02 January 2010

How to Boil an Egg

While watching television last night, I saw a commercial for a hard boiled egg cooker. I couldn't believe that someone would actually need to but something like that. Yes, you can use it to steam veggies, but can't you just use a strainer and a pot of water to accomplish the same thing? Anyway, in my constant pursuit to find just about anything to write about and to save you $19.95, I have decided to share the procedure I use to hard boil eggs. I realize that this may seem like a very basic skill, but I also know that there are many out there that may not know how to do this. So, without further delay, here it is...

I am using large grade AA eggs. If you use smaller eggs, your time may vary.

What to do...

  1. Get a pin and pierce the eggshell at the flat-end. There is a small air sack located here and by making a small pinhole here, you will help minimize the possibility of your egg cracking during the boiling (this is an optional step)
  2. Place your eggs in the bottom of a pan
  3. Add enough cold water to cover the eggs
  4. Add a pinch of salt
  5. Place lid on the pan, but allow the steam to escape
  6. Place pan on the stove and turn to high
  7. When the water starts to boil, set your timer for eight minutes
  8. Let boil
    • For a soft-boiled egg it was suggested by one of my commentors to just leave them for three to four minutes
  9. After ten minutes, remove from heat and pour-out the water
  10. Add cold water to the eggs and then pour out
  11. Repeat three to four times
    • This procedure stops the cooking process
  12. Add cold water or ice and allow to set until the eggs are cool
  13. You should end up with a hard boiled egg with a nice orange yolk. Now, if you like to have a yellow yolk with that wonderful green ring around it, increase the time by two to three minutes

Peeling the little guys...

  1. Crack your egg from top to bottom
  2. Under cold water, rub the egg between your hands. This will help loosen the membrane that is between the shell and the egg and make the shell come off much easier
  3. Peel your egg


  1. I didn't know how until a few months ago myself!

    I can't believe they have an appliance just for that. *shaking my head*

  2. Storm, The Psychotic Housewife: I have to admit that it was about a year ago for me.
    I know and there are people who actually buy it! Why can't those same people come to my site and buy things? :)

  3. I've been skipping several steps when boiling an egg. I had no idea I was doing it wrong! Oh well, they taste good even though my technique is less than perfect!

  4. I never boiled an egg and didn't realize it was this involved. I always thought you just put them in the pan with water over them and cook on high--never knew how to tell when they were done though. I am kitchen challenged, obviously.

    I do make scrambled eggs though in the microwave!

  5. I learned years ago from watching my mother and she always boiled them for 20 minutes. It wasn't until just a few years ago that I found out that you didn't need to boil them that long.
    I'll just save my money and keep doing my hard boiled eggs the old fashioned way...lol Some people will try and sell anything.

  6. I'm with Karen on how to boil an egg. It's always worked for me but I appreciate your instructions and I can't fathom anyone buying a device for that much money. There's a show starting tonight on the Food Network on the worst cooks in America. I told MM I was surprised they didn't invite me.
    Why do I always get hungry when I visit you?

  7. BeadedTail: There are many ways to do this; this is just one way that works for me.

    Karen & Gerard Zemek: You're right, it is just basically putting them in a pan and boiling the water. It just sounds more complex when spelled-out like I did.
    I would love to have the recipe for scrambled eggs!

    Ann: My mom did the same and I always thought that the green tinge was supposed to be there.

    Mountain Woman: As I commented to BeadedTail, there are many ways to do this and as long as they come out hard boiled, then that's fine.
    The price I quoted was for one of the less expensive models, which just blows my mind.
    Unfortunately, we don't get Food Network anymore...I really miss it.

  8. 10 minutes from when the water starts boiling is way longer than I would do it. It depends on the size of the eggs of course.

    Sometimes I put the egg in cold water, bring to the boil, turn off the heat, and leave to stand. The yolk doesn't set so hard.

  9. I agree completely with Sheila. Of course the time depends on the quantity of water relative to the eggs. Normally, I guess your eggs would be completely covered with water in the pot. Ten minutes will give you hard-boiled eggs. I prefer to eat softer eggs, so I would just leave them 3-4 minutes.

  10. Sheila: I use the large grade AA eggs. The ten minutes from when the water starts to boil gives me an egg that comes out with a nice orange yolk. I like to have mine fully cooked, especially when they are added to salads.

    Benjamin Auffarth: Yes, they remain fully covered with water the entire time. Thank you, I'll go back and add your suggestion for the soft-boiled eggs.

  11. Well - you know that I just had to add a comment, didn't you?

    I have found that a medium egg becomes hard after only four to four-and-a-half minutes (this is boiling on a gas stove).

    In England we usually place our eggs in warm to hot water. We do not pierce the flat end. The egg is placed in the water filled pan on the smallest hob. Once cooked the egg is immediately placed under the cold tap - then picked up and lightly tapped at either end. For easy peeling - roll the egg on the draining board forwards and backwards several times the shell then comes off in one magnificent broken mosaic leaving the egg white pure like a perfect sculpture.

    I too am amazed that anyone could buy a separate cooker for any single item: eggs, chips, bread, ice cream to name but a few. I enjoy a good poached egg - but even this is just added to a pan of around an inch (three centimetres) of simmering slightly salty water. How wonderful are eggs when they cook so easily?

  12. Kloggers/Polly: I am so glad that you did. Thank you also for mentioning egg size, I went back and amended the post to reflect that I use large grade AA eggs.
    The piercing of the egg is optional and is used to help prevent the egg from cracking whilst boiling. I am usually too lazy to do this, so I end up with a cracked egg every now and then.

    I know, it is really nice when they seem to jump out of their shells. Much better than the pot-marked mess which happens when the membrane doesn't separate from the egg.

    I hope that you had a great New Years!


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