Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Easter egg season is approaching so it may be a good time to talk about hard boiled eggs.

A quick internet search on the subject brings up over 3 million hits with many suggestions (complaints?) that there is something about boiling eggs that places them in that “difficult to cook” category.

Not so.  I will describe for you The Method that Deborah developed some years ago to produce the perfect hard boiled egg.

First, it may be helpful to understand what the common egg boiling problems are.  The list is short – cracked shells, green yolks, sulpher smell and very hard to peel.

The first three are caused by over cooking the eggs.  The green coloring and sulpher smell are the result of a chemical reaction between iron in the yolk and sulpher in the egg white. Some recipes recommend adding vinegar or salt to the water to try to prevent discoloration or odor.   These are ineffective as they have no influence on the reactions occurring inside the egg.

Cracking occurs when the eggs are heated too rapidly causing the air pocket in the egg to expand and break the shell.  Eggs banging around in violently boiling water may also crack.

One time that you really don’t want “farm fresh eggs” is when you are hard boiling them.  Fresh eggs are almost impossible to peel without taking part of the cooked egg white away with the shell.   The eggs should be at least 1 week old, 2 weeks or more is better.  Don’t worry about the quality of older eggs.  Eggs keep perfectly well for at least a month.  In fact, before refrigeration, eggs were commonly kept several months without any issues.

Here’s how to get Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs:

1.  Place the eggs in a single layer in a pan.

2.  Add enough cold tap water to just cover the eggs.

3.  Cover the pan and bring to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute or less.

4.  Turn off the heat and allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for 15 minutes.

5.  Pour off the hot water and run cold tap water over the eggs for a few minutes to chill them.

6.  Remove the eggs from the water and refrigerate.

That’s all there is to it.  Color or decorate your Easter Eggs anyway you like.  After everyone has had a chance to admire them you can make some great egg salad or deviled eggs.


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3 Responses to Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

  1. Elise says:

    Excellent Post. Now Deborah needs to post The Method for creating perfect deviled eggs.

    • Patrick says:

      That should be appearing shortly. I am working on a variation using sun dried tomatoes and fresh chives.

      • Elise says:

        That sounds really good. I also recently saw a recipe for deviled eggs in which the yolks were scooped out and then the hole was re-filled with guacamole. To make it look fancy they used a pastry bag and piped it in there.

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