Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Near-Perfect Hardboiled Eggs

About a year ago, a very good friend of mine posted pictures on Facebook of her attempts at making hardboiled eggs.  As I stared at the three nearly mangled specimens, I felt her pain.  I had always, ALWAYS had trouble hard boiling eggs and would end up with very similar results.  Short of buying an egg cooker (which does work), which is a unitasker and thus, not allowed in my kitchen, I had to come up with a way to hard boil eggs in such a way as you could make deviled eggs and they'd all look beautiful.

We eat A LOT of hardboiled eggs in this household.  So I tend to boil a dozen at a time.  And important thing about boiling eggs, is DO NOT WALK AWAY.  I usually try to do small kitchen chores so that I'm in the same room, but not waiting for the (proverbial) pot to boil.

Where did I go to do my research?  Well, the internet of course!!!!  I tried several "proven" methods and have come up with the following method that has worked beautifully nearly every time I do them.  It has taken me a year to perfect this method, and continue testing, timing, etc.

FIRST - and most important - start with "old" eggs.  Well, not "old" as in out of date, but "old" as in not seriously fresh.  The older the egg, the more detached the white is from the shell, thus making the end result much easier to peel.  I actually buy an extra dozen each week to intentionally "age" them.  I stick them in the back of my fridge and don't pull them out until the next step.

NEXT - use room temperature eggs.  The warmer the egg is when you start the process, the more separated the white is from the shell (again, this will make the peeling easier).  I do this by midday - the day before I plan on boiling them - place them upside-down in the carton on the counter.  Placing them upside down re-centers the yolk so that it will be more in the "middle" of the egg - this is important when you're going to use them in deviled eggs.  I also leave them there until the next day (or about 24 hours later)….I move onto the next step.

AND THEN - place eggs in a pan large enough that you can cover them with 1" of water AND that they can move around while boiling.  I use my 5 quart soup pot for a dozen eggs.  Cover them with COLD water.  Place on medium heat and bring to a rapid boil, then:

NOW DO THIS - turn OFF the heat, cover with a tight fitting lid and set a timer for 10 minutes.

NEXT - after 10 minutes, remove lid and drain hot water.  Cover with VERY COLD water.  Drain again.  While drained, place the lid back on and shake the pan around - I swirl in circles, do quick up and down moves, etc.  This breaks up the shells, and makes them easier to peel.

AND THEN - cover with VERY COLD WATER again.  Gently lift one egg at a time out of the pot of cold water and close to the water's surface, gently peel the egg.  And voila…beautiful hard boiled eggs, almost EVERY SINGLE TIME (that why I say "near-perfect" and not perfect, sometimes there's just one bad egg!)

So, Weave, hope this helps you!!!! :)