I learned how to make hard boiled eggs when I was about sixteen. I have used this method for over twenty years, and it has never failed me. Not once! I’ve seen several different methods that cooks swear by, but this is the one that has always worked for me. This post was originally shared in 2014.
When I was fifteen, I was entrusted with the job of making and coloring hard boiled eggs for my nieces and nephews to hunt on Easter morning. It was a pretty high honor as far as I was concerned and I was determined to make the best eggs ever. On Easter morning, I had my beautiful eggs all hidden and the kids loved finding them. Until one dropped on the ground and splattered half cooked egg all over the patio. Apparently I didn’t know how to boil eggs after all.
So the next year I knew I’d better step up my game. I was home from school on spring break and happened to catch the end of the 11 am news and Mr. Food was on. To be fair, I wasn’t trying to watch the news, I just didn’t want to miss the beginning of my favorite soap. Anyway, Mr. Food had the perfect method for boiling eggs – YES! It was just what I needed. I began using his method and I had perfect eggs – every time! Except for the times when I forget to set the timer and end up boiling them for half an hour…but that’s another story for another time.
Anyway, I wanted to share my perfect hard boiled eggs method with you today!
First, grab a 3 quart pot (or smaller is you are boiling fewer eggs). Gently add your eggs to the pot and cover completely with water. Bring the eggs to a gentle boil , uncovered, over medium-high heat. This is a gentle boil – meaning you’re not letting it go crazy right now. You’ll see tiny bubbles rising and the eggs will just slightly start to move. This is the point when you shut off the burner, cover the pot and set the timer for 18 minutes.
When that timer goes off, you have to move quickly. Gently remove the eggs from the pot with a spoon. Transfer the eggs immediately into a bowl filled with ice water (you’ll want to have this set up in advance). Leave the eggs in the ice water for at least a full minute to stop the cooking process.
After about a minute, drain the water and place the eggs in the refrigerator.
That’s all there is to it! Perfect eggs, with a nice creamy, bright yellow center. If you prefer the centers to be a little softer (I actually prefer mine pretty firm), remove the eggs from the water at 15-16 minutes.
A few things to keep in mind:
Depending on how you prefer your eggs, you may want them to sit in the water a little more or a little less, anywhere from 15-20 minutes you should still get great hard boiled eggs.
The timing also may differ based on the size of your pan, the heat from your burner, the size of the eggs and how many you boil at a time. Find a time and pot that works for you and stick with it.
Store hard boiled eggs in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To make eggs easier to peel, you can add a teaspoon of salt or a couple teaspoons of vinegar to the water. It also helps to peel them under cold, running water.
How to Boil an Egg
- Place 8-10 eggs in a 3-quart pot. For more eggs, use a larger pot. The eggs should lay in a single layer.
- Add enough cold water to cover the eggs. Water should rise to about an inch over the eggs.
- Turn heat to medium-high and bring water to gentle boil, uncovered; about 8-10 minutes.You'll see tiny bubbles rising and the eggs will just slightly start to move.
- Immediately turn off heat, cover and move the pot from the heat. Set a timer for 18 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place a good amount of ice in a large bowl and fill with water.
- When the timer goes off, immediately remove eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the ice water. If needed, run some cold tap water over the eggs to keep it cool; about 1 minute.
- Peel and eat immediately, or cool longer in the refrigerator.
- Store cooked eggs in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For more spring side dishes and snacks, try these: