Eggs are surely the heroes of the breakfast table, given their endless versatility. It all comes down to how you cook them. Whether you're brand new to cooking eggs or you have some practice under your belt and you're ready for something more advanced, there's a method for cooking eggs that's just right for you.
Here are the 12 techniques you need to know to help turn eggs into breakfast (or, let's be real, any meal at all).
Hard-boiled eggs are the MVP of protein-packed, grab-and-go breakfasts. It's a simple preparation that allows you to cook a big batch on Sunday and eat them all week long. And if a portable breakfast is what you're after, this one comes with its own carrying case.
Learn the classic stovetop method: How To Hard-Boil an Egg
Soft-boiled eggs have firm, custard-like whites and a warm, runny yolk. It's the kind of egg that can be scooped straight from the shell, and pairs well with buttered toast soldiers. Making soft-boiled eggs might feel slightly trickier than hard-boiled eggs, but it's achievable once you realize it just comes down to timing.
Learn how: How To Make a Soft-Boiled Egg
For the quickest and easiest hard- and soft-cooked eggs you'll ever make, get out your electric pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) and a steamer basket. It's another way to cook a big batch of eggs at once.
Learn more: How To Cook Eggs in an Electric Pressure Cooker
Scrambled eggs are one of the most basic egg preparations, and perhaps one of the very first things many of us learned to cook. Use a nonstick pan and low heat to cook up soft and creamy eggs every time.
Learn more: How To Make Soft, Creamy Scrambled Eggs
When you don't have access to a stove or you're ready to dive into a plate of eggs now, turn to the microwave. While you won't get the same creamy scrambled eggs you would on the stovetop, this method cooks up a light, fluffy breakfast that's seriously satisfying and ready to eat in 90 seconds.
Learn more: 90-Second Scrambled Eggs
While it might not have the elegance of its stovetop counterpart, the mug omelet is a breakfast game-changer. Whisk together a couple eggs, a splash of milk, and a spoonful of your favorite toppings in a tall mug (or even a paper cup) and you'll be face to face with a fluffy omelet in mere minutes.
Learn more: Western Omelet in a Mug
7. Fried Eggs
Fried eggs are a beautiful thing. Firm egg whites and velvety, runny yolks show up as breakfast in under five minutes. Fried eggs are best cooked in a well-seasoned cast iron pan (or other nonstick pan) atop a layer of melted butter over a gentle, medium heat.
Learn more: How To Fry an Egg
8. Poached Eggs
Poached eggs — with their tender, silky whites and lush, runny yolks — have a wonderful way of making breakfast feel downright fancy. It might take a few tries to master this basic preparation, but don't sweat it if you have some wispy whites floating in the pan. The first step to success is starting with fresh eggs.
Learn more: How To Easily Poach an Egg
The microwave is your ticket to making poached eggs for breakfast when stovetop cooking isn't an option (I'm looking at you, office kitchen). In addition to an egg, all you need is a mug and some water to get started.
Learn more: How To Poach an Egg in the Microwave
10. Baked Eggs
Eggs en cocotte is a fancy name for oven-baked eggs. This relatively hands-off preparation starts with an egg cracked into a buttered ramekin (one egg per ramekin), topped with salt and pepper and perhaps a spoonful of cream or herbs, and baked in a water bath for a custard-like consistency.
Learn more: How To Bake Eggs in the Oven (Eggs en Cocotte)
This is the egg dish that ups the ante on scrambled eggs. Cooked in a small, nonstick skillet, in just a couple minutes a good omelet should be gently cooked and golden on the outside, with a soft, creamy inside. It can be served simply as is, or wrapped around fillings like meat, veggies, or cheese.
Learn more: How To Make a French Omelette
Cooked both on the stovetop and in the oven, frittatas are like a thick and fluffy egg pancake, waiting to be loaded with just about any extra veggies, meat, or cheese you have sitting around. You can enjoy these hot out the oven, chilled, or even at room temperature.
Learn more: How To Make a Frittata