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Egg Cooking Techniques

To reduce the risk of a salmonella infection due to contaminated eggs, it is important to know how to properly cook an egg. Proper cooking of eggs is known to considerably reduce the risk of illness, which is especially important if you are cooking for the elderly or small children. While you should know that you need to fully cook the eggs to maintain the risk reduction, you may not know how to cook your eggs to keep the risk low. We will go into a few ways that you can cook your eggs for various effects.

To start, eggs should be cooked at a medium to low temperature for a longer period of time. Fast cooking will cause the eggs to become tough and change the overall texture to something unpleasant. If you really want to cook eggs you must get good at the timing of them as well. You are aiming to cook them until the egg whites become fully white, and the yolks thicken. The egg white is where most of the salmonella infection has been located, though you should not neglect to ensure that the yolk is completely cooked as well.

Scrambled Eggs – The Kid’s Favorite

You need to beat the yolks and the whites together before cooking them in a greased skillet or pan. You can add salt and pepper to taste, and some people have been known to add some milk in as well. This is something that you will have to test as every palate is different, so what I like you may not. Usually butter is used to enhance the taste in the cooking, though your diet may call for the use of something else.

Once the grease is hot enough to sizzle with a drop of water, you are ready to add the mixture. As the egg begins to set up, you should stir the mix around the pan. Continue to cook and turn as the egg mixture cooks, stopping only once there is no trace of uncooked egg. While mixing it up while you cook is important, you should not constantly mix it as it can slow the cooking process.

From there it is ready to go. Tell the kids to grab the ketchup and have at it!

Fried Eggs – Don’t Forget The Bacon!

The cooking base for fried eggs is the same as it is for scrambled eggs. You want a greased skillet which is heated to the point of being able to sizzle a drop of water quickly. What you use to grease the pan is not highly important, though your diet may call for the use of specific materials. Butter is the favorite, but you can easily cook the eggs in olive oil or another low fat alternative as well.

You should break the egg into the pan and lower the heat. Cook the eggs slowly until the whites are completely cooked and the yolks have started to thicken. Depending on how you like your eggs will determine your next step.

For Sunny Side Up you will simply spoon some of the grease over the yolk to cook them. You don’t need to overdo it, but make sure that it is cooked through.

For Over Easy you will flip the egg over to cook the other side. Over easy simply is one flip, where some people may love the taste of the grease or butter and flip multiple times.

Hard Boiled and Poached

We will talk about both of these methods at once, since they both share many of the same setup. For starters you will want hot water, nearly to the point of boiling. For poached eggs you can add seasoning to the water to enhance the taste if you wish. From here things get different a little.

For hard boiled eggs you will now add the eggs to the water and let them cook for about 15 minutes. Once they are done you should immediately place them in ice water until completely cooled. You can run some cold tap water over the eggs if this isn’t possible.

Poached eggs differ in that you are going to crack the egg into the water to cook it.

Now, before you head off to crack that egg there is a neat little technique that you can use to help the process (and Chef Gordon Ramsey uses it, so you know it has to taste good!). Take a whisk and stir the water until you have a small vortex. Once you get a nice swirl in the water you should crack the egg into it and watch it spin. The swirling of the water helps the egg maintain it’s shape, and it is much easier to handle. It also has the side effect of enveloping the yolk with the egg white as well.

Some people prefer to crack the egg into a bowl to make it an easier process. I suppose it is quicker to drop the egg into the water if it is already cracked. So find out which way works best for you.

There are more ways to cook the egg, but a few of them go into keeping part of the egg runny, which we are trying to avoid. By simply using the above cooking techniques you will avoid most of the issues associated with egg based salmonella.