Without fail, a big batch of hard-boiled eggs is a regular part of my Sunday meal prep every week. Sometimes my husband makes them and sticks with his preferred stovetop method, while I prefer to make them in the Instant Pot. But one thing is certain — no matter how we make our hard-boiled eggs, there is one important thing we always do for a better result.
Always Cool the Eggs in an Ice Bath After Boiling
Once the eggs have finished boiling, use a large slotted spoon to transfer the hot eggs into a bowl of cold, ice-filled water. The sharp temperature difference shocks the eggs once submerged, and has two important benefits: It stops cooking immediately and makes the eggs easier to peel.
Even once a pot of boiled eggs is taken off the heat, they continue to cook due to carryover cooking — the continued rise is temperature is caused by the retained heat in the eggs and water. It can often be just enough to take a hard-boiled egg from perfectly cooked to overcooked. Using an ice bath to shock the eggs and immediately cool them completely stops any further cooking.
Plunging just-cooked hard-boiled eggs into an ice bath is also an important step in making them easier to peel. Shocking the eggs with rapid cooling contracts the egg whites, which releases them from the egg's membrane. It also firms the egg white proteins, making them easier to peel.
Make Hard-Boiled Eggs
How to Do It
Just before the eggs finish cooking, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. A metal bowl is the best choice for an ice bath since it retains the cold temperature well, although any type of bowl will work. Once the eggs are finished cooking, use a slotted spoon to transfer them from the pot to the ice bath. Keep them submerged until completely cool, about 15 minutes.