Hard Boiled Eggs

Who knew how complicated it is to hard boil eggs!

How long do I boil them for? Should the lid be on or off? Do I turn the heat off or keep it on? Should I add salt or vinegar, or both? Ice bath or not? Poke holes in the bottom? And peeling … yeah, good luck with that.

Even more amusing is the inconsistency of no one being able to agree on why a certain method does what it does!

Goodness gracious people! We are just boiling eggs!

But isn’t it so … the simplest thing is often the most difficult?

Not wanting this post to get super complicated and become the end all of hard boiling eggs, I chose one method and went with it. After all, I just want a hard boiled egg with my breakfast. Less talk, more cooking.

Julia Child’s traditional boiling method and Alton Brown’s steaming method were the most appealing. Julia’s method won because I don’t have a steamer basket, so we will have to address steaming hard boiled eggs at a different time.

Put the eggs in the pan, fill with cold water, and put over high heat. Simple enough. Once it boils, turn the heat off, put the lid on, and set the timer for 17 minutes. Timer goes off, put eggs in ice bath, and let chill. Then peel and enjoy.

Now I did some additional steps to make the eggs easier to peel, and they worked for peeling right then and there. But peeling after the eggs were in the fridge for several days? Massacre! So I’m leaving those steps out. I think the important step for peeling (again one of those areas where there are many opinions), is to give the eggs a good ice bath right after their boil.

The result? The best hard boiled eggs I’ve ever tasted. No more rubbery whites, no more greenish blue dry yolk. But instead a tender white and a pillowy bright yellow yolk that together taste like the true essence of an egg.

Now go make yourself an egg salad sandwich.


Hard Boiled Eggs

Adapted from Julia Child and many others

  • up to 2 dozen eggs (I decided on 6 for today)
  • Enough cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch
  • A bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water

Place eggs in the bottom of a sauce pot. The size depending on how many eggs you wish to boil. Then fill with enough cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch.

Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it starts boiling, turn the heat off, cover and set the timer for exactly 17 minutes.

Ladle eggs into the bowl of ice water and let them sit for a good 15 – 20 minutes. Peel and consume.

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