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hard boiled eggsIt never fails that when my children and I are ready to dye Easter eggs, I always have to look up how to properly hard boil an egg. It is the one time a year that I do it, and I can never seem to remember the best method to get a perfectly cooked egg. Hard boiled eggs of my youth were always dropped in a pan of boiling water and left to cook until the entire house smelled of egg. The results were eggs that had a grey ring around the yolk, and a chalky texture. Not appetizing, and probably why I only hard boil eggs once a year.

So this year, I decided to do a little experiment. I looked in two trusty sources, The Joy of Cooking (the cooking bible, in my humble opinion) and The Betty Crocker Cookbook to see what method they suggested. And of course, a Google search. The Google search provided me with pressure cooked hard boiled eggs and eggs with a match floating in the water. The one that intrigued me the most was a baked, hard “boiled” egg. To put these methods to the test, I had to decide what made a good hard boiled egg. The winner had to be easy to peel and that the egg had to be well cooked, without the grey ring to be contender. You ready?

hard boiled eggs 3 ways

Here is what I used to conduct my test:

Safe Eggs
water
muffin tin
2 saucepans

hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod #1 – The Rolling Boil Method via The Joy of Cooking

Bring 2 to 4 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Gently lower the eggs into the water using a slotted spoon.

Return to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 14 minutes for large eggs, 12 minutes for medium and small eggs, and 15 minutes for jumbo eggs.

Transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod #2 – Quick Boil and Let Sit via The Betty Crocker Cookbook

Place large eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with water, at least 1-inch over eggs. Cover and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and let stand, covered for 15 minutes. (12 for medium and small, and 18 for jumbo)

Drain and rinse with cold water until completely cool.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod #3 – Oven via Lifehacker

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place eggs in a muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes.

The verdict? hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod # 1 – The Rolling Boil

  • Super hard to peel.
  • The membrane stayed on the egg, and it was a big ol’ mess. It completely feel apart and this was the third attempt at peeling. All of the others split open.
  • Eggs were undercooked

hard boiled eggs 3 waysYuck.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod # 2 – The Quick Boil and Let Sit

  • Easy to peel
  • Perfectly cooked

hard boiled eggs 3 waysPretty much a perfect hard boiled egg.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod #3 – The Oven

  • Really easy
  • No mess
  • Easy to peel

hard boiled eggs 3 waysNice, evenly cooked eggs.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysBut, if you are concerned about presentation there is a little brown spot where the egg sits on the muffin tin. If you are making egg salad, if might not matter. But if you were going to be making deviled eggs where you might see it, I might not choose this method.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysWhich method would I say is the best? The most consistent eggs were the Quick Boil and Let Sit eggs. Every egg that I cracked peeled easily and had a perfectly cooked yolk.

There you have it, the best way to hard boiled eggs.

hard boiled eggs 3 ways

Hard Boiled Eggs Three Ways

Hard Boiled Eggs Three Ways

Ingredients

  • eggs
  • water

Instructions

    Method 1 - Rolling Boil
  1. Bring 2 to 4 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Gently lower the eggs into the water using a slotted spoon. Return to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 14 minutes for large eggs, 12 minutes for medium and small eggs, and 15 minutes for jumbo eggs. Transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking.
  2. Method 2 - Quick Boil and Let Sit
  3. Place large eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with water, at least 1-inch over eggs. Cover and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and let stand, covered for 15 minutes. (12 for medium and small, and 18 for jumbo) Drain and rinse with cold water until completely cool.
  4. Method 3 - Baked in Oven
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place eggs in a muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes.Transfer to a boil of cold water for 10 minutes.
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307**I am a Brand Ambassador for Safe Eggs, and have been paid for this post. All opinions are my own.**

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47 Responses to Hard Boiled Eggs Three Ways

  1. Camille says:

    This is great! I always have the hardest time with hard boiled eggs – every time I do them they come out different!! The baked version looks pretty awesome, I never even thought to try something like that!

  2. Tieghan says:

    I always over cook my eggs! This is an awesome post!

  3. This is AWESOME! I just heard about the oven method the other day. You’re like America’s Hard Boiled Egg Test Kitchen! ;)

  4. Denise says:

    I cannot thank you enough for this post. Making hard boiled is so frustrating! :) I saw the oven method on pinterest but haven’t tried it. Now I will.

  5. patsyk says:

    Too funny that you posted this as I’ve got to send my kids into Hebrew school each with a dozen hard boiled eggs for their Passover meal! I’m partial to the quick boil and let sit method, but loved that you tried several methods I had been curious about. Thanks, for a great post!

  6. aletta says:

    what is a boil of cold water? Water that’s cold then brought to a boil? Or just a pot of cold water? Please explain to this idiot… thanks.

  7. Sharon says:

    I always have to look up how to boil eggs too! I just boiled some the other day. I actually have a little egg timer that you put in with the eggs in the water. I do a quick boil with the egg timer than when they are ready (according to the timer), I immediately put them into cold water and let them sit for a while. They were actually pretty easy to peel and were cooked fine. Out of the three ways you experimented with, I think I would prefer the quick boil method. An easy peel is important!

  8. Ok I am sold on the oven idea. I’m definitely going to try this out.

  9. Susan says:

    I baked a dozen eggs yesterday as it was easier for me that day to pop them in the oven and walk away for 30 minutes. But I fill the muffin pan with water and my eggs don’t have that dark spot on the side.

  10. Great post, I use the quick boil method and have for years with great results. I do think the age of the eggs also matters. The older the eggs the better they cook for me. I tried the baking method once, and well I did not have such great results, they weren’t cooked enough, I’ll have to give it another try since you were so successful :)

  11. oooh I’ve wanted to make eggs in the oven…never thought about the burn spot on the bottom!

  12. June g. says:

    Thanks for the terrific, science experiment! I’ve wondered about the oven method but didn’t want to squander a dozen eggs;) appreciate the sacrifice!

  13. ahu says:

    great post – i always use method #2 but will definitely test out method #3!

  14. Nur Ain says:

    Thanks for this great post Bree! I usually boil eggs using method 2. Never know about method 3 before but it’s a good new thing to know. Super easy. I’ll try that :)

  15. Umm how excited am I that you posted this?! I have been trying to perfect the hard boiled egg for weeks now since I’ve been trying to get more protein in my diet.

    I have actually been using the quick boil method but I’m not sure I put the eggs immediately into cold water…plus I followed some misguided google result that said to add vinegar to the water. The eggs are well cooked but impossible to peel. Thank you for these tips!

    • Lorie Lindgren says:

      the vinegar is to keep the broken eggs in-tacked so they don’t run all over the place … has nothing to do with the cooking ;)
      … I use method one and then shake them in the open after … they sorta just peel themselves….I’ll have to try 2 it looks sike it would save the most energy too!

  16. I now have a craving for hard boiled eggs. My friend tried the oven baked egg and advised me of the brown spots. Great experiment!

  17. Rosa says:

    Great post! I’ve tried the previous two methods but not the oven method. My favourite is also rapid boiling the eggs and then letting them sit for a while.

    Just a thought … if you happened to use very fresh eggs (a day or two old), the shell will be hard to peel off. The older the egg, the easier it is to peel. I just recently learned this myself, so I thought I’d pass the information along. :-)

  18. Now I want egg salad! Oh boy. Thanks for this, now I know :)

  19. I have chickens, and am often hard boiling eggs that are only a few days old, and this method just does not work for me! I can never get the eggs to peel easily.

    With the fresh eggs, I have had 100% luck with a method from Cook’s Illustrated. Starting them in the pan, but keeping them boiling for the time, then dumping into a bowl of ice water, trying to crack the shells when dropping them in. This gets the cold water under the shell and keeps everything separated. At least for my eggs, this works absolutely perfect every single time.

    • Gonefishing says:

      You can use a teaspoon to gently ease In between the shell and the white. The curve of the spoon really helps to get I between the shell and egg white.
      Keep your eggs in the cool water in a bowl or the pan you cooked them in whilst doing this. Use soft running water to gently help you ease the shells away (doing this saves some mess of the egg shells everywhere and seems to aid the de-shelling process too) The shells should slide off easily.

  20. Deb says:

    After much trial and error, I’ve found for me, putting the eggs in a pan of water, and once it boils, letting them boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, then letting sit in the hot water a few minutes more gets me perfect eggs that are generally easy to peel. However, judging by your comments and pictures, the yolks wouldn’t be cooked enough for you.

    When I was a kid, I’d put them on to boil, and leave them boiling until almost all the water was gone. What was I thinking?!?

  21. Heather says:

    I’ve always had success with the quick boil, but I was curious to see the results of the oven method. I think I’ll have to give it a try!

  22. melissa says:

    Quick boil is what I’ve always used. Lately I’ve been using my pressure cooker though. They turn out perfect and the shells literally pop off the egg. Might not be great for dying eggs though, but wonderful for everything else.

  23. What a helpful post! I am constantly boiling eggs but when I peel them, they look like a nightmare! But that’s all about to change very, very soon :)

  24. dan says:

    Just a little something to add, if you rolling boil the eggs, peel them submerged in the bowl of cold water, helps separate the egg shell from the flesh easily, keeps it all in one place to collect (rather than bouncing around the kitchen) and easier to brush off smaller fragments of shell.

    Also rather than essentially crush the shell into thousands of fragments, run a line around the middle by tapping it on the rim of the bowl and use your thumb and pick along the line. With practice you end up two shell pieces you can tease off

  25. Beth says:

    My brother recently tried the baked method and he said it worked great for him. I’m encouraged to try it. Was thinking that I might try salt or raw rice in the muffin cups to keep the eggshell from getting that brown spot due to contact with the pan.

  26. Anne says:

    I wonder if you’d still get the dark spot in the oven of you used a silicone muffin pan? Or silicone muffin liners in a normal metal pan? Thanks for this post!

  27. […] into canvases these days! To get your Easter Eggs ready for decorating, take a look at this awesome how-to for making hard boiled eggs… no grey ring around the yolk, and easy […]

  28. Catharine B. says:

    Ha, I love the scientific approach you took here! Great post. I’ve heard good things about the oven method but the quick boil looks best here.

  29. carolann says:

    Have just used the quick method and it was perfect, not only that though, I am going to save on fuel. Thank you so much for your taking the trouble to do the testing.

  30. Ginger says:

    Great experiment Bree! I have always boiled my eggs but I put them in right away with the water. When it starts boiling I would turn it down to “power 7″ (medium high) for 10 minutes. Then I cool them under cold running water. They turn out really well. I’ve also read that adding some vinegar to the water helps eggs be easy to peel.

  31. Gonefishing says:

    Hi everyone. I’m from the UK and here at home we eat eggs boiled with soldiers for breakfast regularly or every day, alternating with fried, scrambled or poached eggs. This has got to be the simplest thing to cook in the world. Nothing complicated at all about it.

    ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS PLACE DESIRED AMOUNT OF EGGS IN A SAUCPAN, COVER WITH WATER AND BOIL FROM COLD OR ROOM TEMPERATURE, ONCE A ROLLING BOIL STARTS (& this is the simple thing)
    It’s 2 minutes rolling boil for runny boiled eggs
    It’s 3 minutes rolling boil for soft boiled eggs
    It’s 10 minutes (or less if small size) for hard boiled and then plunge in cold or iced water (this stops the yolks turning grey or dull).
    By overcooking for 14 minutes no wonder they couldn’t be peeled let alone turn a funny unpalatable shade. That’s far too long in the pan! Also it’s a waste of electricity to spend so long boiling them and also inside the oven.
    Just boil for 9-10 minutes instead on the stove to get regular hard boiled eggs.

    Did you know you can also make your own delicious, additive free butter?
    Buy full fat cream. Or get it from the farmer.
    Whisk it or blend it with an electric appliance until it thickens to a glue type consistency, there will be water there which has separated from the cream. Drain this away and discard.
    It will also have turned a much deeper yellow as you are blending/whipping/whisking it.
    Add salt to taste. By stirring it through with a wooden spoon until desired flavour is obtained.
    It will only keep for a day or so in the fridge so don’t make too much.
    It’s really easy and takes minutes to make whilst being much healthier!

  32. […] Hard Boiled Eggs with salt and pepper Goldfish Crackers Homemade Hummus and Salsa Baked Tortilla Chips […]

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