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Chef’s Genius Trick Keeps Boiled Eggs From Cracking While Cooking + Makes Them Tasty

Using *this* kitchen tool ensures the eggs cook evenly so they're firm yet tender

Making hard boiled eggs seems so easy — until you see that they’ve bursted open in the pot during cooking. Your first instinct may be to throw them away and start over. But, you’ll end up with the same results if you make one common mistake. Rather than going through nearly the entire carton, changing how you cook the eggs is all it takes to produce tender yolks and soft, bouncy whites. This way, you can enjoy them on their own or sliced or chopped in a savory dish. Keep reading for chef’s tips on how to keep eggs from cracking when boiling them.

The basics of hard boiled eggs

Hard boiled eggs are usually made by boiling or simmering them in their shells. This cooks the white and yolk so they’re set and no longer runny. Afterwards, the eggs are cooled and peeled before serving. While the process of boiling eggs can be straightforward, one cooking mishap that’s common is the shells opening halfway through.

Why eggs tend to crack while they’re boiling

Eggs are prone to cracking because the force from the boiling action causes them to clash into each other. This leads to the shell splitting open and the whites spilling out of it. What you’ll end up with is a boiled egg that’s safe to eat, but will have a mushy texture. Luckily, there’s a simple trick that keeps eggs intact as they’re cooking away on the stove!

How to keep eggs from cracking during cooking

If you ask Lisa Steele, blogger and author of The Fresh Eggs Daily Cookbook, you don’t need to place the eggs directly in the water to cook them. Instead, she arranges the eggs in a steamer basket above the boiling water so they steam until they’re set. “The benefit of steaming is that the eggs are sitting quietly in the steamer basket over the simmering water, not banging into each other loose in the pot,” she says. “The heat is more gentle also, so as an added bonus, you don’t get that weird green ring around the yolks.” This method works as it achieves those same tender cooked eggs — minus the need to watch them to make sure they don’t crack open.

Simply follow Steele’s five steps for hard boiled eggs that remain in their shells until it’s time to peel them.

  1. Place your desired amount of eggs in the basket, leaving enough room for steam to surround each one.
  2. Next, set the basket over a pot with 1 to 2 inches of gently boiling water and cover with a lid.
  3. Cook the eggs over the heat for 10 to 12 minutes to nail a hard boiled yolk.
  4. Using tongs, carefully remove the eggs from the basket and submerge in ice water to cool them down.
  5. Pat the eggs dry before peeling.

And voilà! You have a batch of cooked eggs you can snack on or use in your favorite recipes.

2 yummy hard boiled egg recipes

Below, our test kitchen shares two dishes that include hard boiled eggs as they offer a rich and buttery flavor along with a touch of heartiness! (Also, try this Fried Deviled Eggs recipe.)

Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs as part of a guide on how to keep them from cracking when they're boiling
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Jarred peppers and chili powder give a kiss of color to the filling of these two-bite delights.

Ingredients:

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
  • 3 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 (8 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. mustard powder
  • ½ tsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  • Active: 15 mins
  • Total time: 15 mins + chill time
  • Yield: 6 servings
  1. Halve eggs lengthwise. Scoop out egg yolks and place in food processor. Arrange egg whites on serving platter.
  2. In food processor with yolks, add red peppers, Worcestershire, mustard, chili powder, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Purée until smooth.
  3. If desired, transfer yolk mixture to pastry bag fitted with round tip. Pipe or spoon yolk mixture into egg white halves. Chill up to 24 hours.
  4. Sprinkle with fresh chives just before serving.

Chicken Cobb Salad

Chicken Cobb salad as part of a guide on how to keep eggs from cracking when you're boiling them
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For a vegetarian version of this supper, substitute seasoned tofu (available in the produce section) for the chicken and bacon.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. white vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 6 leaves romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 3 scallions
  • 4 hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
  • 4 slices cooked bacon
  • ½ cup blue cheese
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken, about 8 oz.

Directions:

  • Active: 20 mins
  • Total time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  1. In bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper; reserve. Halve romaine lettuce leaves. Peel, pit and halve avocado; slice. Quarter tomatoes. Slice scallions. Peel and slice eggs. Tear bacon into pieces.
  2. Place romaine on serving plate. Arrange cheese, avocado, tomatoes, chicken, scallions, eggs and bacon in vertical rows over lettuce. Serve with dressing.

Keep reading for more delicious and easy ways to prepare eggs!

Chef Reveals the Surprise Secret to Fluffy Scrambled Eggs — And It’s So Easy

Make the Perfect ‘Lazy’ Poached Egg in the Microwave — in Under 2 Minutes

Chef’s Secret to Best-Ever Fried Eggs — It Takes Just 2 Minutes!

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