Hard boiled (actually hard-cooked) sometimes baffle people who want eggs that are easy to peel. There is so much misinformation out there that making good eggs becomes a huge worry. It’s not.
- It doesn’t matter whether the eggs are fresh or old.
- You don’t need to prick the end of the shell.
- You don’t have to chill them much to make them peel. Just run them under cold water until they aren’t hot any more.
The key trick to making easy-peel eggs is that you start them in or above hot water. We tried all three in this longer article last year. They all work great.
For us, the simplest way is to put a vegetable steamer in a pan, and add water till it is just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring the water to a slow boil, and quickly lower the eggs onto the steamer using a slotted spoon. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Then run cold water into the pan, drain it and run cold water in again. Then, refrigerate them until you want to dye them, devil them or eat them.
You can make one or two dozen hard cooked eggs at once if you have an Instant Pot or other counter top pressure cooker. Just place a cup of water in the pot, and put your eggs on top of the trivet above the water. Seal the pot and pressure-cook for 8 minutes. Do not allow any cool-down time after the 8 minutes as the eggs will continue to cook. Release the pressure immediately, lift out the inner pot and run cold water into it. Rinse and run cold water on them again. They are then ready as above.
You can do this same trick in a pan of slowly boiling water. Bring the water to a boil and then quickly lower the eggs into the water and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain and cool as above.
This photo shows eggs cooked in the vegetable steamer, in a pan and in the Instant Pot
How to fail
You can fail and get unpeelable eggs by starting them in cold water whether in a pan or on a trivet. You will also find them slightly harder to peel if you overcook them beyond 10 minutes. The yolks will become quite hard, and the eggs will be less flexible when you try to peel them.
Remember: start with boiling water!
That’s it! Enjoy your holidays!