How to Boil Eggs

Cooking hard-boiled eggs is one of those life skills that is necessary but often difficult to master. For the new cook, boiling eggs so the shells do not stick (and the egg whites are not rubbery) is quite a challenge. There is a method to cooking hard-boiled eggs, and this process works perfectly every time.

Prepare the eggs
Select eggs that are at least four days old. The shells from very fresh eggs can often be difficult to peel after boiling. Using eggs a few days old will produce boiled eggs without dents and tears after peeling. Make sure the eggs are free of debris and do not have any visible cracks in the shell.
Remove eggs from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before boiling and allow them to come to room temperature.
Select a pan for boiling the eggs. The eggs need space while cooking and should not be on top of each other while boiling. Place the eggs in a single layer in a large pot and cover with cold water. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon salt into the water. This does not need to be an exact measurement. Sprinkling the salt shaker over the water a few times will work just fine. The salt will help prevent the egg shells from cracking as they cook.
Boil the eggs
Place the pot uncovered on the stove burner and turn on high heat. Allow the water to come to a boil. As soon as the water begins to boil, immediately turn off the burner. Cover the pot and allow the eggs to sit for at least 12 minutes. After the required time, drain the hot water from the pot and run cool water over the eggs. If you need to cool them more quickly, you can place the eggs in a bowl of ice water.
Peel the eggs
To remove the shell, crack the egg slightly against the kitchen counter and then run under cool water. The shell should slide smoothly from the egg. Rinse the egg and then repeat with any additional eggs.
Storing hard-boiled eggs
If you don't plan to use the eggs right away, leave them in the shell. After the shell has been removed, the egg will dry out and go bad much sooner. Place the eggs in a container with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Hard-boiled eggs are not safe to eat if they are not refrigerated within two to three hours after cooking.
Other options
To make pickled eggs (the pink hard-boiled eggs you see at the deli in your grocery store), remove the shells from the eggs after cooking. Place the eggs in a container that has a lid, cover with beet juice and replace the lid. Refrigerate the eggs for up to one week.
For soft-boiled eggs with firm whites and a runny yolk, follow the directions for hard-boiled eggs, but remove the eggs from the hot water and cool down after six minutes instead of the usual 12 minutes.
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