The Simple Method To Keep Yolks Runny When Reheating Eggs

Runny egg yolks are the cornerstone of many delicious breakfast dishes. Whether it be shakshuka, eggs benedict, or a simple sunny-side up on toast, there's nothing quite as satisfying as piercing the egg with your fork and seeing the yolk run over the rest of your food. Of course, it's not just about visual appeal. As BBC Science Focus explains, runny egg yolks taste different from fully cooked ones because of the Maillard reaction, which alters the protein and glucose of the eggs when exposed to heat. For eggs specifically, the more they cook, the nuttier they taste. This difference is even more heightened by the differing textures, because mouthfeel is a major influence on flavor perception. Eggs Benedict with a fully cooked yolk, for example, will still be good, but won't taste exactly the same as one with a runny one. 

You might assume this means you can never enjoy runny egg yolks unless they're freshly made, but that's actually not the case — there's a way to reheat eggs without accidentally overcooking the yolk.

How to reheat eggs with runny yolks

If you're not mindful about the time or temperature, an egg yolk can quickly go from runny to firm. According to Cook's Illustrated, yolks only stay runny from about 110 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and will start to firm up if it gets any hotter. To reheat runny eggs therefore, you'll need to act fast. Per Cook's Illustrated's instructions, start with a saucepan filled with a half inch of water. Set the stove to medium-high, and when the water comes to a boil, place the refrigerated eggs in the pan. Place on the lid, and cook for no more than three and a half minutes. This should allow the egg yolk to reheat to that 110 to 140 degree Fahrenheit sweet spot.

The Kitchen Community also offers tips for reheating runny eggs, advising readers to pour bowling water into a heat-resistant bowl and submerge their eggs into the water for a minute or two. Once that time has passed, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon. Once reheated, boil water in a pan and dip your eggs for 30 to 60 seconds for a second jolt of warmth.