Food Hack #1: Air Fryer Boiled Eggs
The COVID-19 Virus has got people cooking at home again which in our opinion is a great thing, better than that, it's got people who didn't cook, to venture into the kitchen.
You know who you are!
You call it cooking but putting a ready meal in the microwave or heating up a tin of soup on the stove or knocking out a round of cheese toasties doesn't qualify.
There's nothing wrong with that but it's not really cooking, it's warming food up!
So we decided to do a "Food Hacks" series on MCF aimed at the novice cook who wants to cook but gets a bit intimidated in the kitchen or for the confident cook who just wants a few extra weapons in his or her arsenal.
So these won't be full on recipes, they'll be genius little ways of breaking the rules in the name of culinary exploration and exploitation. They're the clever little tricks to get your snack on quickly and tastily without the need for a year in culinary school.
And what better way to start the series then the humble boiled egg.
Probably one of the most simple cooking tasks, you drop a couple of eggs in some boiling water, wait for a bit and serve, what could be simpler? But there's a reason it's not that simple, and that is variables.
How do you like your egg? Soft and runny? medium? hard?
What if I'm making eggs for a few people, how do I get them all to people's taste?
How long should you boil it for? 3? 4? 5 minutes?
Use cold eggs from the fridge or room temperature?
Is it a small, medium , large, XL or Jumbo sized egg and does that matter?
Do I start with the egg in cold water or only add when boiling?
What exactly is a rolling boil, how will I know?
Friends, it's a variable minefield!
Picture the scene; it's morning, you're not really feeling it yet, the coffee hasn't kicked in and you're as hungry as a starving artist, in fact you're Hangry! You've been standing for 15 minutes waiting for water to boil, prepping toast, cutting soldiers, finding the egg cups you know you own and timing your eggs as they bubble away in the pot.
The moment has finally arrived, you site down with your side plate, 2 steaming eggs and half a portion of toast soldiers as you ate the other half waiting for the eggs to boil. You wield your teaspoon and swing it down on your egg with poise but purpose cracking the outer shell skillfully use your spoon to remove the shattered shell lid of your prize to reveal........
A snotty, translucent part cooked barely warm egg not fit for human consumption or even the dog
A slightly grey powdery yolk with a rock hard white and a slightly off putting sulphur laced whiff
Now remember how it felt. That dear reader is the feeling of abject failure. Something so anticipated that you toiled for has undermined your entire culinary prowess. You suck! The day is ruined, you may as well crawl back into your bed and shut yourself off from the world. What is the point.
It's quite possible at this point that I may be exaggerating the importance of a well cooked boiled egg but even at the ripe old age of 44, there is a certain fist-bump style feeling of success at revealing a perfect soft yolk and cooked through white.
So do you want your morning to start with crushing failure or the motivation of knowing that once again, you owned the egg game?
Yep, us too, so hold onto your mind, because it's about to get blown.
You own an air fryer and you love boiled eggs, I know this. How? because only strange people read this far in a post titled Air Fryer Boiled Eggs if they don't , and you're not strange, you're a legend.
Well legend, allow me to show you how to turn those two items into consistently perfect breakfast joy.
Hack - Make perfect runny yolk, soft but cooked white eggs in the air fryer
Place two eggs per person in your air fryer
Set the air fryer to 130c / 270f
Set the timer to 11 minutes
Hit the go button
Make hot buttered toast
Slice toast into dipping thickness soldiers
Prepare side plate with egg cup, toast soldiers and a teaspoon
Make coffee / tea / OJ based on personal preference
Wait for air fryer Ding/Beep
Add eggs to egg cup
Repeat daily or as desired
Boom, Air Fryer Eggs, no mess, no water, no pan, no watching, no timing, no clean up. one plate, 2 egg cups, a spoon and a knife for spreading of butter,that's it.
How do you like your eggs?
Cooking for the fam? Everyone like their eggs differently? No problem, just follow this guide, start at 11 minutes and then remove eggs as required leaving the rest in for extra time:
Runny Yolk - 11 minutes (Good for breakfast in Egg Cups)
Custard Yolk - 13 minutes (For those who don't like it runny )
Firm Yolk - 15 minutes (Great For serving halved / quartered in Salads e.g. Nicoise)
Solid Yolk - 17 Minutes (Great for making Egg-Mayonnaise / Egg Salad)
Tips & Tricks
You may find it beneficial to run a one time test to match your eggs to your air fryer. Although it shouldn't matter, different air fryers have different power and heat-up times and the size of the egg may make a slight difference to the cooking time. A simple test is to cook 4 eggs and take the first out at 11 minutes , the next at 12 etc. and then open them all and see which one suits you best. Once you know, you'll be able to reproduce the same results over and over again.
If you're like me and buy eggs in bulk by the tray, this is a good way to use up a large batch of eggs that have reached their "best before" date. Just take any number of eggs and cook them to the hard boiled stage and then make up a batch of egg / salad to get another 3-5 days to use them. there's nothing like a good egg salad sandwich!
This hack is great for enhancing your dishes. For example, a good potato salad has boiled egg in it but who has the time to boiled potatoes and then boil eggs justy for a side dish or make two pans to wash up just for a bit of salad? Well now you don't have to, the eggs can go in the air fryer whilst the potatoes are boiling, no extra work, much better dish.
We'll be along with more food hacks in the coming weeks so if this was useful, don't forget to subscribe so you're the first to know when we release new recipes.