How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard boiled eggs. They are another one of those things that it’s just assumed that everyone knows how to make, right?
Well, not really. I still have to stop and think sometimes how to do it. It’s not hard to figure out that you just cook the whole egg in boiling water until it’s done. But how do you tell when it’s done? You don’t want underdone runny yolks. An overcooked egg can be even worse, with a rubbery white, the yolk dry and chalky with a weird greenish-grey ring around it. They don’t taste all that bad, but if you are making them for company, you really want them to look nice.
So why do you need to learn to make them? You can buy cooked hard boiled eggs in grocery stores now. I bought them exactly once. They had hard and rubbery whites. Yuck. So, make them yourself. They are really easy.
Sliced or diced hard-boiled egg are a must if you are making a chef’s salad or potato salad, and when is the last time you had an egg salad sandwich? Yum! Easy to grab and eat out of hand, they are the perfect low carb, high protein snack. And then there’s deviled eggs. All they are is hard boiled eggs with the yolks scooped out and mixed up with mayo and onion and such, and sprinkled with paprika. So pretty, and everybody likes them.
So, now that you are convinced you need to know how to make them, here’s how.
- Place eggs in a wide bodied pot and run cold water into the pot until they are completely covered.
- Put pan over high heat and bring water to a full rolling boil. (Not just when it first starts to boil, but boiling hard with bubbles coming up and over the surface of the water.) Remove pan from heat and cover.
So to answer the question “how long should I boil eggs?” The answer is only a minute or so. Eggs exposed to high heat for a long time go through a chemical reaction that turns the outside of the yolks greenish-grey. Removing the eggs from the heat but leaving them in the hot water will cook them without this reaction taking place. Because of this, some people prefer the term “hard-cooked eggs” to hard-boiled eggs.
3. Let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15-18 minutes. How long you let the eggs stay in the water depends on how big the eggs are and how hard you want them cooked. I like medium for straight eating out of hand, a little more cooked for salads and recipes like deviled eggs. To cook small eggs, let them stand for 14 minutes for medium or an extra minute for use in recipes. Since I like them a little more cooked, here’s the times I use:
4. Drain eggs and run cold water over them for 2 or 3 minutes to cool quickly. Then put in a bowl or sink filled with ice water. The ice water cools the eggs quickly and also helps prevent the green yolk problem. If you’re planning to peel the eggs right away, crack them slightly before putting them in the ice water, and let them sit for an hour for maximum ease of peeling.
I read in one post that older eggs are actually easier to peel. It said that your best bet for hard-boiled eggs is to choose eggs you’ve had in the refrigerator for a week or two, rather than using eggs you have just purchased. I haven’t experimented with fresh versus week-old eggs so I can’t attest to the truthfulness of this, but hey, it might be true. The eggs I made for these pictures really had been in the fridge for a week or so, and while some of them peeled easily, some still stuck tight to the whites. I really hate that! Sometimes, you do everything right, and they still look all dimply like cottage cheese by the time you have picked of all the tiny pieces of shell that took bits of white along with them! Arggh! Steve says that it’s just whatever mood the chicken was in when she laid them. lol! 🙂 Because of this, I always cook a few more eggs than I plan to take to the party. That way I can select the better ones and leave the dimpled looking ones for us to eat the next day.
Sometimes the shell sticks, even if you do everything right. Aren’t these some good looking hard boiled eggs?