How to Par Boil an Egg

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Use fresh free range eggs for the best results when parboiling eggs.
Use fresh free range eggs for the best results when parboiling eggs. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Boiling an egg seems to be an easy task to accomplish and is the first step in the culinary education of most beginner cooks. However, getting the egg perfectly boiled is a feat that is rarely accomplished. This need not be the case as boiling an egg is simply a matter of technique and timing. Parboiling implies that the egg is only partially boiled and many egg eaters prefer their centers runny.

Things You'll Need

  • Kettle
  • Pin
  • Fresh eggs
  • Saucepan
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Slotted spoon
  • Egg timer
  • Egg cup

Boil enough water in the kettle to cover the eggs. While the water is heating, prick eggs which come from the fridge with a pin. Make a small hole in the rounded end to prevent cracking. This is not necessary with eggs which are kept at room temperature.

Pour the water into the saucepan and place on high heat. When the water is boiling rapidly, add a pinch of salt. Use a slotted spoon to gently lower the eggs into the boiling water.

Time the eggs from the moment the water begins to boil again. To get a parboiled egg that has a solid white, but liquid yolk, boil the egg for three minutes. Remove with the slotted spoon and place in an egg cup.

Tips & Warnings

  • For soft boiled eggs, boil the egg for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Hard boiled eggs have a hard yolk and white. Boil these for eight minutes.
  • Altitude affects the heat at which water boils. If you are 5,000-feet above sea level, double the cooking time suggested above.

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