From the outside, the hard-boiled egg, soft-boiled egg and the raw egg all look and weigh the same, which is a potential source of culinary catastrophe. Thankfully, there are a few simple, fail-safe methods for distinguishing among the three, avoiding unnecessary wastage. The methods for identifying the egg's internal state typically exploit simple laws of physics – the interior of an egg is a viscous liquid when raw, affecting the way it behaves and moves.
Hard-Boiled or Raw?
Place the egg on its side on a smooth countertop, away from obstructions.
Spin the egg gently. A hard-boiled egg, being solid, will spin smoothly. A raw egg, being liquid inside, will wobble.
Double-check by spinning the egg and suddenly stopping its rotation with the tip of your finger. A hard-boiled egg comes to an immediate stop and stays stopped if you lift your finger. A raw egg begins to rotate again, though more slowly, if you quickly lift your finger away from the egg.
Hard or Soft-Boiled?
Place eggs in a pan, just covered by cold water.
Bring to a rolling boil for one minute.
Remove the egg from the water it is boiling in with a slotted spoon. A hard-boiled egg, containing greater residual heat, dries in about 10 seconds, while a soft-boiled egg stays wet for up to 20 seconds.
Items you will need
- Slotted spoon
- Pot for boiling water
- Spin eggs away from the countertop, as they can easily veer off course and plummet to the ground.
- Hard-boiled eggs spoil more quickly than raw eggs. Store them in their shells in the fridge after cooking, if necessary, but discard after a week.
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