A game changing method for boiling eggs that produces tender whites, fluffy just-cooked yolks, and peels easily. Your deviled eggs should start here.
I have searched high and low for years to find the best method for cooking, and peeling, boiled eggs. I asked Martha, Ina, and strangers on the internet. I combed through every reputable cooking magazine, website and blog I could find that offered guidance on the topic and I tried every new trick I came across. Some cooked perfectly but didn’t peel easily; some peeled easily but were over or undercooked. And then my mom gave me The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by Kenji López-Alt for Christmas a few years ago (after having to pry me away from it during a trip to Costco) and all of my nerdy hard boiled egg dreams came true.
Let’s begin with how I define the “perfect” hard boiled egg:
- It has a tender white
- It has a fluffy, creamy yolk
- The shell and membrane slip off easily when peeled
What often goes wrong:
- Undercooked whites that are runny or rubbery overcooked whites
- Overcooked yolks that are dry and chalky and develop an unappetizing grayish-greenish ring
- The shell and membrane stick to the egg leaving divots all over the peeled surface and loss of valuable egg white
Following Kenji’s directions to the letter has always produced perfectly cooked eggs for me. It involves multiple temperature changes through boiling, cooling with ice cubes and then reheating to a subsimmer but trust it, it works. Kenji, an MIT grad seduced by the world of food and commercial kitchens, studied the science so we don’t have to. Peeling (gingerly) will yield smooth, divot-free eggs so long as the yolk hasn’t settled too close to the edge of the egg. In that case, the white tears quite easily but you can expect 9 out of 10 to be presentation worthy.
Try this method, slice it in half when it is still warm, sprinkle it with a little coarse salt and taste how good a simple boiled egg can be.
HOW TO: make perfect hard boiled eggs
A game changing method for boiling eggs that produces tender whites, creamy just-cooked yolks, and peels easily. Your deviled eggs should start here.
Adapted from The Food Lab
- 2 quarts water
- 1 to 6 large eggs
- 12 ice cubes
Pour the water into a 3-quart saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Using a large slotted spoon or spider, carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ice cubes and allow the water to return to a boil (be patient, this could take a few minutes) then reduce to a subsimmer, about 190º. Cook for 11 minutes. Drain the eggs.
Immediately peel the eggs under cool running water. (see notes)
To peel, gently tap egg on a hard surface such as a countertop or cutting board to create multiple cracks. Hold the egg under cool running water and gently remove the shell and the thin shell membrane from the egg, being careful not to tear the egg white.
Store peeled eggs in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within three days.
***If you have a severe gluten allergy or sensitivity or otherwise are serious about eliminating gluten from your diet, always check your labels carefully and buy certified gluten free products.