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How do I Prevent an Egg Cracking While Hard Boiling It? [Answered]

Oh, boiling the perfect egg is perhaps one of life’s little mysteries. Should it be boiled for five minutes or fifteen?

How do you get it hard without ending up with a table-tennis ball or a dinosaur egg that’s been fossilized?

My mother used to have a few tricks up her sleeve, but I wasn’t really interested in hard-boiled eggs until I reached adulthood and went on a new diet that called for hard-boiled eggs.

What’s worse, while I struggled to get a perfect hard-boiled egg, I would also end up with an egg that cracks open, spilling white frothy egg white into the pot before the egg’s even done.

Finally, I gave up on trying to make a hard-boiled egg without cracking it, opting for fried eggs instead, but the diet and my doctor would have none of it, so I was back on hard-boiled.

Thankfully, my friend, who runs her own culinary school rescued me with these great ways to make the perfect crack-free hard-boiled egg.

How Do I Prevent An Egg Cracking While Hard Boiling It?

When making hard-boiled eggs, be sure to use eggs that are at room temperature, place them in cool tap water, add a tablespoon of salt, prick the egg to release any gas, and be careful not to overcrowd the pot. If an egg cracks, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to help the egg solidify faster. Reduce the heat once the pot has come to boil, then time the cooking time according to how hard the eggs should be.

How do I Prevent an Egg Cracking While Hard Boiling It?
How do I Prevent an Egg Cracking While Hard Boiling It?

5 Steps to the Perfect, Crack-Free Hard Boiled Eggs

My friend kindly suggested these steps to ensure I make the perfect hard-boiled eggs without having to deal with cracks, leaking egg whites, and half-cooked yolks because of hot water entering the eggs if they crack.

Finally, I could make hard boiled eggs, perfect for my egg-based diet.

1. Make the Right Preparations to the Eggs

Be sure to prepare the eggs before beginning to boil them. Never simply dump the eggs in hot water as this will surely crack them.

Instead, bring the eggs to room temperature by removing them from the fridge an hour before you need them, or place the eggs in a pot slightly warmer than lukewarm water for 15-30 minutes before bringing the pot to boil.

The eggs should not feel cold to the touch when you place them in the pot to cook.

Before the eggs go in the pot, be sure to use a safety pin to prick the top sides of the eggshell.

This will release natural gas in the eggs that may expand when the eggs start to heat up.

Expanding gas will crack the eggs.

Add a tablespoon of regular salt to the water before placing the eggs in the water and cooking.

When you add the eggs to the pot, be sure to place only enough eggs so that there is enough space around the eggs.

If the eggs are crowded in the pot, the eggs will bump into each other while cooking, leading to cracked shells.

2. Boiling the Eggs

Raise the water temperature slowly.

This can be a challenge when you cook with gas as gas stoves tend to heat up much quicker than an electric stove.

Use a low setting on the gas hob to ensure the water heats evenly and slowly.

Once the water boils, lower the temperature further till the water is gently simmering.

3. Oh, No! Cracking Eggs

You should watch the eggs carefully while boiling them.

If you notice even a hairline crack forming, be quick and add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water (per egg that cracks).

White vinegar will change the pH of the water to slightly acidic, which will encourage the egg white to solidify faster by coagulating the proteins in the egg white.

White vinegar helps to solidify cracked eggs faster
White vinegar helps to solidify cracked eggs faster

4. Stir the Pot

It is necessary to encourage the eggs to rotate and change position in the pot to ensure even cooking.

Use a wooden spoon and gently tip eggs over, move them about, and raise them above the water level if they have sunk to the bottom of the pot.

5. Time It Right

Never overcook eggs. Instead, cook eggs for a shorter time (5-7 minutes), then remove the pot from heat and let the eggs further harden by leaving them in the hot water of the pot.

If the eggs cook for more than 10-12 minutes, they will be gray and rubbery.

Use room temperature eggs when making hard-boiled eggs
Use room temperature eggs when making hard-boiled eggs

Ensuring the Hard Boiled Eggs Are Perfect After Cooking

Once you have cooked the eggs, it is important to stop the eggs from cooking further than you want them to.

This means you need to rapidly change the eggs’ temperature.

Place the eggs in ice water for two to five minutes. Remove the eggs from the ice water.

Gently tap the egg or place it on a hard surface and roll it by applying downward pressure with the palm of your hand.

This will crack the eggs in a lattice-type pattern, without breaking the inner membrane that attaches the eggshell to the egg white.

Peeling the eggshells will be quicker since the membrane is intact and can simply be pulled off the eggs.

Frequently Asked Questions About How do I Prevent an Egg Cracking While Hard Boiling It

Is it safe to eat a cracked egg?

If the egg cracks while cooking, it isn’t a problem to eat it. The crack may complicate the cooking process, but the egg will still be edible. Eggs that are cracked before they are cooked are not a good idea to eat. These kinds of cracks may allow bacteria to enter the egg white, leading to the presence of unhealthy bacteria and even mold.

What is the secret to perfect hard-boiled eggs?

Preparing the eggs by bringing them to room temperature and slowly bringing the pot with water to boil with the eggs in will ensure even cooking and decrease the chances of the eggs cracking. Also never cook freshly laid eggs as these have membranes that stick to the egg white. A gap will form, where gas gathers, which will break the eggshell when placed under pressure by cooking water.

Conclusion About How do I Prevent an Egg Cracking While Hard Boiling It

Making hard boiled eggs has become my passion, and I love the perfection of peeling a smooth and uncracked hard boiled egg. Best of all, I can cook hard boiled eggs today, store them in the fridge, and eat them up to five days later.

Remember to equalize the eggs’ temperature with the cooking water (before it boils) and keep an eye out for hairline cracks.