Jamie Oliver’s method to get the ‘perfect boiled egg every time’

Jamie Oliver explains how to cook the perfect boiled egg

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Boiled eggs is a British breakfast staple; whether you like them soft with toast to dip in, or hard for a quick mouthful of protein. But how you make a boiled egg is a contentious subject, with many boiling them differently, with varying results of success. TV chef Jamie Oliver has shared a video, where he takes fans through all the crucial steps to make the “perfect boiled egg every single time”, and it starts when you’re in the supermarket choosing your egg. 

In a video shared on his official Facebook channel, Jamie said: “Today we are going to do something challenging, you’re going to learn, I’m going to teach you how to boil an egg. Yes, you heard it right, boil an egg. 

“A lot of people get confused with this – I don’t know why – a lot of people have conversations about how they do it best, and there are some very strange methods of doing it. 

“I thought I’d give you a rock-solid, perfect way to boil an egg, every single time. Let’s talk through the variants and how to get it perfect.” 

He continued: “If you want to cook the perfect boiled egg every time, you need the same sized egg.

“You’ll get different size eggs in the supermarket – large, medium, sometimes small, and sometimes double-yolkers. This is for a large free-range, organic egg. 

“We have a pan of boiling water, to that pan I’m going to add a tiny, tiny, tiny pinch of salt. 

“Why would we do that? Because inside this egg is a tiny tiny amount of salt, so one of the theories of not having your boiled egg crack [in the water] and leak everywhere is to put a tiny bit of salt [into the water] to balance the amount in here [the egg] and then it doesn’t osmose it through the shell. 

“On that conversation, the shell is the most incredible protection for the egg, you don’t want to put them in the fridge. 

“A, because they don’t need to go in the fridge, and B, it’s very porous, so this will suck up any smells in the fridge which is not a good thing,” he explained. 

“That [the egg] in a slotted spoon, pop it in the water, and just dip the egg in and out two or three times – then gently place it on the bottom of the pan.

“So from room temperature they go into boiling water and I’m going to put three eggs in, and one for luck, for soft-boiled, semi-soft boiled and hard-boiled.” 

Depending on how you like your boiled egg, the timings change. Jamie explained: “For soft-boiled, it’s five and half minutes on the head. Set your timer and get ready to go. For semi-soft-boiled, it’s seven and a half minutes, and for hard-boiled, it’s 11-12 minutes.

“So as simple as boiling an egg is, there are lots of different people’s techniques; some logical, some illogical. 

“I’ve heard of people putting eggs into a pan of cold water and bringing it to the boil, then turning it off as soon as it’s got to a boil and they’re ready. 

“It also depends on the size of the pan, it depends on the power of the gas, it depends on the heat source, doing this – boiling water – is not random. Having an egg roughly at room temperature is not random.” 

As for how Jamie’s eggs turned out, he revealed: “The first egg is done, this is our five and a half minute egg, make sure you put it the right way up; there is a round side and a sharper side, I always go the blunter side up. 

“If you leave it in the shell and watch it, it will carry on cooking, that shell is like a mini-oven, you want to get on with it and eat it. You want to crack off the top and you’ve got a really nice, soft-boiled egg, cooked to perfection. 

“The second egg has had seven and a half minutes, this will give you a medium soft-boiled egg. If we have a look, there you go, half firm, half soft. 

“This one has had 11 minutes, and that should be our reliable hard-boiled egg, perfect for sandwiches, salads. 

“A little pinch of salt on top, and that is a simple boiled egg, cooked to perfection every single time,” he remarked. 

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