Help: How Do You Make A Good Hard-Boiled Egg?

teekay0007teekay0007 Posts: 2,152
edited March 2013 in The Clubhouse
Seems like a very timely topic with Easter upon us.

I do a fine job of this, in general, but never am able to consistently make hard boiled eggs that slip out of the shell nice and easy. I end up with shells that stick to the egg whites and take half of forever to peel and leave the remaining egg less-than-tasty looking with gouges missing all over the place. This isn't such a big deal if I'm just making them for myself, but I'd like to try making some deviled eggs for others - ie. several eggs and the finished product on display for others to see and eat.

Any tips?
Post edited by teekay0007 on

Comments

  • chumliechumlie Posts: 8,602
    edited March 2013
    Ice cold water when done cooking. Wait 4 or 5 minutes and shells come off no problem.
  • cnhcnh Posts: 13,310
    edited March 2013
    Sometimes that's just a sign of "old" eggs that are not "fresh"!

    So make sure your eggs are relatively fresh, boil for exactly 15 minutes (this only applies to the perfect hard boiled egg). Cool down with some cold water, if you wish. And you should have no problem shelling them (at least, in my experience)!

    cnh
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  • teekay0007teekay0007 Posts: 2,152
    edited March 2013
    chumlie wrote: »
    Ice cold water when done cooking. Wait 4 or 5 minutes and shells come off no problem.

    "...when done cooking." - kind of vague there, no? :cheesygrin: Looking for "how-to" here.
  • teekay0007teekay0007 Posts: 2,152
    edited March 2013
    steveinaz wrote: »

    OK, this looks like it's worth a shot. I'll give it a try, 'cept I'll have to heat the water with the lid off, 'cuz I don't have a fancy-schmancy, see-thru glass-top for my pot.
  • teekay0007teekay0007 Posts: 2,152
    edited March 2013
    cnh wrote: »
    Sometimes that's just a sign of "old" eggs that are not "fresh"!

    So make sure your eggs are relatively fresh, boil for exactly 15 minutes (this only applies to the perfect hard boiled egg). Cool down with some cold water, if you wish. And you should have no problem shelling them (at least, in my experience)!

    cnh

    Have always been using fresh eggs. I've seen/read in several places that if when the eggs are put in the water they sink to the bottom of the water in the pot, they are freshest. If they stand up some in the water, they are still pretty fresh. But, if they float to the top of the water, their best days are definitely behind them. It all has to do with air passing through the many pores in the egg shell.

    Ooh, that 15 minutes of boiling the eggs....I'm not so sure that's a good idea. All sources are saying that'll lead to hard and dry whites and hard and blue-green yolks. :razz:
  • cnhcnh Posts: 13,310
    edited March 2013
    YMMV, but I've been using the above method for years. The eggs are perfect for egg salad, potato salad, or whatever else you might need a hard boiled egg for. The time used to be the "standard" back in the day before everyone went to culinary school in France! lol

    Have fun!

    cnh
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  • zane77zane77 Posts: 1,711
    edited March 2013
    I put the eggs in a pot with about 1inch of water covering them, bring to a boil,and put a lid on the pot and turn off the burner and let sit for 9 minutes. Then put the eggs in a bowl of ice water ( with ice cubes) until they cool. If you want the yokes a little softer let them sit for 7 minutes instead of 9.
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  • Tbone289Tbone289 Posts: 669
    edited March 2013
    zane77 wrote: »
    I put the eggs in a pot with about 1inch of water covering them, bring to a boil,and put a lid on the pot and turn off the burner and let sit for 9 minutes. Then put the eggs in a bowl of ice water ( with ice cubes) until they cool. If you want the yokes a little softer let them sit for 7 minutes instead of 9.

    ^This. My wife does it this way, and they're perfect every time.
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  • chumliechumlie Posts: 8,602
    edited March 2013
    teekay0007 wrote: »
    "...when done cooking." - kind of vague there, no? :cheesygrin: Looking for "how-to" here.
    Oops. Thought the shelling was the problem.
  • mrbigbluelightmrbigbluelight Posts: 7,696
    edited March 2013
    15 minutes boiling, stick the pot under cool running water while you take a smoke break, and then peel from the pointy end.
    That last part is the key to removing shell perfectly, every time.
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  • scottyboy76scottyboy76 Posts: 2,935
    edited March 2013
    Tbone289 wrote: »
    ^This. My wife does it this way, and they're perfect every time.
    double this
    humpty dumpty was pushed
  • GadaboutGadabout Posts: 1,092
    edited March 2013
    If your getting Grey around the Yokes, your cooking them too long.

    I spent a lot of time making hard boiled eggs when I was working my way through college with restaurant work.

    The secret for an easy peel egg, is lots of salt in the water.

    So for the way I always cooked them. Load the Pot with water and add salt. Stir it a little so the salt dissolves. Place the eggs in the pot and make sure they are covered by at least an inch of water and put on the stove on High. Watch them and start a 10 minute timer once they start to boil. When the 10 minute timer goes off take them off the heat, place the pot in your sink and run cold water into the pot till the eggs don't feel warm. I usually give them a couple minutes then stop the water, pour out the water in the pot and start it again till the eggs are cool.

    You can also shock them with ice water, but in my experience it didn't make much of a difference. The secret to the easy peel egg was lots of salt in the boiling water. Back in the day, we would usually cook 5 flats of eggs (15 doz) a week or so and have to peel them all. I should also add you might want to add a minute to the cook time if you at elevation.

    I guess I should also define start to boil:
    That's when you see the steady stream of little bubbles coming up from the bottom of the pan to the top. So, that would also make sense for the 9 minute timer if you start it from a roaring boil.

    If this is an easter deal, stop the water when the eggs are still warm to the touch. Pull them out and decorate with Crayons. That will help the wax melt. Decorate them quickly then back into the water till they are cold.

    Have fun,
    Scott
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  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,439
    edited March 2013
    Boiled eggs guys ? Seriously ? If you can't boil an egg, you have some other more important issues going on.

    Now, from an audiophile perspective where we tend to pay attention to detail, do you use tap water or distilled ? Sea salt, or regular table salt. Will a gas stove give a better even heating over electric ? Does organic boiled eggs taste better ? Brown or white eggs ? Free range ? Is there a difference in the thickness of the shell between these ? That may alter the cooking times. How about smoked boiled eggs ?

    I will step out on a limb here and say pay not attention to the audiophile egg gods and throw the suckers in a pot of boiling water, add some salt, wait 10 minutes, run under cold water. Under close scrutiny, I have found no difference with other methods or eggs. Now what you do with the boiled egg after it's peeled is another story.
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  • gudnoyezgudnoyez Posts: 7,003
    edited March 2013
    Terry be easy on yourself, I'am assuming Easter Eggs, anyways the Wallgreens by us sells them already cooked, colored, and packaged in a clear egg carton so you can admire the eggs you just purchased, not to mention the time and mess you saved yourself. Anyways
    Enjoy your Easter!
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  • GadaboutGadabout Posts: 1,092
    edited March 2013
    tonyb wrote: »
    I will step out on a limb here and say pay not attention to the audiophile egg gods and throw the suckers in a pot of boiling water, add some salt, wait 10 minutes, run under cold water.

    If your eggs are at room temperature this will work. If they were in the fridge, the boiling water will crack a few of them and you will have the start of egg drop soup too. Doesn't matter much for egg salad, but may matter if appearance is important.

    Once the details start, I guess i can't stop ..... :biggrin:

    Scott
    Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. ..... Frank Zappa
  • bklynNupebklynNupe Posts: 728
    edited March 2013

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  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 13,044
    edited March 2013
    Man, this is one seemingly simple thing that turned out to be not-so-simple and ended up taking me years to master. I had read just about every blog and recipe book I own [hundreds], tried the salt, tried the ice, tried small batches, tried eggs that weren't fresh, tried eggs that were pushing 2 months old, tried fresh eggs, experimented with different pots and pans, gas heat, electric heat, distilled water, farm fresh eggs, brown eggs, room temperature eggs, cold eggs, tapping the top part of the egg first to de-shell, de-shelling under running water, starting with cold water, room temperature water, boiling water....you name it, I tried it and failed often with very inconsistent results. Now I pride myself on my cooking, as it is another hobby of mine and I always became frustrated that my mother and grandmother could do a batch of eggs that seemed to always come out perfectly. Drove me nuckin' futz that I could not do this as well, especially since I love hard boiled eggs. I would get on the phone and vent to Mom that I did everything exactly as she had described, yet the shells would include half of the egg white and would take 2-3 minutes per egg to de-shell sometimes with a lot of waste. Not only that, the end result looked horrible. I never knew while growing up that something so simple could be so hard. Maybe not for others....but for me it damned sure was.

    Last year, I found the secret to perfect hard boiled eggs - You don't boil them at all.

    That's right, no mis-type, do not boil them at all. Steam them. Now before you say that this is ridiculous, hear me out. Each and every egg I have ever made since using this method has come out 100% perfect, every time, no exceptions. The end result is simply a perfect hard boiled egg. I can use a large or small stock pot or a simple stove top pot. Which one I use depends on how many eggs I want to hard boil. I'll make this as simple as I can for those who have been as frustrated as I when it comes to mastering a hard boiled egg.

    Tools you will need -

    729245886_260.jpg ultimatechefstore_2256_29139333 egg-perfect-colour-changing-egg-timer.jpg

    I'm sure all of you have a pot with a lid, so if you don't have a collapsible vegetable steamer or an egg timer, you will need to pick these up or order them. The collapsible vegetable steamer and the egg timer can both be purchased for around 5 dollars each.

    Simply fill enough water in the pot to where it sits just below the bottom of the vegetable steamer. Depending on the steamer, this will usually be around one inch of water. Just make sure the water does not hit the eggs. Bring this to a boil with the lid on. Carefully place however many eggs you want in the pot on top of the vegetable steamer, then place the egg timer [top up so you can see the progress] in with the eggs and cover. Steam the eggs until the entire egg timer is black and not red. Remove the eggs into a bath of ice water and allow to cool. After the eggs have cooled, crack the eggs at the point and peel under running water unless they are to be used for Easter eggs.

    Using the steaming method, you don't need salt, you don't need to worry about how old the eggs are, what type they are or whether they just came out of the chicken this morning. None of that remains a concern anymore. The eggs come out perfect every time. Just keep in mind that I have not used this method to hard boil over 32 eggs in one batch.

    Happy Easter.

    Tom
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