How to avoid 7 common mistakes while cooking eggs
First Published 31, Aug 2020, 2:53 PM
Many are still struggling with the technique and making mistakes that are affecting the quality of their finished dishes
Eggs are versatile, cheap, and for many of us, easy to prepare. In fact, cooking eggs is so easy that they are most often the first thing a home cook learns to make. However, cooking eggs is a bit tricky as they are difficult to handle as an ingredient, due to their slimy texture.
Many are still struggling with the technique and making mistakes that are affecting the quality of their finished dishes. From the type and temperature of the pan to the time of adding the seasoning, everything matters while preparing egg-based dishes. Here are seven common mistakes people make while cooking eggs.
Not using fresh eggs: Just because the eggs look brand new, does not mean they are fresh. For making poached eggs, you should choose fresh eggs so that the eggs and yolks stay adjoined in the pan. Check the packaging and best before dates before buying eggs. On the other hand, you should not use too fresh eggs for making hard-boiled eggs, as they contain a lot of moisture which causes the skin to stick with the shell.
Overcooking of eggs: This is the one of the most common cooking mistakes that people make while making egg-based dishes. Most people do not calculate the timing right and end up overcooking them. For example, you should cook scrambled eggs for only as long as they start looking set and lose their gloss. As soon as that happens, you should switch off the flame as the eggs will keep on cooking in the residual heat.
Overboiling of eggs: If you let eggs simmer away for a long time while hard-boiling them, the shells of the eggs can crack up, and the yellow yolk can take up a greyish colour on the surface. The right way of boiling the eggs is to bring the eggs to a boil and then lower the flame. If you prefer soft boiled eggs, continue cooking for 4 minutes. If you would rather have them hard-boiled, let them simmer for 8 minutes.
Not stirring the scrambled eggs: If you leave your scrambled eggs in the pan and do not stir them up enough, the final product will taste flat and hard instead of fluffy and light. Therefore, it is essential always to keep your rubber spatula ready as soon as the eggs hit the pan. Keep things moving around the pan and switch off the flame when the eggs start to set. Cover the pan with a lid and let the eggs cook in the steam for a minute.
Scrambling over high heat: When it comes to scrambled eggs, low and slow does the trick. If you hurry up the process, you might still end up with a plate of scrambled eggs, but they would not taste that good. A little patience and scrambling the eggs over low flame can go a long way, and you would have perfectly cooked scrambled eggs. Remember, high heat would not make them cook faster, but it can make them dry out or even burn.
Using the wrong pan: Always make sure that you are using the right pan for cooking eggs. For example, boiled eggs need enough room in the pan to make a layer and be covered entirely with water. While cooking poached eggs, a shallow pan should be used so that they have ample space to move around. It is advisable to use a small fry-pan for scrambled eggs as it will prevent the eggs from burning or overcooking.
Seasoning eggs too late: If the salt has not been timely added to the eggs, they squeeze out liquids while curdling and coagulating that might impact the texture of the scrambled eggs and cause them to harden. Adding salt to the whisked eggs before the cooking process starts, prevents the protein from combining tightly thus making tender eggs. For best results, add salt to the beaten eggs and keep them aside to incorporate properly until you get your fillings ready and bread toasted!