You will need a small saucepan, an egg, a large spoon and a timer.

Fill the pan with sufficient water to cover the egg. Place the pan on the hob and bring the water to a rolling boil. Gently lower the egg into the water with the spoon and reduce the heat to a gentle boil. Cooking times are based on medium-sized eggs stored at room temperature (for large eggs add 30 seconds extra):

HOW TO BOIL AN EGG Photo Gallery

• 3.5 minutes for soft-boiled.

• 4.5 minutes for a firmer set.

• 6-7 minutes for hard-boiled.

When done, lift the egg out of the water. For softer-boiled eggs, tap the top to crack the shell and prevent further cooking and serve. For hard-boiled eggs, drain the water from the pan and run the egg under cold water to cool it and prevent grey yolks.


Have two bowls, a saucer and a small cup ready. Carefully crack an egg onto the saucer. Place the cup over the yolk to contain it, then drain the egg white into one bowl. Tip the yolk into the remaining bowl. Repeat this process until all the eggs required are separated. Don’t skip the cup and saucer process – one broken yolk in the whites will ruin the whole batch.

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