I know, I know you must have thought this is a no-brainer. Well my children don't know how to do it properly yet so please indulge me in setting their boiling knowledge straight.
Now the thing about hard boiling eggs is not to boil them but to simmer them to minimise the cracking of the shell. Bring them to rolling boil and then turn the heat way low and simmer. Also the choice of eggs is important. You should use eggs that are about a week old. Fresh eggs when hard boiled are quite hard to peel. Other people pierce one end of the eggs I think to make the yolk stay in the centre (I'm not so sure about that). They also should preferably be in room temperature to reduce cracking. The greater temperature changes it goes through in a short span of time the greater the chances of cracking.
To Boil an Egg
* Method 1:
- Put room-temperature eggs in a saucepan and add enough water to reach 1-inch up the side.
- Bring to boil. Once it boils cover (if it is not yet covered) saucepan, turn off heat and begin timing. Let stand in saucepan for 9 minutes (hard-boiled).
- Drain water from saucepan and fill-up with cold tap water. Keep it submerged for about 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Drain cold water and serve boiled eggs hot or cold.
* Method 2:
- Put eggs in a saucepan and add enough tap water to cover them at least half way through the side of the eggs.
- Bring to boil. Once it boils begin your timing; put heat down low and simmer.
- For hard boiled - simmer for 8 minutes. Cook for less time if you want the centre more squidgy.
- For soft boiled - simmer between 3 - 5 minutes. The less time you cook the softer the boiled egg will be.
- Remove from saucepan and submerge completely into a container with tap water (or drain the hot water from the saucepan and fill it up with tap water). Keep it submerged for about 5 minutes draining and refilling again if the water becomes quite hot. This submersion is done to stop the egg from further cooking. If you cooked soft boiled eggs and did not cool it down immediately you could well end up with hard boiled eggs.