Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

Whether you make them on top of the stove or in a pressure cooker, timing is the key to a perfect hard-boiled egg.

A perfect, self-contained food, a properly cooked hard-boiled egg is a thing of beauty. But more often than not, the perfect egg becomes a disappointment, and it only takes a few seconds from best to ruined.

The standard used to be to put the eggs in a deep pot of cold water.You can add a pinch of baking soda to help with the peeling later on. Bring to a boil, then cover and remove from heat and let sit for 12 to 15 minutes. There are different stages of “hard-boiled” to consider, so it is pretty hard to say what constitutes a “perfect” cook..  If you like your eggs with a tiny bit of translucence in the center, aim for the 12 minutes, and 15 minutes if you want the yolks fully hard.

Place the eggs immediately in ice water or run under cold water. This does work quite well, most of the time.

A faster method starts as above with the eggs in cold water and bring to a boil. Continue to boil the eggs for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on how hard you want them, then drain and cool in ice water.

You can also steam the eggs. Place one inch of water in the bottom of a pot and bring to a boil. Lower your steamer basket with eggs into it and cover. Steam for 15 minutes and remove immediately to a bowl of ice water.

Pressure cook. My new favorite way to make hard-boiled eggs is to steam them in an instant pressure cooker, place a cup of water in the pot, add the rack and two to eight eggs. Set on pressure cook, and time for 4 minutes. When done, use quick release, and place the eggs in ice water. If you like your yolks harder, set the timer for 5 minutes. Soft-boiled eggs also come out perfect on low pressure for 2 to 3 minutes depending on how large your eggs are.

These eggs will peel with incredible ease, sometimes they just peel themselves in the pot!

No green ring! There is one cause for the ugly green ring around the yolk –– the egg was cooked too long. When you find the right timing for your eggs the way you like them, write it down (you will forget) and your guesswork will be over.

  1. Use eggs that are at least a week old. It is much easier to peel older eggs than fresh from the farm eggs.
  2. Your eggs should all be the same size.
  3. Whatever method, you need to cool the eggs in ice water immediately after the timing is done.
  4. Once the eggs have chilled, shake them in a pan to loosen the shells to make them easier to peel.
  5. Whatever method you use, if you overcook the eggs, you will probably get an ugly, bad-tasting green ring around your yolk and a tough white.

© Copyright 2019 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read, The New Vintage Kitchen.