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Making hard-boiled eggs isn’t so hard — here’s how to do it perfectly every time

It may be easier to hard boil an egg than to poach one, but there are still some ways to screw it up.

Everyone has an opinion on the way to make perfect, peelable hard-boiled eggs. Whether you’re making deviled eggs or are dipping them in dye for Easter eggs, you want your pre-birds to come out right. Why not sous vide or pressure cook them? Maybe you don’t have an appliance solely dedicated to eggs, but there are still plenty of methods that will have you ready to decorate or devour in no time.

On the stove

If you’re doing things the old fashioned way, don’t worry. You can still get perfect hard-boiled eggs on your stove. For this recipe, we took a page from J. Kenji López-Alt’s The Food Lab. He suggests pouring 2 quarts of water into a 3-quart pan and bringing it boil over high heat. Once you’ve carefully lowered in your eggs, cook them for 30 seconds. Add 12 ice cubes to the water then let it boil again. Lower the heat just above a simmer (about 190 degrees Fahrenheit) and cook for 11 minutes. Drain them and peel under running water.

For a simpler method, the Betty Crocker Cookbook suggests covering eggs with water, putting a lid on the pan, and bringing the water to a boil. You then immediately remove the pan from the heat and leave the eggs sitting for 15 minutes.

Over at the Prairie Homestead, there’s an explainer for how to use a metal colander to steam your eggs instead. This method supposedly works for easier-to-peel eggs.

Egg cooker

Cuisinart ($34) and Chef’s Choice ($40) both make dedicated egg cookers. They let you make eggs several ways, including poached and hard-boiled. They’re particularly foolproof. While the Cuisinart can make 10 at a time, Chef’s Choice is limited to seven. However, the Chef’s Choice cooker doesn’t require you to piece the shell before hand, so it definitely works better for Easter eggs. If you want something you can microwave, there’s the Nordic Ware option.

Sous vide

Anova, Nomiku, and Joule are just a few of the popular immersion circulators on the market. Clip them to your pot, and they will heat the water to a precise temperature. For hard-boiled eggs, one recipe at Anova suggests cooking them at 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76.7 degrees Celsius) for an hour. ChefStep has a whole egg calculator, based on firm you want both your whites and yolks. Perhaps it’s something about this method of cooking, but separating the eggs from their shells does tend to be a bit trickier.

Pressure cooker

Whether you’re using an Instant Pot or less-hip pressure cooker, the results should be similarly quick and painless.The Kitchn has instructions for hard-boiling eggs at low pressure: Add a cup of water, put in something to lift your eggs out of the bath, close the lid, set it on low pressure, and wait eight or nine minutes. Pressure Cook Recipes has Instant Pot-specific recommendations: eight minutes for high pressure, 12 for low.

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