The secret to hard-cooking eggs successfully

Pssst! Wanna know the secret to successfully hard-cooking eggs in their shell? You're not alone. We get lots of calls and emails asking for advice about this. Seems it's something many people have trouble with. In fact, there are a few tips that will help you produce perfectly cooked eggs in the shell every time. First, you want to choose eggs that have been in your refrigerator the longest. Why? These eggs will be easier to peel than fresh eggs. Better yet, plan ahead and allow time for fresh eggs to sit in your fridge for about a week before cooking. When it’s time to cook the eggs, don’t boil them!

Yes, eggs in the shell are often referred to as hard-boiled eggs, but if you boil them, not only do you have to worry about the pot boiling dry if you forget about the eggs, you also run the risk of over-heating or over-cooking the eggs. When this happens, you get a chewy, rubbery-textured egg white and a greyish discolouration around the yolks. Not so nice. Although this change in colour isn't harmful, it doesn’t look very attractive, especially if you want to slice the eggs for a salad or make devilled eggs. If you have a lot of iron in your water or you don't cool the eggs immediately after cooking, this can also cause that not-so-pretty ring-around-the-yolk. Although there are lots of ways to hard-cook eggs (we prefer calling this technique hard-cooking instead of hard-boiling), here's the method we recommend. It's easy and you'll have great results every time.

How to hard-cook eggs: Place cold eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Fill the saucepan so the eggs are covered with at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of cold water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat (with lid on or off, as you wish). When the water reaches a boil, immediately cover the saucepan and remove it from the heat to stop water from boiling further. Let the eggs stand in the water, covered for 18 to 23 minutes (depending on the size of the egg). Be sure to set a timer so you don’t forget about the eggs. When the timer rings, immediately drain off the water and run cold water over the eggs until they feel cool to the touch.

How to peel a hard-cooked egg: To easily peel a hard-cooked egg, first crackle the egg all over by tapping it on a hard surface. Roll the egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Start peeling at the large end of the egg. To help remove the shell, try holding the egg under cold running water or dip it in a bowl of water while peeling.

Storing hard-cooked eggs: Hard-cooked eggs can be kept in the fridge for up to a week. Cook up a dozen eggs at the start of the week and enjoy them for fast, delicious, nutritious breakfasts or snacks, or use them in salads or sandwich fillings or to make devilled or pickled eggs.

Is an egg raw or cooked? How to tell without cracking it open. To determine if an egg in the shell is cooked or raw, try spinning it. A hard-cooked egg with spin smoothly and rapidly while a raw egg will wobble because of its liquid centre. So you don't have to wonder each time, mark the cooked eggs with an x or cook them in water to which you’ve added a few drops of food colouring. Or, store them in a separate container in the fridge. Now you know all the secrets! Feel free to pass them on.