different ways of cooking egg

Scrambled or poached? 6 best ways to cook eggs

03 Jun 2023

Eggs are such a wonderfully versatile food.

They can be used in baking recipes, eaten whole on their own and mixed with mayonnaise for sandwiches.

And don’t even get us started on how many breakfasts you can make with them!

Cooking eggs makes them safe to eat and it can also make some of the many nutrients they contain easier to digest. Studies have shown that protein, in particular, is more digestible once it has been heated.1

We have put together some of the best ways to cook eggs for you to try.

1.      Scrambled eggs

A simple breakfast recipe, this scrambled egg recipe only takes a few minutes to cook.

Briefly whisk your eggs in a jug or bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour into the lightly oiled pan, over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon.

Continue to stir until the eggs are cooked and scrambled to your desired consistency. Perfect, served on some warm, buttered sourdough toast.

2.      Boiled eggs

Probably the easiest way to cook eggs is to boil them.

The best way to boil eggs is to boil a pan of water before you pop an egg in, being careful not to crack it.

If you are after a soft-boiled egg, boil for 4-5 minutes, depending on how runny you like your yolk.

For a hard-boiled egg for sandwiches or salads, boil the egg for 10 minutes and then run under cold water once you have removed it from the pan.

Mash the egg and then mix with mayonnaise and some seasoning, for a sandwich filling.

Or simply cut in half, for a tasty salad topping.

3.      Poached eggs

Along with boiled eggs, poaching eggs is one of the healthiest ways to cook them if you do not want to add any extra calories to the eggs.2

But great poached eggs are notoriously difficult to get right!

The perfect poached egg should be like a smooth white ball, with a runny yolk, which gently spills out when you cut into it.

Crack the egg into a bowl and add a drop of vinegar. Bring a pan of water to a simmer and then stir the water with a whisk or fork, to create a gentle whirlpool, before slowly tipping the egg into the centre.

Cook for three to four minutes until the egg white is set.

Lift the egg out with a slotted spoon and drain it on some kitchen roll. Trim off any scraggly bits of white and there you have it.The perfect poached egg recipe.

4.      Fried eggs

Although fried eggs are a popular breakfast choice, especially with a good old-fashioned fry up, you should be aware that frying an egg can actually increase its fat content by around 50%.4

Therefore a fried egg should only be eaten as a once-in-a-while treat, rather than an everyday breakfast staple.

Again, frying is one of the simplest egg recipes. Heat oil or butter over medium heat and then crack the egg into the pan. Cook until the white is set and then season with salt and pepper.

This will give you a fried egg with a runny yolk, or sunny side up as they are sometimes called.

If you prefer your yolk more cooked, you can flip the egg over (‘over easy’) and cook on the other side and increase the cooking time.5 Increase the cooking time further for over medium and over hard eggs.6

5.      Baked eggs

Baked eggs is a great egg recipe for breakfast. You can use a variety of different fillings depending on your tastes. Choose from spinach, ham, tomato, smoked salmon and mushrooms.

Place your chosen filling into greased ramekins before cracking a couple of eggs on top and seasoning with salt and pepper.

Pop in the oven for around 10 minutes. You are looking for the egg whites to be cooked but the yolks to still be runny.7

6.      Omelette

The most versatile of egg dishes, an omelette can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Simply whisk up your eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add butter or oil to a pan and heat over medium heat. Pour in the eggs and tilt the pan, ensuring that the bottom of the pan is covered.

Tilt the pan to one side and push the uncooked egg mixture down to one side. Repeat on the other side and then repeat a couple more times until the egg is cooked.

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Last updated: 10 February 2021

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Andrea Dobronszki

Author: Andrea Dobronszki, Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: Aug 2020

Master’s Degree in Food Science and Technology Engineering and BSc in Dietetics

Andrea started her career as a clinical dietitian and lecturer at a university hospital, managing the dietetic treatment of patients with various diseases, and giving lectures in nutrition for medical students.

Later she worked as a Product Developer at a sport nutrition company where she developed food supplements and fortified foods, and ensured that the products complied with the relevant regulations.