Even TikTok can't touch these genius (and expert-approved) cooking tips and tricks.

By Betty Gold
March 09, 2021
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Eggs are the ultimate protein-packed, crowd-pleasing pantry stable. They're always in the fridge, they cost next to nothing, and they're one of the healthiest breakfast foods you'll find. And from the simple perfection that is scrambled eggs, to adding a sunny-side up egg to avocado toast or pizza, to the many deliciously decadent brunch preparations, we're always discovering new excuses to eat them.

Whatever way you like to serve your eggs, there's no denying that this food is both one of the most versatile and finicky—just because they're easy to make doesn't mean there's no technique involved. You can bring up egg cooking in a group of inexperienced cooks, culinary experts, or professional chefs alike and everyone will have strong feels about what the "secrets" are to nailing it.

That's why we went straight to the source: Egg farmers. These pros know their yolks better than anyone, which is why we tapped them for the genius egg prep hacks they've been keeping a secret for (in many cases) centuries. Here are 10 pro-approved tips and tricks from the farmers who supply eggs for Braswell Family Farms, a family-owned business that produces ethical eggs that are cage-free, organic, and free-range.

1
Cold water is key to nailing hard-boiled eggs

“When hard-boiling eggs, start with cold water and not hot. The temperature will rise slower, preventing the risk of shells cracking and promoting even cooking. Boil on medium/high heat for 15 minutes, then immediately put in ice cold water to stop cooking process and peel.”

—Nelson Kauffman, Owner, Cheyenne Farm

2
Use a bigger pot to boil them

"Use a wider saucepan with a lid when cooking hard-boiled eggs. It’s important that the eggs can fit in one layer to evenly cook the individual eggs."

—Trey Braswell, President, Braswell Family Farms

3
When it comes to peeling your eggs, older ones will be easier

“Do not use fresh eggs to hard boil. They need to be in the fridge a couple of days in order for them to peel nicely when boiled.”

—Jill Sink, Owner, Songbird Farm

4
Add vinegar to the cooking water to prevent odor

"Here’s a tip to keep hard-boiled eggs from smelling in your lunch box. Add a few teaspoons of white distilled vinegar to the water while you are boiling. The vinegar will neutralize the odor, but not affect the taste of the egg. It also helps keep the white from running out if an egg cracks."

—Debbie Tharrington, Owner, Tharrington Farm

5
Shake and drop into an ice bath before you peel

“As soon as you take your hard-boiled eggs out of the hot water, immediately put them in a large bowl and shake them to crack all the way around the shell. This breaks the membrane between the egg and shell, making it easier to remove. Finish by putting the eggs in cold ice water and begin to peel…easy, peasy!"

—Becky Petit, Pullet Coordinator, Braswell Family Farms

6
Roll the eggs to get the peeling process started

"When peeling your eggs, gently crack around the entire egg. Then, roll the egg in between your hands to break the membrane between the egg and shell. With this trick, the egg should peel easily. Also, peel your hard-boiled eggs under running cold water, and you're less likely to tear them apart!"

—Trey Braswell, President, Braswell Family Farms

7
Cook your eggs in a muffin pan

"Did you know you can get the perfect 'hard-boiled' egg from the oven? Place your eggs in the cups of a muffin tin, bake at 325°F for 30 minutes. Once you remove from the oven, transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process."

—Trey Braswell, President, Braswell Family Farms

8
...or use an egg steamer

“My son is our household chef and he really enjoys cooking. He recently purchased an egg-steaming cooker that can make perfect boiled eggs ranging from very soft to hard-boiled. He now prepares soft-boiled eggs for himself several times a week for breakfast meals using avocado, sriracha, and other 'millennial' favorites. I, myself, am a hard-boiled egg with Miracle Whip and salt on toast kind of guy.”

—Blake Andrew Jr (Lin), Owner, Chestnut Hill Farm 

9
Avoid assembling deviled eggs when they’re still warm

"Cooling between cooking and assembling deviled eggs is a crucial step. When the eggs are still warm, the whites are more delicate, making them easier to tear or rip. And yolks that are too warm can cause the mayonnaise or yogurt to separate, too. The fastest and easiest way to cool the cooked eggs is by plunging them into an ice bath for a few minutes right after they come off the stove."

—Trey Braswell, President, Braswell Family Farms

10
Don't sleep on the "secret ingredients"

“For deviled eggs, I will substitute ranch dressing for the mustard and mayonnaise, or add ranch seasoning with mayonnaise and add bacon bits. I will also substitute honey mustard for mustard and mayonnaise, and I use sweet relish with the honey mustard. Honey mustard deviled eggs are really good smashed onto a ham biscuit!”

—Stephanie Bolick, Owner, Bolick Farm