I finally ran out of patience. I eat a lot of boiled eggs and I got tired of chalky yolks and stripping off patches of egg with the shell. So I set out to find the best way to boil an egg and tried all the methods I could find in Google.
Bottom line: None of them are foolproof, but this method is pretty good.
There are several small secrets that work: Really fresh eggs are harder to peel. Or buy the oldest eggs on the shelf. Don’t worry. They’re OK. Let them sit in the fridge for a week if possible. Other tips are to wait til the ater is boiling before adding the eggs, make sure the eggs are completely covered with water, don’t overcook, and don’t forget to cool them in cold water. Otherwise, other tricks like adding baking soda or vinegar to the water don’t work.
- 12 Eggs
- Enough water to completely cover the eggs by 1 inch (2.5cm)
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Everybody in the pool. Bring the water to a vigorous boil. Gently place the eggs in one layer on the bottom of a wide pot or deep pan by lowering them in with a spoon. The eggs must be completely submerged by about 1" (2.5cm).
- Boil. For hard boiled large eggs, when the water returns to a boil, set a timer for 11 minutes for medium sized eggs, 13 minutes for extra large, jumbo, or duck eggs (egg size should be on the box). For soft boiled eggs, set the timer for half that time.
- Cool down. When the time is up, put the pan in the sink, pour out the hot water and run cold water into the pan over the eggs until the water overflows, then let it continue to run and overflow for about 5 minutes so there is always cold water in the pan. Or turn the water off and add lots of ice. Let the eggs sit for about 5 minutes until they are cool.
- Chill. With a pen, label the boiled eggs with a "B" or an "X" so you can tell them apart from the raw eggs. Now put them into the refrigerator until you're ready to use them. Try to use them within a week. If you plan to use them soon after boiling, peel them as soon as they cool because the inside shrinks a bit.
- Peel. To peel a cooled egg, gently tap it on the countertop or table at the fat end, where the air space is, until it has cracks in it. Roll the egg on the counter until the cracks turn into small crackles all over the egg. Hold the egg under running cold water or dip it in a bowl of water to make peeling easier. Throw out the pieces of eggshell when the egg is all peeled (my wife puts them in her compost pile).
The Norpro Method
- The Egg Rite Egg Timer is an amazing and inexpensive little gizmo. It really works. You just put this heat sensitive plastic egg in the boiling water with the real eggs, and it changes color at the same rate as the eggs. It's easy to read the scale and get perfect soft, medium, or hard boiled eggs every time, no matter what altitude you are at or how many eggs in the bath. Click here to order.
Smoke Your Eggs
- Yes, you can smoke an egg, and although not a lot of smoke penetrates the shell, enough does get in to to darken the egg and give it a subtle smoke flavor. Just put a raw egg on your smoker at 225°F (107°C) for about 2 hours. Take it off and rinse it, let it cool for about an hour, and peel.
High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!
Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.
Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.
Post comments and questions below
1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.
2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.
3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.
4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.
5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.