perfect boiled eggs sliced in half in a bowl with some parsley on the side

How to Cook Eggs for Beginners

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Cooking a basic egg well is a great cooking skill to have. Eggs are used in many ways and learning how to cook eggs will help you build on your cooking skills over time.

Two eggs frying in a skillet

Eggs are very versatile and make wonderful meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks as well as are a vital part of baking. I can even turn out a 5 minute lunch for my daycare kids if I have some eggs and a little fresh produce on hand. And they make a really Cheap Breakfast Ideas for Daycare.

Moreover, eggs are delicious! And a great source of protein.

For me, making a good fried egg in a pan was one of the hardest skills to master. But you can do it if you know a few tips and be patient with yourself. After all, a badly fried egg is still yummy. At least you get to eat your mistakes!

How to make over medium eggs

Over medium is the best way to enjoy a fried egg (in my opinion). I like the whites cooked but the yellow still runny.

  • Sunny side up eggs are cooked on the bottom and just set on the top with a really runny yolk
  • Over easy eggs are cooked on both sides, but barely cooked on top with a really runny yolk
  • Over medium eggs are cooked on both sides, but for longer than over easy, the whites are more set and the yolks are sticky and a littel runny, but not totally liquid
  • Over hard eggs are cooked longer on both sides with a completely set yolk
  • Hard fried eggs are cooked well done on both sides with the yolk purposely broken

Best pan for cooking eggs

Making a good eggs starts with the pan. It’s more difficult to cook eggs in a pan that isn’t non stick. You can get a really good quality non stick pan or use a seasoned iron skillet for best results. If you have a stainless steel pan, make sure to let the pan come to temperature before you start and use plenty of fat to cook.

The main key to making a neat fried egg that is cooked well is to cook it low and slow. I turn my burner to medium and get the pan warmed up and then turn it down to medium low. You don’t want your edges lacy and overdone before the middle cooks. So be patient and don’t start with a screaming hot pan.

To make a perfect fried egg, heat your pan and then melt some fat. You can use butter, bacon fat, oil, whatever you like the taste of or have on hand. Then gently crack your egg into the pan and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Try not to bother the egg as it cooks until it’s time to turn.

For sunny side up, let the egg cook until the whites start to turn white, and then begin basting your egg by scooping up the melted fat in the pan and pouring it over the top of the egg. This cooks the whites on the top but leaves the yolk as runny as possible.

For over-easy eggs, follow the steps above, but once the whites are set on the bottom, flip the egg over and cook it about 30 seconds more until the whites on the top are completely set. You can also add a tablespoon of water to the pan and put a lid on it to cook the tops with steam instead.

For over-medium eggs, do the same, but cook the top a minute or so until it’s cooked through. This will cook some of the yolk, but for me, runny whites are icky, so I prefer some of the yolk set to get the whites all the way done.

For over-hard eggs, keep on cooking that bad boy another minute longer or until those yolks aren’t squishy anymore.

And for hard fried, once you break the egg into the pan, then take your spatula and poke the yolk to break it, then follow over hard instructions from there.

Once your eggs are ready to turn, (make sure you have a nice thin spatula to use) gently but swiftly slide your spatula under the egg in one motion and pick it up and gently turn it over. If it stuck, you didn’t let your pan get warm enough before you added the fat. Remember, hot pan, cold grease, food won’t stick!

How to peel fresh eggs

Now onto boiling eggs. This was always such a mystery to me. I only like hard-boiled eggs, so let’s learn that. All of these minutes and such and watch until the water is boiling, blah, blah, blah. Ain’t nobody with a home daycare got time to stand over some water until it’s boiling.

So I developed my own method and it works every time. I never get that green ring on my egg yolks where they are overcooked. They turn out fluffy and bright yellow every time.

Now how to peel fresh eggs. If you use farm fresh eggs, you KNOW when you boil them, the peels are stuck on like white on rice. But if you heavily salt the water, they will peel like a dream every time. I would do it with store-bought eggs too.

So let’s get to how to make hard-boiled eggs perfect every time. I usually boil 1-2 dozen eggs at a time because I feed 9 people every day. So I start with a big pan, put in the eggs, and put in enough water to cover them. If you’re boiling two eggs, use a small saucepan. If you’re boiling two dozen eggs use a dutch oven as I do.

Anyways, cover the eggs with water and then add a few tablespoons of salt to a big pan or a teaspoon to a little pan. Then turn your burner on high and set the pan on the stove. I set the timer for 20 minutes if I’m just making a tiny pan, or 25 if I have a big pan and the eggs come up to a boil and cook perfectly every time.

Most of that time the water is not boiling, it’s just heating up, so they don’t boil for the whole 25. Then dump them into a colander and let them drain and rinse them with cold water. If I don’t have time to stand and rinse them, I dump ice into the colander on top of them. Whatever works for you.

Let them cool completely through, about an hour. Then crack all the shells into tiny little pieces with the back of a spoon or by tossing them around in the pan and they will peel right off.

Make sure to grab the membrane under the shell. I see my husband picking one tiny speck off at a time and when we peel a dozen eggs together, he peels 1 and I do 11. If you get that membrane going, they will come off in clumps.

Here’s how to naturally dye Easter eggs too!

How to tell if an egg is boiled

You can hold the egg up to the light to see if it’s boiled if you have a really bright light. You can also spin the egg on the counter and if it spins smoothly it’s probably done. If it spins wobbly, it probably needs more cooking time.

How many scrambled eggs per person

Now, the subject of scrambled eggs. I have noticed that most restaurants can’t even make good scrambled eggs. There are a few secrets to getting them fluffy, soft, and flavorful.

Let’s start with how many eggs you need. Most people eat two eggs, so two eggs per person is a good place to start. The servings seem smaller when they are scrambled, so you might want to make more. A good rule of thumb for a crowd is two per person plus an extra for every 4 people you’re serving.

I cook for toddlers and I can make 18 eggs for 8 of us and I eat about one and they polish off all the rest. Kids love scrambled eggs. And I love them because I can even crank them out in about 5 minutes. Once you learn how to cook eggs, you’ll have a great repertoire of egg dishes in no time. They are so easy!

Tips for soft and fluffy scrambled eggs

  • Mix ingredients together really well so no dark yolk pieces remain
  • Use plenty of liquid-you can use milk, whole makes fluffier eggs than lower fat milks, cream makes really creamy eggs
  • Don’t stir too much, let your pan start hot enough, patiently watch and as some eggs solidify, gently scrape the bottom of the pan but don’t stir, repeat the scraping every minute or so until they are just set
  • Don’t overcook the eggs, once they are mostly clumped up but some shininess remains, take them off the heat because they will continue to cook a little more
perfect boiled eggs sliced in half in a bowl with some parsley on the side
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Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Light, fluffy, tasty scrambled eggs that are fast and easy to make.
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time7 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: eggs, fluffy scrambled eggs, perfect scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs
Servings: 6
Author: Christina

Ingredients

  • 12 fresh eggs, cracked into a bowl
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 2 tbsp butter or bacon fat
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp brown mustard

Instructions

  • Crack eggs into a bowl and add remaining ingredients except for butter or fat
  • Heat pan over medium low heat
  • While the pan is heating, briskly whisk the eggs until everything is incorporated
  • Add the fat to the pan and let it melt, then pour in the mixture
  • Cook, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally
  • Try not to overstir, this makes the eggs tough
  • Cook until eggs are just set and remove from heat

How to make scrambled eggs without milk

Milk is the best thing to use for scrambled eggs, but you can cook them with water if you don’t have any. You can use rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, powdered milk and water, evaporated milk, whatever you have available and still get some pretty good eggs. They just need enough liquid and whisking to fluff up.

How to make scrambled eggs with cheese

Cheesy eggs are a favorite at Little Sprouts. My kids LOVE cheesy eggs. I like to add ham chunks, cut up spinach, and 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese to the egg recipe above and it’s my favorite! My kids like it with ham and about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

You don’t have to add ham to make cheesy eggs, it’s good with just cheese too. You can also add bits of cooked bacon or some crumbled cooked sausage. Use your imagination.

Cooked broccoli is great in eggs, I add it raw with the eggs at the beginning. Spinach is great and can be added at the end. Kale or cauliflower is yummy too, I add them at the beginning as well. I even like frozen peas in eggs, but that’s not real popular around here.

Most types of cheese are great in eggs, cheddar and parm are my favorites, but goat cheese or feta tastes great, cottage cheese is yummy in there, Havarti, gruyere, muenster, provolone, mozzarella, they all taste wonderful in scrambled eggs with cheese. Once you learn how to cook eggs, then you can learn what flavors you like with trial.

a perfectly poached egg on a piece of wheat toast sitting on a cutting board with a slice cut in one side and yellow yolk running down the side

How to cook soft poached eggs

Poached eggs seem fancy, but they are really fast and easy to make. Start with really fresh eggs. You can float your eggs in water and if they float, they aren’t very fresh. If they sink, they will be great for poaching.

Gently boil a large pot of water. Just bubbling, not boiling like crazy. Add a generous spoonful of salt and a teaspoon of vinegar. Crack your egg into a small bowl. Take a spoon and swirl the water around like a tornado and gently pour your egg into the water. The tornado keeps the whites intact. Cook them for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel to drain.

You can poach more than one at a time, but don’t crowd them. If you’re cooking for a crowd, you can poach them a little early and plunge them into hot water to rewarm them.

How to poach an egg without vinegar

If you don’t have any vinegar, it’s okay. Go ahead and do it without it. It does help the whites stay together a little better, but you’ll be fine with just salted water.

How to make a fluffy omelet

Making a fluffy omelet is easy peasy lemon squeezy. You got this. Just start as you would for scrambled eggs. Break two eggs into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of water. Don’t use milk in omelets because it makes them runny. I don’t know why, it just does.

Season with salt and pepper and use a fork or a whisk to beat them like mad. Don’t stop, just beat them until everything is totally incorporated and there are no spots of yolks or whites.

Now for the important part. Heat a skillet on medium-low heat until it’s hot. THEN put a little fat in the pan. Again, oil, butter, bacon grease, whatever you have on hand. I like butter. Melt the fat and then gently pour in the egg mixture.

Once it’s cooking, you can shake the pan a little to make sure it doesn’t stick, but don’t stir! Let the middle set, just a bit and then take a rubber spatula and scoop the outside edges and scooch them to the middle. Do it in about 4 places. This helps the middle have more of the cooked egg and the liquid egg to slide out to the edges and cook better. Just do this once and then shake a little but no stirring.

Once most of the moisture is gone, but it’s still shiny, add your toppings on one side of the omelet. Then gently turn the skillet up over a plate and slide the topping side out of the pan. Lift the pan up higher and slide the empty half over the top and fold it over. The inside will cook a bit more and it will be perfectly done.

How to make a veggie omelet

You can easily make a veggie omelet with no meat or cheese if you want. I prefer mine with cheese, but just veggies are great too. There are so many that are super delish in a veggie omelet. Once you learn how to cook eggs this way, you’re going to come up with tons of combinations.

My favorite omelet veggies are onions and spinach. But there are so many that work. Peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, eggplant, avocado, kale, zucchini, hashbrowns, artichoke hearts, leeks, scallions, chives, asparagus, and so many more.

I suggest you saute the veggies a little bit for most of these and you could even roast or carmelize them as well. Ooo, I’m hungry for omelets now.

beautiful omelette on a plate with a green salad with thinly sliced radishes

How to make quiche easy

Quiche is SO easy to make. The only real work is the crust. But once you have that done, or if you choose to skip that part, oooo, it’s just a whip it up and forget it dish. My favorite quiche is onions, mushrooms, spinach, and bacon. I know you can sense a theme with what I like here. Onion and bacon are it for me. Yummy.

Quiche is light and fluffy and bursting with flavor! Here is what you need for quiche.

  • Crust
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk (or cream or a combo)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp spicy mustard (trust me, mustard takes eggs to a whole new level!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (gruyere, swiss, parmesan, asiago, cheddar, smoked guda, feta, I never met a cheese that was yucky with eggs)
  • 1/2 cup cooked meat (if desired)
  • 1-2 cups vegetable of your choice. Check out the omelete veggies for good suggestions. For hard vegetables, grate them up, and for soft vegetables cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.

Now, whip the eggs and milk thoroughly, dump in everything else, and bake until done.

Here is a recipe for bacon, cheddar quiche that you are going to freaking love!

slice of quiche on a plate with slices of banana

Pie crust for quiche

My favorite pie crust for ANYTHING is Ree Drummonds. It’s flaky and so full of flavor, it makes anything you cook in it better!

How long to bake quiche

You bake the quiche in a preheated oven at 350 for 45-65 minutes. It will depend on what vegetables you add and how much water is in them.

You’ll know it’s done when you wiggle it and the middle doesn’t shake. You can stick a knife in the center and poke around and check if you’d like. It will be browned on top and feel fairly solid.

How to make a crustless quiche

If you want to forego the crust altogether, you can still make the same recipe in a pie pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or a 8 x 8 brownie pan. It’s more of a frittata that way, but that’s just ps and qs, it’s all good!

You can also make a crust by cutting up some day-old bread. Brioche, croissants, regular bread, or whatever you have. Cut it into bite-sized pieces, and lay it in the bottom of your pan. I would definitely use a brownie pan if you do that so the sides will be high enough to hold it all.

You just need two croissants or maybe 4 pieces of bread, depending on how big they are. Press it down in there and pour the egg mixture on top. That’s more of a strata, but a crowd-pleaser still. And you can make these little egg muffins too!

Self-crusting quiche

There’s one more way to make a quiche that gives it its own type of crust. Just take the ingredients listed above, double the cheese, add 1/2 cup self-rising flour and a tablespoon of oil. Pour it all in a jar and shake it really well. Then pour it out into your greased pie pan.

It will make a crust of its own along the bottom. It’s not a flaky crust, but chewier I guess you could say. Again, still good! But don’t forget to use self-rising flour. If you don’t have any, mix the flour with 1/2 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt before you put it in.

Can you freeze a quiche?

If you let the quiche cool and freeze it soon, it will freeze great. A frozen quiche can be stored for two to three months without the quality of it becoming negatively affected. Just make sure to wrap it in foil and then put it in a bag or wrap it in plastic wrap. Moisture is the enemy.

Best way to reheat quiche

Don’t thaw it before reheating. Just unwrap it and put it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until the center is warm again.

If you are reheating a piece of quiche from the refrigerator that hasn’t been frozen, just put it on a microwave-safe plate and cook for 30 seconds at a time until it’s warm. You can also place the quiche back in the oven at 350 and reheat until the center is warmed through.

Did you know you can even make eggs in your air fryer? It could not be easier, check this out for how to do it.

And check out these delicious egg recipes for more inspiration with eggs.

I can’t wait to hear all about your yummy egg adventures. I’m so proud of you for trying to learn new cooking skills. You’re gonna love what you make!

For more beginning cooking tips check these out:

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