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Friday, February 24, 2012

Back to the Basics - How to Boil an Egg

I love an extravagant meal.

I oo and ah over an intricate dessert.

But, as my childhood faux best friend, Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, "It is the sweet simple things in life which are the real ones after all".

This isn't to say your best filet mignon with wine and shallot jus or the most beautiful chocolate souffle aren't real.

Don't worry.

Sometimes I wish they weren't real because I tend to leave my restraint at the door when a big fluffy, light as air chocolate souffle is put in front of me.

Okay, Lindsey will stop digressing now...and referring to herself in the third person.

Sometimes, we all need to get back to the basics.

As I know the suspense has been killing you, allow me to throw the shrouded veil off of this post - we are boiling an egg. Three actually, but that's besides the point.

Hard Boiled Egg Pet Peeves (feel free to add on)

1. When the shell won't come off in less than 10 pieces
2. When the shell won't come off and then there's that gross filmy layer that won't come off either
3. That gross grey color the yolk is sometimes
4. Undercooked hard boiled eggs that have liquid that drizzles out (I'm getting sick thinking about these)
5. Overcooked hard boiled eggs that are so rubbery they could probably be repurposed as bouncy balls

Now that we have that settled, let's get on with a full-proof (I swear) method for creating a perfectly cooked, yellow centered, low-maintenance hard boiled egg.

I promise.

Pinky promise.

Cross my heart and hope to die.


How to Boil an Egg, in Pictures
First you take fresh eggs
Then you put the desired number of eggs in a sauce pan. Make sure they're not packed in too tightly
Next, cover the eggs well with tap water, room temperature. You want the eggs fully covered by about an inch.
Keep the saucepan uncovered and put the burner on medium heat. Wait for the water to come to a full roaring boil. See below for my super high tech attempt at showing you what qualifies as a full roaring boil.
As soon as it gets really roaring, like Lion King style, take it off the burner, put it onto a cooler one, and cover the pan. Then let it hang out for 10-12 minutes. 12 if you like your eggs cooked like no tomorrow but not yet rubbery. In the meantime, get some pilates in, read the latest People or 1/10th of the latest Vogue, or get serious about your new favorite hummus like me.
After the 10-12 minutes, empty the saucepan and put the eggs in a bowl of cool water until no longer hot to touch.
Look how pretty. It was almost too much to crack it but...
My method for cracking egg shells is to give it a good tap or five
So, two points here - 1. Please note the less than 10 pieces of shell. 2. Hello there sunshine!
Mission, accomplished. Next mission - get a half decent camera
Now you have the tools for pieces of a perfect cobb salad, Passover seder, or afternoon snack.

What are your favorite ways to use this basic?

I prefer salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic powder. Yum.


  1. I throw hot sauce on my HBEs :) Cholula is the best!

  2. Good post. After years of experimentation I finally worked out how to get consistently good results when boiling eggs