Here’s How to Cook an Egg Every Way

Everyone has an opinion on how to cook an egg. Wonder no more, egg lovers! Here's the right way to prepare this powerhouse protein. Filled with easy step-by-step instructions, this guide shows you how to cook eggs five ways: hard-cooked, poached, scrambled, over easy, and in an omelet.

5 Ways to Cook an Egg

An egg can be a real treat at breakfast, lunch or dinner—if it’s cooked well, that is. Here’s how our Test Kitchen gets it right every time. Follow these methods, and you’ll never have green yolks or runny whites again.

1. How to Hard Cook Eggs

Photo: Taste of Home

Step 1: Remove eggs from fridge 30 minutes before cooking to prevent cracking.

Step 2: Place eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan; add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring eggs to a boil over high heat.

Step 3: As soon as the water reaches a rolling boil, immediately remove pan from heat and cover. The residual heat in the water cooks the eggs (15 minutes for extra-large eggs, 12 for large, 9 for medium).

Step 4: Drain; shake the pan gently to crack the eggshells all over.

Step 5: Immediately submerge eggs in ice water; set aside to cool. Unpeeled, hard-cooked eggs will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. If peeled, store covered in cool water in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Step 6: Peel eggs from the large, rounded end under cool running water. Then pop them into a recipe like BLT Chicken Salad or Mom’s Super Stupendous Potato Salad.

Test Kitchen tip: Used to seeing green around your yolks? You’ve been cooking your eggs too long. This one is cooked perfectly.

2. How to Poach Eggs

Photo: Taste of Home

Step 1: Add 2 to 3 inches of water to a large saucepan or deep skillet and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to the point where water barely bubbles.

Step 2: Break eggs, one at a time, into small coffee cups.

Step 3: Holding a cup close to the surface, slide egg into the water.

Step 4: Cook the eggs until whites are completely set and yolks are still soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Take care not to stir.

Step 5: With a slotted spoon, gently lift the eggs from the water and let drain.

Test Kitchen tip: When making poached eggs to top toasted bread (or polenta, like we did above), lift the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.

3. How to Scramble Eggs

Photo: Taste of Home

Step 1: Crack eggs into a bowl. Whisk or beat together 1 tablespoon of milk per egg with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Step 2: In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture.

Step 3: As the eggs start to set, gently pull them across the pan with an inverted spatula or wooden spoon, forming large soft curds. Continue lifting and folding the eggs until the mixture has thickened and no visible liquid remains.

Step 4: Let the eggs cook for about 30 seconds or until the bottom starts to set before you stir. Voila! Fluffy scrambled eggs.

Test Kitchen tip: For creamiest results, fight the urge to stir constantly.

(Have you tried Chrissy Teigen’s famous scrambled eggs? Here you go.)

4. How to Cook Eggs Over Easy 

Photo: Taste of Home

Step 1: Heat butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it’s hot and foamy.

Step 2: Break eggs and gently slide into pan, one at a time. Reduce heat to low immediately.

Step 3: Cook slowly until whites are completely firm and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard.

Test Kitchen tip: Gentle heat ensures even cooking and prevents eggs from becoming tough and rubbery.

Step 4: Carefully slide a spatula under each egg and flip. Cook until the eggs reach desired doneness. Plunk them on breakfast burgers or serve alongside toast or pancakes.

5. How to Make an Omelet

Photo: Taste of Home

Step 1: Precook filling ingredients before you start your eggs.

Test Kitchen tip: Plan on 1/3 to 1/2 cup filling per 2-egg omelet, like this Cream Cheese & Chive Omelet.

Step 2: Crack eggs into a bowl. Whisk or beat together 1 tablespoon of water per egg with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Step 3: Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot and foamy. Tilt pan to ensure entire bottom is coated with butter.

Step 4: Add egg mixture to skillet (mixture should set immediately at the edges). As eggs start to set, push the cooked edges toward the center, letting the uncooked portion flow underneath. Repeat until eggs are set and there’s no visible liquid.

Step 5: Spoon your filling on top of one side; fold the other side over filling and cook to desired doneness. Slide the omelet onto a plate.

Test Kitchen tip: An 8- or 10-inch nonstick slope-sided skillet with a slippery-smooth surface and slightly thick base that distributes heat evenly is what we reach for when making omelets and frying eggs in the Test Kitchen. We’re not omelet-biased here: They also make short work of grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas.

Next up: Bird’s the word!

An Egg on Top Makes Anything Better
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