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Food Lab: The Science of Perfectly Boiled Eggs

If your hard boiled eggs always turned out with dull yolks and shoe-like-whites–don’t hang your head in shame, mine often do–this science-based exploration of perfectly boiled eggs is for you.

Food blog Serious Eats shares a detailed examination of what makes for the perfect soft and hard boiled egg. You’ll learn all about the science of egg cooking, what temperatures produce what results, how to control your egg cooking environment for desired outcomes, and more.

Ever wonder why, for example, when you over cook your eggs the yolk gets a gross tinge to it and a poor taste? When the yolk gets above 170 degrees the sulfur in the egg whites reacts with the iron in the yolks and creates ferrous sulfide.

Check out the article below to learn more about the science of boiling eggs.

The Food Lab: Perfect Boiled Eggs [Serious Eats]

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/14/11

Comments (12)

  1. Slant

    Step 1: don’t buy crap eggs.

  2. Jason Fitzpatrick

    For the curious… I tried out the techniques in the article this afternoon. It was delicious. I snagged a couple eggs out halfway through and ate them soft boiled and then finished them off for perfect golden yolks. So freaking good.

  3. KB Prez

    Here’s a VERY SIMPLE recipe for perfectly boiled eggs. Unlike the Serious Eats recipe, this one requires no thermometer…

    Place eggs in pot and add enough cold water to cover them.
    Season with a pinch of salt.
    Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.
    Cook for 2 mins.
    Remove pot from heat, cover with a lid, and allow eggs to sit for 11 mins.
    Drain and then cool the eggs for 2 mins in ice water.
    Drain off water and then peel.
    PERFECT every time!

  4. HKB

    how is this related to Geeking??

  5. Vin

    @HKB
    Well, thermometer was used…

  6. Paul Underdown

    Geeking has the word egg in it!!

    Put enough water in the pan to cover the eggs.
    Turn stove on high(I use a gas stove)
    Set timer for 20 minutes
    After 20 minutes, turn heat off and drain off water.
    Shake eggs around in pan to crack the shells
    Fill with cold tap water
    After 9 minutes, drain and peel.

    That’s my recipe for the perfect boiled egg!!

  7. ZenRuth

    This geezer’s heart is kvelling! And I thought geeks didn’t cook! Next thing you know, ya’ll will be comparing tuna fish salad recipes!

  8. KB Prez

    @ZenRuth, LOL!

  9. jon_hill987

    For the perfect egg:

    Break into a hot pan with some vegetable oil of your choice at the bottom. Turn over as soon as it has solidified enough to do so. With the yolk still runny put on top of your fried bread or in your sandwich with brown sauce.

  10. sVen

    Alas, no more yolks for me, since surgery. But I buy a quart of egg-whites occasionally. Fry some in a medium heat skillet, with cooking spray. Add a sprinkling of lemon-pepper when it’s on the plate. Pretty good.

  11. Buffet

    Being a bodybuilder, I eat an average of two to three dozen eggs a day. The only efficient way is to prepare them ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator. This necessitates boiling them as opposed to other methods. Just wanted to say thanks to the author and everyone who commented for their useful ideas.

  12. Techj@Mobile and latpops

    That is real a geeks egg..

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