They say a chef's hat has 100 folds, one for each way the chef knows to cook an egg. That's an egg-ceptional level of knowledge all wrapped up in one single hat. Now, those yolks – I mean, folks – dedicate ages to learning all of those recipes and styles. You can earn yourself 7 percent of a chef's hat with way less egg-fort.
(OK, that one was a stretch. I'll knock it off with the egg puns – I just "crack" myself up.)
Here are seven ways to cook an egg that you can add to your breakfast repertoire:
Scrambled eggs are simple and quick, which makes them perfect for figuring out how to work with eggs as a beginner. When you scramble, you can get a feel for how long it takes eggs to cook to different consistencies. This will come in handy when you're learning to make more complicated styles.
To make perfect scrambled eggs, crack them into a mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix them until they're an even, bright-yellow color. Pour in just a little bit of milk to give some extra fluff, add your favorite seasonings, and, again, whisk to mix. Warm a pan over the stove on medium heat, and melt a pat of butter. Pour the egg mixture into the pan, and use a wooden spoon to stir it while it cooks. It may take some practice, but with time, you'll know how to stir perfectly so that all of the egg is evenly firm.
Boiled eggs are low-effort, but they do require a little bit of a skilled hand. Timing is everything with boiling eggs, so make sure you're able to get back to the eggs once it's time to take them off the heat. To boil eggs, place them in a small saucepan. Add just enough water so that the eggs are covered, and set it on the stove. Heat the water until it boils, and then turn the heat down so it's at a simmer. For soft-boiled eggs, let it simmer for about four minutes. Leave it for 10-12 minutes for perfect hard-boiled eggs.
Once the eggs are done, remove them from heat and let them sit for 5-10 minutes so they can cool to a safe temperature. If you want to speed up the process, you can submerge soft- or hard-boiled eggs in ice water or put them in a strainer and run cool water overtop. Once they've cooled, roll them firmly between your hands to evenly crack the egg. Then you should be able to peel away the shell and get to the yumminess underneath.
3. Sunny Side Up
The great thing about sunny side up eggs is that they seem super complicated, but are actually fairly simple. The three tricks to making a perfect sunny side up egg are time, patience, and a little bit of practice to get the heat right. Place a pan on the stove over medium heat, and pour in 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil. The exact amount should depend on the size of your pan, but you want just enough to make a little pool in the middle of your skillet. You can also use butter for this, but your final product will be a little more browned – canola oil gives you that picture-perfect look.
You want your skillet hot enough that when you crack your egg, it stays clear for a few seconds before turning white. This is the perfect temperature. Drop in your egg, and leave it alone for 30-60 seconds, until the whites start to become opaque on the bottom. Once this happens, start spooning the hot oil onto the egg whites – leave the yolks alone for a minute. The hot oil will cook the tops of the eggs, so they're not half-cooked, half-slime. Once the whites have set, start spooning the oil over the yolk. You'll only need to do this three to five times for the egg to be done – remove it from the skillet with a slotted spoon and admire your work.
4. Over Easy/Medium/Hard
Frying an egg is fast, it's easy and it gives you three different ways to cook eggs when you invite over picky guests. Start by warming butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat. Test the skillet's temperature by sprinkling some water into it – as soon as the water starts to jump around, you're good to go. Crack in your egg, and let it cook on one side until the edges are brown. Flip it, and let it cook on the other side for about 30 seconds. Voila! You have one egg, over easy.
To make your eggs over medium or over hard, leave them in the pan a little bit longer. For medium, you'll want to wait to flip it until the white looks just a little runny on top, and then cook for another 30 seconds. For hard, wait the same length of time to flip it, but leave it on the other side for a full minute.
Baked eggs couldn't be easier, and they're the perfect breakfast choice for busy mornings when you have lots to do. Heat your oven to 350 degrees, grease a muffin tin with cooking spray, and crack an egg into each cup. Season the egg with salt and pepper, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until they're the right balance of runny and firm for your liking.
Looking for a breakfast chock full of super-healthy fats? Use this same cooking method, but swap out the muffin tins for halved avocados arranged on a baking sheet, pop in the oven and let it bake!. Once they're all done cooking, you can eat your eggs right in their avocado containers. Sprinkle on some fresh herbs – chives, basil and oregano work well – and dig in!
Omelets are fairly easy, and they're sure to impress guests. Start by melting butter in a pan over medium heat. While the butter is melting, crack two eggs into a pour-friendly container (liquid measuring cups work great). Whisk vigorously, and add in a splash of milk, just like for scrambled eggs. Once the egg is fully mixed, pour it into your skillet. Let it spread so it lays flat in the pan, and leave it to cook. At this point, you can add your ingredients – cheese, ham and spinach are a stellar combination.
Once the bottom of the egg is firm, scoot your turner underneath one side of the egg and flip it so the egg is folded over on itself. Let it cook in this position for about 30 seconds, and then flip the whole thing so the other side will be evenly cooked. If you like, you can add some extra cheese on top at this stage – the heat from the skillet will make it perfectly melty.
Poaching an egg is one of those cooking methods that's simple in theory but often incredibly tricky in practice. Here's how you poach an egg on the stove: Bring a small pot of water to a steady simmer. Crack your egg into a bowl, and use a spoon or spatula to stir the simmering water so it forms a whirlpool. Gently pour the egg directly into the center of the whirlpool. Theoretically, the whirlpool will keep the runny whites together. If this doesn't happen, use your spoon to gently push the whites into the egg and hold them there for a couple of seconds. Cover the pot, and leave it be for five minutes. Then, use a slotted spoon to gently lift your poached egg out of the water and onto your plate.
That's the official way to do it. However, it is by no stretch of the imagination the easiest. Here's a simpler process – crack your eggs into the Microwave Egg Cooker, one in each cup. Add just enough water into each cup that the whites are a little bit submerged. Pop the cooker into the microwave, and let the eggs cook for a minute and half. Let them sit for a moment, as they'll continue cooking out of the microwave. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon, and you're all done!