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Hard boiled eggs

  • j

I know this is insane, but I can't boil an egg to save my life. The shell always sticks. (It actually seems like the membrane-like thing beneath the skin is sticking.) I've looked at cookbooks; tried white eggs vs. brown; tried simmering vs. covering in boiling water. To no avail.



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  1. Try this: bring water to a boil, add eggs warmed in hot tap water, boil for 10 minutes, shut off heat, let sit for 15 minutes.

    1. Lots of discussion on this!! I guess eggs are difficult to peel if they are too fresh. I know I boiled a dozen eggs to make deviled eggs for thanksgiving. I had just bought the eggs at a farm, and they were horrible to peel. SInce they were for deviled eggs, I really needed them to peel nicely. WEnt to the supermarket, got some white eggs, boiled them up, and had no problem peeling them. I made extra filling for the eggs with some of the leftover yolks. These deviled egss were overstuffed!

      1. Sounds like you're using eggs that are too fresh for this application. My experience (and my mom, who's an old-school Home Ec Queen of the Kitchen, has lectured me on this point as well) is that for best results, use eggs you bought more than five days ago. I don't know the scientific reason, but I'm guessing that the time allows proper air exchange for that membrane to detach from the shell.

        I might be wrong. Anyone else...?

          1. Never boil an egg. Hard cook them. If you are using standard lg. eggs, put them in a pot and cover with cold water. Add a dash ov vinegar and then bring the pot just up to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let stand on low for 15 mins. Then remove and drain. Put the lid back on after draining and give the pan a good shake to help crack the shells. Add ice cubes and cold water to cover. When cool enough to handle peel. Also you cannot peel an egg that is too fresh very easily. Plan ahead or if you have to have them tomorrow and you bought them today leave them out on the counter at room temperature for a day before hard cooking.

            1. I chill eggs right from the stove under running cold water, and then let them sit in icy cold bath. Works for me.

              1. I get my chickens from a few miles away, from happy, beautiful and well tended chickens. The eggs are as fresh as can be.
                I have rarely had a problem with this method:
                eggs and cold water in large enough pot not to crowd
                bring to boil
                as soon as it boils turn off heat, cover and leave for 17 min.
                then plunge them into some cold water and ice.
                Ive also never had dark rings around the yolks.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Elsie

                  I use the same method for my fresh free-range eggs....the only thing I do differently is that I keep them covered for 18 minutes :)

                  Also, don't let them sit in the cold water for more than 10 minutes before you peel them.

                  1. re: Elsie

                    This is my method, too, although I only leave them in the hot water for 10 minutes.

                  2. Most of the cooking times given seem a little long, although maybe most people prefere a thoroughly cooked, chalky yolk.
                    For a delicate, tender hard boiled egg try bringing your water up to a simmer, then dropping your eggs in, lower your heat and cook gently for eight to ten minutes. Drain and cover with cold water/ice briefly.
                    This gives you a beautiful sun colored yolk, slices nicely and never yields a sulpherous odour.
                    Granted, when cooking hard boiled for kids, I generally go the ten to eleven minute route.
                    Agree with the fresh egg/hard to shell theory. Knocking them all over against the side of your sink helps!

                    1. Fresh eggs peel easier. Don't over boil them, a nice rolling boil for about 7 to 9 minutes should do the trick. Chill them in an ice water bath immediately.

                      After that, I only have sticking shells if they sit in the fridge longer than a few days.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sgwood415

                        I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree about "fresh eggs peel easier." This is simply untrue. I used to keep chickens, and I have a lot of egg experience under my belt. Even eggs that are a week old can be difficult.

                      2. This is my absolutely fool proof method for hard boiled eggs - I think it might be Martha Stewart's recipe but I'm not sure - all I know is it works everytime - fresh or not so fresh eggs - never any shell sticking or greyness on the yolk.

                        Put eggs in cold water in pan. Cover.

                        Bring water to boil - boil (not violently, though) for 1 minute.

                        Take pan off heat and let stand 11 minutes.

                        Pour cold water into pan and add several ice cubes to chill quickly.

                        In a few minutes, peel eggs. Perfect!