How to Prevent Hard-Boiled Eggs From Cracking

Published Categorized as Cooking Tips
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Tired of eggs cracking in the pot? We have egg-sactly what you need. These three techniques will help you smooth out the process.

You look at the frothy mess in the pot and think to yourself, “How did this happen? I didn’t do anything differently this time, and the egg just cracked and seeped into the water!”

I know, I know… I hear you. It’s happened to me more times than I’d like to admit. I mean, how hard can it be to prepare a hard-boiled egg, right?

Like many other “simple” things in the kitchen, the short answer is pretty damn hard. Unless—and this is a very important “unless”—you know how to prevent it.

This brings me to why you’re here, and to what we’ll get into in a moment as you read on: How can you prevent the eggs from cracking inside the pot while you boil them?

The good news is that there are one or two things you can do. (Psst! To be precise, they’re three.) And the solution is much easier than you probably think. You simply need to get into a few egg-cooking habits so that every time you fire up the stove, the eggs stay nice and intact.

Avoid cracked eggs when boiling by bringing them to room temperature first, putting them in the water before it’s hot, and cooking them in a simmer rather than a rolling boil.

As easy as one, two, three, see? Just don’t say I didn’t tell you!

Now let’s look at each of these techniques to understand why and how they work so well against cracked eggs.

#1: Bring the Eggs to Room Temperature

Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken eggs out of the fridge and dipped them directly into boiling water. Now raise both hands if you do this every time.

It’s all right, we’re not the egg police here. You’re among friends; you can put your hands down now.

The point is, if you want your eggs not to break when you hard-boil them, one of the things you need to do is stop taking them out of the refrigerator right before cooking.

Instead, bring the eggs to room temperature first. To achieve this, take them out of the fridge and place them on the kitchen counter about 15 minutes before cooking (yes, you guessed it, in the shade and out of direct sunlight).

#2: Put Them in the Water Before It’s Hot

Let’s discuss another sin that us lay people commit whenever we boil eggs, and that’s the sin of putting the eggs directly into the boiling water. If you want the eggs to stay intact, don’t do this.

Why?

Because eggshells are brittle. They’re hard enough to protect the nutrients for the little chicken inside, but they can break easily when subjected to physical force, like cracking, or… thermal shocks, like the change from room-temperature to oh-sh*t-the-water-is-boiling temperature.

Fortunately, the remedy is simple. All you have to do is change the sequence of events by which you’re accustomed to boiling your eggs.

Instead of doing this:

  • Fill the pot with water
  • Bring the water to a boil
  • Put the eggs in the boiling water

You should do this:

  • Fill the pot with water
  • Put the eggs in the water
  • Bring the water with the eggs to a boil

You can thank me later. Share this with your friends, your family, your neighbors. Spread the love and educate the whole neighborhood. But don’t press the “X” button and close the tab on me just yet because we still have one more technique to discuss!

#3: Cook the Eggs in a Simmer, Not a Rolling Boil

They say—whoever “they” are—you shouldn’t do to others what you don’t want others to do to you. If we adhere to this proverb, it means that we’ve been treating our eggs badly, and for no good reason.

Think about it. If you and I had shells and those shells were prone to breaking, how would we feel if someone just grabbed us and plunged us into boiling water that boiled so hard, all we could do was keep bumping into ourselves and the pot?

Not good is how.

So treat your eggs like a gentleman or lady and cook them in a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-high, maybe even slightly tilted towards medium, so that bubbles rise from the water and the eggs move gently.

Just don’t cook the eggs in a full boil where the torrents make them burst all over the place.

In Conclusion

As much as I liked having you with me, all good things come to an end. But every ending is also a new beginning. I hope you enjoy the beginning of a new chapter in your life where broken eggs are a thing of the past.

Remember: to avoid breaking the eggs, bring them to room temperature, put them in the water before it’s boiling, and cook them in a simmer.

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By Dim Nikov

Cooking for family and friends, one dish at a time. I love to make food that's delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare.

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