Eggstra careful: 10 foolproof ways to avoid cracking eggs while boiling

Boiled eggs
Boiled eggs in a bowl decorated with parsley leaves. Photo: Shutterstock/Timolina

Do you know what is as frustrating as a broken egg yoke in a bullseye? Eggshells cracking while boiling them! Discover the art of perfect boiling with these tips from Onmanorama Food. Whether you're preparing a simple breakfast or crafting a culinary masterpiece, these expert strategies will elevate your boiling game, ensuring that your eggs emerge from the pot intact and pristine.

Join us on a journey through time-tested techniques, simple tweaks, and a touch of culinary wisdom to crack the code to crack-free boiled eggs.

Use older eggs

Fresh eggs are more likely to crack because the pH level of the whites is lower. Try to use eggs that are at least a few days old.

Bring them to room temperature before boiling

Let eggs come to room temperature before boiling by taking them out of the refrigerator 15-20 minutes before cooking. This helps reduce the temperature shock that can cause cracking.

Add vinegar or salt to the water

Adding a small amount of vinegar or salt to the water may help strengthen the egg whites and reduce the chances of cracking. Use about a 2 teaspoon of vinegar or a half teaspoon of salt per two cups of water.

Boiling eggs
Boiling eggs on a saucepan. Photo: Shutterstock/New Africa

Make a tiny hole in the eggshell

Gently pierce the rounded end of the egg with a pin or a needle before boiling. This can create a tiny hole, allowing air to escape and reducing the risk of cracking.

Boil at low flame

Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Rapid boiling can cause the eggs to bump into each other and crack.

Avoid overcooking

Boil the eggs for the appropriate amount of time. Overcooking can cause eggs to become more prone to cracking. For hard-boiled eggs, cook for about 10-12 minutes.

Photo: Santhosh Varghese/Shutterstock

Allow eggs to cool gradually

After boiling, cool the eggs gradually to room temperature before trying to peel them.

Shock in ice water

To stop the cooking process and make peeling easier, transfer the boiled eggs to a bowl of ice water. The sudden temperature change can also help prevent cracking.

Avoid cooking too many eggs at once

Crowding the pot with too many eggs can increase the likelihood of cracking. Give the eggs enough space to move around in the boiling water.

Try steaming them

Some people find success with steaming eggs instead of boiling. Steaming may result in fewer cracks, and the eggs are often easier to peel.

Remember that some cracking may still occur, and it's not always possible to prevent it entirely. However, following these tips can help minimize the chances of egg cracking while boiling.

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