Brilliant Snack Tip: Add Butter to Your Hard-Boiled Eggs

updated Jun 7, 2020
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

If I’ve learned anything from living in the golden age of internet viral egg hacks, it’s that you should never judge the concept before you give it a try. I’ve trusted Alton and added mayonnaise to my scrambles, I’ve put my future egg salad on the grill, I’ve seen that I should freeze before frying, and obviously I know Nigella is the authority on symmetrical deviled eggs. But even I was taken a bit by surprise by New York Times food writer Melissa Clark’s suggestion that I should butter my hard-boiled eggs (via Lifehacker). 

Eggs, especially yolks, are rich, and butter is richer, so it seems a bit like overkill. The author knows it’s going to be a hard sell (the title of Lifehacker’s article says it all: “I am begging you to butter your hard-boiled eggs”). But they make a very compelling argument. Butter and eggs are already best friends — in Hollandaise, on breakfast sandwiches, even in the pan for scrambles. In fact, just last night, I ate a Hokkaido-style ramen from a favorite restaurant, and could taste right where the butter melted against the side of my fudgy-yolked egg.

But the next mental hurdle was How, exactly, do you spread butter on the jiggly-poof texture of a perfectly boiled egg? “There’s no wrong way to butter an egg,” the piece says. Well, I suppose that answers that. But really, how? Apparently, the secret combination is a pat of fridge-cold butter with a warm egg. 

Once you’ve buttered, anything goes for toppings: Lifehacker suggests the Yemenite hot sauce zhoug, but Clark used Maldon salt and Urfa pepper when she tried to convince everyone to get on board the buttered egg bandwagon a year-and-a-half ago. “The butter melts a little on the warm yolk,” she says, encouraging everyone to give it a try.

Have you tried adding butter to your eggs?