How to Hard Boil an Egg (or: the 12-Minute Method to Shutting Down Haters)

Don’t let Archer fool you: poaching an egg is certainly NOT “Eggs 101.” But for the record, neither is hard-boiling them. That’s why when people say stuff like “oh man, that person” (they’re usually referring to me) “can’t even boil an egg!” to express kitchen incompetence, I’m always a little confused… which is why I think it’s a fitting topic for the first post.

Holy shit, I love eggs. They’re the first meal I ever learned how to cook for myself (scrambled eggs, what what!) and really, the only way I know how to make a meal for one person. Sometimes I scramble them with green onions, cheddar cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper. Sometimes I cook them over-easy and dip toast into the yolk. Sometimes I scramble them and put them over half an avocado (mashed) and toast (that last one is new to me, and may change my life with its level of deliciousness). They’re insanely versatile and I don’t think I would have made it through college or grad school without them.

But hard boiled eggs? That’s a complicated relationship. Fact: my mom always made them so the yolk was gray on the outside and very dry. I always felt like I was finding a planet when I peeled back the hard-boiled egg white. I now understand that these eggs were overcooked, but when you’re a kid about to eat a planet, I guarantee you don’t give a shit.

Now that I’m a child masquerading clumsily as a grown up, I found myself ready to boil an egg… and no idea how to do it. I did what everyone does in an emergency: I consulted Google.

It turns out that it’s a contentious topic. Everyone seems to have their own method (let them cook at a gentle boil rather than turning the heat off? Remove them from the heat as soon as the water boils? Use older eggs instead of fresher ones? Seriously, people are fiercely loyal to their methods, and it borders on insane), but more importantly, DID YOU KNOW EGGS CAN BE BOILED TO VARYING LEVELS OF DONENESS? As a yolk enthusiast, this blew. me. away. A hard-boiled egg where you can taste the yolk? Get the fuck outta here!

I finally went with the below method from Simply Recipes. The eggs came out wonderfully boiled, with a soft, rich and fluffy yolk inside. It was a thing of beauty, quickly mashed brutally and turned into egg salad.

Hard Boil That Egg, You Majestic Unicorn!

  • Difficulty: Easy, because YOU GOT THIS.
  • Print

  1. Arrange the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a saucepan.  Cover with at least an inch of cold water. The more eggs that are crowding the pan the more water you should have over the eggs. FOR THE RECORD: If you’re not cooking a huge batch of eggs, that’s fine. I usually only make four at a time, and even though they don’t fit tightly on the bottom of my saucepan, they stay intact.
  2. Bring the water to a full rolling boil (yes, with the eggs inside, wiggling dangerously. They’ll be fine).
  3. Turn off the heat completely, keep the pan on the hot burner, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Dump the hot water and run cold water over the eggs to stop them from cooking.
  5. Eat in whatever way, shape, or form you want because EGGS ARE THE BEST AND YOU CAN USE THEM FOR LITERALLY ANYTHING.

Remember: This is the Simply Recipes hard boiled egg method. Head over there for helpful pictures and some more in-depth information about the variables that affect how easily the egg peels, how to peel an egg even when it’s being difficult, and other super useful tips you probably didn’t even think of because God knows I absolutely did not.


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