A Quick Guide to Perfect Eggs: 22 Tips for a Primal Favorite
Primal eaters like eggs and eat many of them. What’s not to love? Highly bioavailable protein. Extremely nutrient dense. A good source of fat, including omega-3s if you pick the right type of egg. Versatile; good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It even comes in a tidy little package that travels well. And eggs are inexpensive, especially for the amount of nutrition and enjoyment you get. Yeah, eggs are good. Real good.
We don’t want to squander this precious gift from the feathered gods. So today, I’m giving you my top 22 tips, tricks, and guidelines to make the most of your eggs.
How to know if they’re spoiled. Place your eggs in a bowl of cold water. If they sink, they’re good. If they float, they’ve gone bad. If they start to float but keep one end on the bottom, they’re good but not for long. Also works for determining the guilt of suspected witches.
How to boil eggs to desired doneness. Place eggs in a pot or pan and fill with water until it reaches midway up the eggs. Remove the eggs and set aside. Bring the water to a boil at medium/medium-high heat (4 on a scale of 6). Return the eggs to the now-boiling water and cover the pot. For soft-boiled, remove eggs after 6 minutes 30 seconds. For medium-boiled, remove eggs after 8 minutes. For hard-boiled, remove after 10 minutes. After removing eggs, place under cold running water for at least 30 seconds. Drop the cooking time by 30-45 seconds if your eggs are room temperature.
Softer yolks are better for you than harder yolks. The harder the yolk, the more oxidized cholesterol (which coincidentally may not be huge issue for people who eat just a few eggs occasionally, but the more eggs you eat the more it matters). Softer yolks are just better, period.
How to peel boiled eggs. Tim Ferriss has a nifty trick where he cracks both ends, blows into it, and out pops the egg. I’ve had mixed results with this method, but if it works for you, it’s definitely the quickest way. I prefer to let the egg come to room temperature, either using cool water or time, and roll the eggs along the counter to create a web of mini cracks. This seems to separate the white from the shell and make peeling easier. Also: the fresher the egg, the more difficult it is to peel.
How to “boil” eggs and make them easily pop out of their shells. Use the steam setting on an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot, for two minutes (for soft-boiled), three minutes (for medium-boiled), and four minutes (for hard-boiled but not overdone). Place in ice water for a minute and the peel should slip right off.
How to eat boiled eggs. Two ways: kosher salt and kelp powder; or kosher salt, black pepper, and turmeric.
How to cook an omelet. Got 20 seconds, two eggs, and a tablespoon of butter? Do it like Julia Child, the master.
How to cook an omelet stuffed to the gills with several pounds of ingredients. You don’t, unless you like a huge ordeal and leathery eggs. If you want eggs with tons of ingredients, make a scramble.
How to scramble eggs. There are two acceptable ways. First is Gordon Ramsay’s method, which involves lots of whisking, lots of butter, and creme fraiche. Scrambled eggs this way come out soft and slightly wet. Another method is to heat butter (or olive oil) on a stainless steel pan over medium high heat, crack whole eggs into it, and let them cook a bit – as if you were doing sunny side up eggs. Right when the bottom begins to set, go to work with your spatula, chopping and cutting and breaking up the eggs. Scrambling, in other words. As with Ramsay’s method, take the eggs off before they fully cook.
How to fry an egg. Let the pan get hot over medium heat. Don’t rush it. Don’t be impatient. That blue stuff flickering down below the frying pan? That’s pure unadulterated fire. It’s really hot and it won’t be long until the pan is hot, too. If you don’t wait, the egg will stick to the bottom and you’ll have to soak it to get the egg off and the yolk will probably break prematurely and it’ll be a whole thing. Once a drop of water sizzles into nothingness against the surface, add the fat, let it melt. Crack in the eggs. Let a shape start to form, then you have a few options. 1. Drop in a tablespoon of water and cover the pan, steaming the egg. 2. Flip the egg and turn off the heat, letting the pan cook the other side. 3. Turn the heat down and let the egg continue cooking through to the other side. Oh, and the pan should be cast iron and well-seasoned.
How to poach an egg without ruining it. Poaching eggs is annoying, time consuming, and often messy, but you can’t deny that it’s impressive and delicious when you get it right. Forget the swirling vortex, the poaching contraptions, the agony, the heartache; poach your eggs in a mesh strainer. And use the freshest eggs possible.
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