How to Cook a Hard Boiled Egg

I learned the tricks to making the perfect hard boiled eggs one at a time, over years of trying and now feel that I’ve got it nearly perfected. It’s very simple to cook hard boiled eggs, but getting them consistantly right isn’t as easy. I’ll try to give you all you’ll need to know to do this, though.

First, eggs are one of the few food products that are actually better to cook with when they’re not quite as fresh as they could be. At least for hard boiling, eggs that have been in the fridge for a few days are much better than eggs fresh from the coop. Slightly aged eggs tend to stick to the inside of the shells much less than fresh ones, which will then tear pieces of flesh from the egg as you try to peel them.

Next, put the eggs in a pot, in a single layer on the bottom and cover them by about one inch, in COLD water. Letting the eggs come up to boiling temperature with the water will help prevent them from cracking. You can also add a half of a teaspoon of salt in the water to help prevent them from cracking. This is also said to make them slightly easier to peel, too. You can add a little splash of vinegar to help keep the whites from leaking out of the ones that do crack.

Once you’ve got it all ready, put the pot on a burner and turn it to high. Let it come to a full boil for about 30 seconds to one minute. Then, turn the heat down to minumum and cover them. After 10-12 minutes or so, (less time for smaller eggs, more time for larger), You’ll want to check to see if they’re done.

To do this, simply scoop one out of the water with a spoon. If the shell dries in around 5 seconds, it’s likely done. If it takes closer to 10 seconds to dry, it’s not likely done. This amazed me when I learned it. Also, hard boiled eggs will keep spinning on the counter top for a lot longer than a raw or soft boiled egg. But if you’re really not sure if it’s done completely, cool one down and crack it open. This is really the only fool proof way to see.

It’s important not to overcook the eggs or they’ll get that dark coloration around the yolks that nobody likes to see. They’ll also often take on a bit more of a sulfer type taste with drastic overcooking and can become somewhat rubbery.

To peel them, drain the hot water as soon as thay’re done cooking and replace it with cold water. After five minutes or so, do this again with even colder water if you can. A few minutes after that, drain the water agian. Then, holding the lid firmly on the pot with one hand and the pot handle with the other, shake the eggs up and down vigorously for about five seconds to get as many cracks on them as you can. Then cover them with more cold water and let them sit for a few more minutes.

Then you simply pluck them out of the water one by one and peel them over the pot, using the pot water as a last rinse and putting peeled and clean eggs on a paper towel to dry. Perfect eggs more often than not.