How to Cook Eggs in a Better Way

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    Today we will boil eggs …. Do you think there is nothing to be able to do here, and everything is elementary? Threw the eggs into the boiling water, after an unlimited number of minutes got it, and ready? It is not that simple! So I will give the boiled eggs a whole fast.

    For a start, I turned to my beloved Harold McGee.

    Let’s talk about eggs boiled in hard boiled eggs.

    According to McGee, boiling is not the best way to cook eggs. Turbulent water causes eggs to rotate, leading to cracking of the shell, leakage of protein.

    When the temperature at which eggs are boiled is much higher than the temperature of their coagulation, the outer layers of the protein become “rubber”. Eggs should be cooked at a temperature of 80ºC-85ºC. McGee advises cooking eggs for a couple. If you cook them in water, you will take 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of the egg and the way of cooking) on hard boiled eggs. After 10 minutes, the protein becomes white and elastic, and the yolk remains slightly moist and crumbly. After 15 minutes it becomes lighter, drier and granulated.

    Sometimes eggs are boiled for many hours to make the color and taste more vivid. For example, Chinese tea eggs are cooked until ready, then the shell is cracked lightly, and simmered in a mixture of tea, salt, sugar and spices to obtain a marbled and very fragrant elastic protein.

    What is a perfectly cooked egg?

    Correctly boiled egg has a firm, but gentle consistency. The shell remains whole and is easily cleaned, the yolk is in the center, its taste is tender and not sulfuric.

    To get a good texture and taste, you do not need to digest an egg. Any method, in which the temperature is much lower than the boiling point, will help to avoid digestion. After cooking, it is worth putting eggs in the icy water.

    How to fight against cracking of shell and shell, which is poorly scraped?

    First of all, boil the eggs with a “weak boil”. Paradoxically, but to be guaranteed to get a beautifully brushed egg, you need to use an old egg! This is due to the low PH protein of the fresh egg, which causes the protein to attach to the shell more tightly. A few days after laying eggs in the refrigerator, PH rises, and the shell is scraped easier. You can add a little soda to the cooking water to make it more alkaline. But this can enhance the sulfur flavor of eggs.

    If you need an “attractive” egg for slicing, use fresh eggs of good quality, and keep them in the refrigerator on your side. Although, the last rule has not been proven 100%, and it can not be fully relied upon.

    Green yolks

    It happens that a gray-green stain appears on the surface of the egg yolk of a hard-boiled egg. This harmless formation of iron and sulfur (iron sulphide). It is formed at the junction of protein and yolk, because there the sulfur from the protein comes into contact with the iron from the yolk. The alkaline environment of water and temperature increase are located at the “outflow” of sulfur atoms from protein proteins, after which sulfur reacts to iron on the surface layer of the yolk. The older the eggs, the faster this reaction takes place. High temperature and prolonged cooking also intensify this reaction.

    Minimize the “greening” of the yolk, using fresh eggs, cooking them as little as possible, and cooling immediately after cooking.

    Concerning soft-boiled eggs and a bag

    To these eggs, all the same cooking rules apply, only it is necessary to shorten the cooking time depending on the desired result.

    Let us turn to the terminology used by McGee:

    French oeuf à la coque is cooked only 2-3 minutes to get a warm but semi-liquid protein and yolk. We call these eggs – soft-boiled eggs.

    Coddled or “soft-boiled” eggs, cook 3-5 minutes to get a slightly hardened outer protein, semi-liquid inner and liquid warm protein.

    If we cook eggs 5-6 minutes (mollet eggs (from the French molle, “soft”), we get a semi-liquid yolk and a sufficiently elastic protein, in order to clear the whole egg from the shell.

    It seems to me that both options can be attributed to eggs cooked in a bag. Only everyone likes a different degree of welding. I prefer the second option.

    Can someone know how to call these two ways of cooking in Russian? What is the linguistic difference?

    From theory to practice

    After studying the theory, I decided to go to practice. So, McGee advises cooking eggs at a temperature of 80ºC-85ºC. How to do this? I never guessed it. After all, even if you first bring water to this temperature, even with very light boring, it will still rise to 95ºC in a couple of minutes, or even to 98ºC!

    I turned to the book Essentials of Professional Cooking. The book gives three options for cooking eggs in the shell.

    To these two general rules apply. Eggs need an hour before cooking from the refrigerator. You can heat them to room temperature, put in warm water for 5 minutes. Cold eggs can crack from the contrast of temperatures. The exact cooking time depends on the size of the eggs and the temperature.

    Option number 1

    1. Dip the eggs in boiling water, and then reduce the heat so that the eggs slowly boil, but do not bubble.
    2. Cook the necessary time:

    – Soft cooked ( soft ) 3 to 4 minutes

    – Medium cooked ( average ) 5 to 7 minutes

    – Hard cooked ( solid ) 12 to 15 minutes

    3. Cool immediately under a jet of cold water. Do not chill for long if you want to serve eggs warm. Hold on longer if you cook the eggs for later.

    4. Clean with a blunt end. For easier cleaning, keep eggs under cold water.

    Option number 2

    1. Put the eggs in a saucepan and pour in cold water.
    2. Let the water boil
    3. Reduce heat and cook the required time:

    – Soft cooked 1 minute

    – Medium cooked 3 to 5 minutes

    – Hard cooked 10 minutes

    Further, as in option number 2.

    Option number 3 (Only for eggs in a steep (hard boiled)

    Do the same steps as in version No. 2, but after the water boils, remove the pan from the fire, cover and let the eggs stand for 20 minutes.

    This is not all over. I decided to conduct an experiment.

    I took out 3 eggs from the refrigerator in advance, bought two days ago in the market. If you believe the seller, then at the time of purchase, the eggs were three days old. Weight – about 70 grams, that is, a perfect egg. By American standards this egg belongs to large. I cooked all three hard-boiled eggs.

    Immediately make a reservation. I can not give you the exact time and temperature for each egg size.

    To do this, I would need to use hundreds of eggs, stand for 2 weeks in the kitchen, and burn a bunch of electricity. If there is a sponsor, then I’m almost ready.

    But I think my conclusions will help you!

    In the first two variants, the minimum temperature I managed to reach was 92 degrees and with almost imperceptible boiling. In the third version, the water temperature at the time of removal from the fire was 95 degrees, and dropped to 70 degrees in 20 minutes. How to cook eggs at 80-85 degrees I never thought of. Any ideas?

    In the first variant I cooked 12 minutes.

    In the second 10 minutes.

    In the third, I kept eggs in hot water for 20 minutes.

    The result was the same for all three variants. The protein is very tender, elastic, but not rubbery. Yolk slightly moist in places and friable. That is, for a steeper yolk, it was necessary to add a few minutes. Eggs really cleaned better when I held them longer under a stream of cold water.

    Here’s a photo of one of the eggs in a section.
    All three options turned out the same, so I give one photo.


    Conclusion: the exact time of cooking you will determine for yourself by trial and error. This skill will come with time. It is important not to let the eggs boil furiously. Let the water slightly bubble, as in the photo.


    Pro salt

    I always added salt to water when cooking eggs. To ensure that they do not crack. Sometimes, the shell was still bursting. Interestingly, neither McGee nor Glisslein advised to add salt when cooking. About this they have not a word. I turned to Uncle Google.

    And the following information was found:

    And in the water, as we remember, salt was put from the very beginning. Once again the question arises: why is this necessary?

    In its natural form, egg white is a viscous liquid consisting essentially of water (88%) and protein, protein proper (11%). The long protein molecule under normal conditions under the influence of internal chemical bonds is folded into a sphere. Such balls float in water, not reacting with each other. This picture changes sharply with increasing temperature. The higher the temperature, the faster the water molecules move, the more vigorously they collide with the balls. In the end, the weak internal bonds of the protein balls break, and they turn into ribbons. These tapes are chemically bonded to each other, forming a strong and resilient three-dimensional network. We say: the protein curdled (although, paradoxically, for this, its molecules had to turn around).

    Deploy protein molecules can not only heat. Chemical bonds are of an electrical nature, and a change in the number of charged particles around the molecule can cause the molecular bonds to disintegrate spontaneously. So it happens when dissolved in water salts and other compounds that give ions. These charged ions contribute to the rapid formation of the protein network. In other words, in the salt water the protein coagulates faster. This is the meaning of salting water when cooking eggs: if the shell burst, the protein instantly curls up in the crack, sealing it tightly.

    It seems that I was mistaken.

    I did not add salt when cooking. Soda was advised by McGee not to add. When cooking eggs in three variants, the egg, which was lowered into boiling water, cracked most severely. The egg shell left to stand for 20 minutes did not burst the shell. And burst slightly at the egg, lowered into cold water. I think this is explained by the fact that with gradual heating, there is no sharp temperature drop. In general, I really liked the 3rd option for a hard-boiled egg, and I prefer the second for cooking soft-boiled eggs or in a bag.

    All! Next time we will cook poached eggs, and make omelettes. By the way, not without the help of Julia Child!

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