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 cover them.
- Bring to boil. Once it boils, cover (if it is not yet covered) the saucepan. Turn off heat and begin timing.
- For hard-boiled - let stand in saucepan for 10-12 minutes depending on the size of the eggs.
- 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 by about 1/2-inch.
- Bring to boil. Once it boils begin your timing; turn down heat to low and simmer.
- For hard boiled - simmer for 10 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 cold tap water (or drain the hot water from the saucepan and fill it up with cold 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.
* Method 3:
- Keep eggs chilled in the fridge.
- Bring a saucepan with water to a boil (make sure the water is enough to cover the eggs).
- Lower the chilled eggs straight from the fridge. Start timing at this point.
Bring the water to a simmer and cover.
- 14 minutes - hard boiled
- 12 minutes - hard boiled with a little soft spot centre
- 10 minutes - hard boiled with gooey middle
- 8 minutes - fully set white and yolk with soft gooey middle
- 6 minutes - soft boiled with firm white, yolk starting to set
- 5 minutes - soft boiled with firm white, runny yolk
- 4 minutes - soft boild with very soft white and yolk