Cook the ‘perfect’ boiled egg with chef Heston Blumenthal’s expert ‘formula’

Eggs can be cooked in so many different ways but they’re hard to get spot on when it comes to soft boiling.

While it may seem like little can go wrong as they boil for a mere few minutes, chef Heston Blumenthal claimed that every second counts.

The British TV personality is regarded as a pioneer of multi-sensory cooking, food pairing and flavour encapsulation, so he knows a thing or two about simple things like eggs.

That said, his expert “formula” is not to be missed, having spent time doing “relentless trials” to get it “perfect”.

Writing previously for The Guardian, the chef said: “For me, an egg is just right when the yolk is warm and runny, wrapped in a blanket of egg white that is just set.”

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He continued: “When the white’s not mucus-like (which means it’s not cooked) and not hard, it’s silken and melts in your mouth.”

According to Heston, achieving this is best done by not boiling the eggs at all, but rather use a water bath to gently simmer them.

This changes the texture of the yolk and whites slowly enough to get them spot on as it allows greater control over the temperature.

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How to boil an egg

The first step in Heston’s tried and tested formula is to take a small saucepan with a glass lid and gently lower a single egg into it.

Two or three can be cooked at once, as long as it’s not too overcrowded.

Once the pan is full, fill it with water to a level where it only just covers the eggs. The chef claimed that this should be “not even a millimetre more”.

He explained: “ If you had a centimetre of water covering the egg then you could still get the same result, but you’d have to play with the timing.”

When the water level is perfect, put the pan on maximum heat with the lid on and bring the water to a boil.

Immediately after the liquid begins to bubble, remove the pan from the heat.

Leave the lid on and set aside along with a timer for six minutes. Heston warned that this should be timed “exactly” to “end up with the perfect egg”.

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