Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs and The Secret to Easily Peeled Shells
Follow this method for perfect hard boiled eggs with shells that easily slip right off the egg. The written recipe is for 6 eggs but the number of eggs in your pan won't matter, as long as they're not overcrowded.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time15 mins
- 6 eggs, chilled (right out of the refrigerator)
- 2 quarts rapidly boiling water, or enough to cover the eggs well
Before beginning, please read the recipe notes for important tips and information.
Place your eggs straight out of the fridge into a pot of already rapidly boiling water, using a spoon to lower the eggs into the water. See note below regarding eggs that crack. Once you place the eggs in the boiling water, the boil will reduce since the eggs are cold. Keep at high heat until the water boils rapidly again and let boil for 30 seconds, then turn the heat to just a simmer. This requires keeping most burners set at medium since the cold-start eggs will dramatically drop the water temperature (the eggs will just kind of move around like jumping beans in the slow simmering water).
Continue in the pot for 12 minutes for hard boiled eggs (for soft boiled eggs, simmer for 6 minutes).
After the eggs have simmered for 12 minutes, quickly run ice cold water over your eggs while draining out the hot water. Do this until only cold water is left in the pot. This will stop the eggs from cooking any further. Let the eggs sit in the cold water for 15 minutes to cool (you can add a few ice cubes to make them cold if using immediately), or refrigerate overnight. Peel under cool running water. Whether you peel them right out of the pan or the next day doesn’t matter. Either way, they peel easily.
- The quantity of eggs for this method doesn't really matter as long as you use a pan large enough for all the eggs to fit in one layer and you don't want them too crowded. The water needs to be enough to fully cover the eggs while they're boiling and simmering. I add enough to cover the eggs by about an inch. I've used this method with 12 eggs at one time with success.
- Once in a while, an egg might crack when it’s placed in the boiling water. To prevent any of the egg from oozing out of the shell, add about 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar to the water before heating to boil. When I do this, the cracked egg cooks perfectly just like all the others in the pot.
- Placing the egg directly into boiling water will help the shell separate from the eggs sooner, but you must turn the heat down to the simmer if you want your egg whites to be tender and not rubbery.This may require you to adjust the dial up or down a bit in the first few minutes until you’re sure the simmer will continue.
- Super-fresh eggs are hard to peel no matter what method you try. If, like me, you have a few backyard chickens (as seems to be a rapidly growing trend), you’ll want to save your eggs for at least two weeks (a month is even better) before cooking. However, store-bought eggs do sit around for a while before they make it from farm to grocer so they’re already not extremely fresh when you purchase them. But it doesn’t hurt to think ahead and buy your eggs at least a week or two ahead of Deviled Egg Making Time.