Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

I have been meaning to write this post for ages, but as usual the time just got away from me. Now with Easter less than two weeks away, time is of the essence. Y’all have to know how to get perfect hard-boiled eggs, so you can make deviled eggs! And color eggs for the Easter bunny! But most importantly, make deviled eggs!

I usually only have deviled eggs a few times a year, not because I’m not “allowed” to make them (Fred loves them as much as I do), but because I just don’t think to make them. You better believe we’ll be eating deviled eggs on Easter day!

By the way, “hard-boiled” is not an accurate description, because you’re not going to be boiling them in water – you’re going to be steaming them. I happened across this post on HenCam a few months ago and was skeptical because haven’t we all seen posts swearing up and down that the “perfect” hard-boiled eggs are done this way or that? For the past several years I’ve been making my eggs by adding a little olive oil to the water, boiling the eggs for 12 minutes, then adding baking soda to a bowl of water, putting the eggs in the water, and filling the bowl with ice to cool down the eggs.

If this were an infomercial, we’d be cuing the picture of me surrounded by containers of baking soda and bottles of olive oil and dirty dishes everywhere, my hair all frizzy, and looking disgusted and overwhelmed. I’d probably have flour in my hair, too – you know how those infomercials are.

The first time I did this, I took eggs that were less than a day old – some of them only hours old – and gave it a try.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (1)

You don’t need to rinse your eggs – I only did because a couple of them had nasty stuff on the shells, so I went ahead and rinsed them all.

I put the steamer basket in the pot, then added water ’til it came almost to the bottom of the basket. Then put the eggs in it. By the way, there are lots of different steamer baskets out there. This is the one I’ve had for years and use all the time. Can’t beat that price!

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (2)

Put the lid on, place the pot on the stove, and then turn the heat on high.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (3)

Once the water starts boiling and things get all steamy, set the timer for 20 minutes.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (4)

It doesn’t hurt to check the water level a couple of times during that 20 minutes just in case, because you don’t want the pot to boil dry, but I didn’t have any problems.

Once the timer goes off fill a bowl with water, add the eggs, and then fill with ice. Give it half an hour or so before you try peeling the eggs, though you could likely do it sooner.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (5)

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (6)

As you can see, the eggs aren’t completely perfect, but considering that they’re only hours old, that’s much better than I’ve been able to accomplish in the past. I made egg salad with those eggs, because we love eggs around here (which is a good thing, given the number of chickens we have.)

Though I don’t have pictures, I then “aged” some eggs for a week, and gave it another try. They were completely perfect, with no pulled-off spots, and I made deviled eggs with them.

Since the eggs that you get at the store are about 10 days old by the time they make it to the store (or so I’m told), you should do okay with eggs that you just bought. It doesn’t hurt to let them age for a week, though.

So, to recap: age your eggs about a week, steam them for 20 minutes, cool them down, and peel. The printable recipe is below. Happy Easter if you celebrate it – and happy deviled eggs if you don’t!

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Appetiser (?)
Serves: 7,000
  • Eggs, aged about one week
  • Steamer basket
  • Pot with lid
  • Bowl of ice water
  1. Put the steamer basket in your pot, and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer basket.
  2. Place the eggs in the steamer basket; put lid on pot.
  3. Put the pot on the stove over high heat. Once the water begins boiling, set the timer for 20 minutes.
  4. (It doesn't hurt to occasionally check the water level to be sure it hasn't boiled dry.)
  5. When the 20 minutes is up, fill a large bowl with water, add the eggs, and then fill the bowl with ice. Let eggs chill for about half an hour before shelling.
  6. Voila! Perfect eggs!