Hardboiled eggs are a great way to use your farm fresh eggs. They taste great in egg salad, potato salad, a green salad, or even just plain! My husband’s favorite way to eat them is as a deviled egg and don’t tell him, but I will share my recipe at the end of this post. Before we get to using them in recipes though, we need to get them cooked and peeled.
Cooking Your Hard Boiled Eggs
To get the perfect hard-boiled egg, you will want to bring a large pot of water up to a boil. You can salt the water if you like but I haven’t found there to be much difference in salted or unsalted water. Once the water is boiling, gently add your eggs using a slotted spoon or a wire spider skimmer.
The water will take a few minutes to come back to a boil, don’t start your timer until the water is boiling again. After the water is boiling again set your timer for 13-15 minutes depending on the size of your eggs. If you have smaller eggs, go with 13 minutes and large eggs should stay in the water for 15 minutes.
The Secret to a Perfect Peeled Hard Boiled Egg
This next step is my secret for getting the perfect peel on my eggs. It is fast, it is easy, and it leaves no egg white stuck to the shells.
While the eggs are boiling fill a large bowl with ice water. You will want to fill the bowl about half-way with ice and then add cold water just until the ice starts floating. Set the bowl on your stove or counter close to your boiling pot of eggs. When your timer goes off, use your slotted spoon to remove the eggs and put them directly into the ice water. This shocks the eggs and does two very important things. First, it stops the cooking process. Second, the sudden cold contracts the eggs and pulls them away from the shells to make for easy peeling.
Peeling Your Hard Boiled Eggs
Once you get your eggs in the ice bath, you need to start peeling immediately. If you wait too long the eggs will start to adjust to the temperature and expand back to fit the shell.
Start by tapping each end of the egg on a hard surface like your stove or countertop, then turn the egg on its side and roll it along whatever hard surface you are working on. Once the egg is cracked all the way around, peel open the pocket at the end of the egg and slide the rest of the shell off. Rinse the egg in the ice water and put it in a separate bowl to use for your favorite recipe.
Here are just a few tips to make sure you get the perfectly peeled hard boiled egg each time.
- Use eggs that are similar in size.
- Use a pot large enough for the eggs to lay down on the bottom of the pot. No stacked eggs.
- Unless you have extra peeling help, only do one dozen at a time.
- Use a bowl that is large enough to fully immerse all the eggs you are cooking.
- Peel immediately after putting the eggs in the ice water.
Deviled Eggs Recipe
And finally, the best way (according to my husband) to use a perfectly peeled hard boiled egg.
12 large eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ tsp yellow mustard
2 tsp white vinegar
Paprika for color
Cut eggs lengthwise and pop the yolks out into a separate bowl.
Add mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar to the yolks and mash together with a fork until smooth.
Using a piping bag (or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off) pipe yolk mixture back into the egg whites. Sprinkle paprika on top for color.
Michele Cook is a farmer, author, and communications specialist for the National Federation of Press Women. She raises chickens, goats, and vegetables on her small farm in the beautiful Allegheny mountains of Virginia. If she is not outside caring for her farm you can find her curled up in a chair with her nose stuck in a good book. Follow her on her website.