The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg Recipe

Embarrassed to be looking for a hard boiled egg recipe?  Does it seem like everyone should know how to boil an egg? Don't worry! There are actually a surprising number of variations in the way people cook hard boiled eggs!  And they mostly all turn out fine.  The only important difference is how easy they are to peel! 

Just use our perfect hard boiled egg recipe or one of our other easier recipes and you'll be a hard boiled egg pro in no time.

Hard boiled eggs are great to have on hand for quick lunches, garnishes, and side dishes. I eat one almost every morning for breakfast.  They're easy to make a week's worth at one time and then just grab one each morning, peel it, and you have a quick, healthy breakfast.  I'll often supplement the egg with a small bowl of yogurt too.

Eggs have gone in and out of favor in the nutrition world over the years but everyone now seems to be in agreement that they're an excellent source of protein and healthy fats.  The egg white is mostly water with some protein, while the egg yolk contains most of the protein and all of the fat, vitamins, and cholesterol.

The perfect hard boiled egg recipe leaves eggs with a tender white yolk that perfectly set (not darkened and not gooey), and peels easily.

I've included several recipes here for you to try, with varying degrees of difficulty.  Now, I'll be honest with you.  The first one, with I call the "Perfect Hard Boiled Egg Recipe" is a little over-the-top, as far as multiple steps, and I almost never use this approach.

Instead, I use the Easy Hard Boiled Eggs recipe below.  It's good enough for me and it seems to make them easy enough to peel.  In fact, how easy boiled eggs are to peel seems to be about the only difference in all of the recipes I've tried.


Perfect Hard Boiled Egg Recipe (Easy Peel)

Ingredients:

  • Eggs (up to 24)
  • Water (2 - 6 quarts, depending on number of eggs)

Steps:

  1. Place eggs in a tall pan and add enough water to cover eggs by 1 inch. (2 quarts for fewer than 5 eggs, 3 1/2 quarts for 12 eggs, and 6 quarts for 24 eggs.) Never try to boil more than 2 dozen (24) eggs at one time.
  2. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from heat, cover, and let sit exactly 17 minutes.
  3. Move the eggs to a large bowl full of ice cubes and water (enough to cover the eggs) and let chill for 2 minutes. While chilling eggs, bring the hot water to a boil again. The chilling shrinks the body of the egg from the shell.
  4. Move the eggs back to the boiling water, bring to a boil again, and let boil for 10 seconds.
  5. Move the eggs back to the ice water once again. Chill for 15-20 minutes if possible.
  6. Peel eggs by first tapping on a hard surface to crack the shell and then rolling between the hands to loosen the shell before peeling.
  7. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days submerged in water.

Tips:

  • Use only clean eggs with unbroken shells. Don't use any eggs that are unclean, cracked, broken or leaking. Although it's not a foolproof bacterial barrier, the egg shell does offer barriers to help prevent bacteria from getting in.
  • Hard boiled egg yolks can be frozen, but freezing causes cooked egg whites to become tough and watery.
  • Use a crayon to mark those eggs you've already boiled, if not shelled, to distinguish these from the uncooked ones.
  • Have an unmarked egg and don't remember if it's been boiled? Spin it. If it wobbles instead of spinning, the yolk is moving and you'll know it's uncooked.
  • 2 egg whites may be substituted for 1 full egg in most recipes.
  • Here's an interesting tip: Store eggs point-down to center the yolk for more attractive hard cooked eggs.

Easy Hard Boiled Egg Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Eggs (up to 24)
  • Water (2 - 6 quarts, depending on number of eggs)

Steps:

  1. Place eggs in a tall pan and cover eggs by 1 inch with cold water.
  2. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from heat, cover, and let sit 18 minutes (Note:  I only let sit 10 minutes and mine are perfect! Maybe you need to wait longer if you're making a large batch?).
  3. Immediately cool eggs in cold water to prevent further cooking.
  4. Move the eggs to a large bowl full of ice cubes and water (enough to cover the eggs) and let chill for 2-5 minutes.
  5. Peel eggs by first tapping on a hard surface to crack the shell and then rolling between the hands to loosen the shell before peeling.

Microwaving eggs works well for salads and garnishes, where the boiled eggs are cut. The best part is that you won't need to peel them!

Microwave Hard Boiled Egg Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Eggs
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Steps:

  1. Lightly spray a small microwave container with cooking spray.
  2. Crack egg into container.
  3. Cover and cook on medium power (50%) for 45 seconds.
  4. Check egg and finish cooking in 15 second intervals, up to 1 1/2 minutes total, until solid.
  5. Rotate while cooking if at all possible.
  6. Let cool before slicing.

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

As you see in my recipes above, I recommend peeling eggs by first tapping on a hard surface to crack the shell and then rolling between the hands to loosen the shell before peeling.

The real trick to easy peel hard boiled eggs seems to be what you do with the eggs as soon as you've finished boiling them.  Whichever recipe you use, you'll definitely want to immediately cool eggs in cold water to prevent further cooking and then move the eggs to a large bowl full of ice cubes and water (enough to cover the eggs) and let chill for 2-5 minutes. 

Storing Hard Boiled Eggs

I usually boil all of my eggs for the week on Monday and then just grab one each day (or at least the days when I'm in a hurry and don't feel like making something more ambitious).  The ideal method for storing hard boiled eggs is to keep an extra egg carton on hand and label it clearly "Boiled" with a Sharpie.  That way, you can store both boiled and un-boiled eggs in the refrigerator without confusion. 

When I forget (or someone else in my household forgets) and we don't have an extra egg carton on hand, I'll generally just store my hard boiled eggs carefully in a bowl.  They're not nearly as fragile as un-boiled eggs so it's rare for them to get broken.  If you're worried though, you can always store them in a tupperware container that will completely conceal and protect them.


Have a Hard-Boiled Egg Recipe?

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