May We Recommend: Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

May We Recommend: Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

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Do all your hard-cooked eggs come out smooth and perfect?

Didn’t think so.

Mine either.

Despite making thousands of hard-boiled eggs over a lifetime, I sometimes find that the shell sticks and some of the white comes off with it. The eggs look battered, with little craters all over the surface, which isn’t important if you’re making egg salad, but seder eggs are not supposed to look like they fell into the lawn mower.

I know, all the food magazines have THE perfect advice for making perfect hard-cooked eggs every time!


I have tried them all, including following the instructions at the Incredible Egg website, including making a hole at one end of the egg, including cooking the eggs with cold water instead of immersing them into boiling water, etc.etc.etc.


Here’s what I’ve found in all my trials that yields the highest percentage of seder-worthy eggs:

  1. Buy eggs at least two weeks before you need to cook them. With time, the shell begins to separate from the insides, making the eggs easier to peel.
  2. Let the eggs reach room temperature before you cook them (remove them from the fridge at least an hour before cooking).
  3. Bring the cooking water to a boil before adding the eggs, add the eggs then wait for a second boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook the eggs for 10 minutes. Simmer, do NOT boil the eggs. I am assuming size large eggs; extra-large and jumbo need slightly more time.
  4. After 10 minutes, immediately plunge the eggs into a pan of ice water
  5. Always make more eggs than you need because while this method is the best of more than a dozen other methods that I’ve tried, it seems that no matter how much of an expert you are and no matter how much advice you follow, the shells might not always peel off so well.

Ronnie Fein is a cookbook author, food writer and cooking teacher in Stamford. She is the author of The Modern Kosher Kitchen and Hip Kosher. Visit her food blog, Kitchen Vignettes, at, friend on Facebook at RonnieVailFein, Twitter at @RonnieVFein, Instagram at RonnieVFein.

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