We're pretty good cooks here at SAVEUR, but sometimes even the most basic preparations throw us a curve ball. When frying eggs, for instance, we've ended up with a sticky mess more than once. While testing some egg recipes we learned a foolproof method for making fried eggs that inspired us to hone our other egg techniques, too—for perfect hard-cooked, scrambled, and poached eggs. We share them all below.
For eggs that don't stick to the pan and have fully cooked whites and runny yolks: Melt some butter in (or add oil to) an ovenproof skillet over medium heat, add egg, and cook until white begins to set. Transfer skillet to a 400° oven and cook until white is completely set. For crispy edges, cook on stove a little longer.
For eggs that peel easily and have silky yolks without a greenish ring: Put eggs (older ones peel the most readily) into a pot and cover with cold water by 1". Bring to a boil, remove pot from heat, cover, and set aside for 13 minutes. Drain, fill pot with ice water, and allow eggs to cool. Crack shells all over and peel.
**For eggs with large, soft, moist curds: Put eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper, then lightly and briefly beat with a fork. Melt some butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggs; cook until they begin to set, then, using a spatula, draw eggs toward center of skillet with just a few strokes. Serve immediately.
For eggs with compact, tender whites and soft yolks: Gently simmer plenty of salted water seasoned with vinegar (for each cup of water, add 1 tsp. vinegar) in a deep pan. Crack each egg into a small bowl, slip into water, and cook for 1 minute. Cover and let rest off heat for 4 minutes. Remove eggs with slotted spoon.