If you’ve ever struggled to peel a hard boiled egg or ended up with a greenish yolk, try this… Start with eggs that have been refrigerated for several days (more than a week is best). NEW EGGS WILL NOT PEEL EASILY.

Place the eggs in a pot of COLD water. Be sure there is at least an inch of water above the top of each egg. Our well water is icy cold and roughly the same temperature as an egg taken from the refrigerator, but if your cold tap water is not as cold, let the eggs sit in the cold water for about five minutes, then replace that water with more cold water. The idea is to equalize the temperatures of the eggs and water. (If you just put refrigerator-cold eggs in water warmer than they are, the water will heat up faster than the eggs and the eggs may crack. Some people add a teaspoon of salt or vinegar to the water… this supposedly helps prevent the inside of the egg from oozing out if a shell cracks. I do not use either salt or vinegar, because I have found that equalizing the temperatures totally prevents cracking.)

Place the pot over high heat until the water comes to a full boil. IMMEDIATELY take the pot off the heat and cover with a tightly-fitting lid. The eggs do not need to be… and should not be… boiled. They will cook from the heat of the water. Boiling causes the iron in the yolk and the sulfur in the white to combine, and this is what makes that ugly greenish color around the yolk.

Let the eggs sit in the pan in the hot water for 12 minutes for medium, 15 minutes for large, and 18 minutes for extra large. This timing is very important.

Drain and re-fill the pot with cold water. I like to empty and re-fill the pot several times to make sure the heat of the eggs doesn’t heat the water back up again. You can also put ice cubes in the water. The water should be very cold. Letting the eggs sit in the cold water until they are completely cooled helps the papery membrane stick to the shells, making the eggs easier to peel.

Let the eggs cool completely, then gently tap the large end of the egg against a flat surface like your kitchen counter. This should crack the shell. Crack the other end… the shell should peel off very easily.

Hard boiled eggs in the shell can be refrigerated up to one week. Hard boiled eggs out of the shell should be used right away.