If you, like food writer Elizabeth Lane in Christmas In Connecticut, need a recipe just to boil water, then this simple technique for making hard-boiled eggs will not tax your skills too much. The only time this recipe failed me was while making breakfast at a cabin in the Rocky Mountains (at 10,000 feet of elevation), since water comes to a boil at a lower temperature the higher up you are. For a printable resource on cooking eggs at high altitude, please click here. In general, hard-boiled eggs are super-simple, and make great weekday breakfasts alongside my Honey Whole Wheat Bread, shown in this photo.
6 organic, pasture-raised eggs (I buy eggs from Vital Farms, or even better, from the farmers market)
Sea salt or apple cider vinegar
Rinse the eggs, then place in the bottom of a 3-quart saucepan with lid (I love this one from Cook's Standard). Cover the eggs with cold water until the pan is about 2/3 full. Place on the stove on high heat, and add a shake of sea salt or splash of vinegar (this makes the eggs easier to peel.) This next step is crucial...WATCH THE POT until it comes to a nice "rolling boil" (I know, they say a watched pot never boils, but it will). This looks like a lot of big bubbles breaking on the surface of the water. However, you don't want such a vigorous boil that the eggs bounce around in the saucepan and crack against each other in the process. This will produce Cracked-Boiled-Eggs which are still edible, but may not keep as long in the fridge.
As soon as the water has boiled, take the saucepan off the heat and cover. Set a timer for 10 minutes and let stand. For soft-boiled eggs, you can experiment with letting the eggs stand for a shorter amount of time. But don't forget to make sure they're fully cooked according to food safety guidelines. Overcooking, conversely, will produce what I call Green-Boiled Eggs!
When the timer goes off, use a slotted spoon to gently lift the eggs out of the hot water, and place in a container (with lid) for storage in the refrigerator. Important: please check one egg and make sure they're all done! If you're planning to eat one right away, just run it under some cold water for a minute to make it easier to peel (hot eggs can burn your fingers, plus they don't peel well.) Also remember to let the water in the pot cool before pouring it down the drain: boiling water isn't great for your kitchen pipes.
Refrigerate the eggs (with shells on) for up to a week, and enjoy!
(Please click on any of the images below to enlarge and scroll through)