Skip to main content
Recipes

Eggs Are Expensive. Here's How To Cook Them Right Every Time.

It’s always disappointing to waste an ingredient—especially as prices rise. These five foundational recipes help you never waste another egg. 
By Published Jan. 20, 2023

We know that you always want to cook things exactly right. That’s why you often find monikers such as "Foolproof," “Failproof,” or “Perfect” in our recipes. 

But as the cost of ingredients rise, this has become more important than ever.

According to economic data gathered by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, a dozen eggs cost $4.25 in December 2022, up from $1.78 the year before.

Even with the hopeful news that prices are slowly easing back down, you never want to invest time and money into a recipe that ends up “just OK” or even worse, in the garbage. No matter the price, an egg in the trash is like throwing away cash.

These five foundational, failproof egg recipes and step-by-step videos will help you cook them perfectly every time and avoid that waste. 

Sign up for the Cook's Insider newsletter

The latest recipes, tips, and tricks, plus behind-the-scenes stories from the Cook's Illustrated team.

Poached Eggs

Poached eggs are intimidating. We employ three techniques to make them as achievable as possible. First, we start by draining the eggs in a colander. This allows the thin, loose white bits that cook up wispy and ragged to drain away. Next, we add salt and vinegar to the boiling water, which helps the whites set up quickly so the faster-cooking yolks are still liquid by the time the whites are solid. And lastly, we poach in a Dutch oven filled with just 6 cups of water, which leaves plenty of headspace above the eggs so that added steam can help cook the eggs through just enough. GET THE RECIPE

 

Easy-Peel Hard-Cooked Eggs

Rather than starting the eggs in cold water, we place cold eggs directly into hot steam (with a steamer basket), which rapidly denatures the outermost egg white proteins. This causes them to form a solid gel that shrinks and pulls away from the membrane—making the shell peel away perfectly for unblemished eggs. GET THE RECIPE

 

Perfect Fried Eggs

Preheating the pan on low heat for 5 full minutes guarantees that there will be no hot spots in the skillet that could lead to unevenly cooked eggs. To that pan we add both vegetable oil, with its high smoke point, and butter which imparts a diner-style richness. These steps plus a lid combine to produce perfectly fried eggs—with crisp edges, tender whites, and runny yolks—in just a few minutes. GET THE RECIPE

 

Soft-Cooked Eggs

Traditional methods for making soft-cooked eggs can be totally hit or miss. Using fridge-cold eggs and boiling water reduces temperature variables, which makes the recipe more failproof, and creates a more extreme temperature gradient that guarantees the yolk at the center stays fluid while the white cooks through. Using only ½ inch of boiling water instead of several cups to cook the eggs means that the recipe takes less time and energy from start to finish. GET THE RECIPE

 

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

A combination of high and low heat helps these scrambled eggs cook through just right (and not too much). We also use a smaller skillet, which keeps the eggs in a thicker layer—producing larger, moist curds. Though this last trick may seem counterintuitive to saving money, stick with me. This recipe calls for adding extra yolks to the mix which gives rich results that are shielded from overcooking. But don’t worry—those residual egg whites can be put to use in omelets or baked goodsGET THE RECIPE

 

0 Comments

Try All-Access Membership to Unlock the Comments
Don't miss the conversation. Our test cooks and editors jump in to answer your questions, and our members are curious, opinionated, and respectful.
Membership includes instant access to everything on our sites:
  • 10,000+ foolproof recipes and why they work
  • Taste Tests of supermarket ingredients
  • Equipment Reviews save you money and time
  • Videos including full episodes and clips
  • Live Q&A with Test Kitchen experts
Start Free Trial
JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.