Our Best Tips, Hacks, and Shortcuts for Making Better Eggs

updated May 1, 2019
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If your meal plan is anything like mine, there’s a good chance it involves plenty of eggs. From poached and scrambled, to fried and boiled, these are the smart tips that will help you make even better eggs.

Our Tips for Better Scrambled and Fried Eggs

Fizzy seltzer makes the fluffiest scrambled eggs.

When what you’re after is scrambled eggs with large, soft curds that spring back with the lightest touch and nearly melt in your mouth, skip the milk and cream and reach for some plain seltzer instead.

Add sour cream for the creamiest scrambled eggs.

Inspired by an ultra-luxurious egg casserole, I learned that when you’re after seriously creamy scrambled eggs, swapping milk or heavy cream for sour cream delivers the creamiest results.

Get inspired: Hashbrown Egg Casserole

When cooking in cast iron, preheat without oil and then turn the flame way down.

For foolproof, dreamy eggs cooked in a cast iron skillet, start by preheating the pan sans oil. Give it a minute after adding the fat, then add your eggs and turn the heat all the way down low. No more sticking — the eggs will slide around the pan with ease.

A sheet pan is the easiest way to make a big batch of “fried” eggs at once.

In our recipe for sheet-pan “half English” breakfast, editor Christine revealed a surprising secret for frying more than four eggs at once: Bake them! Cooked on a greased sheet pan in a hot oven, these eggs cook up with tender whites (crispy around the edges) and a delicate runny yolk — just like you’d expect from eggs fried on the stovetop.

Our Tips for Better Hard-Boiled Eggs

Don’t skip the ice bath.

This is the step of plunging the just-cooked eggs into a bowl of cold water and ice. Not only does it halt cooking immediately, preventing caryover cooking, but it also can shrink the membrane, making the eggs easier to peel.

The older the eggs, the easier they peel.

While fresh eggs are best when poaching, older eggs make for easier-to-peel hard-boiled eggs. The reason all comes down to science. As eggs age, they gradually lose moisture through the pores in their shell, and the air pocket at the tip expands. The pH of the whites also changes, which makes them adhere less strongly to the shell.

Our Tips for Better Poached Eggs

Use fresh eggs for the best results.

If you’re planning to poach your eggs, consider picking up a new carton. Unlike hard-boiled eggs, which benefit from older eggs, fresh eggs are best for poaching. As eggs age, the whites become more loose and don’t tighten up as much during cooking.

Read more: 3 Tips for Making Better Poached Eggs

Add a splash of vinegar to avoid billowy whites.

Does it feel like your poached eggs are plagued by those wispy, billowy whites? Try adding a splash of white vinegar to the boiling water. It helps the loose, billowy whites cook into a more compact shape. And don’t worry — the taste of vinegar isn’t noticeable in the finished egg.

For foolproof poached eggs, you’ll need a pin, 10 seconds, and timer.

This method from Julia Child calls for making a pin-sized hole in the shell, then boiling the egg for 10 seconds before proceeding with the actual poaching. It sounds a little crazy, but trust me, it makes the most amazing and consistent poached eggs.