The best hard boiled eggs are so simple and delicious. In my opinion, eggs are one of nature’s perfect foods. They are so easily prepared, and their shells are nature’s recyclable containers. Eggs are a complete protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids. They are packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, D, E, B12, zinc, iron, and calcium just to name a few.
I have always loved hard boiled eggs, ever since I can remember. As a kid, I occasionally spent the day with my mother at her office. There was a man working there who had hard boiled eggs every morning. He would share his eggs with me for breakfast. I remember how the egg whites were soft, and the yolks had such a creamy texture. These were the best hard boiled eggs that I ever had, and the shells peeled off them so easily.
I quickly realized that I had to make these at home for myself. Boiling a few eggs seemed simple enough. All I had to do was put some eggs in a pot with water, bring it to a boil, and let them cook for a while. Then let the eggs cool and peel.
To say I was disappointed was an understatement. The eggs were almost impossible to peel and overcooked. I ripped off chunks of egg white with every piece of shell removed. The eggs whites were rubbery, and the yolks were dry with a greenish-grey ring around the yolk.
Over the years, I have refined my cooking method to consistently produce the best hard boiled eggs. Although the concept of preparing hard boiled eggs is easy, there are a few key tips and guidelines to making the perfect easy to peel eggs every time. One of my favorite ways to use hard boiled boiled eggs is for egg salad sandwiches.
Cooking Methods for The Best Hard Boiled Eggs
There are two schools of thought when it comes to cooking methods for the best hard boiled eggs.
- The first method involves lining the bottom of a pot with a single layer of eggs. Then, fill the pot with cold water, until it covers the eggs by 1 or 2 inches. Bring the water to a rolling boil, and remove the eggs from the heat. Cover the eggs and let stand for a set period of time, until the desired doneness is achieved. Then, cool the eggs rapidly in an ice bath.
- For the second method, line the bottom of a pot with a single layer of eggs. Then, fill with cold water and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue to cook for a set time until the desired doneness is achieved. Then, cool the eggs rapidly in an ice bath.
The main difference between the two methods is the first removes the eggs from heat, once the water comes to a boil. Whereas, the second method continues to cook the eggs at medium-high heat, once the water has come to a boil. I prefer the second method. It is faster, and I achieve more consistent results.
Tips on Making The Best Hard Boiled Eggs
- Don’t place cold eggs in boiling water. The immense temperature difference risks cracking the eggs. Place the eggs in a saucepan with cold water, and then move to the stovetop. This allows the eggs to gradually come up to temperature, as the water temperature rises. Bringing the eggs gradually up to temperature also helps promote even cooking.
- Use older eggs. Try using eggs that are a week old. The egg whites shrink slightly in older eggs. This provides a larger air gap between the eggshell and the membrane resulting in easy to peel eggs.
- Add vinegar to the cooking water. The acidity in the vinegar helps soften the eggshells. This makes them easier to peel.
- Add salt to the cooking water. The salt will help seal any cracks that occur, and prevent the egg whites from leaking into the water.
- Cook using medium-high heat. Cooking with a rolling boil violently tumbles the eggs around increasing the chances of cracking. Using medium-high heat results in a gentler boil that’s less likely to crack the eggs.
- Use a timer. Set a timer to alert you when the eggs are done. Once the timer has finished, remove the eggs immediately from the boiling water. Every minute counts! Being off by a minute or two will result in an egg that is either too soft or too dry for your liking. Eggs that are overcooked ( greater than 10 minutes ) have a greenish-grey ring around the yolk, and the whites have a rubbery texture.