How to Boil Eggs

How to Boil Eggs

Learning how to boil eggs is one of the easiest, yet frustrating experiences you could have in the kitchen. Inexpensive, high in protein, versatile, and an excellent source of Omega 3’s (amount varies by quality). Knowing exactly how to boil eggs for your personal taste is essential in the Paleo kitchen. Whether you’re scrambling (pun intended) to find out how to boil eggs for Easter time, or you are looking to increase your skills in the kitchen, then this step-by-step guide for “How to Boil Eggs” is for you. If you want to learn more about eggs, check out my egg page from the Paleo diet food list glossary.

How to Boil Eggs

  1. In a large pot, put tepid water covering six eggs by one inch
  2. Over medium high heat, bring the eggs to a rolling boil, and immediately remove from heat and cover.
  3. Immediately start the timer for the desired yolk and the size of the eggs as reflected in the chart
  4. Medium size – soft 2 min, medium 4 min, hard 6 min
  5. Large size – soft 3 min, medium 5 min, hard 9 min
  6. X-Large size – soft 5 min, medium 7 min, hard 10 min

First a note about peeling. There have been all kinds of tips and tricks for how to peel boiled eggs easily. The truth of the matter is that very fresh eggs will be difficult to peel. If you have just purchased eggs, or know them to be very fresh, wait a week before trying to learn how to boil eggs. The eggs will lose a very small amount of moisture, and the egg will allow a small amount of air inside the egg. This allows for a little bit of space for the egg to separate from the shell. If you’re going to do a lot of hard boiled eggs, try to plan ahead and buy your eggs one week ahead of time.

How to Boil Eggs – Step ONE

Put refrigerated temperature eggs in one layer in a large pot. There should be enough room between the eggs to easily move around. I also go ahead and use filtered water for this and any other time I’m using water to cook my food. The time required in how to boil eggs will be affected by how crowded the eggs are in the pan. I am cooking six large eggs to show low long to boil eggs for your tastes.

The eggs should be in a pan large enough to cover them with one inch of water. An easy way to measure this is to simply put enough water in to reach your thumb joint when touching the top of an egg. This is approximately one inch on most people, and besides this is just a guideline!

How to Boil Eggs – Step TWO

Over medium heat, bring the water to a rolling boil. Then immediately cover the pot with the lid, and remove the pan from the heat source. If you’re using gas you can simply turn off the flame, but if you’re using electric or a flat top range you must remove the pot from the range. Immediately set your timer for the size eggs you’re cooking, and your desired yolk outcome from the table below.

How to Boil Eggs – Step THREE

While you’re waiting for the water to boil, you should prepare a boil of cold water and ice. This will stop the heat of the shell from continuing the cooking process. When the timer goes off, immediately retrieve the eggs with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the icy water. After a few seconds, you should be able to pick up the egg with your bare hands for a few seconds just long enough to put a few cracks into the shell and immediately put them back into the icy water. This will allow the cold water to penetrate the shell and cool the egg further insuring it does not over cook.

How to Boil Eggs – Step FOUR

Under running cool water, simply gently knock the egg against a hard and flat surface such as the sink, over the entire surface of the egg. Pry off a piece of the shell and you’ll notice a very thin membrane directly below the shell. Peeling off the shell with the membrane will greatly improve the ease of peeling the shell. Rinse the egg under water to remove any remaining bits of shell, and cut the egg as you desire or leave it whole! Try using an unusual salt such as truffle salt, or a black or pink salt, or freshly ground black pepper. Fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, basil, or ground paprika are wonderful with eggs. Or you can go quick and easy and have the eggs plain!

How to Boil Eggs – The Perfect Egg

I want to emphasize that when experimenting with learning how to boil eggs, many things can alter the outcome. The type of pot you use, the amount of water in the pot, the temperature of the eggs and water when starting, how many eggs are being boiled, and so on. For the results I came up with, I used six medium size eggs. The perfect boiled egg depends on your preference, and the purpose of the eggs.

If you’re planning on making deviled eggs, I recommend the hard yolk. Its more powdery yolk prevents the deviled egg filling from becoming too wet. Likewise, if you want your egg cut up and put into a salad, I’d recommend the medium yolk. This yolk is a little more buttery, and will hold together well if you plan on slicing it into wedges or large cubes. You won’t end up with a salad full of egg yolk dust like you would if you did a more hard yolk. Finally, some folks love the oozing warm creaminess that the soft boiled egg can offer. This is a breakfast favorite and the yolk can act as a syrup for whatever other foods you are enjoying.

I actually tried to produce an egg with the green ring. But after even 14 minutes of cooking, the very outer layer of the yolk barely showed any sign of green. I didn’t see a huge difference of the yolk quality between the 6 and 14 minutes, except the 14 minutes was much drier and pulled away from the whites easier. Below you’ll see the yolk fork testing I did to measure pliability, moisture content, and how well it clung together.

The two minute yolk was a thick and warm syrup. The four minute was like softened butter and delightfully squished, but held its shape. The six minute was a nice middle ground between the powder yolk with no dark orange center at all. The fourteen minute egg was quite dry, powdered, and ideal for egg salads or deviled eggs. Not for straight eating in my opinion. The perfect hard boiled eggs for straight eating were the four and six minute eggs. THIS is how to boil eggs!


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