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How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs


I like hard boiled eggs especially when they are turned into Deviled Eggs.  When my hubby needs to take something for a potluck at work, Deviled Eggs are always his first choice. 

Before you can make Deviled Eggs you need to start with hard boiling them first.  For me, this is the easy part and then peeling the eggs was always the frustrating part.  I never knew if the shells would come off easily or if they would look like crater eggs when I got done.

So I set out on a mission to find the proper way to boil eggs and an easy way to peel them.  Why I didn’t do this years ago, I’ll never know.  But this is what I found.

First –start with several day old eggs.  The fresher the egg, the harder they are to peel because the membrane sticks to the shell better.

Next, place your eggs in a single layer in a large enough sauce pan to fit them.  Cover with COLD water at least 1 inch above the eggs.  It’s very important to start with COLD water.  If you start with warm water, it starts cooking the eggs right away.

Once the water starts to boil, remove from heat immediately and cover your pan for 15 – 17 minutes depending on your egg size.  If they are smaller eggs, go for 15 minutes, larger eggs need 17.


When your time is up do one of two things.  Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water or drain the water from your pan and fill with ice water leaving your eggs in the ice water for 15 minutes.  If you drain the water from the pan, you may have to keep adding ice to the water to keep them cool.  Since the pan is still warm, the ice melts faster and the water cools down faster.  Placing your eggs in the ice cold water prevents them from cooking longer and getting the greenish/grayish color around the yolk.   It also helps your eggs peel better when they are cold.

Now on to the hard part (for me).  Peeling your hard boiled eggs.  When I followed the above directions, 10 out of the 12 eggs I boiled, peeled very nicely.  Two of them did not and my theory on this is because I allowed the water to get too warm on one of them and on the other, I didn’t get under the membrane of the egg.  If you do get under the membrane of the egg, it will peel nicely.

To peel your egg, start by gently rolling the egg on a hard surface or in between your hands.  Start peeling the shells away, trying to get under the membrane.  If the shells are not peeling easily, peel them under cold running water.  This seemed to help.


It’s best to not peel your eggs until you are going to use them.  Hard boiled eggs can be stored in their shells in the refrigerator for up to one week.  If they are peeled, store them covered with a damp paper towel in an airtight container for up to one week as well.

Two places I’ve gone wrong in the past. 

  1. Just letting the eggs sit in the warm water until I was ready to peel them, sometimes up to an hour.
  2. Tried peeling warm eggs.  I never cooled them down after boiling. 

So with these tips in mind, I wish you good luck in making your hard boiled eggs.  Next week I’ll share my recipe for Deviled Eggs that always go quickly at a pot luck or a special occasion.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 17 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


1 dozen eggs
cold water


1. Place eggs in large saucepan. Cover with cold water at least 1 - 2 inches above eggs.
2. Heat to boiling in saucepan; remove from heat.
3. Cover and let stand for 17 minutes.
4. Immediately cool in cold water to prevent further cooking. Either transfer eggs to ice water or drain water from pan and fill with ice water.
5. Tap egg to crack shell; roll egg between hands or gently roll on a hard surface, then peel.

If shell is hard to peel, hold egg in cold water while peeling.
Hard boiled eggs in the shell can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Peeled eggs can be stored covered with a damp paper towel in an air tight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe adapted from The Big Red Cookbook from Betty Crocker

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3 Responses to “How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs”

  1. #
    Sue W. — February 23, 2012 at 8:51 am

    OK, color me feeble, but I SO appreciate you discovering what the secret to peeling eggs is! Thank you!

  2. #
    Carol — February 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Kendra, you should’ve asked your aunt years ago! I have been using this way of cooking eggs for years, and years, and learned many years ago as well that they peel better if the eggs are a little older – not freshly bought. These instructions are in my Better Homes and Gardens cook book that I’ve had for decades. I too take deviled eggs everywhere…

    • Kendra replied: — February 29th, 2012 @ 8:12 am

      What can I say – I’m either a slow learner or a stubborn German. Maybe a little of both. 🙂