You are now going to have your best shot at making perfect hard-boiled eggs every time. Here are two methods that should ensure peerless hard-cooked eggs, plus a whole lot of tips for success. Then, you are on your way to making perfect Deviled Eggs, the best egg salad, or just tucking a beautiful white and yellow hard-cooked egg into a picnic basket, a lunch box, or the fridge for some high-protein snacking.
Making perfect hard-boiled (or hard-cooked eggs) is a task that flummoxes even seasoned cooks. There are no guarantees, and the hard-boiled egg gods can be a mercurial bunch. Yolks too undercooked, or — more likely — overcooked, and maybe dry and flaky. Maybe even tinged with that unattractive green circle. Rubbery whites. Shells that won’t peel off neatly. Not great. This is how you avoid those hard-boiled egg pitfalls!
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How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs: Two methods for making perfect hard cooked eggs with creamy yolks, tender whites, and shells that slip right off.Tweet This
How to Hard-Boil Eggs
There are two methods for making perfect boiled eggs, which we will walk through step-by-step below.
- Boil the eggs and water: Place the eggs into a saucepan and add water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, and then allow the eggs to boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes.
- Cool: Fill a bowl with ice water. Transfer the cooked eggs to the ice water with a slotted spoon and let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Peel: Remove the eggs, tap both ends on the counter to crack the shells, crackle them by rolling them on the counter, then peel them. Peeling them while still warm and submerged in a bowl of cold water is often helpful for allowing the shell to slip off easily.
- Boil the water: Bring a pot of water to a boil, making sure the water is high enough to cover the eggs.
- Boil the eggs: Use a spoon to lower the eggs into the water. Boil the eggs for 9 minutes.
- Cool: Transfer the cooked eggs to the ice water with a slotted spoon and let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Peel: Remove the eggs, crackle them by tapping the two ends on the counter, then rolling them on the counter, then peel them. Peeling them while they are warm and submerged in a bowl of cold water helps the shell slip off easily.
Older eggs, at least 1 week old, tend to peel more easily. Obviously, you don’t want eggs that are no longer fresh, but super-fresh eggs don’t peel easily, so save those for scrambling and baking.
You can’t determine whether an egg is fresh or not just by looking at the shell. While there is a “best by” date, cartons aren’t always clear about when an egg was laid, and you might not remember how long eggs have been sitting in the fridge.
To double-check that any egg is fresh and safe to eat before boiling, use the “water test:” Place the egg in a glass filled with cold water; eggs that sink are fresh, and eggs that float to the top should be tossed.
There are two methods that I have had ongoing success with.
Peeling them after they have sat in an ice bath for a while but still warm gives the best results because the shells come off more easily. Chilled eggs don’t peel as smoothly.
Rolling them on the counter before peeling them to crackle the shell also helps the shell come off cleanly. Peeling them while submerged under cold water in a bowl (or running water, but that’s kind of wasteful) is another trick for getting the shells off easily.
What to Make With Hard-Boiled Eggs
So, what are the best ways to use those perfect hard-boiled eggs? Let’s count the ways!
Hard-boiled eggs are delicious on their own, but they are also an important ingredient for a lot of delicious foods. My favorite of these is Deviled Eggs. First, you hard-boil some eggs, then take out the yolks, mash and season them, and add them back into the hollow in the whites.
If you love deviled eggs as much as I do, then you’ll be very excited about Deviled Egg Potato Salad! It’s the perfect side for any picnic or potluck. Other great classic uses for hard-boiled eggs are Egg Salad or Niçoise Salad. As soon as you make them, you’ll remember that they are classics for a reason.
More Egg Recipes
- How to Make Perfect Scrambled Eggs
- How to Make a Frittata
- How to Make a Perfect Omelet
- Fried Eggs and Smoked Salmon Over Polenta Cakes
- Bacon, Leek, Mushroom, and Cheese Mini Quiches
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How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
- 6 Eggs
- Water (as needed)
- Place the eggs into a saucepan and add water to cover by at least 1-inch. Bring the water to a boil, and then allow the eggs to boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. While the eggs are sitting in the hot water, fill a bowl with ice water.Gently place the eggs in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover the eggs completely with water, with at least 1-inch of water above the eggs. Turn the stove onto medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Allow them to boil for just 1 minute. Then turn the heat off, cover the saucepan, and let sit for 10 minutes.
- While the eggs sit, prepare to cool them by filling a bowl with enough ice water to cover the eggs. Transfer the cooked eggs to the ice water with a slotted spoon and let sit for about 5 minutes. The goal is to get the eggs cool enough to touch, but not so cold that they are difficult to peel.
- Take the eggs out of the water. Tap the top and bottom sides on a flat countertop to crack the shells. Then roll them lengthwise on the counter to crack completely. It may help to peel them while holding them under the surface of the cold water.
- Fill a pot with enough water to cover your eggs (before adding them). Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, use a slotted spoon to slowly add the eggs to the water, making sure not to drop them against the bottom of the pot. Boil for 9 minutes.
- Fill a bowl with ice water. Transfer the eggs to the bowl and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove the eggs and crack on their end by tapping against the counter. Roll them to crack completely, then peel while submerged in the cold water. The shell should slip off easily.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.