sliced egg whites. Sprinkle some sweet paprika on top of each deviled egg for some color.
To go beyond the classic deviled eggs recipe, consider adding diced pickles or pickle relish to the egg yolks, and/or sprinkling fried bacon bits on top of the deviled eggs. If you like spicy food, you could sprinkle hot instead of sweet paprika, or even some jalapeño peppers to the yolk mix.
#7. Poached Eggs
Last but not least on our list of 7 delicious ways to cook eggs at home are poached eggs. Simple and delicious, but notoriously hard to make. The egg whites are firm enough to keep a golden runny yolk in the middle. The egg is delicate, tender, and rich in taste.
Make sure your eggs are as fresh as possible. Use organic eggs, ideally ones you bought from a local store this morning. The fresher the eggs, the tighter the whites and the better the shape when you poach them.
Making poached eggs doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s all about technique and time. Here’s how to do it:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. As soon as the water starts boiling, reduce the temperature to low. You want no bubbles on the surface;
- Crack the eggs on a flat surface to avoid shell contamination. Pour them onto a fine mesh sieve. You’re doing this to remove the liquid egg whites;
- Give the sieve a swirl until you’ve strained out all the liquid egg whites. Then pour the egg onto a small bowl or ramekin. This will make it easier for you to pour the eggs onto the pot of water;
- Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the water and swirl the water to a vortex;
- Drop your egg into the middle of the vortex and set your timer for 3 minutes;
- Use a spoon to fish out the poached egg and serve it up.
Contrary to popular belief, don’t add salt to the water. It’s going to add density to the water and the egg is going to have a hard time holding their shape.
When making a vortex, cook only one poached egg at a time. It will take you a while, but it’s totally worth it.
That concludes our list of 7 delicious ways to make eggs at home. These classic, easy to follow recipes will help you cook amazing egg dishes for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner.
Remember, cooking eggs is all about technique and timing. As long as you follow the correct technique and stay punctual with your cooking time, you’re going to get a fantastic result every time.
Which recipe is your favorite? And how have you tweaked them to your and your family’s liking?
Let me know in the comments below 🙂 .