How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Every Time

Happiest New Year!

It seems to be that time of year when we’re all resolving to eat better… which around here means whole foods, lots of veggies, and choosing foods that give you lots of nutrients!

One of the first things I do to make sure I make good choices, is to stock my kitchen with ready-to-go options: apples and pears that I can slice and enjoy with goat cheese or almond butter, lots of leafy greens for salads and stirfries, cooked quinoa and other grains, and hard boiled eggs.

Hard-Boiled Eggs |

I primarily use hard boiled eggs for egg salad (stay tuned for a recipe!) or for eating right out of the shell when I need a quick energy boost.  They’re also great atop salads or curries to up the good-stuff factor of what you’re eating.   You could also use it for Deviled Eggs (one of my favourite foods), or just breakfast!

So over the years, I have boiled many an egg… and after trying so many variations (pricking the shell, not pricking the shell, starting with boiling water, starting with cold water…), I now have a foolproof method.  It comes from the fabulous Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook, which is totally meat-heavy Bistro food, but belongs to the omnivorous Mr. KitchenOperas, so it lives here too.  And it always works for boiling eggs.  No grey ring, and easy to peel.

Hard-Boiled Eggs |

There are a few secrets that really make this process work.

Secret #1: Make sure the eggs fit in a single layer on the bottom of your pan.

Eggs in Cold Water |

Secret #2: Start with cold water, heat your eggs and water together, and shut the burner off when you get to a rollicking boil.

A Rollicking Boil |

Secret #3: Make sure you have an ice bath ready to go, to stop the eggs from cooking at JUST the right time.

Eggs in an Ice Bath |

And so… I am happy to share with you the official method for awesome hard-boiled eggs:

How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Every Time
Adapted from “How to Hard-Boil a Freaking Egg”, from the Les Halles Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain

  1. Put the eggs in a single layer in a pot.
  2. Add cold water until the eggs are covered.
  3. Over high heat, bring the pot to a rapid boil, uncovered.
  4. Once you hit a rapid boil, shut the heat off and cover the pot with a lid.
  5. Keep the pot on the burner, and set a timer for 10 minutes.  Leave the pot to sit, covered.
  6. A couple of minutes before the timer goes, fill a large bowl with water and ice cubes to act as an ice bath.
  7. After the 10 minute timer goes, remove the eggs and put them immediately into the ice bath.
  8. Leave the eggs in the ice bath to cool completely.
  9. Once cool, peel and use, or leave in the shell and store in the fridge*.
* Only refrigerate hard-boiled eggs once they have cooled, and within 2 hours of cooking.  Hard-boiled eggs will last in the fridge with their shells on for up to a week.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Breakfast & Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Snack, Vegetarian


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

6 Comments on “How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Every Time”

  1. Doug Bailey
    January 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    This method definitely didn’t work for me. I followed directions every step. How about adding salt or vinegar ? Any suggestions?

    • January 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      Hi Doug —
      I’m so sorry to hear it! What were your final results? What went wrong?

      I have done eggs this way for the last five years or so without any problems. I’d be curious to know what happened to your eggs.

      Let me know so we can hopefully figure this out!

  2. john F.
    January 8, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    Hi Lindsay, this works fine… but I just tested it alongside a method my wife uses… and hers might be worth a try, since it did seem to work even better. Summary: start the same way, but instead of shutting off the boil or covering the pot, let it keep boiling for 10 to 12 minutes (depending on how done you like your yolks). When the timer goes off, do either the ice bath or cold water from the tap (after dumping the hot water) for about 20 minutes or until fully cooled. I’ve just tried peeling eggs your way and hers, side by side, and hers were far easier to peel and tasted just as good. To note, I didn’t add salt or anything to either pot and the eggs were from the same batch. also, all eggs were easier to peel after first giving them a good quick tap on the counter with the rounder (and usually air pocketed) end of the egg.

    • January 8, 2014 at 7:31 am #

      Thanks, John!
      I’ll try it your wife’s way as well for a peel-test.

      I appreciate your side-by-side experiment!

  3. Steve
    January 25, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    Your method worked pretty good… But they were difficult to peel.
    I’ll try that 10 min boil method and see what happens!

    Thx for the tips!


  1. Sundried Tomato & Scallion Egg Salad | The Kitchen Operas℠ - January 7, 2014

    […] that you know How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Every Time, you can make yourself one of my favourite recipes on the planet — Sundried Tomato & […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: