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Medium-boiled egg Note that Finnish eggs are among the safest in the world to be eaten uncooked. To find out why, read here.

Boiling eggs in their shells may seem as the easiest procedure of all basic cooking. Yet there are a few different cooking ways to choose from and a couple of tips to consider when boiling "the perfect egg"  :-)

fresh eggs

Basic instructions:

  • Use enough water to completely cover the eggs in the saucepan.
  • Lower the eggs gently in the water, one at time, using a spoon, or placed in a special egg-holder.
  • It is best to cook the eggs for a short time, in just barely simmering water over a low heat. Cooking at high temperature may cause the shells to crack. Cooking for too long will give the white a rubbery texture and makes the yolk crumbly in hard-boiled eggs. An ideal temperature is just below the boiling point, about 75 to 80 °C.
  • Plunging the cooked eggs into cold water makes them easier to peel and prevents the formation of a greenish ring around the yolk in hard-boiled eggs.

To prevent the eggs from cracking:

  • If you have time, let the eggs sit at room temperature for at least 20 to 30 minutes before boiling them. This way they will be less likely to crack when immersed into boiling water than eggs taken straight from the refrigerator.
  • Pricking a small hole at the large end of the egg will release air and help to prevent the shell from cracking during boiling. To prick the shell, use a thin needle or a special egg piercer tool.
  • Boiling refrigerator cold eggs may be started with cold water. This will prevent cracking. The cooking time will be longer than when started with hot water.
  • Adding a pinch of salt or a dash of vinegar in the cooking water will prevent the egg from leaking out in case its shell should crack.

Cooking times for eggs
FirmnessDescriptionCooking time
Soft-boiled eggA soft-boiled egg has a white that
is just set and a liquid yolk
3 minutes
Medium-boiled eggA medium-boiled egg has a firm white
and a runny or partly runny yolk
4 to 6 minutes
Hard-boiled eggA hard-boiled egg has firm white and yolk8 to 10 minutes

Cooking the eggs:
  1. Bring a large amount of water to the boil in a saucepan.
  2. Take the pan off the heat and lower the heat. (Add salt and/or vinegar.)
  3. Lower the eggs gently in the water and place the pan back to the stove. Begin timing straight away (see the cooking schedule above).
  4. Simmer the eggs, uncovered, until the time is up.
  5. Rinse soft-boiled and medium-boiled eggs briefly under cold water. Plunge hard-boiled eggs into cold water for 7 to 8 minutes to cool them before peeling.
  6. Wipe the eggs dry and serve.

See recipes for scrambled eggs and poached eggs.

Recipe source: traditional recipe.


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