I am sneaking in this seemingly unimportant article on how to cook the perfect boiled eggs as boiled eggs and deviled eggs have become quite regular breakfast items in my family — along with homemade tocino of course. Funny how there are things that are so simple but which we have not taken the time to think about or research on. From time to time I will be incorporating these kitchen hacks so that we all could have more fun and less stress in our home cooking adventures.
Simmer, do not boil.
Strictly speaking, boiled eggs is a misnomer as you really should not be boiling eggs. Boiling makes the protein tough and rubbery and so you should just simmer your eggs. Initially though, you can bring the water and eggs to boiling over high heat but once it begins to boil, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and observe the proper cooking times as outlined below.
For cooking different types of boiled eggs:
There are 3 kinds of boiled eggs: soft-cooked, medium-cooked and hard-cooked or hard-boiled.
- Soft-cooked egg has a firm white and a runny yolk
- Medium-cooked egg has a firm white and a slightly firm yolk
- Hard-cooked egg has a firm white and yolk
Different sizes of eggs have different cooking times but in general, these are the cooking times for different kinds of boiled eggs:
- Soft-cooked eggs are done in 3 to 5 minutes of boiling
- Medium-cooked eggs are done in 5 to 8 minutes
- Hard boiled eggs are done in 12 to 15 minutes
For easy-to-peel boiled eggs:
Do not use newly-hatched or very fresh eggs as they are difficult to peel when boiled. In general, near-expiry eggs peel much easier. If, like me, you source your eggs from stores which have a high turnover rate so that the eggs are still very fresh, you may store the eggs at room temperature for about 3 to 5 days before setting out to boil them.
Right after cooking eggs, immerse them in cold water to make peeling easy.
Just so they won’t crack upon boiling:
It stands to reason that eggs should not have cracks in the first place.
If you are using eggs that have been stored in the ref, wait for them to warm back to room temperature before boiling them. Cold eggs easily get cracked when boiled. Also, cold eggs take much longer time to cook.
Arrange the eggs in only one layer and not in stacks so as to bring about uniform cooking times. Use a wide shallow pan rather than a deep yet narrow one.
Pour in enough water as to cover the tops of the eggs by an inch.
To avoid the ugly green discoloration around the yolk:
Immediately after cooking, put the cooked eggs in a bowl of cold water to prevent the residual heat from subjecting the eggs to “carryover cooking” which creates that unsightly green layer around the yolks.
As mentioned, immersing the eggs in cold water also makes peeling the eggs a lot easier.
To know if it’s hard-cooked or not:
To know if it’s a hard-cooked egg, spin it on a hard surface such as a kitchen counter. A hard-cooked egg will spin fast and smoothly while a medium or soft-cooked egg will spin in a rather wobbly manner.
For proper storage:
If, like me, you are making deviled eggs regularly, you may cook a batch of boiled eggs and then store them in the ref until they’re ready to be assembled into deviled eggs. Boiled eggs can be stored in the ref for up to one week.
What other tips and tricks can you add for the most beautiful and easy boiled eggs?