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Ovation: Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs.

03/30/2013

EggHaving my own backyard hens means there’s always fresh eggs in my kitchen.  We enjoy omelets, quiches and frittatas.  We eat them fried, scrambled and microwaved with sides or on sandwiches.  I think that fresh eggs make a huge difference when baking cakes or brownies, too.  Unfortunately, I find it very difficult to hard-boil fresh eggs.  Once they’ve cooled, they’re always very difficult to peel and the whites always seem to stick to the shell.  The truth is that fresh eggs are not the best for hard boiling.  As an egg ages, it loses moisture through the pores in its shell causing the egg to shrink and the egg white to stick less to the membrane.  If I can plan far enough ahead, it’s best to keep a dozen fresh eggs in the back of my refrigerator for a week or two before boiling them.

 “The egg can be your best friend if you just give it the right break.” – Julia Child

This weekend, lots of folks will be boiling eggs for Seder plates or Easter baskets by simply dropping a dozen into boiling water, setting a timer for twenty minutes and ignoring them as they jiggle around in the bottom of a metal pasta pot.  Cooking for too long results in that nasty greenish-grey film around the yolk and cooking for too short a time results in a sloppy yolk.  And the bouncing together in the pan almost always results in cracked shells.

A better way to make perfect hard-boiled eggs is to place the eggs in a pot of cold water, gently bring the water to a low boil, and immediately turn off the heat and cover the pot tightly with a lid.  Let the pot sit for about ten minutes, rinse the eggs with cold water and they should be perfect hard-boiled eggs.

I’m going to start calling them “hard-cooked eggs” because they aren’t actually boiled.

Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs

  • A dozen eggs
  • Large pot (eggs should not be crowded at the bottom)
  • Cold water

Cover eggs with cold water. Don’t crowd—you may need to cook in two batches depending on the size of pot. Gently bring to a low boil. As soon as you see a few bubbles turn off the heat and cover the pot firmly. Let sit undisturbed for about 10 minutes. This method is forgiving, an extra minute or two won’t ruin your holiday eggs. Rinse the eggs with cold water or place in an ice bath to stop cooking.

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8 Comments
  1. I love hard-cooked eggs but never have the patience to cook them. I”ve tried this method and they turned out perfectly. I just don’t have the patience.

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  2. Ish. Eggs. However, I seem to recall having heard somewhere that by putting some baking soda in the water makes the shells peel off really easily. Google it to be sure.

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  3. Have sons who between them eat a dozen hard boiled eggs a day. Thanks for the cooking tip. Going to have to try this method.

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  4. I have a tip for you. Instead of just rinsing the hard-cooked eggs in cold water, cool the eggs down by filling your pot with cold water immediately after removing from the stove. Throw in some ice cubes if you like. The complete cool down in cold water will help the membranes to shrink so they can be peeled better.
    In the store we had in NW Ont. we used to make egg salad sandwiches. During winter road season I would sometimes have to boil 15 doz eggs a day for sandwiches. My tip is really helpful for peeling eggs.

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