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The Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg

based on 3 ratings
Author: Barry Eitel

Grade Level:

Middle School

Type:

Chemistry

Objective:

This experiment will explore the best way to create a perfect soft-boiled egg.

Research Questions:

-Does the boiling method affect the quality of a soft-boiled egg?

-What factor does time play for a soft-boiled egg?

Introduction:

Anyone who has tried to make a soft-boiled egg knows how difficult it is to perfect. Cooking time, temperature, and cooking methods all play a factor. Experimenting with soft-boiled eggs shows how heat interacts with fats and proteins. Once you’ve mastered the soft-boiled egg, your whole family will thank you!

Materials:

  • Several dozen eggs
  • Pot with lid
  • Stove range
  • Bowl filled with ice and water
  • Plates
  • Book
  • Ruler
  • Timer
  • Spoon
  • Meat thermometer
  • Journal

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Take eggs out of refrigerator, and fill the pot with water, cover it, and bring it to a boil.
  2. Once the pot is boiling rapidly, carefully place an egg in the pot with a spoon. Leave the pot uncovered.
  3. Set the timer for two minutes. Once the timer goes off, remove the egg from the water and place it in the bowl filled with ice and water.
  4. Leave the egg in the spoon for 1 minute, and dump out the water in the pot.
  5. Take the egg out of the bowl and place it on a plate. Poke the meat thermometer into the egg so it reaches the center. Record the temperature.
  6. Place a book beneath the plate so it is at an incline. Cut the egg in half, letting the yolk drain. Measure how far the yolk runs with the ruler.
  7. Measure the width of the solid white. Note colors of yolk and viscosity of yolk and white.
  8. Repeat steps 2-8 for two more eggs.
  9. Repeat steps 2-8 for two more eggs, but increase the boiling time to 4 minutes.
  10. Repeat steps 2-8 for two more eggs, but increase the boiling time to 6 minutes.
  11. Fill the pot with water again, cover, and bring to a boil.
  12. Once the pot is boiling, carefully lower an egg into the water. Cover the pot with the lid. Turn the heat off.
  13. Set the timer for 2 minutes.
  14. Repeat steps 5-8.
  15. Repeat steps 12-15 for two more eggs.
  16. Repeat steps 12-15 for two more eggs, but increase the steeping time to 4 minutes.
  17. Repeat steps 12-15 for two more eggs, but increase the steeping time to 6 minutes.
  18. After dumping out the old water, fill the pot with more water and put an egg in. Cover and bring the water to a boil.
  19. Once the water is boiling, set the timer for 2 minutes.
  20. Repeat steps 5-8.
  21. Repeat steps 19-21 for two more eggs.
  22. Repeat steps 19-21 for two more eggs, but increase boiling time to 4 minutes.
  23. Repeat steps 19-21 for two more eggs, but increase boiling time to 6 minutes.
  24. Analyze the data. Which cooking method produces the ideal soft-boiled egg? What effect did each cooking method have? How might this be explained in chemical terms?

 Concepts: viscosity, protein, heat

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