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Perfect hard boiled eggs

One of my pet peeves is having a hard boiled egg that has green on the yolk. I would almost prefer to have the yolk under done rather than over done. I use to know how to do this, but have lost the piece of paper with the method. I think you put the eggs in the pot, cover with water, bring to boil and take off burner. But what amount of time do you leave them in for. Last time I did it, it was a bust. Can someone help, please?

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  1. I put the eggs in cold water - covered by about an inch of water, bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover for 12 minutes, then submerge in cold water.

    9 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      I do the same thing, except turn the heat off, leave the pot on the heat, covered, for only 10 minutes. *shrug*

      1. re: afoodyear

        The time I use does depend on what I'm using the eggs for - for eggs for egg salad or devilled eggs, I use 12 - for hard boiled egg halves for a salad, I would probably also use 10 minutes.

        1. re: afoodyear

          how long in the cold water before you peel? are they peeled warm or cold or very cold or hot or?

          1. re: iL Divo

            I pour off the hot water and shake the pan so that the egg shells crack against each other. then I put cold water in and some ice for 5 minutes then peel. I put the eggsin a plastic container under water.

        2. re: MMRuth

          So, 12 minutes for a large egg right? Or maybe 11. Do you bring it to a boil over high heat or med-high? I seem to remember something about not using high heat, but I could be wrong.

          1. re: danhole

            I use high heat, but the minute I see bubbles, I take the pot off and cover. I'd suggest experimenting w/ the minutes to see how the yolks turn out in terms of what you want. Also, at the end of the day, some eggs just do "behave" differently.

          2. re: MMRuth

            how long in the cold water before peeling tho?

            1. re: iL Divo

              You should be able to peel right away, as soon as they feel coolish. Roll in the sink to crack and then it should pop right off. One trick is to use your oldest eggs for hard boiled, the newer ones don't peel too well.

              1. re: coll

                Yes, I also use old eggs when possible. A trick I learned, maybe here, is if you only have newer eggs, place them upside down (smaller end) and leave them on the counter overnight.

                For me, the ice water time varies, and sometimes I just put the boiled eggs in the fridge, other times I need to peel them right away. I do peel them under running cold water usually.

          3. I do exactly what MMRuth does. I believe 12 minutes is also the amount of time Cook's Illustrated recommends.

            14 Replies
              1. re: kalenasmith

                I think 15 minutes is too long for a large egg.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  I agree, I think the egg board is probably going overboard to make sure that there's no way the egg could be undercooked. Like the suggested meat temperatures the government recommends.

                  1. re: farmersdaughter

                    Also from the AEB:
                    Sometimes there is a greenish ring around hard-cooked egg yolks. It is the result of sulfur and iron compounds in the egg reacting at the surface of the yolk. It may occur when eggs are overcooked or when there is a high amount of iron in the cooking water. Although the color may be a bit unappealing, the eggs are still wholesome and nutritious and their flavor is unaffected. Greenish yolks can best be avoided by using the proper cooking time and temperature and by rapidly cooling the cooked eggs.

                    Occasionally several concentric green rings may be seen in hard-cooked egg yolks. A yolk develops within the hen in rings. Iron in the hen's feed or water as the rings are formed may cause this coloring.
                    Sorry guys, can't help myself....hubby is in the egg business. :)

                    1. re: kalenasmith

                      thats right, the green ring effect is caused by sulfur. What you can do to avoid this, is take a pin and prick a small hole on the bottom of the egg. There is an air pocket on the bottom of every egg. If you poke a very small hole and be very careful not to prick to deep to pierce the inner membrane (which would cause the egg to shoot out the hole in a stream), when you boil the egg, the sulfur and excess air will be forced out of the hole and voila, no more green membrane.

                      1. re: pandadero

                        Pricking the shells is helpful in letting air escape (and thus preventing cracks), but the sulfur in in the yolk. If you overcook a priced egg, it'll still develop a green ring around the yolk.

                      2. re: kalenasmith

                        well no apology needed, you and hubby helped me understand it more, thank you

                      3. re: farmersdaughter

                        But if people eat soft boiled eggs then why would it matter if it is undercooked?

                        1. re: pamd

                          The egg board sticks its fingers in its ears and shouts "LA LA LA" when people talk about soft cooked eggs. ;)

                          1. re: Morganna

                            I have a question...I have heard that the bacteria is actually on the outside of the shell (due to chicken feces) and the contamination comes when the shell is broken and comes into contact with the egg's interior contents. Therefore, if the egg is fully cooked any contamination will be eliminated.

                            If that's correct, wouldn't soft-boiling an egg take care of the contamination, even if the yolk is still soft? Wouldn't the boiling water take care of any bacteria?

                            1. re: rweater

                              If you poke around on the internet, you'll find that the instances of individuals being made ill by eggs is incredibly low. Yes, it's true that the outside of the egg, if washed off, and the egg has no cracks to allow in the contamination, should be just fine. So long as your eggs come from healthy flocks, not cooking them "fully" (to the temp recommended by the USDA) is a minimal risk to a normally healthy human adult. The risks increase a bit for children, the elderly, or others with compromised immune systems. I don't have the figures handy, but food borne illness from eggs is a lot less prevalent than it is from poorly handled turkey and cross contamination (as in people not keeping their not yet cooked foods away from the foods they'll be serving raw or mostly raw).

                              I always prefer researching this stuff myself so I can make intelligent decisions regarding the risks I'm willing to take for my own food consumption. I have no problem eating runny eggs. :D

                        2. re: farmersdaughter

                          yep, agree with that statement because the egg board has to cover their bums so to speak about the possibility of anyone getting sick, yea, the timing is wrong, you're bound to get green/blue ring if that long

                          1. re: iL Divo

                            Actually, according to the CDC website (google) contamination today usually occurs from bacteria in the hens' ovaries and the contamination occurs before the shell is produced. Certainly external contamination can occur but it is not the most common. This is an old thread and I do not want to get into the political, etc. discussion of the "real" risk of salmonella from clean, well -cared for hens who can run around. Only point is that contamination is not usually external to the shell.

                      4. re: kalenasmith

                        thanks Kalena for that link.
                        Jeffrey Saad didn't mention how long to leave the eggs in the cold water either.
                        his time was a bit different also for the sized eggs you're using, like I can ever remember if they're mediuim or large or ex lrg.
                        also I wonder if his first or second attempt always turned out or if the actual peeling on that video was a switch out..........

                    2. What I've always done, even though it appears to be heresy, is once the water boils, to place the eggs in the boiling water and keeping it over the heat for 11 minutes. For what it's worth, it's the method that Jacques Pepin uses (or at least cites in his autobiography), which I didn't realize until I read his book last summer. I've never had a problem with green-rimmed yolks.

                      I've tried the off-the-heat method, and for whatever reason it's never worked for me.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: jacinthe

                        So place the eggs, cold, into the boiling water? Any time I've ever tried this, the eggs have cracked horribly.

                        I put the eggs in the pot w/about 1/2 in. water to cover, bring to low boil over medium heat. Once low boil is happening, I cover the pot, take it off the heat, and let them sit for 10 min. This is for large eggs . . . I'd go 11 min. w/an extra-large egg . . . .

                        1. re: gansu girl

                          When I make soft boiled eggs, i try to use room temp eggs, and I do put them into boiling water for only five minutes. They don't crack, but cold right from the fridge eggs seem do for me, as well.

                          1. re: gansu girl

                            I've rarely had a problem with cracking eggs - but, I do use a wooden spoon to gently slide the eggs, straight from the fridge, into the water.

                            1. re: gansu girl

                              Since this thread has been revived, I'll point out that Jacques Pepin says to avoid cracking, puncture the large end with a thumbtack before putting the cold egg into boiling water. At first I missed the boiling part and did it with cold eggs going into cold water - and got LOTS of cracking, many times. Once I realized he meant boiling water, the eggs remained intact. He also says that to prevent the green ring, don't overcook, and DO roll the eggs around in the empty pan after pouring off the boiling water, so that the shells are cracked before going into the cold water. He says the sulfur will move toward the cold, so the cracking allows it to escape. Contrary to what pandadero writes, I do get green rings with pricked eggs if I skip the cracking part.

                              I think the 12 minutes is a sound interval, but not foolproof. For one thing, nobody mentions the amount of water or number of eggs. The temp of a 2qts of water will drop faster than that of 4 qts. Put 8 cold eggs in that 2 qts of boiling water and it will take a bit longer than if you do 1 or 2 eggs in the same amount.

                              1. re: greygarious

                                I watched jacques pepin do a live demonstration on all different ways of cooking eggs. Im not sure which one of his books you are reading but when I saw him, he recommended boiling the water, adding the pricked egg, turning off the heat and letting the eggs sit in the water for 9-12 minutes, depending how soft you like the yolks.

                                I did forget to mention the egg cracking. He basically drained the hot water and shook the eggs around in the empty pot until the shells cracked. He said at the time that it was merely to help the shells pull away from the egg for peeling once the cold water is added, but I suppose it could also aid in releasing the sulfur. I've never had any problems with green ringed eggs with this method.

                                You're definitely right about the amount of water and eggs. It is really important. Too many cold eggs will definitely drop the temperature significantly. When I saw Jacques Pepin do it, he was using a 2 quart saucepan and 2 eggs. If you are turning off the heat, you want a fair amount of water so the eggs dont drop the temp of the water too much. If you're arent sure, you can just pop a thermometer in the water and adjust the heat source accordingly.

                                1. re: pandadero

                                  The info I cited was from one of his TV shows, and is the same as what you reported, so I think you misread my post.

                            2. re: jacinthe

                              thanks jacinthe, when I get home in a few days from work, I'll stop by TJ's on the way and pick a couple dozen eggs and try the methods mentioned here. the eggs will get eaten in one way or another I'm not worried about wasting eggs.......................did he say anything about cold water bath and how long to leave in there before peeling?

                            3. I like Alton Brown's method, which calls for steaming the eggs rather than boiling them. His argument is that boiling is a violent environment which can cause cracking. Put a steamer basket in a pot with water in it, bring the water to a simmer, add the eggs and steam for 14 minutes. Give them a 5 minute rest in an ice bath and they're ready to be peeled.

                              Here's a question--does the age of the egg have anything to do with the likelihood of getting a green-tinged yolk? I have a feeling that using fresh eggs is key to avoiding the unpleasant color and odor.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Velda Mae

                                Yes, I understand that the green show age. Eeeeuuuu! Farm fresh never have the evil green ring. Ring around the yolk!

                              2. Of course, Harold McGee goes into great detail in On Food and Cooking. http://books.google.com/books?id=iX05...
                                I've used the bubble-less simmer method and have been very successful.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: GilbyEast

                                  very intersting, but I tossed my steamers out years ago when the fad seemed to lift and I'd be hard pressed to keep a thermometer handy for dousing in the gently boiling water too, so not sure about that persons feasibility

                                2. I make mine the middle eastern way - I put eggs in cold water, and turn on the heat as low as possible (using a diffuser if needed). I leave the eggs for at least 2 hours, up to 5. The eggs need turning occasionally to begin with to centre the yolks - and the water level needs to be kept over the eggs. At no time does the water bubble. Herbs, spices, onion skins and garlic can be added to the water to gently flavour the eggs.
                                  The result is sort of creamy textured, especially the yolk.
                                  (Of course don't forget the eggs are cooking or you'll wake up in the middle of the night to a truly horrid stench of burned black eggs).

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Peg

                                    My only real quibble with this is that it seems like a pretty hefty use of energy/fuel for some hard boiled eggs.

                                    1. re: Morganna

                                      We do a whole pot and then use the other eggs for salads, garnishes and stuff.

                                      1. re: Morganna

                                        yea and although the method probably does work, I won't put that much effort into making hard cooked eggs for say deviled eggs, I don' t have the time to be this concerned..........I literally run around the kitchen in the headless chicken mode when I need to get things done fast

                                    2. Thanks to all of you. I had never heard of steaming eggs before, and it doesn't seem like that would cook them enough, but I will try anything once!

                                      Otherwise I am going with the cold water, med high heat, boil, cover and wait 10 minutes.

                                      Thanks again!

                                      1. I have now changed my "go to" method using Suzanne Goin's, instead. Boil water, add eggs, lower temperature to low, simmer for "exactly 9 minutes", then put into cold water. This gives one a very moist yolk, for one a little harder, depending on who I am feeding them to, I might go another minute or two.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                          Heh-heh, I was going to reply that I use your method too (the one you first posted), but now you've changed it! lol

                                          I use to use your "new" method, but then switched to your old one a couple years ago.
                                          I don't know, maybe it's me that's cracked! :-)

                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                            "This gives one a very moist yolk, for one a little harder, depending on who I am feeding them to, I might go another minute or two."

                                            ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ sorry but I don't understand what this sentence means......................this gives one a very moist yolk, for one a little harder.................................... ;((

                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                              I'm not answering for MMRuth, just throwing in my two cents - I think she's referring to the texture of the yolk. A longer boil time produces a drier, crumblier yolk (and for my taste an intolerable one). A shorter boil produces and softer yolk that is moist and delicious.

                                              1. re: cuccubear

                                                Yes - moist yolk means still a rich yellow/orange, softish like a poached egg that has been overcooked, versus a pale yellow crumblier yolk.

                                                1. re: cuccubear

                                                  auh yes, just the way I like them, thanks for helping

                                            2. I have my troubles in the kitchen---we all do---but I've never understood the big deal over hard-boiled eggs. Bring a bunch of water to a boil and add your eggs with relative care (a stainless steel pasta fork, a serving spoon, a slotted spoon, and a ladle all work well). Set the timer for 10 minutes, and adjust the heat to a gentle simmer. Enjoy. Not soft, not chalky, not green, no sulfuric odor, and they never crack. If they're not done quite to your taste, adjust the heat 30 seconds one way or the other, and keep doing so until you find your happy place. Voila.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                I add my eggs to already boiling water to which I add a dose of vinegar, then if the eggs crack no white escapes. I put them into ice water immediately upon removal and I think that is the trick for preventing gray or green outer circles. I sometimes forget to take them out at 10 or 12 minutes, I've left them in quite a bit longer, but as long as you plunge them immediately into an ice bath there is never any discoloration.

                                                1. re: coll

                                                  Right. I shoulda mentioned that I immediately run the eggs under cold water.

                                                  I really don't get the theory behind adding eggs to cold water and _then_ bringing to a boil. The size and kind of pot, the volume of water, the temperature of the water ("cold" in the summer is not the same as "cold" in the winter, and "cold" water from Lake Washington is not the same as "cold" water from Lake Superior), the power of your stove, and the number of eggs can all drastically impact how long it takes cold water to come to a boil. It is far too imprecise if you want your yolks just so.

                                              2. day before yesterday my son said he wanted to know how to make them. I've read or heard every which way but loose about the subject so told him how I think it is supposed to be done. I made two, the biggest disasters in the world. Cold water, just topping the eggs, bring to boil, then lid on, fire/heat off, no peeking, 10 minutes into a water ice bath to cool, then peel.

                                                oh really^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^cause I could not get the shells off without picking away at them and making a mess of the poor little guys. he's not taking his mothers advice, and although I've already posted here, I'm back to square one.

                                                btw, our dil said her Polish mom has never ever destroyed a hard boiled egg and can't get what all the fuss is about. that's it, guess I'm going to Poland for a lesson

                                                20 Replies
                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                  The sticky shell problem is due to your eggs being too fresh. Use eggs that are several days old and this won't happen.

                                                  1. re: Rasam

                                                    and I've heard that before too. but guess what? here's the crazy thing, I've also heard the opposite. I like your idea best cause it makes most sense to me, the skin will pull away easier if it's a bit older. that said, not sure when the hen laid them but I got them from Trader Joe's one week or 7 days earlier, so...........................again ??? :(

                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                      i've been the crazy chicken lady for many years though currently chickenless. fresh is the enemy of easy peeling. if i used my girls eggs they needed to be about 3 weeks in the fridge for hard boiling. i kept a container just to let them age. store bought go with close to sell-by date.

                                                      start in cold water. bring to a boil. turn off heat. cover. 9 minutes for medium size, 10-11 for large, 12 for extra large. pour off hot water. drop eggs in ice water for 5 minutes. refrigerate or peel and use.

                                                      1. re: appycamper

                                                        well that's a great tip but I have a question since you mentioned it. does this mean that every time someone has to do say deviled eggs for work the next day, they have to hope for old eggs in the frig? what if they don't have any eggs and have to go to the store? what if they cook them just right but still can't get the shells off without all the cracking then removing most of the whites too? we all know how nobody wants to eat a deviled egg that has most of the white missing. I think my conclusion is it's hit or a miss and that mostly it's all luck when being asked to bring the perfect egg to a function. *(

                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                          'fraid so. unless you can find eggs marked near the sell-by date at the grocery. or you have older eggs stashed in your magical fridge ;-)

                                                          i haven't tried them but i've seen ready-done hard boiled eggs at the grocery store. they might save the day.

                                                          1. re: appycamper

                                                            so store the eggs in the carton cause otherwise how do I remember the date unless it's written down somewhere and I don't see that happening.

                                                            I wouldn't and won't do the store bought kind cause I'm just too stubborn :)))

                                                            I have 4 extra large eggs in right now with 3:57 left to go.
                                                            The ice and water is waiting and I'm saving the hot water too.

                                                            With all my new clues these baby's oughta be fantastic!

                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                              um, well, now I'm toast :{
                                                              never run them around the pan for simple cracking before dropping them into the frigid water :{
                                                              and this is the best of the 4.
                                                              back to the drawing board and market or Trader Joe's for more eggs.
                                                              oh well, I was planning on running errands today anyway *0

                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                I think the “aged egg = better HB egg” is merely a guideline. If I found out today that I needed Deviled Eggs for work tomorrow, I’d use what I have and make the best of it.

                                                                1. re: cuccubear

                                                                  which is what I've done so often and only a few of them may have given me a problem but not all of them and I'm assuming they are all the same age when I buy them......

                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                    no reason to think they're all the same age in the carton. depends entirely on how they're processed and how often batches are put in cartons.

                                                                    i once tried a very fresh dozen from my hens and they were totally ripped up when done (edible if the egg was sliced in half and scooped out with a spoon for a quick breakfast). one week old pretty much the same. 2 weeks old missing chunks of white. 3 weeks old all smoothly done.

                                                                    1. re: appycamper

                                                                      I just bought 2 dozen medium eggs from the market, the date says sell by May 23. I'll whip up a batch of HBE this weekend cause they're in my diet and I have to eat one a day. But I'll save out the others and do them much much later.

                                                                      Thanks for the experimenting on my behalf, or telling the story anyway.

                                                                      Appreciate it, maybe there is something to this method.

                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                        you're welcome. wishing you shiny slick hard-boiled and orangey yolked stand-up fried eggs.

                                                    2. re: iL Divo

                                                      I feel your pain. I haven't boiled an egg in over a year because every time I did the shells stuck and it was such a PITA just trying to get the shell bit's off to make them edible it wasn't worth it. My planned deviled eggs became egg salad. This happened following the instructions from http://www.incredibleegg.org/recipes-... to the letter.

                                                      I have read that older eggs boil up easier, so I've had a dozen eggs "aging" in the fridge for three - four weeks now (use by date of 5/16) and plan to try deviled eggs again for Mother's Day brunch.

                                                      This may be of interest: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/200...

                                                      1. re: Axalady

                                                        You might try aging them at room temp. A day on the counter is like a week in the fridge.

                                                      2. re: iL Divo

                                                        Been there, done that. When the shell is sticky, what works best for me is to use heat to separate it (and the membrane it's attached to) from the egg white.

                                                        While the eggs are in the ice bath, keep the cooking water hot. After they're fully chilled, take an egg out of the ice water and plunge it in the boiling water for 10 seconds, then back into the ice water just until it's cool enough to handle. Try peeling. If it's still difficult, back into the boiling water, then back into the ice bath. Eventually the shell gives up and comes off.

                                                        As Rasam notes, the shells from old eggs give up much more quickly.

                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                          and right about now I feel like an old egg :))
                                                          this conversation has been ongoing at my work over the last 4 days.
                                                          every one has a different opinion. you wouldn't believe how many ways there are to do perfect hard boiled eggs.
                                                          got 2 for work the other day at the hotel breakfast served.
                                                          they were perfect so I asked the counter lady how she did them.
                                                          "I just put them into very hot water".
                                                          "What?" I thought. She says, "here I'll show you."
                                                          I got giddy with glee until she pulled out a zipper prepared bag that
                                                          was still sealed shut, with perfectly peeled already boiled eggs.
                                                          she says, "see, this is how they come to us, then I just put them into hot water until they are warm and serve, it's that easy."
                                                          sheeeeeeeeeeesh I thought, she got them from like sysco or rykof or something, crumbs...

                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                            Believe me, I'm not a fan of Sysco, but if they were so perfect why does it matter who cooked the eggs? Better than the counter lady cooking them to death or whatever.

                                                            PS Sexton Rykoff became US Foods many many moons ago, it's funny to see their name again!

                                                            1. re: coll

                                                              I'm just going from memory with Rykoff as I hadn't seen one of their green trucks in a hundred years. And I don't care who cooks the eggs but if they looked this perfect [and she'd done them from scratch] [being the conversation all week long] I was gonna get to the bottom of the secret. I won't be getting Sysco to bring me my hard boiled eggs any time soon. *)

                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                They're way too easy to make from scratch, but if I had to make a hundred or two, I might be tempted.

                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                  oh I'd be tempted too, but bet I wouldn't cave :)))

                                                      3. Because we have a hot bain marie at the restaurant, I've been known to commit the "crime" of placing refrigerator-cold eggs into hot water; then I cook for 13 minutes. If I'm at home, I put the eggs in a pot of cold water, and then proceed to simmer it -- again, for 13 minutes. Eggs done either way are then plunged into ice water for at least ten minutes -- longer's just fine.

                                                        Only once in a very rare while do I get the "sticky" peels that rough-up the eggs' surfaces. I've only gotten the greenish yolks when I forget about the eggs and waaaay over-cook 'em.

                                                        1. Don't know if this really has any effect on the ease of peeling, but I also salt my water, about 1 tbsp.

                                                          A college cooking class 25 years ago taught me to put a quarter of a tsp. of cream of tartar in the water. I don’t do this anymore, in favor of the salt.

                                                          1. Just a follow up - the month old eggs cooked and peeled beautifully. I followed the preparation I always use from http://www.incredibleegg.org/recipes-..., with the only difference being (besides the age of the eggs) that I drained the water and rolled the eggs around in the pan to crack the shells, per Jacques Pepin (thanks greygarious). I put them into ice water for about 10 minutes then into the fridge for two hours before preparing them.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Axalady

                                                              my problem was that I remembered reading that in here and altho I was following another persons advice for how to cook these eggs, I then rolled them in the drained pot with vigor.........WRONG thing to do, maybe gentle rolling is good, doing the Chubby Checker Twist in there, not so good :((

                                                            2. That green ring of sulfur not only looks terrible, it makes them smell awful too.
                                                              But I do things a little different. For large eggs, I bring the water to rolling boil. Carefully lay the eggs into the pot using a slotted spoon The water temperature will drop, and once the water comes back up to a boil set the timer for 10 mins.

                                                              Turn the heat and remove the pot from the burner, let them sit in the hot water for 2 minutes. Then I run cold water over the pot of eggs, make sure they are cool. Then peel. Tap the egg on a flat surface to start the peel, then work the shell around. Should come off in 1 pretty large piece.

                                                              I've never had problems with shells sticking to the eggs, the yolks are always nice and bright yellow, creamy, and not rubbery at all. Doing it this way, I don't need as much mayonnaise to cream the yolks, I hate lumps in my deviled eggs!

                                                              1. This is some great info!! Thanks to all for sharing!! So what I get out of this is... older eggs are better with peeling than newer ones? My concern is the length of time I can keep eggs after boiling them. For example, if I keep eggs until a few days before the expiration date before cooking them, how much longer after boiling them do I have before they are potentially dangerous? I'd like to pre-cook my eggs on a Sunday and eat take them to work throughout the week but am not sure how long they'll stay edible. Any advice?

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: mrshankly

                                                                  Eggs are naturally hermetically sealed. The sell-by date on eggs has more to do with quality than safety. Uncooked, refrigerated, and in their shells, they're safe to eat for at least a couple of months.

                                                                  Hard-boiled eggs don't last as long. Even if you don't break the seal by pricking the shell, the cooking process seems to make them more susceptible to spoilage. But you're still good for at least a week, maybe two, so long as you keep them cool and in the shell.

                                                                  When in doubt, the nose knows. Nothing will tell you more quickly or more emphatically that it shouldn't be eaten than an egg that's beginning to spoil. Rotten eggs smell like, well, rotten eggs. Foul, sulphurous, and altogether disgusting. If it smells good, eat it.

                                                                  1. re: mrshankly

                                                                    not long, I've done it thinking it could be ok, it wasn't. they get slimy and slick and stink to high heaven...............yuk, eat within 2-3 at most.
                                                                    the above is speaking of peeled hard boiled eggs, don't know about them if not peeled.

                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                      Thanks for the info! I was thinking of boiling them but keeping them unpeeled until I was ready to eat. I think I'll make them in 2-3 day batches at most just to be safe.

                                                                      1. re: mrshankly

                                                                        should work fine. i do up to 3 days ahead for dh with no problems. i do the bring to a boil method then cover for 11 minutes (for large) off the heat and follow with an ice water bath. no sulphur odor, they stay nice and tender.

                                                                        1. re: mrshankly

                                                                          Unpeeled they're good for a week, minimum. Only if you peel them do you have to worry about making smaller batches.

                                                                    2. I guess it depends on what you mean by "perfect" hard-boiled. For me, that means with a touch of squidgyness in the yolk.

                                                                      Eggs go into a pan of cold water. Comes up to simmering point and simmers for 6 minutes. Perfect. Another minute if you want the yolks cooked right through.

                                                                      1. I can cook the perfect hard boiled eggs, that's not been the problem, the problem is peeling them and having the shell come off in one fell swoop, which usually doesn't happen and then you get deviled eggs that are fugly, anything else if they white is torn a bit is okay, it's just the ease of getting that blasted shell off that eludes me.........

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                          Following the “Eggs in Cold Water-Boil-Turn Off Heat-Sit for 8-10 Minutes” method, I rarely have a peeling problem. I had new eggs in the fridge just 5 days from the store and they still peeled fine.

                                                                          Anymore I crack them once and peel from there (as opposed to the crack-and-roll technique).

                                                                          1. re: cuccubear

                                                                            just back from TJ's and bought 18 new little, ok big, beauties. I have 3 HBE left in the frig for later eating, but will try that .....................again........................thanks

                                                                        2. On peeling:

                                                                          I've recently started adding a LOT of salt to the water (half cup to the half gallon of water) , along with all the other tricks (old eggs, pierce, plunge in ice water, peel under water, etc.)

                                                                          My matrilineal legacy of many generations of church pot luck marms will not allow me to serve a deviled egg with pocked whites. If I tried to, then dozens of grandmas and aunts would fill my dreams like the Wicked Witch of the West on her bicycle.

                                                                          More on peeling:


                                                                          1. The trick is to use older eggs. I always make deviled eggs for Thanksgiving and I can't tell you how many times I've been frustrated because they wouldn't peel properly. I finally discovered that the trick is to buy them at LEAST 10 days before you plan to boil them!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: kcfields

                                                                              Please, please, check out my post in Steam, don't boil those hard cooked eggs discussion. I just posted it and don't feel like typing it out again. I should solve all your problems.