The Most Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs (No Needles Involved)

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 8 mins

From David Tanis' A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes. Let me just say that as a college student one of the edible discoveries that left me the most jubilant was that of hard-boiled eggs. Simple, convenient, nutritious, versatile, inexpensive, cute, and even aesthetically pleasing in a niçoise salad - what more could I ask for? So it was a good day when I came across a recipe that actually showed me HOW to boil the perfect egg. I tried it and...I've been hooked ever since. I boil eggs every 3 days (3 at a time), and they have become a staple in my hectic student life.


  1. About 30 minutes before you wish to eat your eggs, place the eggs in the warm water bath. Leave them in there for about 30 minutes or so, or until the eggs are room temperature or a bit warmer. (This step is critical so that the eggs don't crack when you submerge them in the boiling water).
  2. Now, fill a medium bowl with cold water and add a handful of ice cubes (alternatively, you can place cold water in a bowl and put it in the fridge or even freezer - it'll only be in there for 10 minutes, anyway.).
  3. Bring a medium pan of water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Lower the eggs into the water -- I use my handy wire egg sieve for this maneuver -- and simmer for exactly 8 minutes (7 and a half for golden yellow yolkeyness, and 9 if you don't want a soft center in your yolk).
  4. When the timer goes off, lift the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon (again, I use my wire egg sieve) and put them in the bowl of ice water; this will halt the cooking.
  5. When the eggs are cold -- this will take just a couple of minutes -- tap them gently on the counter to crack their shell all around, and return to the bowl a few more minutes: the water will infiltrate the eggs beneath the shell and make them easier to peel. (Also, when peeling the eggs, notice that there is a thin skin between the white and the shell; once found and ruptured, that skin provides good leverage to peel off the shell.).
  6. Keep the eggs in the fridge and eat within a day or two.
Most Helpful

This is the best method I've found to date. I have perfectly peeled eggs with this!!

Jim N. July 23, 2011

Wonderful method for peeling eggs! I always leave behind half my egg attached to the shell when I boil eggs. This way worked great, and I used really fresh eggs, which almost never peel for me. I didn't let the eggs get completely cold in the water cause I like breakfast eggs warm. I made 6 eggs for all of us and only lost one tiny piece because I was impatient and didn't let it sit in the water long enough after cracking the shell. I've tried the vinegar method and it didn't work. This was perfect.

Queen Roachie August 16, 2009

Making perfect hardboiled eggs has always been a challenge for me. I usually can do it successfully after three dozen eggs turn out and they always have the sulfur-green coating. I really like this recipe. The best tip is to get the eggs to room temperature. That saves a ton of "what ifs" for infrequent egg boilers like myself. The eggs turn out perfect, and by that, I mean they are cooked all the way through with bright yellow solid yolks, and peel easily. Bravo - great recipe!

Juneaux July 16, 2012