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Sep 27, 2008 11:41 AM

Does an egg piercer help?

I've always used an egg piercer when fixing hard boiled eggs. Mine just "died" and I hate a lot of gadgets that serve only one purpose. Does an egg piercer really help? Does it help if the eggs are particularly fresh? Thoughts please?

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  1. I pierce the round end before cooking, very few (maybe 1-2 out of 100) crack, and those that crack have pre existing shell problems such as cracks or thinning. At home, I use a (game) dart, at the cabin I use a push pin or a needle.

    But, I don't "hard boil" eggs, I use the "17 minute" method. Maybe the eggs don't crack because they are being boiled.

    The eggs I hard cook are usually ~1 week from their "use by date" or old eggs vs. fresh eggs. Fresh eggs can be harder to peel, (whites stick), and fresh eggs look much better served "sunny side up".

    1 Reply
    1. re: Alan408

      I also use use the "17 minute" method; seem to remember that it was Julie Child's technique. We also have a second home and I've never liked the one we have at the cabin. I think the push pin is a great suggestion. Thanks Alan408.

    2. I used a push pin for years because Jacques Pepin said to - and half the eggs cracked. Then I read somewhere else not to, and found that almost none crack. The American Egg Board says piercing promotes hairline cracks. In "Cookwise", Shirley O. Corriher says the eggs should be 7-10 days old, because older eggs are more alkaline, which makes peeling easier. Therefore, disregard advice to add vinegar to water for hard-cooked aggs. Salt, however, helps because it speeds the white's coagulation so as to seal any cracks.

      Eggs at room temp are less prone to cracking, so if they are cold let them sit in hot tap water for 5 minutes first. Cookwise continues that with fresher eggs, piercing encourages cracking but with 28-day old eggs, prevents it. Cooling the egg quickly under cold water prevents the green layer and promotes easier peeling.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        Letting the eggs warm up seems to be more effective than piercing.