How to Hard Boil and Soft Cook Eggs

Following a few simple steps ensures that you'll make perfect eggs every time.

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How-To: Hard-Boil and Soft-Cook Eggs

Simple steps to making perfect eggs every time.

Step 1: Place the Eggs in a Pan of Water and Bring to a Boil

For hard-boiled eggs, put the eggs in a pan and cover them with cold water. This way you'll have less of a chance of breaking them. Bring to a boil, put a lid on it and turn off the heat. Let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2: Cool the Eggs

Cool in a bowl of cold water until they're no longer hot when you touch them. Tip: Don't boil the eggs; that is what turns the yolks green and pungent (eggy in a bad way).

Step 3: Crack the Egg

When you're ready to eat them, crack all over and start to peel at the air pocket on the rounder end.

Step 4: Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

You can store hard-boiled eggs peeled or unpeeled for about a week in the refrigerator. They are great deviled or in egg salad — or even added to mac and cheese and casseroles. Tip: Hard-boiled eggs are perishable; don't let them sit at room temperature for more than two hours.

Step 5: Soft-Boiled Eggs

Boil the water first and drop in the egg very gently. If you're making more than one, start timing when the water returns to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. In about 3 to 4 minutes you'll have the perfect consistency: tender-set egg whites with a creamy yolk.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

Serve immediately in an egg cup or scoop it out of the shell. Tap the shell with a spoon or a butter knife while you turn it. Then slice, remove and dig in. These are great with toast or salad — perfect eggs every time.