The 8 Essential Methods for Cooking Eggs (All in One Place)

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Design: Kitchn)

Mastering the essential ways to cook an egg will serve you well time and time again. On mornings (or evenings) when you don’t feel like digging up a recipe, knowing how to poach, scramble, soft-boil, and more means you can whip up a meal in next to no time at all. Spend a few weeks trying them all — you might just discover you have a new favorite way to prepare your eggs.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Comforting and kid-friendly, a soft scramble is there for you when you need a warm and familiar meal. Plus, you can enjoy it in a variety of ways: with toast, wrapped into a burrito, or alongside a pile of bacon.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Once you learn how to achieve crispy, lacy edges and a runny yolk, you’ll find a fried egg can pair with just about any meal. Slide onto grain bowls, salads, creamy polenta, and more.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Eggs over easy are very similar to a fried egg, except that you’ll flip the egg and let it cook for a few seconds on the other side so that the white cooks all the way through but the yolk stays runny. If you keep it in the pan for longer so that the yolk begins to harden, you can make eggs over medium or over hard.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Whether you serve your soft-boiled eggs with buttered toast “soldiers” for dipping or slice it in half and enjoy it with a grain bowl, you’ll love the way the egg white firms up and sets around the gooey, runny yolk.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Cook your soft-boiled egg a few minutes longer and you’ve got the classic hard-boiled egg, which you can enjoy on its own as a snack or turn it into egg salad for lunch.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Famous for its starring roll in eggs Benedict, a poached egg has silky whites and a runny yolk, making it feel sort of luxurious. You’ll want to start by poaching one egg at a time, but before you know it you’ll be poaching eggs for a crowd.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Speaking of fancy, baked eggs are another impressive-looking dish that couldn’t be easier to make at home. Plus, you can try something new every time you make them: Add cheese, herbs, veggies, or crumbled bacon.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

You only need two large eggs and a nonstick skillet to make a perfect French omelet. In just two minutes, you’ll be rewarded with a soft, custard-like egg dish that will give your breakfast an instant upgrade.

What’s your favorite way to cook an egg? Tell us in the comments below.