in the kitchen

How to Hard Boil Eggs

How to Hard Boil EggsThis “Ask Sara” question comes from my sister, Mary. She asks, “What are the tricks to hard boiled eggs? I boil them for about 20 minutes, dunk them in cold water and peel, and always some egg gets left on the shell. Any suggestions?”  Why, Mary, yes I have some very simple steps for you to follow.

How to hard boil eggs

This is the easiest, absolutely foolproof way to hard boil eggs.  Place your raw eggs in the bottom of a pan and add cold water to cover the eggs plus an additional 2 inches of water.  Sprinkle with a little salt and cover pan with a tight fitting lid.  Turn heat to high and bring pot to a boil.  Once the pot comes to a boil, turn off the heat, and set a timer for 10 minutes.  Leave the pot on the hot burner, with the lid on, and the heat turned off.  When the timer goes off, drain the water, and place eggs in a bowl to cool.  You can crack eggs to let heat escape to cool quicker.  Peel and enjoy.

Eggs should be at least 2 weeks old to boil.  Don’t boil freshly laid eggs.  If I want to boil eggs from our backyard chickens (I’m holding our chicken, Caddie Woodlawn in the picture below), I hide the eggs in the back of the refrigerator, date the carton, and attach a note that reads “Do Not Eat.”  Freshly laid eggs are harder to peel once boiled.

How to Hard Boil Eggs

Boiled eggs are excellent in egg salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, or potato salad.  Once peeled, crush up the egg shells and toss them into your compost pail.  Egg shells are great for your garden, especially your tomato plants.

What’s your favorite way to eat boiled eggs?  Are you a soft yolk or hard yolk person?

Go Gingham related links:

Reusing glass jars and how to get them ready for re-use
Frugal grocery shopping – without coupons!
Pantry basics for the home cook – what’s in my pantry
Refrigerator basics for the home cook – what’s in my refrigerator
New to cooking at home? Fear not!
How we keep food waste to a minimum
Confessions of a leftover food lover – that would be me!

8 thoughts on “How to Hard Boil Eggs

  1. I will have to try your method, Sara, and see how it compares to my in-house investigations.
    I used to always put white vinegar in my water to avoid cracking. When I began (suddenly, it seemed) to have problems with non-peeling eggs, I eliminated the vinegar and got 2 cracked ones in the first batch, but easier peeling!
    I find if I plunge the eggs into an ice water bath immediately after cooking, my results are almost 100% perfect no matter any other variable (age of egg, vinegar, etc.).

    I have also found I really like poached eggs, soft boiled eggs, and fried eggs. Scrambled eggs, which I used to be fine with, now turn my stomach! I have no explanation for that.


    1. I’d love to hear how our methods compare! We were just discussing poached eggs around here since that’s not how we prepare them and our kids were very interested until they heard about the soft-ness. We still may have to give it a try. I don’t think I ever had poached eggs growing up. Did your husband? I think his memory may be better than mine! I like fried eggs, too.


  2. Just tried this one the other day – two tablespoons of water, six eggs in a rice cooker. Worked out pretty well.

    My favorite way, Sara, to eat a HB egg is in a nicoise salad.

    Have a great long weekend.


    1. Hi Jason! Thanks for leaving a comment…
      So, how long did the rice cooker take?
      You too on the long weekend.


  3. “Eggs should be at least 2 weeks old to boil. Don’t boil freshly laid eggs. ” — Aha! So that’s why it feels like it’s taking me forever to peel them! I’ll do that tip you mentioned about hiding the eggs. Thanks for this great tip!


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