Tools and Tips: Hard Boiled Eggs

Halved Hard Boiled Egg



You know that old saying, "Can't boil an egg"? Well for the longest time, that was me. Because while I could physically add water and boil the eggs, I always had trouble ensuring that the yolk was perfectly cooked through and that the shells peeled away easily.

Is there anything worse than a shell that clings mercilessly to an egg when you're in a rush? Or cutting open the egg and finding a gooey yellow mess?

So I've put together this quick tutorial for boiling the perfect hard boiled egg. And it works 90% of the time when I follow this technique precisely. Every now and then, for some inexplicable reason, a shell will still cling to an egg. Why? Turns out it's because the eggs are fresher and the inner membrane is more resilient - and the splash of vinegar helps to loosen this membrane.


Photo Tutorial

Cold Tap Water to Cover Eggs
Add the eggs to a pot and cover with cold water (the eggs should be submerged below the water). Add a splash of distilled white vinegar to the water.

Egg Pot Covered and Coming to the Boil
Cover the pot and bring to the boil.

Eggs Boiling for 1 Minute
Boil the eggs uncovered for 1 minute.

Eggs Resting in Hot Water for 11 Minutes
Remove the eggs from the heat and cover. Let let the eggs sit in the hot water for 11 minutes.

Hard Boiled Eggs in Collander
Drain the eggs.

Cold Tap Water to Cool Hard Boiled Eggs
Return the eggs to the pot and cover with cold water. Let the eggs cool in the water for 4 minutes.

Hard Boiled Eggs in Collander
Drain the eggs.

Hard Boiled Eggs, Ready to be Peeled
Immediately peel the eggs.

Halved Hard Boiled Egg
For best flavor and color, use immediately.


Hard Boiled Eggs

    by Javelin Warrior
     Prep Time: 15 min
     Cook Time: 12 min

Ingredients (varies)
  • Eggs
  • Cold water
  • Splash of distilled white vinegar (optional)
  1. Add the eggs to a medium or large pot, depending on the number of eggs; cover the eggs with cold water (the eggs should be completely submerged), add a splash of vinegar to the water, then cover the pot with a lid and bring to a rolling boil
  2. Boil the eggs for exactly 1 minute, then remove the pot from heat and let the eggs soak (pot covered) for exactly 11 minutes
  3. Drain the eggs, return them to the pot and cover the eggs with cold water; let the eggs cool for exactly 4 minutes, then peel immediately
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  1. Thats a very useful post for me. I jes cant get it right. Most times is undercooked. thanks for this post:)

  2. I cook them for about 15 minutes, but that seems to work for me. One thing I do, is the minute they start boiling, I set the timer on the stove to count down 15 minutes. When it completes, I take them off and do the cold water bath. Works every time - except when I go upstairs and forget I have eggs cooking on the stove like the other day!

  3. Yep Javelin Warrior you got it spot on! A very basic technique which most dont know. Thanks; a very useful post. What about a few more similar? like frying an egg to the right degree ie soft med, well done? no lump roux for thickening, proper filter coffee, proper tea? All important cheffing skills!

  4. I've also heard that older eggs tend to peel a lot easier than fresh eggs but with your technique hopefully it doesn't matter. Thanks!

  5. I'll have to try the vinegar trick! Recently I was hard boiling eggs and that inner membrane was driving me crazy! What's worse than deviled eggs that look like they were peeled with an ax? :) I didn't realize that vinegar will help loosen that membrane. Thanks for the tips!


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