kitchen 101: how to hard boil eggs
You guys may have noticed the obscene amount of hard-boiled eggs I eat in my What I Ate Wednesday posts. Hard boiled eggs (or, like they are called in our house, HBEs) are literally one of my favorite foods. They are portable, delicious and packed full of healthy fat, protein and just the right amount of calories to keep hunger at bay. Basically, HBEs are my best friend. I make up about a dozen eggs per week, stick them within easy grasp in my fridge and snack on them all week long.
A few people have taken notice of my insane egg consumption and asked me to show my method for the perfect hard-boiled egg, and it sounded like a great Kitchen 101 post! So here is my method for egg boiling…
The key to easy-to-peel eggs actually starts before you boil anything! The older the eggs are when they are boiled, the easier they are to peel. As the egg ages, the membrane that connects the egg to the shell actually begins to shrink and it makes the egg easier to peel later. If you can, only boil eggs that are 5-10 days old. I like to stay a week behind. I’ll buy a dozen one weekend, let them rest in the fridge, and then boil them the next. Although, sometimes I don’t plan ahead and have to boil “new” eggs. Which ends up in a lot of egg-y massacre when peeling. But they are still delicious! Just not so pretty.
You want your eggs to be fully submerged in water while boiling, so pick a large enough pan to fit all the eggs you want to boil, plus about 1-2 inches of water over their little egg-y heads.
Put the cold eggs in the bottom of the pan, and then fill the pan with cold water until the eggs are covered by at least an inch. You want both cold eggs and cold water because that’s part of the timing process. If you start with room temperature eggs and warm water, you’ll have to cook them longer. Keep in mind, my method is for cold eggs and cold water only.
Stick the pan, uncovered, on the highest, hottest burner you have and let them do their thing. Because the water is cold and the eggs are cold, it should take a while, but eventually you’ll get them to a nice rolling boil.
As soon as the eggs start to boil, cut the heat off, put a tight-fitting lid on the pan and let the eggs rest on the hot burner for 10 minutes. This is where the final cooking happens. Longer than 10 minutes, and you start to get the gray/green yolk, which tastes fine, it just doesn’t look all that appetizing. Longer than 20 minutes, and the eggs start to go rubbery.
Once your 10 minutes is up, dump the hot water out of the pan in the sink and fill up the pan, covering the eggs with cold water from the tap. You want to stop cooking (again to avoid the gray yolk/rubber egg issue). I normally keep the cold water running over the eggs for 1-2 minutes just to make sure they are really cooled off. At that point, they should be cool to the touch, I transfer them into a labeled egg carton and stash them in the fridge.