From sliced on toast to crumbled on salads to deviled eggs, hard boiled eggs have so many culinary uses. Here’s how to hard boil eggs.
Hard-Boiled Eggs vs. Hard-Cooked Eggs
Is there a difference between hard-boiled eggs and hard-cooked eggs? Yes, but the terms are often used interchangeably these days.
If we’re being technical about the terms, hard-boiled eggs are heated with the water up through and including boiling. They cook when the water boils.
Hard-cooked eggs are also heated with the water. But once it reaches boiling, the pot is removed from heat, covered and the eggs cook gently in the warm water.
Many people, including a retired food editor of Good Housekeeping, believe that the hard cooking method is the best way, preferring the texture and flavor. While I don’t feel strongly that hard cooking is better than hard boiling (or vice versa), this post contains directions for the more popular hard-cooked method.
That said, my grandmother always hard-boiled her eggs.
A Step-by-Step Guide to How to Hard Boil Eggs using the Hard Cook Method
Start by filling a pot with cold water about 2 to 4 inches deep. Place the pot on the burner you’ll use.
Then, gently place the eggs into the pot. If you are using an egg timer that goes inside the pot, add it to the pot at the same time as the eggs. Then turn on the burner.
When the water comes to a full, rolling boil, turn off the heat, cover the pan and let sit for 12 minutes (for large eggs; less for medium eggs).
When the timer chimes, remove the eggs to a colander and run them under cold water for one minute to pause the cooking process.
Turn off the water, set the colander on the counter and let the eggs dry. Then store them as desired. They should be eaten within a week
Do I Need an Egg Timer?
These days, I use this handy egg timer in the pot and get perfect eggs every time. I bought it at Rooster Bros. in Ellsworth, Maine. It takes all the
Really, you don’t need it. You can simply time the eggs instead.
Set the timer on your kitchen timer, microwave timer or iPhone and remove them when it goes off.
Does the Egg Color Matter?
No. Although you may have heard that white eggs are better for hard-boiling than brown or other colored eggs, it’s an old wive’s tale. However, what does matter is the age of the eggs. You want to use older eggs for this. The older the egg, the easier time you will have peeling them.
So, if you want to hard boil eggs, buy them at least one week before you do so. For fresh eggs, you’ll want to wait longer — 10-15 days — to age them first.
What Can I Do with Hard-Boiled Eggs?
Hard-boiled eggs are delightful peeled, halved and eaten with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
They are also lovely when peeled and then chopped or quartered and served on salad.
You can slice peeled eggs and use them on toast or sandwiches too.
Or try one of these recipes with hard-boiled eggs (or hard-cooked eggs, if you prefer):
- Deviled Eggs
- Prosciutto and Arugula Deviled Eggs
- Egg Salad for One
- Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
- Egg Salad BLT Wraps
- Roasted Asparagus Salad with Chopped Egg
- Egg and Prosciutto Open Face Sandwich with Tapenade
- Loaded Caesar Salad
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.