How Long To Boil Eggs (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 Minutes

A boiled egg is the perfect way to start the day. Eggs contain protein and all necessary vitamins and minerals, making it a complete meal. They also exhibit various biological activities, including anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidant activity, and cardiovascular protection.

People can gain all the benefits of an egg only by cooking it, and the easiest way to do so is by boiling it. Although boiling eggs seem simple in theory, most people tend to over or under boil the egg, therefore not getting the desired result. The solution to this problem is to use an egg timer and boil the eggs for the exact amount of time.

How Long Does It Take To Boil Eggs?

Type Of Boiled EggTime Taken
Soft Boiled Egg6-7 minutes
Medium Boiled egg8-10 minutes
Hard-Boiled Egg12-13 minutes

There are three types of boiled eggs, classified based on the consistency of the yolk.

The first is a soft-boiled or ramen egg, which has a runny yolk. For this type of yolk, cook the egg for 6-7 minutes in simmering water. It is important to note that egg whites cook by the 6-minute mark. The second type is a medium-boiled egg. These eggs have a jammy and soft yolk that is not liquid. Boiling the eggs for 8-10 minutes gives a medium-boiled egg.

The third type is a hard-boiled egg which takes 12-13 minutes. In this type of egg, the egg yolk is thoroughly cooked and hard. Boiling eggs for longer than 13 mins gives it a grey ring around the yolk and makes the white rubbery. One can now decide the time required to boil eggs depending on the yolk preference. Remember to place the eggs first and completely submerge the eggs in cold water to ensure even heating.

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Why Does It Take So Long To Boil Eggs?

Eggs contain a network of protein, fats, and water that change when heated. The egg white is predominantly protein, while the yolk also contains fat molecules.

Proteins in raw egg white are in a compact shape, held together by weak molecular bonds. On boiling an egg, the weak forces within the protein break, causing the proteins to unfold and form bonds with other nearby protein molecules, creating a network. The proteins also interact with water molecules, which become trapped in the protein network. Thus the egg whites go from a liquid to a solid, rubbery state. As this process happens almost immediately, the egg whites cook within 6 minutes.

On the other hand, the egg yolks require more heat to cook as they contain fat molecules. Hence, an egg yolk takes longer, around 12-13 minutes to cook thoroughly. Overboiled eggs have a rubbery egg white and a grey ring around the yolk, as mentioned earlier. An egg overcooks in one of two ways. One, if eggs boil for longer than 13 min. And two if they cook water at boiling temperature. It is essential to keep the peels and egg separately.

Overcooked eggs become rubbery due to contiguous protein coagulation. Sulfur present in egg white reacts with the iron in the yolk to form a grey coating around the yolk. To stop this, douse the egg in cold water once cooked.

Conclusion

A boiled egg is one food that people need to add to their diet. It is healthy, easy to make, and very versatile. Thus, making it a perfect fit for a busy schedule. Boiled eggs can be eaten in noodles, spread on toast, or in an egg salad. These dishes are easy to whip up and hence make a good breakfast dish.

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It can also be a healthy alternative to a snack, especially for children. However, do not give kids soft boiled eggs (eggs cooked for 6-7 min) as they may contain Salmonella. All in all, cook eggs for the time given above to get perfectly boiled eggs each time. Numerous dishes can be prepared with boiled eggs, based on individual preferences.

Reference

  1. https://www.mdpi.com/432742
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00216-015-9123-2.pd
  3. hhttp://chem.ku.edu/sites/chem.ku.edu/files/docs/CHEM190/eggs_cooking.pdf
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