Everyone should know how to boil an egg, it’s a cooking basic right? Or maybe not. Several years ago in Hawaii I wanted to boil some eggs for tuna salad. I suddenly realized that whenever I’d done it at home, I had a nifty little boiled egg timer that my mom used. With no timer, and no money to buy one, I turned to the one source I knew could tell me how long to boil an egg. I called my mom!
My mother is one of those people who seems to know everything, not thinks she knows everything, she actually knows just about anything you could ask her! I call her up and she tells me, oh it’s easy! I think she was mostly thrilled that her at the time estranged daughter was actually calling her on the phone. (We have a great relationship now fortunately).
She gave me step by step instructions, and over the years I’ve used those (and probably adapted them slightly) to get perfect boiled eggs every time. The term “boiled egg” is actually misleading, because if you really boil them for very long, they bounce and crack and you get a scary deformed egg like the one below.
So let’s just take it one step at a time. How to Hard Boil and Egg:
1. Place eggs that are at least 5 days old (NOT fresh from the farm!) in a single layer in the bottom of a pot, and fill the pot with water that covers two inches above the eggs.
2. Place the pot on the stove and turn the burner to high. You can walk away for a few minutes but make sure you check on it to see when it begins to boil.
3. Once the water starts boiling, PUT THE LID ON THE POT (can you tell that’s important?) and take the pot off the stove.
4. Set a timer for 10 minutes and let the covered pot of eggs sit. (This is a good time to wash dishes or something, I ALWAYS need to wash dishes, grrr)
5. When the timer goes off, your eggs should be done. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove eggs from the hot water.
6. Place the eggs in a small bowl and place in the sink then run cold water over the eggs. (Don’t skip this step! The steam it creates inside the shell makes it easier to remove the shell later)
A couple trouble shooting tips if your eggs tend to crack:
1. Pierce a small hole in the tip of the egg before boiling. You can use a pin, but I use the egg piercer in my slicing gadget.
2. Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water, this is supposed to help keep egg whites from leaking out if the shell cracks.
Boiled eggs are so handy, and I have lots of recipes to use them in! Like Egg Salad, 1000 Island Dressing, Tuna Sandwiches, or (my favorite) a Thai recipe called Son-In-Law Eggs. Tonight, I’m just eating one with a little salt. Do you have any other tips to getting perfect boiled eggs?
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