Why is it that some simple cooking tasks--like how to boil eggs--can get complicated? It's not that the task itself is hard; after all, cooking the perfect boiled eggs involves hardly any ingredients or talent in the kitchen. But it's one of those things that when it comes time to make a boiled egg, we tend to pause and ask ourselves: am I truly doing this right? Is there a better way to boil eggs, or to at least ensure I don't overcook my eggs?
If you've ever wondered how to boil eggs, you're certainly not alone. And the good news is that the instructions are simple. In fact, you're just about 20 minutes or so away from a perfectly cooked breakfast (and less time if you prefer your eggs boiled on the softer side!).
How Long to Boil Eggs
Place your eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a saucepan. Fill the pan with cold water that covers the eggs by at least an inch or two; the more eggs that you are cooking, the more water you should use.
Then, turn your flame on high, and bring the water to a full rolling boil. Many people find that adding a dash of salt--up to a 1/2 teaspoon--to the water helps prevent cracking of the eggs (and as a bonus, it makes them easier to peel later).
Turn off the heat but keep your pan sitting on the hot burner. Cover the pan, and let it sit.
Depending on how cooked you like your hard-boiled eggs, the eggs should be done perfectly in 10-12 minutes; less time is needed (see below) if you like your eggs on the more soft-boiled side. Other factors that may affect the timing of your eggs? The shape of the pan, the size of the eggs, and the ratio of water to eggs.
Strain the water from the pan and then run cold water over the eggs to cool them quickly and stop them from cooking further. If cooking a large batch of eggs, remove them with a slotted spoon and carefully place in a large bowl of ice water.
Other Helpful Tips
- Adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water at the start may help keep egg whites from running out if an egg does crack while cooking.
When cooking a large batch of eggs, don't be afraid to sacrifice one to check for doneness. After 10 or so minutes, remove it with a spoon, run it under cold water, and break it open; you'll be able to tell if your eggs are done or if they should cook a minute or two longer.
The best way to store boiled eggs is in a covered container in the refrigerator. Eggs can release odors in the fridge, which is why it helps to keep them covered.
Be sure to always eat your boiled eggs within 5 days.
See how easy? In just a few minutes, you'll be an egg-making genius--and have a healthy breakfast or snack that fires up fat loss and keeps you feeling full for hours.