It doesn't matter how you want to cook an egg - poached, scrambled, boiled, fried, baked, etc - there are a seemingly endless number of techniques out there that claim to be the "perfect" method. I want to share my favorite way to make a delicious hard-boiled egg. Is it the be all and end all absolutely no-buts-about-it best and perfect way to hard boil an egg? Maybe, maybe not, but it's the one that I've been using for as long as I can remember and so far it hasn't let me down!
Ideally, you want your eggs to not be super fresh. Older eggs are easier to peel after they are boiled, so if you can, purchase eggs intended for boiling at least a week in advance, 2 weeks is even better. Don't worry, the eggs will keep! If all you have are eggs straight from the supermarket, don't worry. They'll still be delicious but you might have to work a little harder to get those shells off.
Arrange your eggs in the bottom of a large pan and cover with cold water. The water level should be about an inch above the top of the eggs.
With your stove on high heat, bring the eggs just to a full rolling boil and then immediately turn off the heat. Cover the pan and let the eggs sit for about 12 minutes for a perfectly done hard-boiled egg. You can experiment with cook times if you like your eggs more on the soft-boiled size (try about 10 minutes instead).
Note: The perfect cook-time will depend on a couple of things such as the size of the eggs (I use large - jumbo or extra-large will need a little extra time), the heat retention of your pot (I use stainless steel), and how quickly your burner cools when turned off. Somewhere between 11-13 minutes tends to work for most people.
The jury is still out on whether or not this next step actually makes it easier to peel the eggs, but it's worth a shot, right? Remove the eggs from the hot water and give 'em a tap on your counter - just enough to introduce some good cracks. Then dunk them into a big bowl of cold water and let them sit for a couple of minutes. Don't want to do this step? No problem. Just transfer the whole eggs from the hot water into some cold water and let 'em cool for a few minutes.
When you're ready to peel, tap and roll the eggs on your counter until the whole egg looks crackled and shattered. I find that rolling the egg like this makes it easier to peel off the shell than just introducing a few large cracks.
For my tastes, a good hard-boiled egg has a tender but fully done yolk that is still a bit creamy in texture. If your yolk comes out rubbery or has a darker, greenish color around the outside, then they are a bit overdone - try cooking your eggs for less time.Print