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.

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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!

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

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

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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.

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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!




Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs — 31 Comments

  1. I will definitely try this.
    According to Pinterest you can also “bake” your eggs in the oven for the perfect “hard boiled egg” .

    Good to see a post !!!

    Hi to Nance !! Miss you !

    • I actually tried the baked version, and my eggs burned to the shell. I’m sure it’s something I did wrong, but BOY was it stinky. I didn’t try it again. 🙂

    • I’ve done the baked thing a few times and they came out great every single time. However, it wasn’t any easier for me than plain old boiling is, so I don’t typically do it that way. Baking bacon? The best!

      The way I learned to do boiled eggs is to put them in cold water, til it just covers them, then bring to a boil. When the water is at a rolling boil, put a lid on it, turn off the heat and let it sit for 17 minutes. AFter that, give ’em an ice bath and voila! Great eggs.

      I might have to try this steaming thing just to see if they’re any better.

    • Hi right back atcha! I am scared to death of trying to bake eggs – I can just imagine the freaking mess I would have in my oven when they explode.

  2. Wow this is a cool idea. Unfortunately, I make hard boiled eggs 18 at a time because I’m on a severely restricted diet and eggs are easy. My steamer would not be able to accommodate that many eggs. Since I eat hard boiled eggs everyday, I did some searching with Dr. Google and found a method that works every time too.

    Cover the eggs with cold water in a large pan (just cover the eggs) (I’ve experimented with room temp and cold eggs – I didn’t see a difference – I usually get 1 cracked egg either way). Bring water to hard boil. Turn off heat and cover for 13 minutes.
    Take eggs out of water and set in bowl and rest for 2 minutes.
    Run under cold water until cooled (few minutes) and let sit in cold water for 15 minutes.

    Cracking the eggs is also important! Crack along one side of egg and then the opposite side. Roll egg on counter to get egg shell good and cracked/loose. The shells usually fall right off the egg. Sometimes they need a little help getting started on the end, but the rest of the shell is history.

  3. I’ve been steaming my eggs (uh, that sounds like a weird euphemism) for about a year now and it is the best method! I have never been able to clean-peel a hard-boiled egg until I tried this method. I do it a bit differently than you’ve posted here…I don’t put the eggs on until the water is boiling, and I usually go for 15 minutes instead of 20 (but I like a softer yolk). EGGS!

    • Soft yokes! YUuuuuuuuuck. I flip out if I even think my eggs are soft inside. Although I do, once every few years, crave a “dippy” egg (I don’t know what other people call it when you fry and egg and don’t cook the yoke) so I can run buttered toast through it. Fortunately, I tell myself to cut the shit and get over it pretty quickly. 😀

      • Years ago, I used to go out to breakfast regularly with my sister. I always got an omelet and she’d do the dippy egg thing, and I’d always kick myself for not getting what she’d gotten, because it always looked so damn good!

      • I believe the technical term for the runny yoke is “Over Easy”. Or even “Sunny Side Up” if you don’t want it flipped at all.

      • When I was little I was so repulsed by the taste of solid egg white that the only kind of egg I would eat was nearly uncooked soft boiled eggs – the slimy stage. My mom was so disgusted that she gave up trying, which was OK since I never was big on breakfast. I never even hunted eggs at Easter.

        At some point I lost that sense of taste and now like regular eggs OK.

  4. My husband has been looking for new lunch ideas – I’ll send him this “how to” because he loves eggs, and egg salad. (I don’t – for the record!)

  5. I usually only make about 6 eggs at a time in a smaller pot. I fill water until right over the eggs and once the water starts to boil, I set the time for 9 minutes. Once the timer is up, I turn off the stove and wait an additional minute. I then drain the water and fill the pot with ice and water and let it sit for a few minutes. Found that the eggs came out perfect every time. Yes, Robyn, you’re right. There is more than one way to boil an egg. 🙂

  6. I, too, have tried all the “perfect boiled egg” methods and not been all that impressed. Would have loved to see your infomercial, though. I’ll have to give this a try.

    We love eggs and especially egg salad, which I cannot seem to make tasty by myself. Have a good recipe you’d share?

    • I just hard-boil/steam the eggs, cool and peel them, cut them in half and pop out the yolks. Mash the yolks with a little mayo and a big spoonful of sweet pickle relish, then pipe the filling back into the middle of the whites, and sometimes sprinkle with paprika. That’s just my recipe, though – apparently (I’m finding out on Facebook) sweet pickle relish is a southern thing when it comes to deviled eggs. 🙂

      • My Mom will hide an olive slice in a few of the eggs just for herself. I could not get up the courage to try the olive eggs. Olives not for me. She would also take a piece of bread, spread with creamy peanut butter and the layer with slices of olives. She liked it. No of us had the cajonies to try it.

  7. Your recipe is JUST IN TIME!!! I’m one of those not “allowed” to make deviled eggs unless the hubs is going to be out of the house – he absolutely HATES the smell of hard-boiled eggs. Hubby is headed out of town for a couple of weeks, and I plan on egging it up!

  8. I like sprinkling dill weed on my deviled eggs instead of paprika. (Not that I dislike paprika on them – better make some of each!)

  9. Thanks for this. I had not even thought of steaming eggs rather than boiling them, but I shall give this a try.

    I undestand that you’re tired of the regular blogging thing. I believe in blogging without obligation. It should not be a dirty job that you hate to go to. That said, I miss reading about the goings-on at Crooked Acres, and would love to read an update with pictures.

  10. True story: my great-grandmother was the very spoiled youngest of 5 girls and never learned to cook when she was young. When she married, her mother wrote out a bunch of very simple recipes (for a wood-burning stove, mind you!) so she could cook for her new husband. The hard boiled egg recipe began “get the stove good and hot and fill a large pan with water, put in the eggs and set on stove to bring to a boil.” She did so, but cracked the eggs into the water because while it didn’t say not to do so, she’d never seen a hard boiled egg with a shell and assumed they were cooked without a shell. Being the mid 1800s, they ate egg soup for dinner because back in the day you didn’t waste food!

    I still laugh at that story. And now I want egg salad!

  11. “Serves 7,000” — inspired one, Robyn! (Also, I thought my trip to DCEP would be futile: on the contrary. Many thanks for this surprise installment.)

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