photo by Brina Blum on Unsplash

A hard-boiled egg has many uses. It can be a tasty protein-rich snack. It can be the beginning of a nice egg salad sandwich. It can bolster a salad. And around Easter time, those hard-boiled eggs can be dyed, hidden and found. Boiling an egg also seems to be a barometer of cooking skills, as in, “I’m such a lousy cook, I can’t even boil an egg.” Perhaps mastering the egg boiling can open up a world of culinary wonders.

To get there, you have three basic options: Stove, microwave or electric. Here’s how to make it happen:

Stove Top

Boiling eggs on the stove are the traditional approach but there are some tips you need to put into action. First, don’t stack your eggs. They need to lay flat in a single layer in your saucepan or pot.

Next cover the eggs with cold water. That would be enough cold water with a depth of one inch over the eggs. Why cold? Adding hot water might get is boiling sooner but it will also trigger the cooking of the eggs quicker. That can lead to an uneven cook, which you don’t want. Patience.

Set the pot over medium-high heat and let it come to a full boil. Two minutes after that full boil, you want to turn off the heat, cover the pot and move it off the heat. Over boiling an egg yields that green rim. Not appetizing.

While the eggs are covered in that boiling water, you want to set your timer. Two to four minutes for soft-boiled eggs with a runny yolk. Five to six minutes for medium-boiled eggs with yolk with a custard texture. Seven to eight minutes for hard-boiled eggs with a bit of creaminess in the yolk. Finally, at 10 minutes you have a firm yolk hard-boiled egg.

Use a slotted spoon to drop the eggs into a bowl filled with ice water. This should make it easier to peel. You can keep a hard-boiled egg in the fridge for up to a week.

Microwave

You don’t want to just put an egg on a plate in the microwave. That would be a bit messy. Instead, look for a microwave egg boiler. This is a small device that will let you boil several eggs at once. The trick is that you have to fill the base of the gadget with water and put the lid on. Microwave for six minutes for soft-boiled or nine minutes for full hard-boiled. Use the same cold-water bath before peeling.

Electric

Yes, there is a countertop electric egg boiler that you can use to boil up to a half-dozen eggs at once. Like the microwave gadget, you need to put water in the base of the electric boiler and cover the lid, too. These devices allow you to put in the exact amount of water and set the timer for whatever level of hardness that you want. You might want to poke the large tip of the egg with a pin to avoid a possible egg-plosion. This also helps with the peeling.

Good luck with those eggs!