Sorry, Rocky fans...don't be upset, but the iconoclastic scene where Stallone's guzzling down raw eggs is actually not the best nutrition plan. Aside from eliminating the risk of salmonella, something really interesting and important happens to eggs when we cook them.
Raw egg whites only provide about half of the protein as cooked whites (about 50% vs. about 90%).
This is due to a nutrient present in raw eggs that inhibits protein absorption.
With that in mind, let's get cooking! Here are some simple, foolproof ways to cook eggs in batches:
- Bring a few centimeters of water to a strong simmer in a medium saucepan. Add eggs (gently!) with tongs, cover and boil for 6 minutes, 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water for 1 minute.
- This works for any size egg (med-XL) for up to 8 at a time. You'll get perfectly set whites and beautiful runny yolks every time. Go for another minute if you like the yolks slightly set.
- Bring some water with a dash of white vinegar to a boil, then drop it down to a simmer. Crack and portion the eggs out in bowls ahead of time (yolks removed at this stage if desired).
- Swirl the water with a spoon, lower the bowl just above the water and slide in one egg. Keep the water gently swirling for about 30 seconds then repeat with the next egg. After 4 minutes the whites will be cooked, and yolks will be runny. Go for 6-7 minutes if you like a firm yolk.
- Keeping track of more than 4 eggs is tough, but once you have them alternating through you can make enough for the whole family pretty quick. Don't skip stirring the water or waiting between eggs since this helps the egg hold together and stay separate.
- Put eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil then drop to a simmer. Cover the pot and boil for 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water for 1-2 minutes.
- Again, this works for any size egg for up to 8 eggs. You'll get set whites, and a cooked through, but not overcooked, yolk.
Any risk of salmonella from eggs is eliminated at 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit), which is the temperature that the protein inhibitors are broken down at. If the eggs are pasteurized, but still "raw," the whites are safe and the protein inhibitors have been broken down. So if you actually like raw eggs, this is your option for the best of both worlds!
It's also worth noting that soft boiled, or poached egg whites take less energy and time to digest than scrambled, fried, or hard boiled eggs.
Cooking is the way to get the most protein and nutrients for your buck!