The Devil’s in the Details: How to Hard Boil an Egg

Hard-boiled eggs can be used in many delicious dishes like deviled eggs or egg salad, or they can be eaten by themselves for a quick source of protein. But what’s the best way to hard boil an egg? Ask around and you’re likely to get several different answers. To help you create the perfect hard-boiled egg, we’ve provided some handy tips.

First, it’s important to keep your eggs safe by storing them in the coldest area of the refrigerator and in the original carton to be able to check the Julian and sell-by dates. Fresh eggs can be hard to peel after boiling, so you might want to keep your eggs in the refrigerator for about a week before hard-boiling.

Before and after handling eggs, wash hands, utensils and surfaces with warm, soapy water. Separate eggs from raw meat, seafood and poultry to prevent cross-contamination. Do not leave eggs out more than two hours, as a cold egg left at room temperature can sweat, which may cause bacteria growth.

Once you’ve ensured you’re using safe eggs, follow these steps from the Incredible Egg to make the perfect hard-boiled eggs:

  1. Place eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover the eggs by one inch.
  2. Heat over high heat to boiling.
  3. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove from the burner and cover pan. Let the eggs stand in hot water about 12 minutes for large eggs, nine minutes for medium eggs, and 15 minutes for extra-large eggs.
  4. Drain immediately and add cold water so the eggs stop cooking.
  5. If you plan to eat the egg immediately, tap the egg all around to peel the shell from the egg.
  6. The key to peeling the shell is to get your thumb under the membrane, not just the shell.

Once you’ve cooked those eggs to hard-boiled perfection, remember that they spoil faster than fresh eggs. Shell eggs have a protective coating that is washed away when hard-boiled. This leaves the pores in the shell open for bacteria to enter. Hard-boiled eggs should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking and used within one week.

And be sure to check out the Incredible Egg for inspiration on how to use hard-boiled eggs in delicious recipes!