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Hard Boiled Eggs

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have to hard boil 36 eggs for deviled eggs - I read somewhere that eggs should be in a single layer but, of course, no pan will take that. I know I've stacked them before but not so many. Do I need to boil them any differently, more time, etc. or just the way I usually do them?
This is my first post as a new member. Thanks for your help.

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post #2 of 17
First of all: welcome! you've come to a good place to get answers.

Next: the best way to make hard-boiled eggs is to NOT boil them. The method I've always used (including in restaurants, where I had to cook several dozen at a time) is the one Julia Child recommended. She says not to do more than 24 at a time, but I've done more; it just took a larger pan.
  1. Prick a hole with a pin in the large end of the shell; this will prevent the shell from cracking and the white oozing out.
  2. Place the eggs in the pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch.
  3. Place over high heat and bring just to the boil.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let sit for 17 minutes. (I've let them sit longer and they were still okay.)
  5. Remove the eggs from the pot and place in a bowl of ice and water for at least 2 minutes or as long as 20 minutes. This chilling prevents the dark outline on the yolk. (As many eggs as you're doing may need to be chilled in several bowls of ice water, not just one.)
  6. When the eggs are cold, tap them gently all over to crack the shells. Peel under a light stream of cold running water, or peel submerged in a bowl of cold water.
  7. Return each peeled egg to the ice water to continue to chill.
  8. If not using right away, store the peeled eggs in the fridge, submerged in water but with the container uncovered, for up to 3 days.

Hope this helps!
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 17
This is a bit off-topic, but rather than starting a new thread I thought I'd just bump this one.

Is the above technique good for eggs that are boiled but peeled and eaten the day after? My biggest concern is to get the eggs easy to peel. (I work in a place where we serve cold hard-boiled unpeeled eggs for breakfast and the biggest complaint is difficult peeling...) Thanks for any help.
post #4 of 17
I've heard that putting a good splash of vinegar in the water will help with peeling, as the acidic vinegar softens the shells a bit. Personally I've not really noticed much difference either way. Shocking the eggs in an ice water bath seems to be helpful, though.

Has some pickled eggs at a dinner a week or two ago, I've been meaning to whip up a batch myself.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #5 of 17
My experience is that the fresher the egg, the harder to peel.
post #6 of 17
Also leaving your eggs overnight before peeling often makes them more difficult to peel.
http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #7 of 17
My experience is the same as that of phatch.
post #8 of 17

easy peeling of the eggs

I never understood this pricking with a pin business. Did you ever try to stick a pin in an egg? Half the time it slides on the surface and gets one of your fingers.

HOWEVER
If you slightly crack the wide end, just enough to make a crack sound, but without actually breaking it, you will do the same as the pin - you let the water come in between the "skin" and the shell (because that's what the pinprick does, lets water into the air pocket).
Then, fresh or stale, cold or hot, they will peel very easily.
This is my invention, after many years of tryiong to stick pins in eggs - an absurdly difficult thing to do, when there is an absurdly simple trick to doing the same thing. Strangely i have NEVER come across anyone recommending it.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #9 of 17
I have a special little doohickey that pokes a hole in the egg - little round thing where the top slides down to expose the "pin"

actually I don't believe it lets water it - but rather lets air out of the sack. when boiling eggs the air expands - pressurizing the inside of the egg - and if it has no escape and there is any weakness in the shell, the egg can crack.
post #10 of 17
excellent Suzanne, that is how I was was taught to do them over thirty years ago. Have done several dozen at a time with a large enough pan and would say 98% of the time they come out great.
Do have to laugh but one cook years ago said never say "hard boiled egg". So to this day I label them "hard cooked eggs", get a questioning look one in a while?

so thanks for stating that too, knew I wasn't the only one.
Nan
post #11 of 17
I also called them hard-cooked eggs, Nan. And for the same reason.

On that pin thing: I've seen that recommendation numerous times. And never understood it.

Has anyone here ever had an egg explode while cooking it? Even in boiling water it just doesn't happen. They don't even crack in the water, unless they have hairline cracks beforehand. I've hard-cooked thousands of eggs; never punctured one of them, hever had one explode.

But, if you do a lot of eggs, and believe in puncturing them, it's simple enough to make a jig for it. Take a board at least 3 x 3 inches. In the center drill a hole, using a bit smaller than the diameter of a heavy-duty sewing needle. Push the needle through the hole so the point extends about an eighth of an inch. Cut the back of the needle off flush with the bottom of the board. You're good to go. Just bring the egg down onto the needle point, rather than the other way around.

>Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let sit for 17 minutes. (I've let them sit longer and they were still okay.) <

Had to smile at this. When Betty Groff taught me what is essentially the same method, she insisted they have to sit for 20 minutes.

My feeling is that you can't overcook them, using this technique. So the time doesn't matter, except that it should be at least 15-18 minutes to assure that they're cooked through.

BTW, when cooking a large number of eggs I find it easier to shock them right in the sink, rather than using a bunch of bowls. Fill the sink about halfway with ice/water, drain the eggs, and drop them into the ice water.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 17
Start them in cold water a drop of salt.
You may want to stir them gently as they cook so as to bring top to bottom and bottom to top. You will get even cooking doing it this way, or cook in 3 pots of a dozen each. DONT OVERCOOK because they do get tough, and color changes.
Tip when you make the devilled egg mix, put in some soft butter and blend in, this stops them from getting dark when left out in the air for service , also a richer consistancy. :chef:

I was also taught there is no such thing as a hard boiled egg it is hard cooked. why ? because I was told to simmer them not boil. I do notice a difference
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #13 of 17
I have tried just about every way imaginable in my 30+ years of professional cooking. I have been set on my pealing the egg right out of the simmering water with best results till this holiday season. I hired a handy helper and we had 50 dozen eggs to peal for an event which I gave him 25 dozen and I took the rest. When I had just finished my 10th dozen with swollen hands my helper asked if I needed any help as he was finished. In my mind all I could imagine was he had aged eggs and somehow I had fresh. Not wanting to make a scene as he helped me I just went about my business. After his help with a couple of my eggs he said, “How much vinegar did you use?” All I could say was none. He just laughed and then told me his secret that for every gallon of water he uses a cup of vinegar for the boil and after trying his method it is now my new method and works.

After thinking about it, to color an egg you need vinegar to penetrate the shell for the dye to adhere to the shell as the outer shell is impervious. My guess is by adding the vinegar to the boil the outer shell deteriorates to allow some of the water to get between the shell and the egg for an easy removal. All I can say is it works and has been a blessing when I need to shell hard cooked eggs. I also did a taste test and did not find a vinegar flavor in the egg cooked this way although might have been an enhancement for deviled eggs. Let me know if this works for you…

And yes, butter does keep it fresh in appearance.
post #14 of 17
I give this advice every time. Every time it is completely ignored.
do not prick with pin.
Do not make gadgets to prick more easily with pin
SLIGHTLY CRACK the big end before putting in water. You will let water in and air out and the water will enter between the skin and the shell and the egg will come apart EASILY!!!!
try it, tell me it doesn't work, but at least try it.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #15 of 17
The reason I prick eggs with a pin is to make them easy to peel. I'll try your idea and see what happens.

As for the suggestion that eggs don't explode. I'm afraid that I've been lazy on occasion about the pin-pricking and did have eggs explode. Not a big explosion, but enough to make the eggs unusable. The insides seeped out and I ended up with eggs with giant tendrils.
post #16 of 17
I tried the slight cracking of the large side before cooking. It works great, thanks. Just shows old dogs can learn!:D
post #17 of 17

l'uovo di colombo

thanks brandon and free rider.
I did the stupid pin thing for years, and it drove me crazy, since if the egg has a thick shell you usually end up with a pricked finger, and all i need is yet another gadget in my drawer ... (someone once gave me an egg pricker). The cracking method is so easy and so simple and once i discovered it, so obvious...

in italian there is a term called "l'uovo di Colombo" - Columbus' egg - which refers to a story (probably a legend) that he was at dinner at the spanish court and queen isabella asked how it would be possible to sail to the indies going west, and he said - can you balance this hard boiled egg so that it stands up on the table? She couldn't, and no one else at the table could. So he slightly cracked the big end just enough to flatten the air pocket and stood it up - the moral being that sometimes the simple solution is right there but no one sees it. In italian when you want to say something is the obvious and simplest solution that no one can see till it's pointed out to them, you call it "columbus' egg". I pricked eggs with pins for twenty years before i thought of this. Now it seems so obvious i can't understand why i didn;t see it sooner.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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