Eggs — hard-boiled, soft-boiled, scrambled, and so on — are a breakfast staple. By far, hard-boiled (or hard-cooked) eggs are the trickiest to make — until now. Whether you're cooking them for a snack, quick breakfast, or kid-friendly Easter craft, follow this fail-proof method and expert tips from Good Housekeeping's Culinary Director Susan Westmoreland.
How to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs
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There are three ways to make perfectly cooked eggs: You can pop 'em in an egg cooker to save time, try the Test Kitchen-approved microwave approach, or go the old-fashioned route with a pot of boiling water.
If you prefer the latter, follow this simple two-step method:
- Put up a large pot of water to boil. Once the water's boiling, use a large spoon to gently lower the eggs into the water. Turn the heat off and let eggs cook for 9-15 minutes, depending on the size. (Note: For soft-boiled eggs, cook for 6-8 minutes.)
- Once ready, drain the hot water and run cold water over the eggs until the shells are cold to the touch.
TIP: Different egg sizes calls for varying cooking times. How do you know when a boiled egg is done? The American Egg Board suggests cooking medium eggs for 9 minutes, large eggs for 12 minutes, and extra-large eggs for 15 minutes.
How do you hard-boil eggs so they peel easily?
It actually comes down to the eggs — not necessarily the method — that you're using. For the best results, use eggs that are 7-10 days old. But if you only have a fresh dozen in your fridge, immediately rinse eggs under cold water once boiled and peel once cool.
Why do egg yolks turn grey or green? Also, is it okay to eat overcooked hard-boiled eggs?
Let's just get this out of the way: Pale creamy yellow centers are what you're aiming for. However, if they appear green or grey (sad face), it's likely because you left them in the water too long or forget to take them off high heat. Although these less-than-perfect versions aren't as pretty, they're totally safe to eat — as long as you can look past the rubbery egg whites and chalky yolks.
How long do hard-boiled eggs last?
The general rule of thumb is that you can store cooked eggs (deviled and hard-boiled) in an air-tight container in the refrigerated for one week tops. That means you can prep a dozen on Sunday and eat them as a healthy breakfast for an entire week. Never — we repeat: never — stick them in the freezer unless you want to deal with tough, watery egg whites.
Once you perfect the basics, find new ways to add this protein and vitamin-packed staple into your diet. Or simply turn them into a fun activity for kids by dying and decorating them. Or both.