Boiling hard-boiled eggs is an essential cooking skill – a task that may seem easy but it isn't always. The two most common problems with cooking hard-boiled eggs are getting the right doneness and shells that just won't peel off without taking a good deal of the white with them. Make the process easier with the tips below.
Step 1: Place the eggs in a pot, cover with cold water and place the pot on the stove. It's best to use eggs that are just past the point of fresh, but not expired or bad. The outer membrane in fresh eggs tends to stick to the shell more than older eggs, making the peeling process more difficult.
Step 2: Bring the cold water to a boil. Once the water comes to a rolling, bubbling boil, turn off the heat, cover the pot and remove it from the heat. Let the eggs sit in the water until cooked through; about 9 minutes for medium eggs and 12 minutes for large eggs. Follow this timing to ensure the eggs are cooked perfectly with clear yellow yolks and non-rubbery proteins.
Step 3: When the timer goes off, remove the eggs from the hot water and place them in a large bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process and lower the temperature of the eggs. When the eggs are at room temperature, it's time to peel them – when it's colder they'll be harder to peel.
Step 4: Roll the egg under your palm on the counter so that the shell breaks completely, then submerge the egg in your bowl of room temperature water. This will help loosen the membrane connecting the white to the shell. While the egg is still submerged, begin to peel it. You can also choose to peel the eggs under the running water from the tap, so that the extra pressure of the water can also help to remove the shell.