Hard Cooked (Boiled) Eggs. Yolks or whites?


a sweet little white or yolk story ran in the ny times this week. seeing as how i made a chocolate custard containing 9 yolks yesterday, i’d say i’m voting yolk.

but if you’re into whites, there’s this.

Yolk or white? It’s an ongoing conversation I’ve had with my cousin Leslie since we were kids. Now I have the same conversation with my grandchildren, all of whom eat the whites and leave over the yolks of a hard-cooked egg.

That’s just WRONG!!

The yolks are dry and crumbly but they melt like velvet on your tongue. And they taste rich and full of wonder.

The whites are tasteless and rubbery. And if they’re not rubbery, they’re often too soft and reminiscent of junket, which I think is —- well, let’s leave that for another day. 

But I realize that reasonable minds may differ about egg yolks and whites. Which is why, at our Passover Seder, when the hard cooked eggs are served, few of us actually eat the whole thing. Plates go back and forth and yolks roll around (and sometimes fall onto the table) and chunks of egg white wiggle and there’s lots of exchanging of yellows and whites so that we all wind up eating the part of the egg that we like better.

But whatever the answer to the question (yolk or white?), there’s the matter of actually cooking the eggs.

I have been cooking for many many years and yet the question of HOW TO COOK A HARD COOKED EGG comes up every Seder meal. That’s because some people like it really really cooked, so much that the yolk surface has turned slightly green. And some people prefer it undercooked, with the center darker, moister yellow. And of course there’s always the one relative who has just read something in a food magazine and just has to tell you that are cooking the eggs all wrong.

Here’s how I cook hard cooked eggs — and by the way, lest anyone tell you that you are cooking the eggs all wrong just because the shells don’t come off perfectly, hear this: no matter what you do, you may have some problems peeling the eggs perfectly. Make extra (I use the awful looking ones for egg salad). The membrane between the white and the shell can be stubbornly clingy.

It’s best not use not-so-fresh eggs. Also, before you cook them, take them out of the fridge at least an hour ahead so that they are at room temperature.

Also, never BOIL the eggs. That makes them rubbery. Keep the cooking water at a simmer, not a full boil. 

Hard Cooked Eggs

large size eggs


Place the eggs in a deep saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, turn the heat to low, to keep the water at a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Drain the water. Fill the pan with the coldest water you have. Let the eggs cool.