Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs – Every Time!
Hard boiled eggs are one of those simple yet frustrating foods to make. Boil them too long and the yolk becomes chalky and dry and has an unappetizing green or brownish color. This is especially bothersome when you are boiling lovely farm fresh eggs with that bright yellow/almost orange yolk that you want to preserve for your dishes like deviled eggs, egg salad, or just to eat as a snack. Boil them for not enough time and the yolk might not be firm enough. Good for some things like a cob salad, but not everyone wants a runny middle.
A well boiled egg will also be more likely to peel easily, while under or over boiled eggs tend to stick to the shells causing you to be picking teensy pieces of shell off or tearing chunks of egg white along with the shell. Not a pretty sight for eggs you want to display on a platter!
Some say to use older eggs and some say to use fresher ones. Personally, we use fresher ones but that is because we live on a farm and have plenty of fresh eggs. We have experimented with “older” eggs and even boiled eggs the day we get them from the hen house and feel that if we follow our boiling routine, they come out great no matter the age, with very few exceptions. Once in a while, for some reason you just get an egg that will not release it’s shell and you have a million little bits all over the place. Those are the ones we sprinkle with a little salt and eat right then!
Hard boiling eggs is very easy as long as you follow a very simple “recipe” like the one below:
Step one, fill a lidded pot about a quarter to half way with water. You want enough water to cover the eggs but you don’t need a gallon of water to boil them in. Remember, the eggs will also displace the water so I usually start with about 4 cups of water and once I put the eggs in they are plenty covered. Place the lid on your pot and set on high heat and wait for it to come to a rolling boil.
Step two, wash your eggs and remove any bits of wood shavings or dirt.
Step three, once the water has come to a rolling boil, using a large spoon, ladle or other kitchen tool, gently place your clean eggs into the pot. Once ALL of your eggs are in the water, set a timer for TWELVE (12) minutes. Leave your heat on high. You can either leave the lid off of your pot or you can tip the lid so it is half covered (you don’t want to leave the lid on or everything will boil over). I usually just leave it off.
Step four, as soon as the twelve minutes are up, turn off your burner and drain the water out of the pot. Fill the pot with cold water and let them sit until cool enough to handle. Another option is to remove the eggs and place them in a container of cold water so they are out of the hot pan.
That’s it. Simple. We eat them right away or if I’m making them as snacks for the week, I set them in a bowl and leave them in the fridge. No frills, no mess, no weird voodoo tricks. For some reason, that twelve-minute time is the perfect amount of cooking they need. Any less (unless you want them runnier) they are partially cooked and any more the yolks become dry and that is when you get that odd green/grey color around the yolk. They are also easy to peel, though we still have the occasional one that doesn’t want to come out of its shell!
Hard boiled eggs are not just for egg salad, although that is delicious too! We eat them as they are with a little salt and pepper, enjoy them in salads, on sandwiches, in soups, and even in stir-fry chicken dishes.