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8 ways to boil perfect eggs

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5 min read

There are plenty of ways to get great boiled eggs.


Deviled egg season is upon us, meaning you once again have to face off against cooking the egg. It's a seemingly simple task to hard-boil an egg, but nonetheless it has a tendency to be wrought with inconsistency and frustration.

Under- or over-cooked, mysteriously green egg yolk, or hard to peel eggs are traps that even experienced cooks can fall into.

Related reading: Why you should own an Instant Pot: 5 reasons, plus recipes and tips

Before you find yourself in an eggshell graveyard, cursing the devil and his eggs for being an irresistible potluck snack that you just can't quit, consider these eight methods for making the perfect hard-boiled eggs that should take some of the fiery hellscape out of your deviled egg experience.

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Watch this: 8 essential Instant Pot tips

Old fashioned methods: To submerge or not to submerge

If you're a cooking purist that isn't interested in gadgets to get the job done, there are two stovetop methods to consider using your most basic cooking tools: pot, timer and slotted spoon. Believe it or not, perfect boiled eggs are within your old-school heart's reach.

1. Begin with eggs submerged

Beginning with your large eggs already submerged in cold water and then bringing them via high heat to a boil allows eggs to cook more slowly and with less risk of cracking. Belly Full suggests a process whereby the pot is covered and taken off the heat once the water boils, with a longer cooking time -- about 12 minutes -- to achieve firm but creamy yolks. (Timings are also offered for soft-boiled eggs.) Delicious Meets Healthy offers a similar process but where the pot is kept on the heat for a quicker outcome: hard-boiled in 6 to 7 minutes. 

In either case you'll want to have an ice water bath handy for shocking the eggs to stop the cooking process and make the eggs easier to peel. (Or, pro tip: add a little baking soda to the water which will also help eggs peel more easily.)

A quirky little kitchen doodad can help nail boiling times. 

The argument for dropping eggs directly into boiling water is one of consistency. Not all ranges or pots are made equally, and coming up to a boil with the eggs already in the pot can take a varied number of minutes depending on what tools are at your disposal. Dropping eggs via slotted spoon into water that is already boiling means you have more control over the temperature and total cooking time, as in this method offered by blogger Jessica Gavin

Also noted by Gavin is that fresh eggs can be harder to peel, so if you're in the habit of farmer's market eggs, you might want to plan ahead by a week or two to save yourself the frustration of mottled, crater-pocked hard-boiled eggs, or buy conventional supermarket eggs which have probably already spent some time out of the coop. Room temperature eggs will also help prevent cracking from the shock of dropping cold eggs into boiling water.

Let your appliances be your guide

Maybe you have become a little too hard-boiled yourself to rely upon basic stovetops methods. You know yourself well, and you're going to need a little help. Fortunately, any number of gadgets you've collected over the years may be put to employment for the outcome of perfectly boiled eggs.

This 6-cup rice cooker with steamer doubles as an egg cooker with some creative application. 

It's a slightly longer process, but with zero chance of cracking due to vigorous boiling, with one cup of water and some patience, as demonstrated by My Heart Beets, you can have beautiful soft- or hard-boiled eggs care of your basic rice cooker.

This 7-quart Crock-Pot can make a whole lot of eggs. 

The thing about slow cookers is, they cook slowly. Like, really slowly. So this is the perfect method for those that plan ahead, outlined by Wanna Bite, if you want to return to perfectly boiled eggs after your morning by the pool.

Size 4 quartsWattage 1,550Controls DigitalCooking modes Air fry, roast, reheat, dehydratePrice $120

Ninja your eggs into hard-boiled submission. 

Not to be confused with fried eggs, using an air fryer on low heat gets you consistent hard-boiled eggs in about as much time as it would take to cook them on the stove. An excellent tip from Recipe Diaries, though, is to experiment with one or two eggs before you go in for the whole dozen to see how your air fryer performs for this task, and adjust temperature or time accordingly.

Read our Ninja Air Fryer review.

One of the most versatile kitchen appliances to come along in some time can help you make those eggs.

One device to rule them all: If you were an Instant Pot disciple from the get go, you're going to love Gimme Some Oven's method for churning out hard-boiled eggs in -- get this -- just 5 minutes start to finish. Perfect for those impromptu picnic invites. You can be that deity who managed basic deviled eggs in just a half hour.

Read our Instant Pot preview.

Egg-cellent, egg-specific appliances

Because it is the 21st century, and of course you can invest in gadgets that are specifically designed for eggs and eggs alone.

This device is made especially for eggs and the egg lover in you. 

This is literally as easy as it gets, in a compact unit designed to steam six eggs at once to hard-boiled perfection. (Plus you can do poached eggs, scrambled eggs, egg whites and omelets with the included attachments.) If you're the go-to person who is always counted upon to bring deviled eggs to the occasion, and those occasions number more than one this season, this might be just the thing for you.

Read our Dash Rapid Egg Cooker review.

A budget-friendly egg gadget that makes boiling a breeze and eliminates peeling. Score.

If you're truly feeling devilish, it is possible to produce the appearance of hard-boiled eggs without all of the mystery involved with cooking them in their shells. These silicone molds are built to take raw eggs without shells into boiling water while still preserving their whole egg shape. Plus, you can season the eggs themselves prior to the cooking process. Does this still count as hard boiled? The deviled egg is in the details, as they say.

Keep reading: Amazon Prime Day 2019 kitchen deals

This article was originally written by Pamela Vachon.

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