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Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

January 11, 2012

eggs in an ice bath

I bet you’re asking yourself why the heck I’m writing a technique post devoted to hard boiling eggs. You just cook them for a while in boiling water, duh! Well, as it turns out, that’s not entirely true. In fact you hardly boil a hard boiled egg at all…

I started my quest for the perfect hard boiled egg many years ago when I was left to fend for myself during the Pesach holidays during my first year at college. For those of you who don’t celebrate this holiday it’s kind of like a forced, religious, pre-bikini season no-carb cleanse. Rice, corn, legumes, all bread products and anything with leavening are out. So that leaves either pre-packaged cookies and cakes made with potato starch flour or a week of healthy, clean eating focused on fruits and vegetables. But a woman cannot survive on fruits and veggies alone so this mostly vegetarian usually turns to eggs as a main source of protein during this week.

Now believe it or not I have not always been confident in the kitchen. In my college years my cooking skills were limited to microwaving. I would microwave popcorn, eggs, fake hot dogs, frozen fake hot dog buns – if something could be cooked in a microwave I was cooking it that way. I even attempted to hard ‘boil’ an egg in the microwave, which led to the great egg explosion incident. So I borrowed a pot and decided to try things the old fashioned way. At first, my results were admittedly poor. The eggs cracked when I dropped them in the pot or they ended up grossly half cooked or over cooked to the point of the yolks turning a weird greenish color. So, I did some research and what I discovered was a method that yielded perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs EVERY TIME. And it was easy. Soon everyone wanted one of my hard boiled eggs. For that brief week I was the star of observant Jews in my dorm. And now you can be too…

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

First, place your eggs in a pot that will accommodate them all in a single layer with a bit of wiggle room. Cover them with a couple of inches of cold water, add a healthy dash of salt, and then bring the water to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water starts to boil, remove the pot from the burner to stop the water from boiling and turn off the heat.

If you have a gas range, you may return your pot to the same burner, now on low, or with an electric range switch the pot to a new burner set to low. Let the water simmer for a minute, then remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes undisturbed. If you can spare one, at 10 minutes remove an egg from the water and cut it in half to test for doneness – if not just let them all go 12 minutes.

After 12 minutes remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Once the eggs have cooled, you may remove them from the water and use them as desired.

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