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20th Jun 2019

Ranking the best ways to cook eggs from best to worst

There are many ways to skin a cat, and there are many ways to cook an egg. But what is the best way? Reuben Pinder investigates.

Reuben Pinder

Can I offer you an egg in this trying time?

Eggs are one of the most important foodstuffs. Often the go-to product if you’ve afforded yourself time to make a cooked breakfast in the morning, they are a staple of British cuisine. They’re also incredibly versatile – you can cook eggs using a wide variety of methods, each producing its own distinct texture. Though all methods are not equal, I’m afraid. I will now rank (almost) every method of cooking eggs starting with the worst. Strap in. And, for the love of God, do not @ me.

7) Hard boiled

Why would anyone want to remove all the moisture from an egg? Hard boiling an egg is the culinary equivalent of playing Paul Scholes on the left wing. Such potential, all wasted for no valid reason. I concede that it’s a practical method of cooking an egg, suitable for taking to work as part of a packed lunch. On the other hand, if you bring a hard boiled egg in for lunch, you should probably be on some sort of register. Because you’re choosing to eat a hard boiled egg at lunch. Bin.

6) Omelette

Omelettes are a great, lazy way of packing a shit tonne of protein and whatever else you want into one meal. And it’s all about the fillings. Cheese? Mushroom? Ham? Tomato? Yeah, fuck it. Chuck it all in. Go nuts. Can’t do that with a hard boiled egg can you? However, by whisking the eggs, you lose the wonder that comes from the white and the yolk remaining separate. And that is why the omelette is the second worst way of cooking an egg.

5) Soft boiled

Better than a hard boiled egg, but still not among the elite. Boiled eggs remind me of my childhood, dipping ‘Marmite soldiers’ into the yolk of a perfectly boiled egg, watching The Tweenies. God life was simple back then. +10 nostalgia points for the boiled egg.

4) Scrambled

Now we’re approaching the big boys. These are the sorts of eggs that you’d serve at a posh brunch on New Years’ Day to your in-laws. On posh plates. You wouldn’t dare serve a hard boiled egg at a semi-formal brunch would you? Scrambled though? Absolutely. And this is how you best cook them: dash of milk, a knob of butter, plenty of salt and pepper. C’est magnifique.

If needs must, the microwave is also an option, but please, save this for emergencies. You deserve better than that.

3) Coddled

The most underrated way of cooking an egg, coddling is a happy medium between poaching and boiling. Ideal on an English breakfast muffin, toasted with butter, on a Sunday morning. Plus, if you’re as bad at poaching eggs as I am, this is a much more straightforward alternative.

2) Fried

Fried eggs are so popular they have become the default way of cooking them. And fair enough, they’re great. They’re easy, delicious and work alongside basically anything. It’s only fair to put them in the Champions League places of egg rankings. However, this is entirely reliant on them being cooked over easy. Honestly, how anyone can put egg white in your mouth when it hasn’t been cooked fully, I will never understand. These are the people who would wear chains on their jeans at school, punch walls when they lost at FIFA and drink pint cans of energy drink. Usually called Kyle. (No offence, Kyle.) Dangers to society, basically.

What’s the best way to consume a fried egg? Glad you asked. Answer: in a sausage sandwich. Two Cumberland sausages, fried in oil, sliced down the middle and flattened out on the pan to ensure they are cooked all the way through, between two lightly toasted slices of white bread with a thin layer of ketchup. No butter. Cook the egg over easy, just enough to cook the white fully and seal the yolk on both sides while retaining its runniness. Slice down the middle, allowing the yolk to run over the sausages. Consume. Bask in its glory. Chef kiss emoji.

1) Poached

As I mentioned earlier, I am useless at poaching eggs. It’s one of my more shameful admissions. But that makes them all the more enjoyable on the rare occasions that I do eat them. Poached eggs are a treat. Poached eggs are fried eggs’ posh cousin. The firm white and runny yolk is quite simply an unbeatable combination in the world of eggs. And that is why the poached egg is king. No further questions.