Eggs are versatile food items. Hard-boiled eggs are a breakfast dish, is an ingredient in recipes that range from salad dressings to tuna salad, and even become tasty snacks. Sliced, hard-boiled eggs garnish many dishes as well but the question often arises, how long does it take to boil an egg?
It might seem like an easy enough question but any cook who has boiled eggs only to crack them and find the yolks still runny doesn’t want to repeat that mistake. Boil eggs too long and the eggs will begin to crack, marring the appearance for use in other dishes.
So the question remains: How long does it take to boil an egg? There are two answers and two methods. Both work but some cooks prefer one to the other.
One basic method requires as little as fifteen minutes but the actual boiling time is much less.
For perfect hard-boiled eggs each time, follow these simple steps for success.
Begin with fresh eggs in good condition. Check egg cartons for the sell-by date to confirm freshness – older eggs do not boil well and age can affect flavor. Look for eggs that have clean, uncracked shells in a refrigerator case. Store eggs in the fridge until time to use them. There is no need to further wash eggs before use because thorough washing is part of the commercial production process.
Put the egg or eggs into a saucepan and cover with a minimum of one-inch cold water. A single layer of eggs is necessary for even cooking. Place saucepan on the stove, cover, and heat until the water boils. Remove from heat, still covered, and let the eggs stand in the boiling water for fifteen to twenty minutes depending on the size of the eggs. Drain water from eggs, rinse in cold water, and the hard-boiled eggs are ready to serve.
The second method is the more traditional method. Begin the same by placing eggs into a saucepan and cover with water. Place pan on the stove uncovered and bring to a boil. Boil eggs for 5 minutes then remove from heat and cover. Let eggs stand in the boiling water for another five minutes before rinsing with cool water.
Overcooking boiled eggs can cause a greenish ring to form around the yolk, something that looks anything but appetizing.
One more tip that experienced cooks know is that adding a tablespoon of salt to the water will make the eggs easier to peel when it’s time to prepare the eggs.
With these two time tried and true methods, cooking an egg could not be any easier!