How to boil an egg
The answer to this is carefully. Even the simplest of cooking demands a degree of care and attention. But in the end all it involves is first knowing the right way to proceed and then happily being able to boil perfect eggs for the rest of your life without even having to think about it. What we need to do first of all, though, is memorise a few very important rules.
1. Don't ever boil eggs that have come straight from the refrigerator, because very cold eggs plunged straight into hot water are likely to crack.
2. Always use a kitchen timer. Trying to guess the timing or even remembering to look at your watch can be hazardous.
3. Remember the air pocket? During the boiling, pressure can build up and cause cracking. A simple way to deal with this is to make a pinprick in the rounded end of the shell, as left, which will allow the steam to esape.
4. Always use a small saucepan. Eggs with too much space to career around in and crash into one another while they cook are, again, likely to crack.
5. Never have the water fast-boiling: a gentle simmer is all they need.
6. Never overboil eggs (you won't if you have a timer). This is the cardinal sin because the yolks will turn black and the texture will be like rubber.
7. If the eggs are very fresh (less than four days old), allow an extra 30 seconds on each timing.