Making perfect hard-boiled eggs is surprisingly easy, but only if you’re privy to a few specific tricks. Thankfully, my mom taught me these when I was a kid, and now I’m passing along her sage advice to you.
With these specific steps, it’s as easy as boiling water (really!) — and you’ll get perfect hard-boiled eggs, every time.
1. Fill a small saucepan with about 2″ of cool tap water.
Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Tip #1: Don’t start with hot water – the shells are likely to crack from the temperature change.
2. Place the eggs gently in the water. They should be covered by about 1/2″ to 1″ (about 2 cm) of water.
3. Cover, then turn on the heat to medium-high.
4. As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat. If it’s a gas stove, you can leave the pot right there. On an electric stove (where the burner stays hot for a long time), move the pot to a cool burner.
Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Tip #2: Don’t boil the water vigorously! That will likely crack the shells from bouncing the eggs around too much.
5. Set a timer for 15 minutes for small eggs, 17 minutes for large, and 19 minutes for super-jumbo.
6. A few minutes before the timer is done, fill a large bowl with ice cubes and add a few inches of cool water.
7. As soon as the timer goes off, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to the ice bath.
Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Tip #3: The ice bath is critical! It stops the cooking, and prevents an ugly greenish-gray film from developing around the yolk.
8. Once they’re cool (about 10 minutes), you can use them immediately, or store in the fridge for later.
Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Tip #4: Some people say not to use fresh eggs, because they’re harder to peel. Personally, I’ve never noticed a difference — and I always think that fresher is better, so I say get the freshest, most wonderful eggs you can find! Lately we’ve been getting our eggs at the Farmers Market from Healthy Family Farms. Their pastured chickens are raised and treated truly humanely — they get to go outside in the grass and actually live like chickens should… and the eggs taste fantastic.
On a related note: If you haven’t yet seen this post about my friend Michelle’s chickens, check it out!