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The Perfect Hard-Cooked Egg—Every Time

Debra Redalia



I never liked hard-boiled eggs when I was a child. The whites were rubbery and the yolks green in the middle. I just couldn’t eat them unless my father made our family recipe for deviled eggs (just industrial mayonnaise and sweet pickle relish).

But then, about ten years ago I was on vacation in Nantucket, and we had lunch in a little restaurant. It was just a salad with hard-cooked egg, and it was so delicious I looked at it with wonder. The yolk was yellow, the white was soft. Where had this egg been all my life? It tasted divine.

And so began my search for how to make a hard-cooked egg.

Noticed I am not calling them “hard-boiled eggs.” No. It’s the boiling of eggs that make them rubbery and green.

The secret is to cook them without boiling them. This I learned from Julia Child in The Way to Cook.

But I wrote out my instructions for myself because to master this, I needed to figure out how best to make them in my own kitchen.

NOTE: For best results, use older eggs that are not fresh. The shells tend to stick to the egg when they are fresh from the hen.

The Perfect Hard-Cooked Egg—Every Time
Author: Debra Lynn Dadd
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 17 mins
Total time: 27 mins
Serves: 12



  • 12 organic eggs (I can get pastured eggs at my natural food store—use these if they are available).
  • purified water



  1. Choose the right pot. You are going to need a pot that holds the 12 eggs plus an inch of water. So determine which of your pots you will use for this recipe and make note of it for the future.
  2. Place the eggs in the pot and cover with 1 inch of water. That’s about to my first joint on my second finger. Find out which part of your fingers is an inch by measuring with a ruler, then you can always use your finger to measure, wherever you are.
  3. Turn on the heat to high (note the time) and bring the water just to a boil. As soon as it starts bubbling turn off the heat. Note the time again. Next time you can set a timer. It takes 16 minutes in my pot from cold to boiling.
  4. Cover the pot with a lid or plate and let it sit exactly 17 minutes (timer again).
  5. Place the eggs gently in a bowl of ice water and let them sit for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove eggs from the water and crack and peel immediately.
  7. Store peeled eggs in the refrigerator in a covered container.