Cooking perfect hard boiled eggs is not as easy as you might think. And it may come as a surprise to you to learn that the yolks of hard boiled eggs should NOT resemble the Dr. Suess version in his book Green Eggs and Ham.
Some cooks start the eggs in cold water (like me) and others prefer to lower the cold eggs directly into boiling water to start the cooking process. Others steam the eggs in a vegetable steamer in about an inch of water, and others actually BAKE their eggs in the oven. But no matter how you cook your egg, your goal after cooking should be a bright yellow yolk…and NOT a green one. (Sorry Dr. Suess!)
So…here is Meemaw’s Method for How To Boil An Egg.
- Add some salt!
For some reason, adding salt to the cooking water seems to make peeling the cooked eggs much easier.
- Cover the single layer of eggs with about an inch of cold water.
I start with COLD water. And, in fact, I probably shouldn’t call these Hard Boiled Eggs since they are never really BOILED in my method. They are simply brought UP to a boil…then removed from the heat.
- Don’t use really fresh eggs!
In other words, read the expiration date on the egg carton, and select the carton of eggs that is closest to their expiration date because fresh eggs are much harder to peel. And see how these eggs are beginning to “stand up” and stick out of the water in the pan? That tells me the eggs are older, since fresh eggs will lie flat and stay completely submerged in the water. If an egg totally floats…I’d say toss it. It’s probably TOO old. (YUK!)
- Bring the salted water and eggs up to a full, rolling boil.
No wimpy simmer this time…Boil Baby Boil! A rollicking rolling BOIL is what I mean!
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat and cover with a tight fitting lid.
Clamp that lid on tightly because the STEAM inside is what will cook your eggs.
- Set the timer for 10-12 minutes (I do 10 minutes unless the eggs are jumbo size.)
Of course THIS is the tricky part. And personal preference plays a role here too. These are YOUR eggs after all.
- When time is up…test one egg if you’re unsure.
If you are unsure if the eggs are cooked to your liking, you may remove one egg from the pan after ten minutes and crack the shell. Hold it under cold running water in the sink and peel it. Cut that egg open and see if it’s cooked the way YOU like it. If not, you may replace the lid on the remaining eggs and leave for another minute or two. You’ll soon learn just how long you need to set the timer to achieve YOUR perfect hard boiled eggs.
- When time is up, immediately rinse the eggs in cold water.
Dump that hot water and start running cold tap water over the eggs to quickly stop the cooking process.
- When they are cool enough to handle, crack the shells and plunge them into an ice bath.
As soon as you can handle the eggs…crack them all over! And then fill the pan with ice and water. (Some people use an extra bowl but I don’t dirty an extra dish for this. I just use the pan I cooked them in since it’s already cooled down with the tap water.)
- Cool for a few minutes and then peel the eggs under running water.
I usually “swish” the eggs around in that ice bath to ensure that they cool quickly before peeling.
So…there you have it. My method for Hard Boiled Eggs. Now get crackin’ and create your own version!