A Quick Guide on How to Make Eggs

Learn the different ways to prepare eggs

Eggs are loaded with vitamins, minerals, high-quality proteins, good fats and various other lesser-known nutrients. They are found is so many varieties of dishes. They are a staple in most homes no matter whether you are on a low-carb diet or not.

For the beginning cook, it is hard to think of a better place to start than eggs. Eggs are easy, inexpensive, and a superfood. You can make them in many ways, combine them with almost any vegetable, and come up with a quick, delicious meal, not only for breakfast but, lunch, dinner, and dessert, too.

Take a look at these quick and easy steps to get you a nutritious meal in minutes.

1
Selecting Eggs

Multi-Colored Eggs
These multi-colored eggs come from different breeds of hens. Schedivy Pictures Inc/Getty Images

When you are buying eggs, open the carton and check to see the eggs are not cracked. The freshest and tastiest eggs come from locally sourced farms and local produce stands. The color of the shell makes absolutely no difference as to flavor or quality since different breeds of hens lay different colored eggs. As for organic, cage-free and pasture-raised eggs, there is some evidence that the nutrient profile in those eggs may be richer. 

2
How to Crack an Egg

Girl cracking an egg
Gregoria Gregoriou Crowe Getty Images

Contrary to popular belief, the best way to crack an egg is not to hit it on the edge of the pan or bowl. That method is more likely to push pieces of the shell into the egg. A better way to crack open an egg is to tap the egg on a flat surface such as the kitchen counter. Then, you can open the shell by spreading it apart with your thumbs, and gently place the contents where you want it to go without spilling it or adding eggshell to the mix.

3
Cooking Eggs is Easy

Confetti Scrambled Eggs
Confetti Scrambled Eggs. Diana Rattray

It's kind of a tossup whether fried, scrambled, or hard-boiled eggs are easier. They are all relatively very easy. The important thing to know is that eggs cook at a surprisingly low temperature. They start to cook at 145 degrees Fahrenheit and are fully cooked at 165 degrees. If you overcook eggs, they become rubbery, so restrain your impulse to crank the burner up too high. It is best to start with less heat, like medium-low to medium, until you get to know your own stove, pans, and preferences. ​

Safety Note: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that eggs be fully cooked, that means the whites and yolks should be cooked through, solid, due to the risk of salmonella. This is certainly the safest preparation method for infants, seniors, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems. If you like your yolks runny, pasteurized eggs are available in many areas. 

4
How to Fry an Egg

fried eggs
Los huevos son fritos pero no revueltos. (The eggs are fried but not scrambled.). Photo by JeffreyW; licensed via Creative Commons.

To fry an egg, melt about a tablespoon of butter in a nonstick pan, or use olive oil, bacon fat, or whatever fat you want to use. Crack the egg into the pan. It is probably best not to cook more than three at first until you get some practice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you get any pieces of eggshell in the pan, fish them out with a spoon. For a sunny-side up egg, cook for two to four minutes, until the egg white is set and the underside is beginning to brown.

If you want them "over," flip the egg carefully with a spatula, or just flip them using the pan. It takes practice, but it is fun. Then cook the egg a little longer— just a few seconds for "over easy," maybe 15 seconds for "over medium" and about 30 seconds to cook the yolk all the way through.

5
Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs. Leah Maroney

Basic scrambled eggs are very simple, and the variations are endless. Heat butter or another fat in a nonstick pan. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add about a tablespoon of cream, milk, or water per egg, and add salt and pepper. Scramble with a fork (use a rotating motion) until the mixture is fairly uniform. If you have a whisk, that's even better because incorporating more air will make the eggs fluffier. Pour the eggs into the heated pan. As they begin to thicken, stir with a heat-resistant spatula or a wooden spoon, moving them around the pan as they cook. Stop a little before they are done. The eggs will continue to thicken for a bit after you take them off the heat. You can get rubbery eggs if they overcook.

Add meats or veggies: Add some chopped parsley, chives, or other herbs as the eggs cook. Or make a scramble involving whatever vegetables or meats you would like into the pan first and cook them in the fat. Add spices. Then add the eggs, and cook as above.

Microwaveable scrambled eggs: Mix eggs in a microwave-safe bowl. If desired, add cheese and any other ingredients, such as cooked vegetables or chopped ham. Microwave on high for 45 seconds for one or two eggs, one minute for three eggs, and up to 90 seconds if there are a lot of ingredients. Stir the mixture. Then microwave at half-power in 30-second increments until the scramble mixture is done to your liking. Be sure to not overcook.

6
Hardboiled Eggs

Deviled Eggs With Bacon and Chives
Deviled Eggs With Bacon and Chives. Diana Rattray

Put the eggs in one layer at the bottom of a pot. Do not stack them. Add water until there is at least an inch of water over the eggs. If any float, take them out and throw them away; they are bad or very old. Bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover. Wait 12 minutes for large eggs, 15 minutes for extra-large. Drain, and cover with cold water. Add ice, or drain again and refrigerate. When fully cool, store as is or peel them. From there, it is only a couple of steps to Deviled Eggs.

Hard-boiling eggs is one of the few times that very fresh eggs are not the best to use because they are harder to peel. Eggs in the grocery store are probably at least a week old, and that is fine.

How to peel a hard-boiled egg: Roll it, squeezing gently, against the counter, so that the shell fills with cracks. Start at the larger end, and peel the shell off the egg.

7

french omelet
Classic French Omelette. Guillermo Murcia - Getty Images

Don't know an omelet from a frittata? An omelet is made by pouring scrambled eggs in a pan and folding fillings, like veggies, meats, or cheese, into the center. A frittata is scrambled eggs with the fillings mixed in and it is usually started in a pan, then finished in the oven.

There's a world of egg dishes beyond the basics. For example, Denver Casserole is super-simple—just mix eggs, sour cream, cheese, ham, onion, and peppers (or whatever vegetables you would like), and bake.

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