How to Cook Hardboiled Eggs
For something that seems to be so easy, how to cook hardboiled eggs can sure be tricky. And it sure does generate a lot of conversation. You don’t want the end result to be spongy or runny and you want pretty, sunshine-yellow yolks, not those grey things with a green ring around them. Cooked is cooked but how do you cook them right? So they’re pretty to look at and have just the right texture when you eat them?
When it comes to how to cook hardboiled eggs to perfection, two of the most important tools to employ are a timer and plenty of ice. With these two tools, you can control the cooking process from the very beginning, all the way to the end, without a single hint of green.
How to cook hardboiled eggs that peel the easiest and the prettiest means using older eggs. The fresher the eggs, the more the white part will cling to the shell, leaving you with a broken white that tastes great and is fine for chopping. But if you’ll want pretty egg slices, use the oldest eggs in your refrigerator or buy them a week in advance when you know you’ll want to use them for a specific date.
These steps for how to cook hardboiled eggs don’t vary with count. This method works for cooking one or two eggs or for twenty or thirty, if you’re so inclined. Start by placing the eggs gently in an empty pot that is big enough to hold all the eggs you’d like to cook plus room for at least one inch of water above the level of the eggs.
Fill the pot to a level one inch above the top of the eggs, using only cold water from the tap. Warm or hot water will cause your eggshells to crack, especially if they’re going straight from the refrigerator to the pot. Cracked eggs will seep into the cooking water and leave you with eggs that can’t be used.
The next step in how to cook hardboiled eggs will vary according to the size of the pot but the basics are the same. Place the pot on a burner, turn it to the highest setting, and stay close so you’ll know when the water starts to boil. The bigger the pot, the longer it will take to begin the boiling process but the trick is to use that all-important timer to clock only the time spent boiling.
Once the water begins to boil, how to cook hardboiled eggs only takes 12 minutes. At the first sign of a rolling boil, set your timer for 12 minutes. While the eggs are boiling, gather up the ice. You’ll want about the same amount of ice, by volume, that you have of eggs.
With so many cooking techniques, the application of heat is important but, also with so many other cooking techniques, how to cook hardboiled eggs to perfection means knowing how to stop the cooking process, too. And that usually means more than merely removing the pot from the source of heat.
Just as soon as your timer rings 12 minutes have passed, remove the pot of eggs from the stove, drain off all excess hot water, and dump all the ice on top of the eggs. Add just enough cool water from the tap to the pot that now the eggs are covered in ice and ice water. This stops the cooking process before that green ring forms and before the egg becomes rubbery in texture.
After the eggs have cooled a few minutes and it’s safe to touch them, tap the bigger, rounded end of each egg against the pot and put it back in the chilled water. Allow them to remain in the water until they are cool enough to comfortably peel. An air pocket forms in the rounded end of the egg during cooking. By cracking this air pocket, water seeps into the egg between the shell and the membrane protecting the egg white. Once enough water has seeped into the egg to effectively form a water barrier between the shell and the egg, peeling them is easiest.
That’s all it takes. How to cook hardboiled eggs to perfection requires just three things – plenty of cool water, 12 minutes of boiling water, and ice to quickly stop the cooking process.