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Dying Hard Boiled Easter Eggs

March 30, 2010

I recently ate a very delicious egg salad sandwich (so yummy, Sheri!) that has had me wanting to hard-boil some eggs of my own. Monkey was transferring our recently bought eggs from the carton into the egg holder and they didn’t all fit. So today we had an impromptu egg-dying session. Over the years of hard boiling eggs I have made MANY that turned out either green or were quite under cooked. After trying several different methods, here is the one I found to work perfectly EVERY time.


1. Use eggs that are about a week old. Their membranes are more mature and will peel much easier than fresh eggs.

2. Place eggs single-layer in a sauce pan and cover with cool water, about an inch over the top of the eggs.

3. Bring to a boil and as soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat OFF. Leave the pot on the burner and let sit covered for 17 minutes. (I use large eggs. Medium eggs should sit for a minute or two less and jumbo eggs should sit about two minutes more). I also use refrigerated eggs. If you are cooking eggs that are room temp, cook for one minute less.

4. Drain hot water and add ice and cold water to eggs in pan. This stops the cooking and causes the inside of the egg to pull away from the shell a little bit to make peeling easier.

*Note: do NOT salt the water. Adding salt to the water will raise the boiling point which will have the eggs sitting in hotter water. It is this high temperature (or boiling for too long) that makes a ring around the yolk turn green (it’s a reaction with the sulfur in the egg white).


1. Get a coffee mug for each color you will use.

2. Add a splash of white vinegar (a tablespoon I think) and fill about half-way with water. The vinegar is what allows the dye to adhere to the egg shell.

3. Add several drops of food coloring. Less for pastel colored eggs, more for rich tones. Duh! I have no idea how much color we used today, the kids added their own drops. Or in some cases, squirted half the bottle.

Here’s how they turned out for us:

Monkey places his first egg in his cup

With this nifty little tong-wisk thingy I even trusted Bruiser to do his own egg.

With this nifty tong/whisk-type contraption, even Bruiser could dunk his own eggs!

After waiting a few minutes I told Squirt (who was the first to dunk her egg) to take her egg out and see what color it was.

Squirt was amazed that the green coloring in her cup turned her egg green too!

Squirt is curious to see what color Monkey's egg will be.

Squirt is curious to see what color Monkey's egg became.

After each kid did one egg, I switched the mugs around and we added more drops to make new colors. Squirt made green and purplish-grey, Monkey made blue and orange, and Bruiser made yellow and lime.

Our finished creations.

Not to shabby for a last-minute activity!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Debra permalink
    March 30, 2010 2:58 pm

    Thanks Karen! Was going to do eggs this week as well & now I’m all refreshed on it for this year. Great pics…I used to have one of those whisk thingys & loved it. Now I miss it even more!

  2. March 30, 2010 3:30 pm

    I am so grateful that you just answered my long-burning questions as to why my hard-boiled eggs (for my deviled eggs!) don’t always peal perfectly. I should ask Mrs. Science every time!

  3. Squirt's Mom permalink
    March 30, 2010 8:15 pm

    love the pic of squirt seeing her green egg!

    • March 30, 2010 8:37 pm

      It was my favorite of the batch too! For all the eyes closed pictures and awful faces, great ones like that really make up for it.

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