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How to Make Perfectly Hard-Boiled Eggs

Howard Helmer, eggspert and Guinness World Record holder for omelet-making, shares tips on how to properly hard-boil eggs.

According to a survey from the American Egg Board, 84 percent of moms rate their knowledge of hard-boiling eggs as excellent or good, yet more than 7 out of 10 moms do not know how to properly prepare hard-boiled eggs.

How to Properly Hard-Boil Eggs:

  • Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling.
  • Remove from burner. Cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water about 15 minutes for Large eggs (12 minutes for Medium eggs; 18 or Extra Large).
  • Cool completely under cold running water or in a bowl of ice water. Peel and eat eggs or refrigerate to enjoy them later.

The "Hard" Facts:

  • While the cooking water must come to a full boil in this method, the pan is immediately removed from the heat so that the eggs cook gently in the hot water. Hard-boiling produces tender eggs and minimizes cracking.
  • Hard-boiled eggs in the shell can be refrigerated safely for up to one week. Peeled hard-boiled eggs should be eaten that day.
  • Peel a hard-boiled egg. Gently tap egg on countertop until the shell is finely cracked all over. Roll egg between hands to loosen shell. Peel starting at the large end and hold the egg under cold running water to help ease the shell off.
  • Banish the greenish ring. This harmless but unsightly discoloration that sometimes forms around hard-boiled yolks results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It occurs when eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature.
  • Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. Buy and refrigerate your eggs a week to 10 days in advance of cooking them, to make the peeling process easier. This brief "breather" allows the eggs time to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell.
  • Hard-boiled eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling. Cooling causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell.
  • Prepare a dozen hard-boiled eggs on Sunday so you’ll have an all-natural, high-quality protein option on hand for your family during the busy week ahead, either for an on-the-go breakfast or after-school snack.

About the American Egg Board (AEB):
AEB is the U.S. egg producer's link to the consumer in communicating the value of The incredible edible egg™ and is funded from a national legislative checkoff on all egg production from companies with greater than 75,000 layers, in the continental United States. The board consists of 18 members and 18 alternates from all regions of the country who are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The AEB staff carries out the programs under the board direction. AEB is located in Park Ridge, Ill. Visit for more information.

Tips and photograph courtesy of the American Egg Board.

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