Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs

How to cook whole eggs with no more than an everyday pot, water and a kitchen timer and, of course, eggs still in their shells. This is Cook's Illustrated method for hard-boiled eggs. I've used it for years and never have trouble with overcooking or undercooking the eggs. The eggs are easy to peel and cook without green rings around the yolks.

Real Food, Fresh & Fast. Great for Meal Prep, Egg Salad, Deviled Eggs and On-the-Go Snacks. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. Naturally Gluten Free. High Protein.
Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ♥ KitchenParade., no special pot, just a Dutch oven or saucepan, water and a kitchen timer. Weight Watchers Friendly. Low Carb. Gluten Free. High Protein. Great for Meal Prep, Egg Salad, Deviled Eggs, Portable Snacks.

How to Avoid Common Problems with Hard-Boiled Eggs: Precise Timing

On My Mind ♥, an old-fashioned egg timer

I wonder: how many people even recognize an old-fashioned egg timer? My mom kept one on a shelf above the shelf. The fine sand streaming from one end to the other was a fascination ...

There are all kinds of tricks out to avoid issues with cooking whole eggs in boiling water, problems like eggs that won't peel, eggs that develop green rings around the yolks.

But here's my simple trick: just mind the clock.

I really do set the timer for each step and time after time, produce perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs with golden-yellow yolks.

That's it! Timing is the trick! We have so many ways to easily set timers now, our phones, our watches, even our Alexa devices. No more excuses!

The Short Version: How to Hard-Boil Eggs

Bring the eggs and water to a boil and boil hard for exactly one minute. Cover the pot and remove from the stove. Rest off heat for exactly 10 minutes. Move the eggs to a bowl to cool for 5 minutes in ice water. Peel to eat while warm or cool eggs with their shells on to refrigerate for eating later.

Let's Bust the Myths About Hard-Cooked Eggs

Brown, Blue & White Farm-Raised Eggs ♥

  • Fresh eggs are harder to peel. FALSE. With this method, use beautiful, just-laid farm eggs to weeks-old grocery store eggs. Whatever their age, the eggs will peel easily.
  • It's impossible to prevent green rings around the yolks. FALSE. Overcooking causes the green rings. With this method, the yolks neither undercook nor overcook.
  • It's just too hard to cook eggs. FALSE. With this precise method, you'll be producing perfect eggs like a champion!

So Many Ways to Cook with Hard-Cooked Eggs

Spinach Soup with Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ♥, homemade spinach soup on the table in 30 minutes, including still-warm easy-to-peel hard-cooked eggs.

Keep cooked eggs in the refrigerator, they are useful to have on hand and easy to use up. I love to add just-cooked, still-warm eggs to Spinach Soup but always cook a few extra too, just to have on hand.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Do You Need a Special Pot to Cook Eggs With Their Shells On? Absolutely not. Some home cooks rely on their Instant Pots and pressure cookers for cooking hard-boiled eggs. But no special pot is necessary. I use a large pot to cook a dozen eggs and a smaller saucepan for fewer eggs, the idea is to keep them in a single layer without too much room to bound around in.

Do You Need to Use "Older" Eggs When Cooking Eggs for Deviled Eggs? There's a myth out there that hard-cooked fresh eggs are hard to peel. Not true, not when using this recipe.

How Do You Store the Hard-Cooked Eggs? Leave the cooked eggs in their shells until ready to use and store them in the refrigerator. To avoiding mixing up the cooked eggs and the raw eggs, some times I'll add a drop of food coloring to the cooking water. Otherwise I mark cooked eggs with an X using a sharpie. I store the cooked eggs back into a used egg carton.

How Long do Hard-Cooked Eggs Last? Use up cooked eggs within a week. You might actually use that Sharpie to note the date, right on the eggs! If you crack open an egg and notice an "off" odor, throw it away.

Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ♥, no special pot, no green rings, no difficulty peeling. The Cook's Illustrated technique works!


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time-to-table: 30 minutes
Makes 1 to many hard-cooked eggs
  • STEP ONE Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan, cover with water plus an inch more. If you like, add a drop or two of food coloring so that later, in the fridge, it's easy to distinguish the hard-cooked eggs.
  • STEP TWO Leave the pot uncovered and bring the water to a boil. Watch carefully, for once the water boils, boil the water for just one minute. Precision is important, set the timer!
  • STEP THREE Turn off the heat, now cover the pot and let the pot rest for exactly 10 minutes. Don't risk distraction, set the timer!
  • STEP FOUR Use a slotted spoon to lift the hot eggs into a large bowl of very cold ice water and let them rest there for five minutes – longer is fine too, the ice water stops the cooking process. No ice? Cold tap water works in a pinch, just be sure to keep the fresh cold water flowing over the eggs for the full five minutes.

The eggs will peel easily now, they're ready to eat. Or to save the hard-cooked eggs for later, leave the egg shells on and store in the fridge for a week or so.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Large Egg: 71 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 211mg Cholesterol; 70mg Sodium; 0g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 2 & Freestyle 0 & myWW green 2 & blue 0 & purple 0

I've lost track of how I learned to hard-cook eggs this way, it's certainly not something I figured out on my own. Chances are, it was Cook's Illustrated (affiliate link).

Easy Egg Recipes ♥, an inspiring collection with how-to's and recipes

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.