The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

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Catseye

Senior Cook
Joined
Oct 30, 2004
Messages
326
Location
USA,Virginia
For 1-4 Eggs:
1 to 4 Eggs
2 quarts water -- * see note
For 12 Eggs:
12 Eggs
3 1/2 quarts water -- * see note
For 24 Eggs:
24 Eggs
6 quarts water -- * see note

Special Equipment:
High (not wide) Saucepan with cover
Bowl w/ice cubes & water (large enough to completely cover eggs)

*Note: water should cover the eggs by 1 inch, so use a tall pan, and limit
cooking to 2 dozen eggs at a time.

1. Lay the eggs in the pan and add the amount of cold water specified. Set over high heat and bring just to the boil; remove from heat, cover the pan, and let sit exactly 17 minutes.

2. When the time is up, transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice cubes and
water. Chill for 2 minutes while bringing the cooking water to the boil
again. (This 2 minute chilling shrinks the body of the egg from the shell.)

3. Transfer the eggs (6 at a time only) to the boiling water, bring to the
boil again, and let boil for 10 seconds - this expands the shell from the
egg. Remove eggs, and place back into the ice water.


Chilling the eggs promptly after each step prevents that dark line from
forming, and if time allows, leave the eggs in the ice water after the last
step for 15 to 20 minutes. Chilled eggs are easier to peel, as well.

The peeled eggs will keep perfectly in the refrigerator, submerged in water in an uncovered container, for 2 to 3 days.

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NOTES : The perfect hard boiled egg has a tender white, and a yolk properly set. There is not the faintest darkening of yolk where the white encircles it (a chemical reaction caused by too much heat in the cooking process). Eggs cooked this way can also be peeled neatly.


Cats
 

Audeo

Head Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
1,871
Location
USA,Texas
Catseye, a special thanks for posting this one. I've already printed this out for serious reading and practice later!
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
50,699
Location
Massachusetts
Catseye:

I guess it speaks to Julia's versatility that she had more than one way to hard cook an egg. I took the following from a cooking magzine article by her about 10-12 years ago. (it was either Food & Wine or Bon Appetit)

The wording is mine but the process is hers.


HARD BOILED EGGS


The perfect hard-boiled egg is completely cooked without being overcooked. An overcooked egg has a green coating on the yolk, a rubbery white and often smells of sulfur.

Pierce the rounded or blunt end of each egg, where there is an air space, with a pushpin or an egg-piercing tool (one actually exists). The piercing will facilitate shelling the eggs when they are cooked and cooled and help prevent cracking of the shells during cooking.

Gently lower the eggs into a pan of hot tap water. Bring the water to a boil and cook at a continuous gentle boil for 10 minutes, for a large egg.

At the end of 10 minutes (longer is not better), immediately drain the water from the pan and shake the pan back and forth with some force to crack the eggshells all over.

Fill the pan with cold water and ice and let it stand until the eggs are cold. The eggs are now ready to be shelled.

The freshest eggs are the most difficult to peel easily. As they age, peeling the shell becomes easier.
 

RPCookin

Executive Chef
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
2,857
Location
Logan County, Colorado
Andy M. said:
Catseye:

I guess it speaks to Julia's versatility that she had more than one way to hard cook an egg. I took the following from a cooking magzine article by her about 10-12 years ago. (it was either Food & Wine or Bon Appetit)

The wording is mine but the process is hers.


HARD BOILED EGGS


The perfect hard-boiled egg is completely cooked without being overcooked. An overcooked egg has a green coating on the yolk, a rubbery white and often smells of sulfur.

Pierce the rounded or blunt end of each egg, where there is an air space, with a pushpin or an egg-piercing tool (one actually exists). The piercing will facilitate shelling the eggs when they are cooked and cooled and help prevent cracking of the shells during cooking.

Gently lower the eggs into a pan of hot tap water. Bring the water to a boil and cook at a continuous gentle boil for 10 minutes, for a large egg.

At the end of 10 minutes (longer is not better), immediately drain the water from the pan and shake the pan back and forth with some force to crack the eggshells all over.

Fill the pan with cold water and ice and let it stand until the eggs are cold. The eggs are now ready to be shelled.

The freshest eggs are the most difficult to peel easily. As they age, peeling the shell becomes easier.

I just finished the class at cooking school that covered this topic, so I thought I'd revive it briefly. Eggs should always be a t room temperature before cooking. We were taught the method of removing the pan from the heat as soon as it reaches a full boil, and let it set for a specified time, depending on the required doneness. And if peeling is required of a hard egg, then using eggs that are more than 3 days old is advised. As eggs age, the Ph changes, and starts to break down the membrane that attaches it to the shell. This can be helped by using the above method of poking a hole in the large end of the egg with a pushpin, and then cooking in lightly salted water instead of plain tap water, but using less than perfectly fresh eggs is still the recommended way. Shocking in cold water produces a layer of steam between the egg and the shell that also helps to facilitate peeling.

The following is the cooking time schedule (after removing from heat) we got in class. This is based on cooking at 5000 ft elevation (boiling temp of 205 degrees), as I'm in Denver, Co.

Soft Cooked:

Time_________White__________Yolk

1-1/4 min___Jelly-like_________Liquid

2-1/2 min___Creamy__________Liquid

4 Min_______Firm____________Set, with liquid center

7-1/2 min___all firm__________Solid, looks wet

Hard Cooked:

10 min______Solid throughout__Solid throughout

These times may require some experimentation to adjust for those who live at lower elevations.
 
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