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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 because new eggs will not peel easily. Usually any egg you buy at the store will fall into this category!

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. 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 so that both the water temperature and the egg temperature start out the same. (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 when they are cooking eggs. This supposedly helps keep the inside of the egg from oozing out if an egg shell cracks. I do not use either salt or vinegar, because I have found that starting with the eggs and water at the same temperature prevents the eggs from cracking as they cook.)

Place the pot with the eggs and water 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 will cook from the heat of the water. The eggs do not need to be, and should not be, boiled. Overcooking eggs 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 eggs, 15 minutes for large eggs and 18 minutes for extra large eggs. This timing is very important.

Drain the eggs and 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 the eggs are completely cooled helps the papery membrane stick to the shell, instead of to the egg, and makes the egg easier to peel.

Let the eggs cool completely. To peel the eggs, gently tap the large end of the egg against a hard surface like your kitchen counter. This should crack the shell. Turn the egg and 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.