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How to make the perfect hard-boiled egg

‘Tis the season for deviled eggs, whether you’re making them for Easter brunch or using up the dyed-egg leftovers. But before you get that far, are you boiling your eggs the right way?

Overcooking hard-boiled eggs can lead to the dreaded green ring when you cut them open a few days later. There is one (and only one) tried-and-true method for hard-cooking eggs that will eliminate that unappetizing green ring around the yolk and prevent the smell of sulfur. Oh, and cracked eggs? You can (almost) kiss those goodbye with this method. And though fresh eggs are best for scrambling and frying, eggs that are a few days old will peel much more easily than any egg plucked right from the henhouse.

Perfect hard-boiled eggs

Serves 6


  • 6 large eggs (any variety)
  • Water


  1. In a large saucepan, place the eggs, and fill the pan with cool tap water at least 1 inch above the eggs. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and then cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand 8 minutes. Transfer the eggs to an ice bath, and let stand 15 minutes. Refrigerate up to 3 days.
  3. To peel, gently tap all sides of the egg on a hard surface to crack the shell. Beginning with the air pocket end (the large end), peel away the shell.

Then put those perfectly cooked eggs to good use with this tasty recipe.

Deviled crab-filled eggs recipe

Serves 6


  • 6 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 cup fennel bulb, julienned
  • 1/4 cup celery, julienned
  • 1 cup lump crabmeat, cooked and cooled
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For garnish

  • Fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • Fresh thyme
  • Sesame seeds


  1. Slice all the hard-boiled eggs in half across the middle, as shown above. Remove the yolks, and set them aside in a medium bowl. Slice a very small piece off the bottom of each egg white so they stand up straight, and then set them aside.
  2. Add the sour cream, mustard, garlic, thyme, capers, lemon zest and celery salt to the egg yolks. Add the fennel and celery, and gently mix until coated with the sour cream mixture. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Add the crab, and gently fold it into the sour cream mixture until incorporated. Be careful to not shred the crabmeat.
  4. Using a spoon or melon baller, fill the cavities of the white portions of the eggs with 2 heaping tablespoons of the crab mixture. Garnish with thyme, parsley, capers and sesame seeds.

Hard-boiled egg FAQs

Can I add vinegar to the cooking water to prevent the shell from cracking?

Yes, but the vinegar doesn’t really prevent the cracking. As with poached eggs, the vinegar helps to coagulate the egg whites so they don’t roam far from their point of origin. As long as you bring the water up to a boil slowly and gently remove the pan from the heat once it comes to a boil, the eggs should remain crackle free.

The dye from my eggs penetrated the whites. What should I do?

As long as it’s a food-safe dye, eat the eggs as planned. If you need beautiful, bright white eggs for presentation, you’ll have to cook additional eggs and skip the dye.

Sounds delicious, but what’s so devilish about this egg recipe?

The term “deviled” usually refers to anything spicy — mustard, hot sauce, red peppers, cayenne. In this case, it’s Dijon mustard.

I’m a traditionalist. Can I skip the crab and just do a traditional deviled egg recipe?

You bet! In fact, you can fill the hard-boiled eggs with absolutely anything. Try chicken salad, lobster salad, artichoke and spinach dip, guacamole or saffron mayonnaise.

More Easter recipes

Easter recipes for the whole family
Easy, elegant Easter recipes
Low-carb Easter recipes

Updated by Bethany Ramos on 3/17/16

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