Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Perfect hard boiled eggs…I almost didn’t write about them.

But I was convinced I should because I get so many inquiries about eggs.

Many recipes call for boiled eggs, so why not write what I know.

The most popular question I get regarding eggs is about how you boil them perfectly every time.

Boiled Eggs Are Never Boiled

I know it sounds kind of misleading. In fact you should only barely simmer the eggs. If you boil them you ruin their texture. The whites will be rubbery and tough. Plus the bubbling of the water will bounce the eggs around and that’s how the shells crack.

Use a large saucepan and fill it with water about half way up. Make sure there's enough water so that the eggs will be covered by at least an inch more.

And the eggs need to be in a single layer.

Bring the eggs to room temperature... about an hour out of the fridge.

Bring the water to a gentle simmer. Place the eggs in a blanching basket and drop it gently in the hot water. By having the eggs in a basket, it helps to get all the eggs OUT at the same time.

How Long Do You Cook The Eggs?

For perfect hard boiled eggs or soft boiled eggs for that matter, it’s all about timing.

Once the eggs are in the water, start the timer when you see the water has returned to a simmer.

Small eggs cook faster than large ones.

SOFT BOILED EGGS are done in 3-5 minutes.

PERFECT HARD BOILED EGGS are ready in 12 – 15 minutes. If you overcook the eggs the yolks will be pale, chalky and dry while the whites will be rubbery. It’s also possible that the yolk will develop a greenish rim.

When the timer goes off, quickly put the eggs in very cold water. This stops the cooking process and any discoloration in the yolk.

You now have perfect hard boiled eggs!

Best Way To Peel Them

The fresher the egg the more downright impossible it will be to remove the peel without damaging the whites.

This is so frustrating, especially when you're planning to use eggs in a nice appetizer presentation.

So if the eggs are really fresh, like less than a week old, then use them for another purpose.

An older egg has a bigger air cell between the egg and the shell which is why it's easier to peel them.

It's Better to Steam Them!

This is so awesome.  Seriously!  Steaming eggs in their shell will result in tender hard "boiled" eggs.

It doesn't matter if the eggs were laid yesterday, you'll be able to peel them effortlessly.  Promise!

By steaming the eggs they cook very evenly and the risk of the shell cracking is very low.

You're going to need a pot with a steamer tray insert to do this.

OK, Let's do this!

Have on hand a big bowl and fill it with ice cubes and then add cold water.  When those eggs are done you're going to quickly put them in the ice water. 

This is going to do couple things. 

Your eggs will be perfectly shaped.  You know that dip or indentation you get in the egg white after boiling?  If you cool the eggs very quickly that won't happen.  They need to cool for at least 15 minutes.

And you won't get any yolk discoloration either.

(Don't bother with this if you're eating them hot.)

Moving right along... Fill a large pot with about an inch of water. Put in the steamer tray and then cover the pot. Turn the heat up to high and when the water is boiling hard, carefully place the eggs in the tray.  Be mindful to avoid a steam burn.  Use long oven mitts or tongs.

Pop the lid back on the pot and continue steaming for 12 minutes to get hard boiled eggs or about 6 minutes for soft ones.

Serve them right away if you're eating them hot.  Let them cool enough that you can handle them and then peel them under cool water for easy peeling.

Yeah!  No more mangled egg whites when I make my Deviled Eggs!!

How Long Will They Keep?

Hard boiled eggs or steamed, with the shell intact will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

If they're peeled you'll need to have them tightly sealed and consumed within 1 week.

Can't tell the raw ones from the boiled eggs? Before putting them in the fridge, I mark the boiled ones with a penciled "X".  Or I return them to the egg carton which I label as "boiled" with the date.

But if I forget to do identify them as boiled then I take the egg and spin it on the counter. If it spins evenly it's boiled. if it wobbles it's raw!

Here are some more interesting and useful egg facts.

Let's go from Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs back to the Home page.

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