Hard boiled eggs are such a great addition to your meals because they’re a great source of protein, they’re inexpensive, and they can be made ahead of time. Plus, they’re very versatile. You can eat them whole for breakfast, chop them up to add to a salad, transform them into deviled eggs, and the list goes on. The best part about eggs is that you can find them being sold by local farmers year round at Countryside Farmers’ Market!
How do you make hard boiled eggs? It’s likely that you make them the same way each time, but did you know there are several different cooking methods? In this post, we will explore the different methods and compare them to discover which method is the best. These methods will be rated on difficulty, time, result, and ease of peeling. So next time you are craving hard boiled eggs, try making them a new way.
*note: all cooking times are formatted for large eggs. If using medium or small eggs, cooking times will have to be decreased by a few minutes.
Method 1: The Classic Boil
This is the way I have always cooked hard boiled eggs, so naturally it is where our list starts. In this method, you bring water to a rolling boil, then drop the eggs into the water with a spoon, and let boil for 14 minutes. Remove eggs from the water and shock them in cold water to stop the cooking.
Difficulty: Easy, requires a small amount of monitoring
Time: a little over 20 minutes from start to finish
Result: Great! It cooks them to just the right texture.
Ease of Peeling: It took a minute to get to the membrane, but the shell slid off easy after that.
Method 2: The Quick Boil and Steam
The quick steam and boil, aka the Martha Stewart method, is another way to cook eggs without boiling for very long. To cook, place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water, enough to cover at least 1 inch above the eggs. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pan from heat. Keep covered and let sit for 12 minutes. This will allow the eggs to steam cook. After 12 minutes, drain water and cool eggs in cold water.
Difficulty: Easy. The perk of this method is you do not have to drop the eggs into boiling water, and it only requires a small amount of attention.
Time: less than 20 minutes from start to finish
Result: well cooked, but yolk was a bit chewy
Ease of Peeling: Difficult. For some reason, this took me a long time to peel, and I lost some egg white in the process because it was stuck to the membrane.
Method 3: The Baking Soda Boil
According to favfamilyrecipes.com, adding baking soda to the boiling water makes the hard boiled eggs super easy to peel. Since I believe peeling the eggs is the worst part of hard boiled eggs, I was very excited to try out this method. This method follows the same steps as the “quick boil”, but ½ tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of salt is added to the water before boiling. This works because baking soda will raise the eggs pH slightly, making them easier to peel.
Difficulty: Easy, but takes slightly more prep work
Time: less than 20 minutes from start to finish
Result: The yolk did not cook through as much as it did without baking soda, so the time may need to be slightly lengthened depending on how you like your hard boiled eggs.
Ease of Peeling: slightly easier than the quick boil method, but not dramatically better
Method 4: The Oven
Using the oven to “boil” eggs? Although this is not a cooking method that is as popular as the others, it still yields a similar result. To cook eggs using this method, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place eggs in a muffin tin, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in cold water to cool.
Difficulty: Very easy. Since this method doesn’t use any water, it’s as simple as placing eggs in a muffin tin and popping in the oven.
Time: 30 minutes
Result: These were cooked through well, and the yolk popped out of the white very easily. If you are separating the two, this may be your method. However, the muffin tin does leave a dark brown spot on the egg, so if you want them to look nice, consider a different method.
Ease of Peeling: surprisingly easy, the shell slid right off
Method 5: The Slow Cooker
I am obsessed with my slow cooker, but it never crossed my mind to make hard boiled eggs in it. However, a quick search revealed that people do this all the time! To execute this method, fill the cooker with a single layer of eggs. Fill with enough water to just cover the eggs. Salt the water and cook on high for 2 ½ hours. After cooking, remove the eggs and place in cold water to cool.
Difficulty: Very easy. Once it is set up, you don’t even have to think about it.
Time: 2 ½ hours… eek. If you were making eggs ahead of time, this would be fine, but if you wanted to eat the eggs that day, you had better start early.
Result: The eggs cooked just perfectly and yolk easily separated from the white. Texture of the yolk was spot on.
Ease of Peeling: Average, not super easy but not too difficult either
Although not tested in this post, I do want to mention 2 other methods for hard boiling eggs.
- Pressure Cooker: To try this at home, place eggs in the pressure cooker, pour 1 cup of water on top, and cook on high for 7 minutes.
- Air Fryer: For this approach, place the eggs in the air fryer basket and cook at 250 degrees for 15 minutes.
The Winning Method
After all the testing, the verdict is in! I wouldn’t say that any of these cooking methods were difficult, but some took a bit more attention than others. For the most part, these all cooked nicely. A sign that your eggs could have been cooked for too long is getting a green colored ring around the yolk, and none of these methods overcooked the eggs at their given cooking times.
Despite testing many new ways, I’m going to crown the classic boil as my recommendation. First, the eggs were cooked perfectly and the yolk was just the right doneness. Second, most people have a pot and stove to boil water, and you don’t need any fancy equipment, like a crock pot or pressure cooker to do the job. Third, it is relatively fast and does not really take much attention.
No matter what your method is, it’s guaranteed to taste delicious if you’re using a locally sourced egg with a beautiful bright yellow yolk! What method do you prefer?