How to Boil an Egg

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How to Boil an Egg

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Boiling an egg may seem like an easy task, but making it perfect requires an exact timing and a foolproof method.  For the perfect yoke texture and no discoloration of the egg white you better have your kitchen timer ready!

Here’s Paula’s tried and true method:

1. First you start by covering your eggs in a pan with cold water and a generous amount of salt and white vinegar (the salt and white vinegar actually help the shell separate from the egg for easier peeling). 

2. Next, bring the water to a boil, and right when it starts to rumble, remove the pan from the heat and cover with a tight fitting lid. 

3. Now time for that kitchen timer, set it for exactly 20 minutes.  When the timer goes off, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and put them directly into a bowl of cold water with ice cubes.  Voila, Paula’s perfect egg!

And remember, fresher eggs may be harder to peel, but they are worth it because they taste so much better!

Now here’s the thing, there seems to be a discrepancy in the Deen family about how to boil the perfect egg.  Jamie uses the same technique as his mom, but he swears that just 10 minutes in the hot water cooks the perfect boiled egg.  So here in the Test Kitchen we decided to try and solve this family conundrum once and for all.  We found that by splitting the difference and leaving the eggs in the hot water for 15 minutes provided the best results. 

So if you have a hankering for a hard-boil egg or want to try one of Paula’s delicious deviled egg recipes use this method and see which timing works best for you.

Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs
BLT Deviled Eggs
Deen Brother’s Lighter Southern Deviled Eggs
Curry Pecan Deviled Eggs

Read More From Cooking Basics.

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Reader Comments:

54321

I think it depends on the egg size. It has worked between 13-16 minutes with great success. Never tried adding vinegar or salt.

By Kelly Cox on April 19, 2014

54321

I'm with you Paula. The Food Network took away my joy of watching you every day. I don't watch the Food Network anymore or QVC. I don't use Smithfield products. I learned many things from you and I just enjoyed watching your program each day. You have been treated unfairly and I am on your side. Hope to see you again soon. Happy Easter! Shirley Smith, April 19, 2014

By Anonymous on April 19, 2014

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hello Paula, l also love all the things you do!! Keep cooking and happy moments with your family and friends!!!

By Kathy Hancy on April 19, 2014

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How long do you leave them in the ice bath before peeling them?

By Sherry on March 03, 2014

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Hi there I did my eggs at 12 minutes and it was perfect. No discoloration whatsoever.

By Anonymous on July 06, 2013

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Met Ya! Never will forget ya! My daughter Kelley wrote and sang you a song at Bubba's book signing. WE LOVE YOU PAULA!!! GOD BLESS YOU THROUGH THIS MESS!!!

By Eileen Ley on June 28, 2013

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Paula: I feel so sorry about all the nasty things that are being said. Nobody is perfect. I have said things I wish I could take back, but you are on National TV and some people want to find a way to get you off the air. I miss your show already so hope you will be backsoon. Look at what Martha Stewert did and now she seems to be back strong. People do forget and forgive. God bless you and your family Shirley

By Shirley Serangeli on June 28, 2013

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Paula, I hope you are ok and i hope time will heal. Good luck you and your son's

By Thomas on June 27, 2013

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Since I've lost my Joy of Cooking cookbook when I had moved, I'm definitely going to continue to check out Paula Deen's website for cooking tips. I need all the help that I can get. God bless.

By charlene bryant on June 27, 2013

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Love all of your stupendous recipes. You are a true joy, Mrs. Paula! I have Much respect for your knowledge and happiness you express. Love from Louisiana..

By Shelli Courville on June 26, 2013

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I really need this, my h.b. eggs are awful. I buy them already done & peeled in a bag at the grocery store. Altho I can cook pretty well, h.b. eggs and biscuits give me problems : ) Love ya Paula!!

By Marilyn V on June 26, 2013

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NOTHING TO DO WITH EGGS...... JUST SAYING, I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW, WE ARE BEHIND YOU 100% AND HOPE NOTHING BUT THE BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. YOU HAVE NOT DONE ANYTHING THAT NONE OF THE REST OF THE WORLD HAS DONE. I DO NOT THINK THAT YOU CAN FINE ONE PERSON IN THIS WORLD THAT HAS NOT USED THAT WORD IN SOME WAY OR ANOTHER ! YOU KEEP YOUR CHIN UP AND THAT BEAUTIFUL SMILE SMILING !!!! WE LOVE YOU AND AS YOU SAID: " IF GOD BRINGS US TO IT HE WILL GET US THROUGH IT!!

By jennifer nations on June 26, 2013

54321

Dear Paula, Does anyone still watch "The today Show?" Especially since that ignorant Matt Lauer was behind the firing of a Black African American??? We love you, Paula. Hang in there. Don't let that awful woman drain you of your resources. Think about a counter-suit! I have been campaigning for justice for Paula on Facebook & informed QVC if they drop you, I will start a national boycott of their network. Stop apologizing! Enough of that which never should have been spoken in the first place. Get some sleep & remember who you are & why we love you!I hope you go to another cooking network as most of us have dropped the Food Network & Caesar's. Sincerely, A Fan that is loyal, Janice

By Janice Russo on June 26, 2013

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MRS. DEEN: I SAW YOUR INTERVIEW THIS MORNING AND I STAND BEHIND YOU 100%. YOU ARE A TRUE SOUTHERN BELLE AND SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED FOR TELLING THE TRUTH. I WILL NEVER WATCH FOOD CHANNEL AGAIN OR BUY SMITHFIELD PRODUCTS. HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE. KEEP UP THE FIGHT, YOU ARE A TRUE LADY WHO HAS WORKED HARD AND SHOULD BE REWARDED FOR TRUEFULNESS. KEEP FIGHTING. YOUR BORN IN TEXAS GIRL FRIEND. MARCIA YOUNG

By Marcia Young on June 26, 2013

54321

Paula, I don't twitter or facebook or any of the "fake social" blogging things. I am of the same age category as you and am shocked by the grossly inappropriate, unfair, uncouth treatment that you have received from whoever is attacking you. Are they EVIL? Absolutely they are. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Give this mess to the Lord and He will resolve it for you." These unknown people who want to "judge you" for something you said 30 years ago are malicious and full of hate. "Judge not and be not judged" Since they judge you so falsely & maliciously, I pray that they be judged quickly and fully. Don't believe that I qualify as a "fan". Occasionally, I watched your show, have one of your cook books, like some of your recipes, but think I'd qualify as "neutral" until this grossly biased attack on you. I will no longer watch the Food Network or buy Smithfield products because I believe these companies are unjust and cruel in their policies. There are many "cooking" programs and meat companies to choose from in this world, that make it an easy choice to avoid the evil ones. Take a deep breath, stand tall. You've answered your false accusers and that is sufficient. Don't torment yourself with their lies and false statements. Keep the faith, gal. God handled Pharaoh, He can handle these fools today.

By Catherine Clarke on June 26, 2013

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I enjoy your tips!

By Anonymous on June 24, 2013

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Wish you would come to Miami area in the near future. Would love to see you guys in person. Never able to get tickets to the Wine & Food Festival--always sold out.

By Charlotte Fieselman on June 24, 2013

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I steam my eggs in a steamer basket. Start with cold water and cold eggs. Put the lid on tightly. Set the timer for 20 minutes and put the burner on medium-high. When the timer goes off turn the burner off and remove the lid. Put the eggs in a pyrex bowl and then in the refrigerator. Once completely cool, they practically peel themselves, no salt, no vinegar required. Best trick I ever learned.

By Caye on June 22, 2013

32121

My foolproof method is the same as the formula given above except the timing is different: 1. For medium boiled egg (where the white is firm and the yolk is gel-like): 7 to 8minutes 2. For hard boiled egg: about 12 to 15 minutes is good I like medium-boiled egg the best. The yolk isn't runny but it isn't dry and crumbly like hard-boiled egg. The yolk is a gel-like consistency and doesn't run everywhere.

By Lar Nelson on June 22, 2013

54321

Finally! After all these years of fighting trying to boil an egg correctly, we have it! Thank-you, Paula.

By Patty on June 22, 2013

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