Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Okay, so this is a method more than a recipe. I'm posting it though because I've noticed lots of people have problems boiling eggs perfectly so that they're cooked through all the way with no green and the shells come off without mangling the egg. Over the years, I've learned a number of little tricks and I'd love to share them with you. Here are the most important ones with explanations:

1) Do not use fresh eggs! Even this method will be difficult with them. You want eggs that have been in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks as they're much more willing to part with their shells. The eggs I used this time have an expiration date 3 days away.

2) Use a big pot. My pot holds 5 quarts. You want a big pot because you're going to rely on the heat from all that water to continue cooking the eggs after you turn off the heat. Fill the pot to within a couple inches of the top even if you're only going to boil a few eggs.

3) Salt the water liberally. I use 2 whole tablespoons of salt for my 5 quart pot, regardless of how many eggs I'm cooking. It doesn't make the eggs taste salty (at least not that I can tell) but it does something magical that helps keep the shells from sticking.

Okay, on to the actual method!

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Place desired number of eggs in a 5 quart pot. Cover with cool water to within 2 inches of the rim (or just use about a gallon of water if you have a bigger pot). Add 2 tablespoons of salt. Cover the pot and cook on high heat until the water boils rapidly. Let it boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. DO NOT remove the pot from the burner, just turn off the heat. Set your timer for exactly 20 minutes and go find something to do.

When the timer goes off, drain the water off of the eggs and refill the pot with cold water. Let the eggs sit in the cold water for 5 minutes or so. If you need the eggs ASAP, you can drain this water off and refill with cold water and let them sit again. When they're as cool as you need, drain off all of the water. Cover with the lid and vigorously shake the pot up and down and around and around a few times while holding the lid down with your thumbs. After you do this, some of your egg shells will have probably slipped completely off. This is how mine looked:

Only 2 or 3 eggs still have shells! Those ones will probably slide off really easily, but even if they don't, the shells should still be cracked all over. Cover the eggs with cold water and let them sit for about 5 minutes so the water can seep into the cracks. By this time, you should be able to pull the shells off very easily with your hands. Rinse the eggs after taking the shells off and then store 'em in the fridge to use in any number of deliciously eggy recipes or just to munch on plain.

I hope my method works well for you too! It's always worked for me :)

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