August 23, 2021
Whether you’ve done it hundreds of times, or it’s your very first, never feel silly for needing some extra information on how to make hard-boiled eggs. Even the more experienced cooks you know likely took the time to find a proper method that works for them. Still, they probably run into a less than ideal egg every so often because of some unknown variable or simply bad luck, but it’s rare, thanks to their foolproof – or near-foolproof – method.
While boiling eggs may seem like a straightforward process that everyone should know, that’s not the case. What’s more, the variety of techniques and the sheer amount of details can also create a learning curve. However, by following this hard-boiled egg recipe, you, too, can learn to make foolproof hard-boiled eggs whether you’re a beginner or you’re looking to up your egg-boiling game.
Here, we’ll also go through the different consistencies so you can choose the correct cooking time when preparing various dishes.
Soft or hard-boiled?
The whites of a soft-boiled egg are firm, and the yolk is runny, making them perfect for breakfast. An old-fashioned way to serve hard-boiled eggs with liquid yolks is cracking open the top and serving them in an eggcup. You can also cut them in half and place them directly on the toast for a quicker breakfast. Soft-boiled eggs are a tasty addition to instant noodle and rice dishes as well.
The whites of a near-firm or firm hard-boiled egg are sturdy with a solid yolk. These are excellent for deviled eggs, egg salad, or eating on their own. The consistency of the egg you choose for your dish is a matter of personal preference. However, less-firm eggs will be creamier, while eggs on the more solid side are less likely to break apart.
Alternative cooking times to boil an egg
This recipe details how to make the perfect hard-boiled eggs, which are right in the middle of soft and firm. But as with anything, what’s considered “perfect” can vary from person to person. Additionally, what works with one dish may not work with another. Here’s a list of alternative cooking times you can refer to when setting the timer to help you achieve the preferred consistency for your dish.
Soft-boiled – 4 minutes
Slightly soft – 5 minutes
Near firm – 6 minutes
Perfect – 7 minutes
Firm – 8 minutes
Very firm – 9 minutes
If you accidentally boil them for too long, your eggs may develop a green-grey ring around the yolk, and the white will become somewhat rubbery. It may not be as appealing color and texture, but they’re still safe to eat, according to the USDA.
How to make the perfect hard-boiled eggs
This recipe makes six-12 servings. It will take approximately one minute to prepare and seven minutes to cook.
- 6-12 large eggs
- Cold water
- Place the desired amount of eggs in a large saucepan and fill it with cold water, covering the eggs with one inch of water above them.
- Put the lid on the saucepan and bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat.
- Once the water is boiling, turn the burner down to medium-high and set your timer according to the desired style of eggs – for the perfect hard-boiled egg, seven minutes.
- When the timer stops, remove the saucepan from the heat immediately.
- Carefully pour the water and eggs into a colander and transfer the eggs to a large bowl filled with ice-cold water. Alternatively, you can keep the eggs in the saucepan, drain the hot water, and run cold water over the eggs until they’re cool to the touch. Whichever way you do it, this step will prevent overcooking, allowing the eggs to peel with greater ease and enabling you to remove the shell sooner.
- Next, peel the eggs by cracking their shells and then gently rolling them on the counter, fracturing them all over. Remove the shell carefully to keep the egg whites intact.
- Serve immediately or place them in an airtight container in your fridge for up to one week.
Per one large egg:
Total fat 5 grams
Saturated fat 1.6 grams
Cholesterol 186.5 milligrams
Sodium 62 milligrams
Potassium 63 milligrams
Total carbohydrate 0.6 milligrams
Dietary fiber 0 grams
Sugar 0.6 milligrams
Protein 6.3 grams
Hard-boiled eggs FAQs
Should I boil the water before adding the eggs?
Adding cold eggs from the fridge to boiling water may cause the eggs to crack and the water to splash as well, so it’s best to avoid doing either. Whether you put them in one at a time or dump them in, boiling water will fly out of the pot, which could burn your skin. Bringing the water to a boil with the eggs inside will prevent cracking and is a safer method.
How do you hard boil eggs so they peel easily?
Some folks suggest that adding half a teaspoon of baking soda, salt, or vinegar to the water makes the eggs easier to peel and gives them a softer shell, too. However, once they’re cooked, removing them from the boiling water and immediately putting them in cold water stops them from cooking further and makes them less difficult to peel. Boiling eggs that are a few days older and peeling them directly after cooling will help as well.
What can I do if the peel is difficult?
If the peel is giving you a hard time, crack it and roll it around on the counter to fracture the shell all over, then run it under cold water, allowing water to get between the white and the shell. Doing this will help it come off quickly and effectively. You can also use water to rinse shell fragments off the egg, keeping them out of your dish.
How long does it take to hard boil 10 eggs?
It will take the same amount of time to boil 10 eggs as it does two, three, or a dozen. If you need more, stick to cooking a dozen or less at a time to ensure even cooking.
How long does it take to cook hard-boiled eggs for sandwiches?
For egg salad sandwiches, you’ll want a firmer egg. When boiling, set your timer anywhere from six to nine minutes. The lesser time will give you a creamier consistency, and the longer time will allow for a more fluffy egg salad. Try to avoid overboiling as you want your yolks to be a brilliant yellow instead of pale or greyish.
Hard-boiled eggs are wonderful to keep on hand, as they’re versatile and make a delightful snack on their own. The quality of your eggs can indeed make or break a dish. But worry not. This recipe will put you on the right path to preparing the perfect hard-boiled eggs and achieve the desired consistency for your recipe as you become more comfortable. Remember, even those with plenty of egg-boiling experience run into less-than-perfect eggs, whether it’s one or an entire batch. Like anything else you learn or strive to perfect in the kitchen, a little patience goes a long way.