Although I love soft-boiled eggs with buttered toast soldiers, when it comes to salads I prefer to use hard-boiled eggs.
Boiling eggs to use as a protein source in salads is easy as long as you know some simple fool-proof tricks. If you are tired of egg-shells which crack while they cook or the dreaded gray-blue rings which can sometimes develop around the yolk of an overcooked egg, then follow my instructions below to learn how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs every time.
This method of boiling eggs is quite gentle and forgiving, so even overcooking your eggs by a few minutes will still result in an acceptable outcome.
HOW TO MAKE PERFECT HARD BOILED EGGS
- Get a bowl and fill it with water and ice. Allow it to sit on the counter to cool down. You will need this ice-cold water to submerge the eggs into after cooking to quickly cool them down.
- Get a pot which has a lid and place on your stove. Put your uncooked eggs (still in their shells) into the pot. Make sure the pot is large enough for the eggs to lie in a single layer with a little bit of space to move around.
- Fill a jug with cool or room temperature water and pour it into the the pot, making sure that the eggs are covered by about an inch of water. Filling the pot by pouring water from a jug eliminates the risk of the eggs bumping into each other and cracking by carrying the pot from the sink to the stove.
- Turn the heat on the stove to medium-high. Cover the pot with the lid.
- Allow the water to come up to a rolling boil. This may take 5-10 minutes depending on how much water is in the pot. I was able to hear bubbling sounds which indicated that the water was boiling.
- As soon as the water is fully boiling, switch the heat off. Remove your pot from the stove – either to another burner or hotplate (which is cool) or to a coaster on the counter. Keep the lid on the pot to retain the heat inside.
- Leave your eggs in the covered pot of boiled water to finish cooking. I strongly recommend using a timer.
- The cooking time will depend on the size of your eggs.
- The organic free-range eggs I buy are medium-sized, but larger eggs may need a few more minutes.
- Here are the results for my eggs:
- After 5 minutes the white was hard and the yolk was golden yellow and mostly firm.
- After 10 minutes, the white was hard and the yolk was slightly lighter yellow than at 5 minutes and fully hard.
- After 15 minutes, the white was hard and the yolk was quite crumbly and pulling away from the egg white around the edges. But even at 15 minutes, although the egg was somewhat overcooked the yolk did not have an unattractive gray-blue ring.
- I have read blogs where after 5 minutes, the egg yolks are still runny but in my case my slightly smaller eggs were already hard-boiled. Since everyone uses different sized eggs, I would really encourage you to do a quick test. You will only need to do the test once to know how long you need to cook your eggs. Simply cook three eggs according to these instructions, and remove one after 5 minutes, one after 10 minutes, and the last after 15 minutes.
- Submerge the eggs into the bowl of ice-cold water for at least 1 minute.
- Use straightaway, otherwise refrigerate your eggs.
- If you want to refrigerate your eggs, allow them to cool to room temperature and store them in the fridge in their shells.
- When you are ready to use, simply roll them on the counter to crack their shells, and peel. Start peeling from the wide end of the egg where the air sac is.
- The eggs can be quartered, sliced or mashed into an egg salad.
- Unpeeled hard-boiled eggs will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 5 days.
Share your thoughts: What method do you use to boil your eggs? Share your tips in the comment section below.