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How To Hard Cook Eggs

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This is a topic that may at first sound simple -- hard-cooking eggs -- especially if you haven't done it before. However, there are some important things to know if you want nicely cooked eggs for deviled eggs, egg salad, potato salad or other egg dishes.

Hard-Boiled vs. Hard-Cooked


During the past ten or fifteen years or so, the term "hard-boiled", as it pertains to eggs, has shifted to "hard-cooked". To hard-cook a dozen eggs, put them in a pot large enough to accommodate them in a single layer, cover them with an inch or two of cold water (tap water), and put them on the burner turned up high. Keep a close eye on them, and cook just until a full boil is reached. Then, remove the pot from the heat, put a lid on it, and wait at least 15 to 18 minutes (depending upon the size of the eggs). Once the timer goes off, drain and run plenty of cold water over the eggs to stop the cooking process.

This hard-cooking process results in whites that aren't rubbery, and it also prevents the greenish surface on the yolk.

The Tricky Part

Next comes the often tedious business of removing the eggshells. Avoid using really fresh eggs because they are very hard to peel. That's because eggshells are porous, and an egg that has been around for a while has absorbed air, so the air pocket at the broad end of the egg is larger making it easier to get a good start on removing the shell. I'm not suggesting that you use old eggs; but eggs that are 8 to 10 days old up to but not exceeding the "sell-by" date are fine.

The trick is to start with the broad end of the egg. Once you can get a little water under the membrane, the rest of the shell comes off readily. I've been told that eggs boiled the day before and refrigerated will peel easily. I have not tried this personally, but perhaps you might want to. Trying to get shells off stubborn eggs is a frustrating experience.

A few more recipes on TexasCooking which require hard-cooked eggs include our classic Southern Potato Salad as well as Cool Tuna Macaroni Salad.

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