The perfect boiled egg.

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narcoleptish
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The perfect boiled egg.

Postby narcoleptish » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:12 pm

By perfect I mean a completely yellow yolk (no green) with just the smallest drop of liquid remaining in the center. And of course the shell has to basically fall off.

It's an evasive goal.

Is the theory true that fresh eggs always peel much harder? I want to believe that's a myth but it seems to pan out usually. How old should they be? Is there a window of time or a magic threshold?

My current routine is to bring 8 eggs to a boil. I set the timer for 18 minutes and let them boil for another 2 or 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit till timer goes off. While they're sitting I fill a pan with ice and water and then after draining the eggs I douse them with the ice water and let them sit in it for awhile (10-15 min).

At this point they often peel very easily using the crack-in-several-spots and then roll technique. It's when I come back to them later or the next day that peeling can become a chore. I think cold eggs are harder to peel so I no longer keep them in the fridge after boiling. I've also found that cracking them and then soaking them in water for awhile gets a thin layer of water under the peel and they almost fall off.

But then sometimes I do all this and they still won't peel. The frustration builds, the white starts to peel and they end up in the trash.

Any tips?

Prof. Wagstaff
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Re: The perfect boiled egg.

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:05 am

It is not a myth. Use eggs that are a few weeks old, at least. (And FYI: Eggs are fine for hard boiling for many weeks after the Sell By date. Like, a couple months, even.) But the name is a misnomer; you don't actually want to boil them.

Perfect hard boiled eggs the Wagstaff way:
Place your eggs in a pot with enough water to cover them completely by about an inch.
Slowly bring the water just to a boil over a medium/medium high heat, NOT full high.
As soon as the water starts to boil (not a hard rolling boil), turn off the heat, and cover the pot.
Wait about 10-15 minutes (you'll need to try it a few times with your pot on your burner to determine the perfect timing. At the 10 min. mark, you can sacrifice one by running it under cold water and then slicing it open to check for doneness but once you've done it a few times, you'll get it perfect every time. 12 minutes works for me.)
Put the eggs in an ice bath for a couple minutes.
Peeling them is sometimes easier under a light stream of cold running water but it's not necessary. What does make it easier is to tap the end and crack it where there's a little pocket of air first, then work your way down and around the egg.
You should peel them all immediately. Once peeled, you can store them in the fridge for several days but if you leave them in the shell, they get kinda nasty in my experience.

narcoleptish
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Re: The perfect boiled egg.

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:43 am

Peeling them all immediately....Of course! The things you just don't think of that are right in front of your face? I'm going to tell myself that that must have crossed my mind at some point but I was just too lazy.

And maybe I'm overcooking them a bit? Or at least the boiling part.

And the cover part. I cover until boiling but then take it off.

Thanks!

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Re: The perfect boiled egg.

Postby thebookpolice » Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:53 am

Serious Eats has the exhaustive experimental discussion.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/the- ... -eggs.html

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Re: The perfect boiled egg.

Postby Bwis53 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:01 am

Five for soft and ten for hard, finish with cold water bath. Perfect for decades.

msnflyer
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Re: The perfect boiled egg.

Postby msnflyer » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:35 am

As others stated, cover with water, bring to boil, cover, remove from heat, 9 minutes is sufficient cooking time. No need to remove from a gas burner but an electric heating element stays hot.

After draining the hot water shake the pan to crack the shells, then cover with cold/ice water. I like to peel them as soon as I can handle them.

Older eggs work best but the air space gets larger as eggs age.

For soft boiled, I use ATK's steaming method, 6 minutes. It's fun to serve a dish with what appears to be a whole hard boiled egg on it. Cut into it and the yolk flows.

Wino
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Re: The perfect boiled egg.

Postby Wino » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:40 am

"Peel" them before cooking. Crack eggs into poach pods. Poach in a covered pan until desired hardness. Slide eggs out of poach pods. They aren't ovoid, but so what.

rabble
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Re: The perfect boiled egg.

Postby rabble » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:52 am


Prof. Wagstaff
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Re: The perfect boiled egg.

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:05 am

TheBookPolice wrote:Serious Eats has the exhaustive experimental discussion.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/the- ... -eggs.html


Fascinating stuff.
I gotta admit, I'm not much interested in the aesthetics of how the egg is shaped when its done, so my method will result in slightly dimpled/deformed-looking eggs (and again, I've been known to use eggs that are a month or more past their sell-by date which doesn't help in this regard according to your link), but the yolks always come out perfectly colored. (And I honestly don't really care. I had to learn to guarantee perfect yellowness to please my girlfriend. If you don't care about discoloration -- they taste exactly the same -- an even simpler method is: place eggs in pot covered in water, allow water to start to boil, turn off heat, cover the pot, go to bed. When you get up in the morning, they're done, but definitely will have a discolored ring.)
Not sure if I need to try all of the advice here since I've perfected my own way after much experimentation at home (and I'm still convinced rapidly boiling water is a no-no, based on my own experience) but maybe next time I'm making deviled eggs for a gathering I'll try to guarantee better shapes with the advice in your link.

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Re: The perfect boiled egg.

Postby Bland » Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:14 pm

Image
Not really on-topic I know but this showed up in my facebook feed from an acquaintance obviously unskilled at detecting satire. Oh the things people will believe!
http://www.snopes.com/photos/food/gmoeggs.asp


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