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Top 5 Egg Tips

Any way you crack the equation, eggs are delicious. See more foods that cost under $5.
©iStockphoto.com/Mark Gillow

People love eggs -- it's a historical fact. Our ancestors domesticated birds more than 5,000 years ago, and it's pretty safe to assume they were looking for more than just a bit of feathered companionship. However, despite our long association with fowl and their tasty offspring, many of us still have questions about our favorite shelled treats.

If you're looking for answers, you've come to the right place. We'll scramble your brain with egg facts and get you cooking with the tips and techniques you need to get the most from your eggs, regardless of how you prepare them. We'll teach you how to flip an omelet and tell you what you can add to water for easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs.

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Let's get started by looking inside an egg carton. What, exactly, is the difference between brown and white eggs? The answer is only a cluck and a click away.

One of these is no more nutritious than the other.
One of these is no more nutritious than the other.
©iStockphoto.com/subjug

What's the difference between brown and white eggs -- and which type should you buy? Most of us have wondered this at one time or another, maybe while checking cartons at the local supermarket or making breakfast in the morning. Some people swear by one or the other, citing higher levels of protein or better taste, but the truth is, the only thing not identical about brown and white eggs is their color.

White eggs are laid by hens with white feathers, and brown eggs are laid by brown or red hens. That's it. There's no discernible difference in taste or quality. The only real difference is price, as brown eggs will sometimes cost you a bit extra because some people believe they're more natural (they're not). For truly natural eggs, you'll have to go organic.

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Everyone seems to have a different technique for making the perfect hard-boiled egg. Some people swear that all you have to do is drop one in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or so, while others insist on more complicated, time-consuming operations. The optimal preparation technique is somewhere in the middle, but it's closer to the easier end of the spectrum.

First, place fresh eggs in a pot filled with cold water and bring to a rapid boil. Then, remove from heat and cover. Let the eggs sit for 20 minutes, take them out of the water, peel and enjoy. If you like your eggs cold, place them in a bowl of chilled water or run them under the tap for several seconds.

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Scrambled eggs and fresh chives are a match made in culinary heaven. Pass the bacon!
Scrambled eggs and fresh chives are a match made in culinary heaven. Pass the bacon!
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Surprisingly, few people can transform a runny pile of yellow goop into a fluffy, perfect-tasting morning meal. You might think you know a thing or two about making scrambled eggs, but if you want your breakfast to really crack with flavor, you've got to learn the proper technique.

To begin with, briskly stir the eggs and a few tablespoons of milk together with a whisk or fork for about two minutes, or until the mixture is a single color and kind of foamy. You'll get the best result by slightly tilting the bowl and beating the eggs from the bottom up, as opposed to the normal circular, clockwise or counterclockwise motions most handheld egg-scramblers use. The trick to perfectly fluffy eggs is getting some air bubbles into the mix, so don't overdo it.

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Pour your frothy masterpiece into a warm pan or skillet, add salt and pepper to taste, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally (but not constantly), until all the liquid egg mixture has solidified.

That's it -- now, serve and enjoy!

Making an omelet can be surprisingly difficult and may drive novice chefs scrambling mad. However, if you add the right amount of ingredients and aren't too hasty about flipping that precious egg pie, you'll be frying up omelets like a pro.

The first and most important step to making an omelet is to exercise patience. Remember, these aren't scrambled eggs you're cooking here. You have to let the eggs cover the pan and cook for awhile. Don't even touch them until your mixture has solidified on the bottom and has nearly cooked through. Then, add in the extras.

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Here comes the tricky part: the all-important flip. Run a spatula around the edges of the eggs, making sure they won't stick to the pan. Once that's done, carefully slide the spatula underneath the center portion of the soon-to-be-omelet, and gently flip it up over the other half. The omelet will need to cook a few minutes longer, but once you've got the flip down, the hard part's over.

It's not the most popular way to cook eggs. In fact, you can't always find them on restaurant menus, and there are many breakfast-lovers who've never even tasted the delicious wonder of a perfectly poached egg. Yeah, it's an egg, so you know what to expect, but a good poached egg is somewhat dissimilar from its scrambled, sunny or hard-boiled counterparts. Poached eggs are a literal combination of the hard-boiled and fried cooking methods, but they offer a taste unlike anything else.

There are several ways to poach an egg, but the easiest is to break an egg and slide it into boiling water, just as you would a fried egg onto a hot pan. Although a bit of excess whites will float to the top, the majority of the egg white will cling to the yolk, and you'll want to cook it until the white portion has solidified but the yolk is still runny. Add some toast, salt and pepper, and you're in for a one-of-a-kind egg experience.

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UP NEXT

How to Poach an Egg

How to Poach an Egg

Poaching eggs is easy if you know a few tricks.


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Sources

  • American Egg Board. 2009. (Feb. 26, 2010).http://www.incredibleegg.org/
  • Hodge, Lloyd. Caterer and owner of Hodge-Podge Sauce Company. Personal interview conducted by Chris Obenschain. (Feb. 27, 2010) .
  • Mr. Breakfast. "Perfect Scrambled Eggs." 2009. (Feb. 26, 2010).http://www.mrbreakfast.com/article.asp?articleid=17
  • Simmons, Marie. "White Eggs, Brown Eggs: What's the Difference?" National Public Radio. Transcript of personal interview conducted by Debbie Elliott. April 15, 2006. (Feb. 26, 2010).http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5344540

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