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simple question about boiled eggs

Many times I've seen references on this board and elsewhere about how to perfectly boil an egg, more spefically for perfect colour and easy peeling. Please share your hints, shortcuts, etc.

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  1. The one thing I do know is not to use really fresh eggs. You just cannot peel the little buggers!

    1. A friend told me how he boiled eggs and generally I find that it works.

      His instructions for soft-boiled: put eggs into saucepan, add enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil over medium heat, remove from heat, drain. That's it. You may have to vary this a little depending on how big the eggs are and whether you start with really cold eggs from the fridge or room temperature eggs. I like mine a little firmer than he does so I usually wait for about a minute before draining the hot water out of the pan.

      Hard-boiled eggs: Exactly the same as for soft-boiled except when you remove from heat, let it sit in the hot water for 3-4 minutes. Then drain, run cold water over the eggs until cool enough to handle, peel.

      As already mentioned, eggs need to be not fresh for hard-boiled or the shells stick to the egg.

      1. Use salt. Place eggs in sauce pan, add salt, be generous. Boil eggs 15 mins., drain, cover with water and ice cubes.

        1. It's definitely the ice bath that makes the difference. I have tried boiling super fresh eggs from the farmer's market and not so fresh ones from the grocery store that have been sitting in the fridge -- doesn't matter. Dunking them into a bowl of cold water filled with ice cubes makes peeling them a snap.

          1. Never "boil" an egg. It produces a hard rubbery white. Put water in a pot to cover the eggs and add a dash of vinegar and just bring to a slow bubble. Then reduce the heat to a low bubble or turn it off and let the eggs stand 15 mins covered. Drain, put the cover back on and vigorously shake the pan to crack the shells all over. Cover with ice and cold water and allow to chill unless you want hot cooked eggs or soft cooked

            1. I picked up the following hard-boiled egg strategy when I was working in a take-out joint that made salade nicoise:

              Put eggs in a could pan, and fill with cold water to one inch above the eggs. Place over high heat until you just have a rolling boil. Immediately turn the heat to low (or move pan to a burner on low if you're using electric) and start a timer for nine minutes. When the timer goes off, drain the eggs and run cold water over them until they are fully cooled - at least five minutes.

              When used on large eggs this method results in creamy yolks with a dark yellow center and a pale yellow exterior. If you like your yolks pale all the way through - or if you have especially large or small eggs - adjust the timing accordingly.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mhoffman

                This is close to what I do, though I turn off the burner completely once the water comes to a boil, put a cover on the pan and let them sit for 10 minutes before running them under cold water. Perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs every time. To peel, I roll them on a flat surface whilst applying gentle pressure. Most of the time the shell peels off handily. Sometimes it doesn't. Maybe it has to do with the eggs being too fresh as other posters have mentioned.

              2. I tried a trick this weekend to peel eggs that M. Kamman demonstrated on Martha Stewart - crack the egg around its middle, creating a "belt", and then peel from there. Worked like a charm ...

                1. Here's the method that works for me:

                  I cover the eggs with cold water, then put the pot over medium heat (electric stove). I let them go for about three minutes after the water reaches the boiling point. Meanwhile, I place my colander in the sink, and put some folded up paper towels to the side. I take the eggs off the stove, and immediately pour them into the colander, letting the hot water flow down the drain. Then I turn on the cold water, and leave it running as I peel each egg underneath it. After an egg is peeled, I place it on top of the paper towels, and let the water drain off. Works every time.

                  1. Here's my tip for 'easy peeling'. Not really mine - it is something I saw on Japanese TV show where people send in interesting videos. This video I saw was titled something like "How to peel a boiled egg in 10 seconds" or something like that. May have been longer than that,
                    but it was something rediculously short.

                    Here's what you do. All you need is a tupperwear and water. Place your boiled egg
                    in the tupperwear that can be securely sealed. Then pour in some water to about
                    the bottom half of the egg is covered. Put the lid on. Then shake the tupperwear rigolously for about 10 seconds until the egg is covered with small cracks. Now take out your egg and
                    Voila! You should be able to peel, or rather, strip the egg shell in a second. This is not something I do when I peel my eggs, but I've actually tried it, and it worked.

                    And as already mentioned, using not-so-fresh eggs makes it easier to peel.