If you frequently make a variety of egg types, you probably find that boiling eggs is the hardest type to make correctly. It can be tricky, since you don't find out if you've boiled them correctly until you cut open the boiled egg, and then it's too late to correct your mistakes. You want the yolk to turn solid, but you don't want to overcook the white, which makes it rubbery. You don't want a perfectly cooked white and a liquidy yolk, either. Here's how to boil eggs perfectly, every time:
- Choose the right eggs. If you want the boiled egg to be easier to peel, choose a slightly older egg. The shell of fresh eggs will better adhere to the inner membrane, making it difficult to peel the shell off. On the other hand, fresher eggs usually have a yolk that is better centered within the egg white, and is less likely to form a green ring between the white and the yolk.
- Place the eggs in the pot. Lay the eggs gently in the empty pot. Then cover them with water until there is about an inch of water over the top of the eggs. Use room temperature water for consistent results every time. You can add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water to make the eggs easier to peel, but some people can detect the taste of this amount of vinegar in the finished eggs.
- Heat the water. A food thermometer can help you monitor the temperature of the water, but this isn't absolutely necessary. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil well, place a lid on the pot, and immediately remove it from the heat. Resist the urge to peek at the eggs, or you will let some heat escape.
- Let the eggs sit in the water. With the lid still on the pot, let the eggs sit in the near-boiling water. The amount of time depends on how you like your eggs. For eggs that are still semi-liquid throughout, leave them in the water for 2-3 minutes. For "soft boiled" or coddled, leave for 3-5 minutes. Hard boiled eggs take 10-15 minutes. At the lower range of this time, you'll get a dark yellow, moist yolk. At 15 minutes the yolk will be light yellow and drier. Set a timer if you think you'll forget about the eggs in the kitchen.
- Cool the eggs. Stop the eggs from overcooking by draining the hot water and replacing it with cold water. Adding ice cubes can help the process go faster. Wait until they are cool before peeling or serving.
Eggs make great breakfasts or snacks. Hard boiled eggs are also great on salads and in other dishes. The timing is crucial when boiling eggs if you want to get just the right texture.