Sunday, October 2, 2016

#170 The Case of Simple as Boiling an Egg

Well, if it's so damn simple, why have I been doing it wrong for so many years?

Wrong may be a bit harsh. My eggs have always been hard-boiled just like I like them, with no ring around the yolk, which would be as much a sign of confusion in the kitchen as ring around the collar is of disorientation in the laundry room.

What I really mean by wrong is that a Becki Green hard-boiled egg, up until now, has often been difficult to peel.

Sometimes, in fact, a nightmare to peel, despite the fact that I'm a natural communicator and I tried everything I know to bring my eggs out of their shells.

I tapped them lightly on their bottoms before shelling them, a trick from my mother. She also passed down advice from her father, my grandfather, whose eggs apparently always, extremely annoyingly, came out pristine. "Roll them on the counter firmly with the palm of your hand before you start."

Nevertheless, my results were inconsistent. Sometimes the shell would slide off in practically one piece and leave me holding a glistening orb of goodness. Sometimes it felt like I was trying to chisel old, dried, cracked paint off a window frame and removing too much of the actual wood in the process. Frankly, I decided it depended on the egg.

Do you want to know the secret I just learned?

Throw out everything you've been taught about starting eggs in cold water, then bringing them to a boil over medium heat, then turning down the heat and simmering until they're done.

Gently lower your extra large eggs into boiling water.

On high. Full boil. Like lobsters.

I recommend using a slotted spoon.

Eggs are less fragile than you think.

Rarely, an egg will crack and some egg white will seep out into the water but you'll make up for the loss when you peel, in egg white as well as in patience.

I have yet to witness an actual explosion—urban myth.

Bring back to a full boil on high and leave the eggs in the water for 13 min. Then drain them and transfer them to an ice-water bath.

After a half-hour of this ice-bath preceded by boiling torture session, your eggs will practically jump out of their shells.

Not surprising.

Why did it take me so long to get this?


PS Wanna use your boiled egg experiments in a recipe? Try Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches! 

PPS For soft-boiled eggs to eat hot, with wholegrain toast and artisan jam, follow the instructions above, cooking the eggs for only 8 min., then transferring them to a cold-water bath (no ice). Leave them in the water just the time needed to cool them enough so you can shell them and serve them immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Very good description of what it's like to successfully and not so successfully peel a hard boiled egg. My mom hates the task. :P I haven't tried a half hour ice bath, but maybe I should. :)