Any chef or personal trainer will tell you that eggs are a perfect food. So why do they so often seem far from it? Clumpy, rubbery, even stinky – there's a long, sadly familiar list of ways they can go wrong. But the truth is, anyone can make ordinary eggs transcendent.
Imagine scrambled eggs so dense and smooth that people will wonder how much cheese and cream you added, even though the answer is none. Hard-boiled eggs that always come out tender, with bright, almost spreadable yolks. Poached eggs so delicate and runny, they're like sauce bombs you can drop on anything from salad to pasta to a rare, juicy steak.
One of the great lessons of food is that nothing is so simple it can't be made spectacular. Luckily, with eggs, the difference is just a matter of technique – and you can improve yours easily. Try these tricks, and from now on, you'll wow yourself every time you crack some shells.
All techniques are timed for large eggs, the most common size. Medium eggs will take less time, extra-large eggs slightly longer.
Credit: Photograph by Aaron Graubart - Food Styling by Maria del Mar Sacasa for Ennis Inc.