It’s quite liberating – and, frankly, empowering – when I’m able to cook a peel-perfect hard-boiled egg.
Yes, it’s a tiny victory, but there’s something metaphoric about removing the shell without gouging out huge chunks of egg white.
In my head, I’m saying, “If I can remove this tough, yet fragile, casing without destroying the contents of this delicious protein package, I am indeed capable of accomplishing everything I set out to do!”
Maybe a bit over-dramatic, but when I destroy an egg it pisses me off and sets me up for a grouchy day.
For years, I tried to hard-cook eggs they way my mom told me to do it (sorry, Mom). Here’s what I’d advise you NOT to do:
- Place the raw eggs in a small saucepan and run cold water over them to cover.
- Set the pot on the burner over medium-high heat.
- When water is at a rolling boil, turn off the heat and set the timer for 10 minutes.
- After ten minutes, rinse the eggs under running cold water to stop the cooking.
Now, I’m not saying this method never works. It has for me, occasionally. But I could never figure out why. I’d heard that older eggs peel more easily. But how old? Nobody could give me a number. I’ve tried other tricks like adding a bit of distilled white vinegar to the pot. While that action produced a scent that brought back lovely memories of coloring easter eggs, it wasn’t a foolproof method for peel-perfect eggs.
Then my boyfriend told me about his radical method.
HE DROPS THEM IN THE BOILING WATER!
I was shocked to hear what I thought was an unconventional and highly dangerous approach. Wouldn’t placing a cold egg into boiling water cause it to crack? He smiled and told me he would show me exactly how he does it, step-by-step. He did, and now I’m going to show you.
Peel-Perfect Eggs Step 1: Prepare the Eggs
What the? I have to prepare the eggs? I don’t have that kind of time!
No, wait. It’s really easy. Just place the eggs in a small bowl in the sink and fill the bowl with warm water.
Peel-Perfect Eggs Step 2: Fill a pot with cold water, set it on the burner, and turn the flame to medium-high.
No, that is not three steps. Listen, I could drag this out but I won’t.
Peel-Perfect Eggs Step 3: When water is at a rolling boil, use a large spoon to gently place eggs – one at a time – into the boiling water.
Caveat: Do not make the mistake of touching the spoon after you lower it into the water because OW!
Peel-Perfect Eggs Step 4: Set the timer for 11-12 minutes.
(You could also turn down the flame a bit, but I haven’t seen that it makes any difference.)
Peel-Perfect Eggs Step 5: When the time is up, turn off the burner (duh) and run cold water over the eggs for a minute or so.
Sorry. No photo here, but I have full confidence that you can figure out how to do it.
Peel-Perfect Eggs Step 6: Marvel at the ease at which you’ll be able to peel the egg(s).
Peel-Perfect Eggs Finale: Behold!
This is now my go-to method for peel-perfect eggs, but be warned that an occasional egg may fissure (fancy word for crack) when you place it in the boiling water. This is usually due to a damaged egg or one that is too cold before it encounters an extreme temperature change.
Even if it does crack slightly, that peel will come off so easily that you’ll still be able to say, “I am indeed capable of accomplishing anything I set out to do!”
Try this at home and let me know how it works for you!