Kitchen Basics: Boiling Eggs

February 13, 2012

In her bi-weekly column, Kitchen Basics, Susan Pachikara of Cardamom Kitchen demystifies essential cooking skills with step-by-step instructions and her own handsome photos. Whether she's showing us how much brown sugar we're meant to "pack"(or is it cram?) into measuring cups or how to detect when our onions are properly caramelized, Susan is the nonna we never had -- until now. Now, go on and get cozy under her wing.

This week, Susan demonstrates how to produce soft and hard boiled eggs.

hard boiled eggs


When I was four, our family traveled to Ontario to visit family friends. Just before dusk one night, I managed to get lost in the Raos' small subdivision. A neighbor heard me whimpering to her cat sprawled out in the driveway. I had thick black hair and a tiny gold bangle encircling each wrist. She assumed I was related to the Raos who were the only Indians on the block. To test her theory, the neighbor asked what I liked to eat. Instead of "Curry," I responded with "Cookies and eggs." Thankfully, she called the Raos anyway.

I still get weak in the knees when I eat eggs. On the rare occasion when my fridge is near empty, I boil one up until its yolk is velvety and its white has a cushy softness. I sprinkle it with salt and pepper for breakfast in a flash.

It’s easy to overcook eggs. To avoid producing boiled eggs with rubbery whites and yellow-green yolks, follow these simple steps:

How to Boil Eggs 

Fresh eggs are often harder to peel than eggs that have been around for a week or so. So boil older eggs whenever possible. 

Place eggs in a saucepan in a single layer. Cover with an inch or so of cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

eggs in pot

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Cover with a lid and let the eggs sit in the water for five minutes to make soft boiled eggs and 15 minutes for hard boiled eggs. 

How to Peel Boiled Eggs

Drain the water. Allow the eggs to cool for one minute until they are easy to hold. 

For soft boiled eggs: Carefully tap the top of the egg on a hard surface to crack the shell. Peel off the top third of the shell. Use a spoon to scoop out the cooked egg. 

soft boiled

For hard boiled eggs: Crack the egg shells by gently rolling each egg against a hard surface with the palm of your hand. You can also cover the saucepan with a lid and slide it across your kitchen counter to crack the shells of the eggs inside. Hold each egg under cold water and peel off the shell, beginning at the wide end, which gives most easily.

hard boiled rolling cracked egg

I’d love to see your tips for boiling eggs! Share them with your fellow cooks in the comments section below.

Are you new to cooking? Tell me what skills you'd like to learn and your idea could be featured in an upcoming post!

Want more basic tips from Susan? Check out her previous post: Kitchen Basics: Caramelized Onions.

All photos by Susan Pachikara.

Susan writes the blog Cardamom Kitchen to share her culinary experiences as an Indian-American rooted in the Midwest. 

susan cardamom kitchen

3 Comments Add a Comment
  • Missing_avatar

    Flour Girl says: What a great suggestion Lisa ! I will certainly try it.

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
  • Missing_avatar

    Lisa Cohoe says: Here is a tip for shelling hard boiled eggs that I learned from a friend. I use it when I have to shell a large number of eggs when I am making a big batch of potato salad. I cut the egg in half then take a small teaspoon and run in around the inside of the eggshell and the half of the egg falls right out. If you get the egg at the right stage of cooling before it is too cool the egg falls out of the shell very easily.

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
  • S2

    Susan_P says: Thank you for the tip, Lisa. I never thought of that!

    over 2 years ago

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