Steaming - Boil

how to stop hard boiled egg yolks from turning green

Boiled egg yolks turn green when the eggs are cooked too long. There is a way to avoid this, however, by using vinegar in place of water. This solution can be used for hard boiled eggs, poached eggs and

Getting perfect hard boiled eggs with no green ring around them is as easy as 1-2-3! Once you know the simple technique for cooking them, you’ll never have funny green tinged hard boiled eggs again. The egg is truly a marvel of nature. It is an energy packed source of protein. Hard boiled eggs are a tasty addition to a salad or make a great snack on their own. They’re most appetizing when they have a beautiful yellow yolk with no discoloration or funny green ring around the yolk.

hard boiled eggs lined up on an Easter platter with a white rabbit in the center.
Perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs

The green ring is a chemical reaction

“Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham.”

Green eggs and ham might be a fun idea from Dr. Seuss, but in reality there’s nothing very pretty about a hard boiled egg with a green ring around it. Did you know the perfect egg is actually hard cooked rather than hard boiled? The green discoloration (green ring around the yolk) is a chemical reaction that occurs involving sulfur from the egg white interacting with the iron in the yolk. The reaction occurs when the egg is cooked too long at too high a temperature.

A long platter of hard boiled eggs with no green ring.

How to get perfect hard boiled eggs with no green ring

To avoid this chemical reaction, after bringing the eggs to a boil, cover the saucepan and remove it from the heat. Allow the eggs to sit for 12 minutes. Set a timer. I have even found that the eggs are perfect at 10 minutes, but I live at sea level. If you live at a higher elevation, (inland or mountain) the amount of time needed will increase accordingly. Some chefs say to cook them up to a maximum of 15 minutes. I recommend starting at 12 and timing no longer than 15 minutes until you discover the sweet spot for your perfect hard boiled eggs.

Shocking the cooked eggs in ice water. Peeling eggs under running water.

After the cook time has passed, immediately transfer the eggs to a large bowl of ice water. The shock of the ice cold temperature stops the eggs from cooking. Then peel the eggs under cold running water. This allows you to get underneath the membrane and peel the eggs easier. The water helps the membrane separate and release.

A bowl of six hard boiled eggs.
Great for breakfast or deviled egg recipes

“Not in a box. Not with a fox. Not in a house. Not with a mouse. I would not eat them here or there. I would not eat them anywhere. I would not eat green eggs and ham. I would not eat them Sam-I-am.”

And voila! No more green eggs. Follow these easy steps and you’ll have perfect hard boiled eggs ready for snacks, salads, egg salad sandwiches and deviled eggs.

Delicious deviled egg recipes

Whipped deviled eggs with smoked salmonEaster deviled egg chicks

I hope you’ve enjoyed this cooking tutorial about how to get the perfect hard boiled egg.

Happy cooking!


Quotes above are from “Green eggs and ham” by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 1960, Random House, Inc. New York.

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