There are variations both in desired doneness and in the method of how eggs are boiled, and a variety of kitchen gadgets for eggs exist. These variations include:
- Starting temperature
- Room temperature (for more even cooking and to prevent cracking) or from a refrigerator; eggs may be left out overnight to come to room temperature, comparable to how it is advisable to bring meat to room temperature before roasting.
- Some pierce the eggs beforehand with an egg piercer to prevent cracking. There is much debate on this subject. Ekelund et al. in Why eggs should not be pierced claimed that pricking caused egg white proteins to be damaged and was therefore to be discouraged. Others recommend against this, or add vinegar to the water (as is sometimes done with poached eggs) to prevent the white from billowing in case of cracking. For this purpose, table salt can also be used.
- Placing in water
- There are various ways to place the eggs in the boiling water and removing: one may place the eggs in the pan prior to heating, lower them in on a spoon, or use a specialized cradle to lower them in. A cradle is also advocated as reducing cracking, since the eggs do not then roll around loose. To remove, one may allow the water to cool, pour off the boiling water, or remove the cradle.
- Eggs are taken straight from the refrigerator and placed in the steamer at full steam. The eggs will not crack due to sudden change in temperatures. At full steam, "soft-boiled" eggs are ready in 6 minutes, "hard-boiled" eggs at 8 minutes. As the eggs are cooked by a steam source, there is no variation of water temperature and hence cooking time, no matter how many eggs are placed in the steamer.
- Cooking time
- There is substantial variation, with cooking time being the primary variable affecting doneness (soft-boiled vs. hard-boiled). It usually varies from 15–17 minutes for large hard-boiled eggs and 1–4 minutes for large soft-cooked eggs. Depending on altitude above sea level and humidity densities in a given climate, one may require extended amounts of time to reach the soft-boiled stage, and in fact, may never reach a fully hard stage.
- Cooking temperature
- In addition to cooking at a rolling boil (at 100 °C), one may instead add the egg before a boil is reached, remove water from heat after a boil is reached, or attempt to maintain a temperature below boiling, the latter all variants of coddling.
- After eggs are removed from heat, some cooking continues to occur, particularly of the yolk, due to residual heat, a phenomenon called carry over cooking, also seen in roast meat. For this reason some allow eggs to cool in air or plunge them into cold water as the final stage of preparation.
- Boiled eggs may be served loose, in an eggcup, in an indentation in a plate (particularly a presentation platter of deviled eggs), cut with a knife widthwise, cut lengthwise, cut with a knife or tapped open with a spoon at either end, or peeled (and optionally sliced, particularly if hard-boiled, either manually or with an egg slicer).
Read more about this topic: Boiled Egg
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Famous quotes containing the word variations:
“I may be able to spot arrowheads on the desert but a refrigerator is a jungle in which I am easily lost. My wife, however, will unerringly point out that the cheese or the leftover roast is hiding right in front of my eyes. Hundreds of such experiences convince me that men and women often inhabit quite different visual worlds. These are differences which cannot be attributed to variations in visual acuity. Man and women simply have learned to use their eyes in very different ways.”
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