As we gear up for Independence Day, many of us will include eggs on the menu. Whether deviled or in a salad, the path to the perfect hard-cooked egg is fraught with uncertainty. Chef Sam Brown, from Second Helpings, guides us in our quest to achieve a golden-yolked beauty that tastes delicious and peels perfectly. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4!

Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs


  1. Bring eggs to room temperature (eggs should be stored at 41 degrees or lower). Run them under warm water for 2-3 minutes. If an egg is too cold when it touches boiling water, it will crack and you’ll have coagulated egg whites floating in your pot.
  2. Fill a pot large enough to hold all the eggs you are cooking in a single layer, covered with water. Add a little salt and vinegar. Vinegar helps the egg’s membrane release from the shell. This will make it easier to peel when it’s done. I recommend 1 tablespoon of vinegar for every cup of water.
  3. Bring the water to a slow boil. Gently add the eggs to the simmering water. Cook uncovered for 13 minutes (for medium eggs – longer for larger eggs). Timing is important for a perfectly cooked egg. If they’re exposed to too much heat, the yolk will develop sulfur, resulting in a greenish yolk and a smelly egg.
  4. Immediately submerse the cooked eggs in a bowl filled with ice water. This stops the cooking process and allows you to handle the eggs more quickly. Hard-cooked eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling as the colder temperature causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell.

If you follow these directions, the yolk will be yellow all the way around, moist and delicious. Just add a little salt and pepper and you’ll have a wonderful hard-cooked egg.

Note: Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. To ensure easy peeling, buy and refrigerate farm fresh eggs for 7-10 days in advance of cooking. This allows the eggs time to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell. Farm fresh eggs are available from several Market vendors.

Now that you have perfectly hard-cooked eggs, try these ideas for a delicious addition to your holiday feast.

Incredible Edible Egg Dippers

Garden Egg Salad

Herbed Deviled Eggs

Second Helpings is a not-for-profit that turns donated food into nutritious meals to feed hungry people in central Indiana. They also train disadvantaged adults for careers in the culinary field. Chef Sam Brown is the Director of Culinary Job Training. For more information about Second Helpings go to