By George, I think I’ve got it, Spiriteds! The Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg Recipe. Really! No more dimpled, over-dried, or undercooked eggs. And no more peeling away at our collective souls as we chip itty bitty pieces of shell from what is supposed to be our dinner.
Nope, Spiriteds, achieving the perfect hard-boiled egg is not difficult to do, and once you’ve done it, you can add these perfect specimens to any number of recipes (including that one where you pour a little salt on the egg and eat it over the sink). For inspiration, think Spicy Avocado Deviled Eggs or Mayo-Free, Paleo Egg Salad.
What makes this Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg Recipe so “perfect”? Two secrets: first, use STEAM, and second, put the eggs directly into ice water after they are boiled. Seriously, these two tips make ALL the difference.
So let’s talk about these twists of fate a little more. Why steam? Because the eggs will boil evenly, achieving the right consistency. They won’t come out over-cooked or under-cooked. And what’s with the ice water? The eggs will continue to cook even after you turn off the heat. Placing the eggs in an ice bath for approximately 10 minutes stops the cooking process and separates the shell from the egg (or at least makes it easier to peel the one from the other).
While making these once, I got pulled away for several hours while the eggs sat in ice water. It wasn’t the end of the world, however, the eggs were harder to peel. So more is not always better. Stick with 10 minutes and then peel. Ooh, and as a side note, if you aren’t sure how long to steam your eggs, then try a trick Gramp taught me. Scoop an egg out of the saucepan, lay it on the counter, and give it a good spin (as though you were playing Spin the Bottle). If the egg spins quickly and evenly, then it’s ready to go. And if it wobbles and lobs everywhere, then it needs more steam time. You might try this at the 10 to 12-minute mark and see what you think of the consistency.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
To prepare the eggs for boiling, I pour about 1-2 inches of water into a saucepan and add the steamer basket. The amount of water you use will depend on the size of your saucepan and whether you have a built-in steamer, which often sits higher in the saucepan and allows for more water, or a mesh/wire steamer that sits at the bottom of the pan.
I also don’t overfill the saucepan with eggs. It’s possible I did that back in the day, and they didn’t cook evenly. I also didn’t steam them, and I certainly never would have thought to place them in ice water. Now I only place as many in the saucepan as can fit without overlapping. I’m pretty sure Mom, and even The Gram, never paid such diligent attention to their hard-boiled eggs.
In fact, I’m trying to envision what Mom and The Gram would say today if they happened upon me steaming and ice-watering my eggs. But the process works, and I’m sticking with it! No more dimpled, peeled messes of protein. Spiriteds, we will have our hard-boiled eggs and eat them, too.
Just not while watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman because what even is with that show past season three? I thought for sure Mom and I got through almost all the episodes. It was our six-year medical degree. HOW ELSE WERE WE GOING TO PERFORM SURGERY IN THE OLD WEST???? Alas, I’m pretty sure we stopped once Dr. Mike and Sully got married, because, and I reiterate, WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING IN THAT TOWN??? Is no one needing medical care anymore???? Perhaps I should keep watching to see another life-altering medical case. But, honestly, I can’t bring myself to do it just yet. These are the days of my life. But at least I have this Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Recipe to keep me full.
And it’s all in the steam and the ice water. But Dr. Mike probably knew that already.
Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg Recipe
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 6 hard-boiled eggs 1x
- 6 eggs
- ice water
- Fill a saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil.
- Place steamer in saucepan and gently place eggs in the basket. Do not overlap eggs.
- Steam, covered, on medium to high heat for 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and immediately place eggs in bowl of ice water. Leave for 10 minutes.
- Scoop eggs out of ice water and peel immediately for use or store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
While you can store hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator for longer periods than what I list here, I have found these eggs are best (and are easier to peel) when consumed sooner rather than later.