The Incredible Edible Egg: How to Get the Perfect Hard-boiled Egg Every Time

It’s almost Easter, and you know what that means. Eggs! Baskets of chocolate eggs, marshmallow eggs and decorated hard-boiled eggs. But what will you do with all those pretty colored eggs once the hunt is over? Eat them, of course. Right? Well, that may depend on how adept you are at hard-boiling an egg. Seems like a simple enough task, rudimentary even, but many of us know that it’s a lot harder than it looks to perfect the art of hard-boiling an egg. If you’re an eggs-asperated amateur, like I was, you’re likely to end up with a basket of inedible duds that would make the Easter bunny stand on his ear.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the shell would release effortlessly in 2 or 3 big pieces? I mean, who enjoys the painstaking process of removing hundreds of stubborn shell shards? And what’s weirder than a chalky, grey or green center…or a gummy, under-cooked yolk. Yuck!

I’ve tried out more methods than you can shake a stick at — I’ve tried simmering them, steaming them, gently boiling them, microwaving them and a combination of these techniques. Sometimes I would get a positive outcome, and I would do a little dance and rejoice, “Success!” But just when I thought I had it figured out, the next foray would be an epic fail.

Well, no more! After many, many attempts, multiple techniques and sheer perseverance, I believe I’ve finally mastered the formula for producing fool-proof, user-friendly hard-boiled eggs successfully every time in three simple steps. With this tried-and-tested approach, the shells slip right off and the yolks are bright yellow and of the perfect consistency.

Once you’ve mastered your incredible, edible egg, you’ll always have access to a naturally nutritious and delicious snack or the foundation for a range of egg-centric recipes, such as deviled eggs, egg salad and spinach salad. Mike and I like to top our deviled eggs with a dollop of smoked trout (top photo), a trick we learned at an amazing restaurant — Matt’s In The Market — at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. If you find yourself in Seattle, please do yourself a favor and check out this wonderful restaurant (it’s a little tricky to find, but well worth the search!) — Matt’s In The Market

The Incredibly Edible Hard-boiled Egg

  • Difficulty: simple
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Tired of fighting with your hard-boiled eggs? I've tested dozens of techniques and found that this fool-proof method produces perfect, user-friendly hard-boiled eggs every time in three simple steps.


  • 6 extra large eggs (the less fresh, the better*)
  • 1 tsp vinegar (distilled white, apple cider or white wine vinegar)


  1. Place the eggs in a shallow pot and add cool water just to cover the top of the eggs. Add 1 tsp of vinegar.
  2. Set pot on the stove over medium heat until the water begins a gentle boil (not enough to cause the shells to crack), about 8 minutes. Immediately remove the pot from the heat source and cover with a tight-fitting lid that doesn’t allow the heat to escape. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, prepare an ice bath by placing 2-3 handfuls of ice in a medium-size bowl and adding enough cold water to sufficiently cover the eggs. Set aside. After 10 minutes, remove the eggs from the the hot water and place them carefully in the ice bath for at least 10-15 minutes, until well cooled.

Now, they’re ready to eat as a healthy snack or to use in salads, made into deviled eggs, egg salad or any number of other recipes. With just two to three gentle taps, the shells should easily release and come off effortlessly.  Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

*With fresher eggs, the membrane beneath the shell sticks more tightly to the shell, ultimately causing it to be more difficult to remove.

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