Hard boiled eggs. Not the most interesting topic, but when those darn shells stick to the white, it really makes me MAD; my nemesis since we started backyard chickens. “The internet” said the problem could be my fresh eggs, and that I should make sure they are at least a couple weeks old before hoping for any peeling success. Sharpie in hand, I labelled an egg carton and kept “olders” in the fridge. I even purchased eggs, since those in the supermarket have some time on them. Used my standard “cold water start, bring to boil, turn off heat, time for 11 minutes” method that worked just fine for years, but…once again, relentless sticking and gouging, a platter of pretty deviled eggs a distant memory.
Cooks Illustrated to the rescue, once again, the magazine I love to hate. (I’m now current with my reading, after playing catch up for a 12 year period that ironically corresponds to the age of my children…but I digress.) “A Report Card on Peelability” is featured on page 13 of the March & April 2016 issue, I highly recommend the read. In summary, the hot-start method is the way to go. Any cold start method increases the likelihood of the peel sticking because the proteins in the egg white bond with the shell’s inner membrane more tightly than they bond with each other as the water slowly heats. So, don’t let them do that. Whether you use a steamer basket or put the eggs directly into boiling water, Hot Start.
Hard Boiled Eggs
- up to 6 eggs
Bring about an inch of water to boil in a medium saucepan, big enough to hold your steamer basket. Add eggs to steamer basket, making sure eggs are in a single layer. Cover and set timer for 12 minutes, keeping the heat on and water boiling.
When timer goes off, immediately transfer eggs to an ice bath for 15 minutes. Your eggs are now ready to peel, or refrigerate intact for up to a few days.