Everyone loves that cheerful, sunny, soft, yellow center. But sometimes we end up with a nasty green stink bomb! Blech! No thanks.
The secret, kids, to a perfect hard cooked egg is timing. Timing and science. There are all sorts of fascinating reactions that happen when you cook eggs. Overcooking causes the proteins in the egg whites to bond together making the eggs rubbery. The iron in the yolks can react with the sulfur in the egg whites which is how you end up with green eggs (which is not as appetizing as Dr. Seuss makes it sound). But enough with the science lesson, it’s time for a cooking lesson.
- 1 large stock/sauce pot
- 4 -12 eggs
- 1 tsp vinegar (optional)
- Gently place eggs in a SINGLE LAYER in the bottom of the stock pot.
- Fill pot with water until there is at least 1-2 inches of water covering the eggs (maybe even an inch more if you are doing a full dozen eggs at once).
- You can add 1 tsp of vinegar to the water to help keep the whites from running out if the egg does crack.
- Place over medium heat and bring to a rolling boil.
- As soon as the water starts to boil, turn off the heat but leave the pot on the hot burner, COVER and let sit for 12 mins.
- Strain out the hot water and rinse the eggs in cool water to stop them from cooking. If you are cooking a large batch of eggs, gently remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place them into a bowl of ice water to cool them faster.
- After the eggs are cooled you can peel them and eat them! Yay!
I’ve been using this method for a few years now and it has served me quite well and there seems to be a large margin for error. Thank goodness right? Because I tend to get distracted a lot. I have left the eggs in the hot water with the burner OFF for nearly double the time and they have still turned out okay. The only time I have ended up with green eggs is if I have left the boiling pot on the burner for too long. Oopsies.
This method works well to get the kind of happy yellow centers that you see above, but you can easily adjust the boiling time if you like your eggs a little more or a little less done. Just increase/decrease your boiling time by 1-2 minutes. You can always sacrifice an egg to check the doneness to see what cook time works for you.
You can also try a similar cooking method from our fave scientist in the kitchen, Alton Brown. He doesn’t boil the eggs, but instead steams them to gently cook the eggs for less chance of breaking or overcooking. The steam penetrates the egg shell making them easier to peel and keeping them creamy on the inside.
Alton Brown’s Method for Hard Cooked Eggs
What to do with all of these delicious hard cooked eggs after you are finished?
Boy do we have some ideas for you!
Make them into this delish and healthy Tzatziki Avocado Egg Salad for the best lunch ever.
Or whip up a batch of of our fave Classic Macaroni Salad for your next BBQ or picnic.
Or if Easter is coming up (or perhaps just because everything is more fun in RAINBOW colors) you could decorate them! Check out this 100 awesome ways to decorate easter eggs round-up from Happiness is Homemade