Do you know the secret to making perfect hard boiled eggs?
When cooking, everyone seems to have their own way of doing things. While I know there is always more than one “right” way to do many things, sometimes you discover a method that gives you perfect results every time, that you just want to share.
I don’t make hard boiled eggs very often. I only use them in potato salad and egg salad sandwiches. This is generally a summer menu item around here, and I really only started making those more often last summer.
It was also last year that I discovered I had been not been taught the correct way to make hard boiled eggs. I was taught to add eggs to already boiling water and cook for the desired outcome (ex. soft boiled or hard boiled). Okay, it worked, but it did not give consistent and/or great results every time. I am sure you’ve seen those hard boiled eggs that have the grey ring around the yolk at least once, right? With this method, you’ll never have to worry about serving unsightly hard cooked eggs to your family or friends again. Now you can impress everyone at the family reunion, the neighborhood BBQ or company picnic. Do they still have company picnics? I’ve never been to one….
Anyway, last year while visiting with my-mother-in-law, she served up some egg salad sandwiches. She was kind enough to share her egg cooking method with me. I felt a bit silly for not knowing how to make hard boiled eggs properly. Thankfully, after searching online, I now know I am not the only one.
So, here is what I learned – just in case you were never taught the way to end up with lovely hard boiled eggs either.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs: It’s best to use eggs that have been in your fridge for about a week; they will be much easier to peel (trust me on that one).
Pot: I like to use a pot that is just a bit bigger than the number of eggs I plan to cook. All the eggs should fit on the bottom of the pot in a single layer without touching. There should be a bit of space for them to move around while boiling but not so much that your start eggs “wandering” around the pot while cooking (*grin*).
Water: Once the eggs are in the pot, gently fill the pot with cold tap water. Make sure there is enough water to completely cover the eggs and then add a bit more to allow for boiling (maybe an inch or two).
Stove: Place the pot on the burner, uncovered. Set to high and wait until the water comes to a boil. Cover the pot, and remove from heat.
Sit or Stand: Not you, the eggs! Let the eggs sit/stand in the water to “cook”. I leave mine for about 15-20 minutes, although I have seen some recommendations anywhere from 10 all the way up to 25. It can vary depending on the size of eggs you are using. I think it’s pretty hard (pun intended) to overcook eggs using this method.
Cool: There are a few ways you can cool your eggs. One it to remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl of ice water. Another is to bring the pot over to the sink and drain, then run cold water over the eggs until they feel cool. I don’t like wasting this much water. So, I remove the lid, run some cold water into the pot until it’s cooled enough to safely touch, then gently drain using the lid. Fill the pot with cold water. Let the eggs sit for about 5 minutes, come back and refresh the cold water and let sit for another 5 or 10 minutes. Drain. Touch your eggs to see if they feel cool. If not, repeat above steps until cool.
Peel: Once the eggs are cool, you can peel them. I never find it as easy as they say. So, I put my eggs in a bowl or container and pop them in the fridge for an hour or two. They are so much easier to peel once cold (rather than cooled). Of course you have to plan ahead for this, and if you need to feed the hungry masses (or your family) quickly, you can skip that step.
Enjoy: Now add you can eat your lovely eggs whole or cut, slice or mash them to use in your favourite recipe.
I have this great wire slicer gizmo I bought at Ikea that I use to slice my eggs. I highly recommend the Ikea version, because the wires in my former one (that I can’t remember where I bought) snapped after only a few uses. I even use it if am making egg salad, because it makes it easier to mash them. I swear, trying to mash whole hard boiled eggs with a fork would probably make a great comedy skit (don’t deny it, you know what I am talking about!).
Now find something tasty to make with your perfect hard boiled eggs, and don’t be afraid to show them off!
Hopefully, I passed along some useful information to a few of you. If you already knew this, please don’t keep your method a secret. I am sure there are others out there who are often embarrassed and trying to hide their grey-ringed hard boiled eggs. Please help them!