How to Cook Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs
Adam Gault/OJO Images/Getty Images
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 0 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Have you ever cut open a hard boiled egg and seen a green halo around the outside of the yolk? Or, have you ever cut open a hard boiled egg and smelled a funky, sulphury odor?

If so, it's because you were dealing with overcooked eggs. Eggs contain a sulphur-based compound that, when heated too long, or at too high a temperature, will turn your egg yolks green and funky-smelling.

But if you cook your eggs properly, this won't happen. You'll have nice, perfectly golden-yellow yolks and no funky smell. The technique described below will help you do just that.

Easy to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

There's a common misconception that one cooking technique or another will make it easier or harder to peel the egg. But this just isn't the case.

The only thing that makes an egg easy or hard to peel is how fresh the egg is. Fresher eggs are harder to peel.

There's a thin membrane underneath the egg shell, and it forms a little air pocket at the bottom of the egg. As the egg ages, that pocket expands, which makes the shell separate from the cooked egg more easily.

So if you want to make the peeling experience easier, try using eggs that have been in your fridge for a week or so. Or you can hold them in your fridge for a week after boiling them.

How Long Should I Boil the Eggs?

Different stovetops will produce more heat (and thus boil water faster) than others, so how long you need to cook your eggs might vary. Also, not all pots are the same size or hold the same amount of water. Thus, your cooking time could end up being more than 15 minutes, or it could be less. Either way, once you find the exact time that works for you, just use that.

For this hard boiled egg recipe you'll need a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

What You'll Need

  • 4 large eggs

How to Make It

  1. Place the eggs in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover them with cold water. Make sure the tops of the eggs are covered by at least an inch of water. How much water will depend on the size of the pot, but in general, a bigger pot is better. Crowding the eggs risks cracking them.
  2. Bring the water to a full boil, uncovered. You'll see the water simmering, but as soon as you see a few big bubbles, remove the pot from the heat and cover it. Let the pot stand untouched for 15 minutes.
  1. Remove the boiled eggs from the water and transfer them to a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes to stop the cooking process. Then either peel and serve or refrigerate.