Looking for single-serve protein bites? No need to rely on packaged bars or protein powder energy balls. Nature already has what you need: eggs. Who knew you could find so much nourishment from a chicken’s butthole? Or vent, as chicken experts call it.

Thank you, chickens of the world, for giving us this versatile treat. You especially, Brenda the chicken. You’re diligent and hardworking, and we value your work ethic and company.

(Honestly, Tilly, we know you’re working hard too, but Brenda is picking up most of the slack here. Know your place.)

Anyway, not only do they bind together delicious baked goods and create all kinds of breakfast dishes (omelets! frittatas! stratas!), but they can also be whipped into meringues or creamy condiments with nothing but willpower — and maybe a whisk.

But why make things so complicated when the humble boiled egg is already a thing of beauty?

A hard-boiled egg is the perfect protein on-the-go snack.

Soft-boiled, it can convert an English muffin into a decadent morning meal with the runny yolk acting as a built-in special sauce. Egg-ementary, my dear Watson. (Yes, there will be dreadful yolks running all the way through this. The article has a built-in “special sauce,” too.)


Here’s the issue: It’s super easy to miscalculate the cooking time on boiled eggs. (If only those shells came with a preview window!).

It’s almost tragic to break into an egg hoping the yolk will be appropriately runny, only to find it entirely solid.

Never fear, we have the ultimate guide to perfect boiled eggs every time, every way.

How to Make the Perfect Boiled Egg, Every Way, Every Time
  1. Place the eggs in a pot with cold water. Make sure there’s an inch of water above the eggs and avoid putting too many in the pot at once.
  2. Place the pot over high heat.
  3. When the water starts lightly boiling around the eggs, cover the pot and move it away from the heat, either to a burner that’s off or onto a potholder on the countertop.
  4. On your mark… get set… start that timer! Time is of the egg-cense during a boil. Use the timer on your phone, smartwatch, or — gasp — an actual clock.

(Pro tip: Add vinegar to the water so eggshells are easier to peel after boiling.)

Prefer poaching? Prime your poaching swag here.

  • 3 minutes: whites are soft and slightly gloopy, yolks are completely liquid
  • 4 minutes: whites are set but soft and floppy, yolks are still runny but a little more solid
  • 6 minutes: whites are soft but firm, yolks are smooth and pudding-like
  • 10 minutes: whites and yolks are totally firm, yolks are still creamy
  • 15 minutes: completely solid, hard-boiled egg

Post-boil, dunk these suckers in an ice water bath for a minute. Tap ‘em on the counter to gently crack and peel them open. Voilà! Your perfect egg!

Now, eggs are only delicious if they’re fresh. Rotten eggs may have vague, earthy overtones of fart. And your breakfast is not about that right now.

If you’re not sure whether your eggs are ready for eating or past their prime, dunk them in a glass bowl filled with water and compare them with this handy visual.

Where the egg lands and whether it floats will give you a useful idea of freshness.

  • On the bottom of the bowl: 100 percent fresh and at peak flavor
  • One corner lifted: a week or so old — entirely edible
  • Standing on a point: a couple of weeks old — eat stat
  • Floating at the top: super old — do not eat

Sure, you can just throw a hard-boiled egg in your mouth and call it a healthy snack. But why do Brenda the chicken this dirty when you could be making art out of her eggs?

You may have gotten carried away with how many eggs you perfected and need to use the leftovers.

You might have woken up, sweating, wondering why you haven’t eaten a fancy egg meal yet.

You might have 20 missed calls from hungry friends, demanding egg-themed wonder from you.

For any of the above scenarios, here are some delicious, egg-based meal options:

Eggs goldenrod

This easy recipe starts by separating the yolk and white. Mash the whites into an irresistible gravy and pour it over whatever toast you can get your hands on.

Crumble the yolks over the top with some parsley and paprika. There’s no parallel universe in which this isn’t amazing.


This Middle Eastern street food places your boilies right in the middle of a charred pita alongside some eggplant and whatever else you like. Versatile, egg-clectic, and sure to satisfy your hungry friends.

Two words: Breakfast pizza

Eggs can really fill out the one thing better than eggs: pizza. If you want to blow your own mind, make your own pizza dough and fling on whatever you want — as long as eggs are the star of the show. Or a co-star next to kale. Or bacon. Or more eggs.

An eggy burger wormhole

Turn your next burger into a moist, yolky, protein bomb by freezing the raw eggs, thawing them a bit before placing them inside your ground meat or veggies, and frying up those bad boys. Indulgent? Absolutely. But think about what Brenda the chicken would want.


For the days when you can’t quite muster the strength to tackle a whole burger, you can chop up hard-boiled perfection and sling it in your next salad for a protein boost.

Try this classic egg salad, which also borrows the flavors of dill pickle, chives, and mustard to bolster this thing of beauty.

Tell Brenda the chicken to put her feet up (maybe it’ll finally get Tilly to get her butt in gear) and your friends to chill.

We do understand that you now have a fixation on eggs. We’re with you.

While eggs are tasty, there have been past concerns regarding cardiovascular health because they can serve up quite a hefty amount of cholesterol: 162 milligrams (mg) in a single, medium-sized boiled egg.Egg, whole, boiled or poached. (2020).

However, don’t panic just yet. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), dietary saturated fat raises blood cholesterol levels more than any other dietary component.Your guide to lowering your cholesterol with TLC. (2005).

The dietary cholesterol that makes a notable cameo in eggs doesn’t have the same effect, and eggs only provide about 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Eggs are not the bad guy. Think of them as a protein care package that provides a bump of 5.5 grams in a medium egg.Egg, whole, boiled or poached. (2020).

Some reviews also suggest that the antioxidant and nutrient content (hello DNA-protecting choline!) of eggs can actually bring down a person’s risk of heart or chronic health problems, though not all research reaches the same conclusions.Miranda JM, et al. (2015). Egg and egg-derived foods: Effects on human health and use as functional foods.

So although eggs might seem like they’re about to break your heart like an ex-partner mentioned in a Taylor Swift song, they’re also very likely to be delicious and good for you (like a Taylor Swift song).

Egg-spand your knowledge of their benefits.

You should now be fully equipped to make some perfect boiled eggs. It’s not as simple as just throwing (or gently placing) them in a pot of angry water. There’s a strategy.

However, nailing it will make you 4,327 percent more popular with your egg-fiend friends. (We do not have any studies to support this, you’ll just have to take our word for it.)

Now, what to do with the 50 boiled eggs you have on hand? How about giving one of these recipes a go?