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How to make the perfect boiled egg…

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
The eggs in the picture below were laid this morning!!!!

I have tried over the years to boil eggs and it seemed the impossible task!!!

It is industry standard for eggs to sit in a holding area for 30 days before being shipped to the store. Being able to stockpile the eggs 30 days in advance of shipping they are able to make adjustments in their shipping to keep the supply of eggs available to all the markets that are being served at any one given time.

When you understand that the eggs you buy in the store are already 30 days old when you get them... and they are still too fresh to peel if you boil them... you begin to understand just how amazing this way of cooking a boiled egg is for someone who has day old eggs to deal with.

Thanks to the husband of a friend I now have the formula for the perfect boiled egg.

Get the water boiling first - rapid boil. Add a teaspoon of salt then gently lower the ROOM TEMPERATURE eggs in with a ladle. 14 minutes later drain and run cold water over the eggs so they are cool enough to handle…add enough water and ice to just cover the eggs and let the eggs sit and chill for about 4 or 5 minutes… Peel.

The eggs practically roll out of the shell. I have almost intact shells. Sooo easy.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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post #2 of 42
I'm just curious, but are these perfect eggs soft, medium or hard boiled using your above method? What size are these eggs? Hard to tell from the picture.

tx,
doc
post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 
They are hard boiled eggs...they are slightly larger than what you get in the grocery store labeled as large.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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post #4 of 42
By my standards, 14 minutes at the boil is incredibly overcooked.

BDL
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post #5 of 42
While I agree in theory, adding the room temp eggs to the water will stop the boil for a few minutes. It's probably pretty close to starting the eggs in tap water and timing them 10 minutes after it boils.

Phil
post #6 of 42
After many years of hard cooking eggs, I know that there is not just one right way. I do mine in the pressure cooker now:

Put in the trivet or steamer pan, cover eggs with cold water to 1" above them, salt the water generously and lock on the lid. Bring up to pressure, and time 4 minutes. During the four minutes, prepare an ice bath for the eggs. When the time is up, use the rapid release method (run pot under cold water, tilting it so the water runs off). As soon as the pressure drops, immediatly drain the hot water and plunge the eggs into the ice bath. I shell them as soon as they are cool enough to handle. I did eggs this way this morning. The whites are tender and creamy, the yolks are perfect, with no sulphur ring from too much heat.

Before using a pressure cooker, the method I used was this:

Put eggs into a steamer pan, cover with cold water to 1" above them, salt the water and bring to the boil. Boil 2 minutes, remove from heat, put a lid on the pot and allow to stand in the hot water 20 minutes (I'm at 6,500 ft above sea level), so adjust for lower altitude. Prepare ice bath and finish as above. Again, easy to peel, tender & creamy whites, vibrant yellow yolks and no dark discoloration between yolk and white.

Before that method, I did what my mom always did. I put them into a pot and boiled the devil out of them until the screamed for mercy. Who knew?

I use an egg piercer, (optional, some even say useless) but that's a whole other thread, you can look up.
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post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
Eggshells are permeable.... they allow airflow in and out of the shell so as to provide oxygen to the developing chick....if there were one.

The large end of the egg has an air sack that begins to develop as soon as the egg dries. As time goes by and the egg ages it looses moisture through the shell and the air sack becomes larger. Eventually the moisture loss and the enlarging size of the air sack will cause the membrane just under the shell of the egg to turn loose of the shell. This is why you are advised to boil older eggs in order to be able to peel them easier.

Refrigeration slows this process so an egg that is refrigerated shortly after being laid will hold it's moister and freshness for several months....even so if you remove a newly purchased egg from the frig. and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 12 to 24 hours the process of ageing will be accelerated to the point that you can boil and peel the egg with no problem. But the "egg experts" don't want to tell you that because they really don't want the general public to know that they are eating month old eggs even though it's perfectly safe to do so….it just doesn’t sound appetizing.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" - George Orwell.

"What we do, more than anything we say, reveals what we truly value the most." - An Unknown Soldier
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post #8 of 42
No way Phil. You're smarter than me, but you're not thinking it through.

Anyway, my preferred method is room temp eggs into tap water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and allow to cool to room temp (10 minutes to infinity).

Another way, and I love to do this, is to put on a pan in the oven set at 190, and roast for an hour.

BDL
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post #9 of 42
I just put eggs straight from the refrigerator into cold tap water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to just maintain the boil and set the timer for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat pour off the hot water and run cold tap water over them. Perfectly cooked every time for me. Maybe its because my stove is at 927 feet above sea level???
post #10 of 42
At what elevation is the rest of the house?

BDL
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post #11 of 42
Maybe it's a split level...

Willie
post #12 of 42
Cool water in pot. Eggs in cool water in pot. Make sure eggs have plenty of room for movement. Don't just cover the eggs or pack them in too tight. I usually do a half dozen at a time in my 2qt. Bring to a boil and time 10 minutes after boil starts. Remove pot from heat and run cold water in pot with eggs for 15 minutes. Peel and done. Never had a green, sulphuric egg nor an under-done one.
post #13 of 42
That's the way my Mom used to do it, OldSchool, except she never timed how long they stayed under running water. And for many years I did them the same way---until learning the hard way that boiling eggs can make them rubbery.

Betty Groff taught me a better way, which I've used every since:

1. Add eggs to cold, salted water.
2. Turn on heat.
3. Bring water to boil.
4. Turn off heat.
5. Let eggs sit for 20 minutes.
6. Cool under running water.

With one variation, I've since learned that many people use this technique to produce hard-cooked eggs. The variation is in the sit time---which has ranged from 15 to 25 minutes. And the range is likely even greater, if I spoke to enough people.
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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 #14 of 42
I started following Wayne Gisslen's method and it seems to work everytime.

Cover the eggs with cold tap water about 1-2". Bring to a boil. Cover pan, turn off heat, let sit for 12-16 minutes depending on the size of the egg. We usually get Large and let them sit for 14 minutes.

Drain the pan, and put the eggs in a bowl of icy water for several minutes. Remove egg and crack the shell. They peel very quickly and cleanly.

This produces a "hard boiled egg" per his instructions.

doc
post #15 of 42

eggs

I learned from Julia Childs. Eggs in pot. Cold water over the eggs. Bring to boil. As soon as it boils - shut it off and time it. Let sit for 15 minutes and then run under cold water and or add ice. Done and easy. Perfect every time.
post #16 of 42
I am assuming that everybody is referring a standard large egg size for their recipes?
Luc H.
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post #17 of 42
When I was a kid and doing my apprenticeship (which was a long time ago) we were told theat there is no such thing as a Hard Boiled Egg. It was called by the then chefs hard cooked. I therefore can agree with the theory of bringing salt water to a boil and then putting room temp eggs into it and turning off, I do shrimp like that also and they never overcook. Keep in mind by adding the salt your boiling temp now goes well above the 212 mark at which point water boils.
I have also put eggs in a steam cabinet and they tend to cook but crack and get darker in color. We were told to stir the eggs so that the air pocket inside allows the yolk to center. wether this works or not is anyones guess. We were also told the fresher the egg the easier to peel. This is hard to determine since I did not know how long the purveyor had the eggs before I got them.:D
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post #18 of 42
Ed you beat me to it.....shrimp are cooked like HBE
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post #19 of 42
Can you point us to some documented evidence that this is factual? If true, by how much does the temp of salted water increase? Does the temp increase in direct proportion to the amount of salt?
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post #20 of 42
Its a pretty fundamental property of fluids in which a solute has been dissolved that the boiling point is increased. This would be the case where the solvent (water) has a solute material (salt: NaCl) dissolved in it.

doc
post #21 of 42
Right you are Doc.
Remembering my chemistry in school I believe we were told for every 58 grams of salt the temp would rise 1/2 C. In fact the water will take longer to come to a boil because of a solute even if its sand. But will boil at higher temp. Thats your thing chemistry but I believe I am correct.:D
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post #22 of 42
Propotional? Yes. You can calculate the change in boiling point, ΔTb.

The change in boiling point is proportional to molality of the specific compounds involved. For water and salt:
ΔTb = (Kb ) x (mB )

Where:

Kb for water is 0.512, and mB is the molality of the solution. In this case it can be calculated by multiplying the molality of the solute (ratio of liters of of water to moles of salt) times 2. 2 being the constant for ordinary salt. FYI, 1 mole of salt = 58.45gm

Molals of the story: Yes, proportional to the amount of dissolved salt in a given volume of water. And, be careful what you wish for.

Hope this amuses,
BDL
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post #23 of 42
BDL all this calculation is over my head, you and Doc are better at this I Just Cook:lol:
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post #24 of 42
They say "ignorance is bliss", and for a lot of things this is so true. I was a lot happier not knowing any of this ... it's just "too much information" for my poor old brain to process. Since I know the results I can expect, I'll just keep on keeping on the way I always have. :crazy:
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post #25 of 42
BDL,

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean that you roast the eggs in the shell, laid directly on a pan in the oven? Or do you put the pan with the water (after the boil?) and the eggs in the oven?

Thanks!
post #26 of 42
The former. No water. No boil. Roasted eggs. Once you get the right temperature, which depending on your oven, may be anywhere between 190 and 200 it's the most forgiving way to make hard cooked eggs.

BDL
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post #27 of 42
Usually I can't wait an hour to roast the eggs, so I boil them by the no boiling method. Here in Utah at 4200 feet above sea level it takes about 20 minutes for room temp eggs to properly cook, using the "as soon as the water boils remove from heat" steeping method.

Of course the roast versus boil method time difference is not really much of a factor when doing the eggs the day before making whatever it is they go into.

mjb.
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post #28 of 42
Interesting. I've never heard of roasting eggs, but I think I'm going to have to give it a try. Thanks!
post #29 of 42
Okay, let me get this straight. For each 1 liter of water, I can raise the temp by 1/2 degree C by adding 58.45g salt, right? Now I looked and found a discussion of unit conversion, and it turns out that 1g salt has an average bulk volume of a bit more than 1/6tsp. Doing the math, this means that 58.45g salt is generally going to be about 10Tb, or 5 oz, i.e. a scant 1/3 cup.

The result, if I read this correctly, is that there is very little practical temperature effect to adding salt to water for boiling. 1/3 cup is a considerable amount to add, if hardly ridiculous, but the effect is quite slight: .9 degrees F for those of us who still think in those units. I am not at all convinced that a difference of 1/2 degree C will have any noticeable effect on an egg -- or anything else.

I bow to BDL's superior knowledge, and I'm sure he'll set me straight. I do wonder just how much salt you could in fact add to a liter of water (not including supersaturation or something). And is the temperature rise linear -- does it keep going up at the same rate, the more you add? So if you could add a full cup of salt to a liter of water, would you actually get a 1.5 degree C rise in temperature (2.7 degrees F)? Would that be significant, in practical cookery terms?

And wouldn't the fact that salt is extremely hygroscopic tend to make the average bulk volume mass less? I mean, if the salt is processed pretty much dry and packed, then when you open the package and it starts absorbing moisture, it's going to mass more and more as time goes on -- but I also think it will increase a bit in volume. The result is that you're going to get less NaCl per volume measure. That difference cannot be entirely trivial, as it's one of the reasons a lot of serious bakers insist on massing ingredients rather than measuring them.

So ultimately my suspicion is that the amount you can raise the temperature of boiling water by adding salt is very slight and will have no practical effect. You add salt to pasta water for the taste, not to make it boil at higher temperature.
post #30 of 42
Ed, all cooks/chefs are chemists! They generally mix up ingredients, add energy (heat), cause a reaction, and create something greater than the sum of the parts!

doc
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