Most people don’t find the idea of cooking a hard boiled egg to be that difficult; however they quickly find the execution to be more complicated than envisioned as they often find egg shells clinging to the flesh of the egg like Kim Kardashian clings to illusions of relevance. Meanwhile the interior surrounding the yolk may turn unappetizing green. With a few simple steps these frustrations can be minimized if not completed avoided.
The most important thing to consider is how fresh your eggs are. Believe it or not you want eggs to be 1+ weeks old to make easy to peel boiled eggs. Why? As eggs age an air pocket will grow larger inside the shell. As this air pocket forms the membrane underneath the shell will separate from the shell itself. This will prevent the shell and egg from sticking when you peel the final product. Though it may also cause an egg to float in the pan, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is too old.
Once you have your eggs you will want to fill a pot with a few inches of cold water, enough to cover a single layer of eggs. This water should be salted and a teaspoon of vinegar should be added. Why? Adding salt and vinegar will prevent excessive egg whites from leaking out should the shell crack during cooking.
Now gently add your eggs in a single layer in the pot. If you just drop them in they will crack and adding them in a single layer ensures they cook evenly.
Next cover the pot and bring to a boil. As soon as they boil remove the pot from the heat, but keep the lid on. This will trap the heat inside while the eggs continue to cook.
For soft boiled eggs, let sit for 4 minutes. For perfectly hard boiled eggs let sit for 15 minutes. Personally, I like my yolks to be slightly soft so I remove after ~10 minutes. If you boil the eggs for too long, or let them sit for too long in the hot water, the area around the yolk will turn an unappetizing greenish gray color. They are still perfectly fine to eat but they don’t look very nice.
Finally remove the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon and immediately place in a large bowl filled with ice water. The ice water will shock the eggs causing the membrane to retreat from the shell and allow you to peel them easier. This also serves the dual purpose of cooling down the eggs faster so you can sooner eat one!
As for peeling, I give them a tap against the counter to crack the shell then I peel it under running water. The water helps slip between the shell and membrane for easy removal.
Easy enough? Using this method I have never had ugly discolored yolks and you won’t either.
Recipe Summary below:
Fill pot with a few inches of water.
Add ~tsp of vinegar and salt.
Place eggs in saucepan in a single layer.
Cover pot with lid and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat as soon as water boils.
Soft Boiled Eggs – Let stand for 4 minutes.
Hard Boiled Eggs – Let stand for 15 minutes.
Pour off hot water and fill saucepan with cold water and ice cubes.
Peel under running water.