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How to Make a Perfect Hard Boiled Egg :)

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
thought i would share this ...


depending on the size of a average chicken egg bought from your local supermarket or farm they approximately take between 12 - 13 minutes of cooking time in boiling water to be fully cooked hard boiled, start from eggs placed in a pan with cold water and then heated up.

all egg timers out the window, all you have to do is take the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon and place gently on a flat even work surface with lots of space, then with your thumbs and index fingers spin the egg on the spot as fast as you can while taking extra care so that it doesn't spin off your work surface.

if the hard boiled egg is cooked it will spin upright on its end without wabbling. if the egg spins and wabbles without standing upright while spinning then it is not cooked properly.


also note that if upon checking the yolk is cooked but is also has a greenish discolouration around the outside this means that the egg is overcooked.

i hope i have been informative
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post #2 of 32
I do cook hard-boiled eggs but I find 10 minutes (using the method you described) is enough for large eggs. I try to use minimum cooking time to avoid the greenish coloration (caused by sulfur) around the yolks. I use the US Egg Board suggestion to make peeling easier: immerse the just-cooked eggs in cold water for 30 sec, then back to hot water for another 30 seconds, then chill the eggs. Eggs cracked and let sit in water for a while also helps to release from the shell.
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George, Culinary Scientist and author of
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post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
^ i too have that problem sometimes when peeling/shelling eggs it is hard to get the shell away without the flesh still sticking to it, i have yet to find out what causes the problem

can remember doing a paper at college about the anatomy of an egg stating that an egg consists of two whites (one more plump than the other in shape), a yolk (or in some cases two), a skin, and an outer shell.

.
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post #4 of 32
The older the egg, the easier it is to peel.  If you don't believe me, try peeling a freshly laid egg and a supermarket egg that's around 3 weeks old.

Whith *astard H.B.. eggs that refuse to peel, the trick is to get a hold of the skin just underneath the shell and peel this instead of the shell. 
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post #5 of 32
After trying various methods to get eggs that peel without sticking I resorted to a method that is similar to spirit to all my previous attempts but actually works consistently... it hasn't failed me yet, regardless of the age of the egg (the air bubble inside is usually a good indicator).

I also do the cook from cold water method, 10 minutes then immediately run the whole pot under cold water, start peeling after about thirty seconds in.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #6 of 32
In addition to everything else you ladies and gentlemen (dudes and dudettes) are doing you might try adding some vinegar and salt to the water you use to boil the eggs.  But no matter what you do, sometimes they're just a bear. For one thing, as farmers switch to cheaper feed with less protein the shells get thinner and harder to peel.  Feeds for layers are calculated to make eggs just strong enough not to crack under the weight of the hen.

Oddly (or not) all of you cook eggs more well done than I do -- although George and I are at least on the same page. 

For eggs which will be served halved, as in salads and ramen, I like the egg either not quite or just barely set.  For an XL egg that's 8 or 9 minutes respectively in boiling water, followed by shocking in cold water. 

For eating out of hand, egg salads and the like, i.e., when you want the yolk a bit more set, I put them in cold water, bring to a boil over medium high, let them stay at a full  boilfor one minute exactly, remove from the heat, cover, and allow the water to cool to room temperature.

Sometimes I roast eggs in a very slow oven.  That works quite well and doesn't require very exact timing.  You can let them go pretty much forever. 

BDL
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post #7 of 32
BDL, roasting the eggs sounds like a very interesting method. Do you just fire them in the oven on a bed of salt? What temp would you do that at?
post #8 of 32
There are any number of ways to hard cook eggs by roasting.  The easiest is to preheat the oven to 180F, put as many eggs as you like in a sheet pan, and put the sheet pan in the oven for 90 minutes -- although you can let it go longer without doing too much damage.

Alternatively, you can put them in a 325F oven for 30 minutes and that will do quite nicely.  Some people ascribe this method to Alton Brown, and he not only did a show with it, it is in one of his cookbooks too.  However, he was by no means the first person to stick an egg in a hot oven, and I'm sure he'd be the first person to say so.  Alton recommended putting the eggs directly on the oven racks (presumably for better air circulation) and putting a pan on the bottom of the oven to catch any drips in case an egg or two breaks.

They (eggs, not Altons) do very well in the hot ashes of a camp fire as well.

BDL
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post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
BDL i am against the idea of roasting eggs on principle that it would make the oven inside to look like cooked egg-popcorn!
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post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coulis-o View Post

BDL i am against the idea of roasting eggs on principle that it would make the oven inside to look like cooked egg-popcorn!

Well alrighty then.

BDL
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post #11 of 32
 I've always had success putting the eggs in cold water, bringing to a boil, removing from the heat and covering the pot. I let it stand for 15 minutes and i've always had the perfect egg....

P.S. I also stir the eggs while they are coming to a boil, I find it centers the yolk...
 Sharon
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 Sharon
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post #12 of 32
the way my chef showed me this last quarter is he put in the water, once it boils remove form heat cover and let it stand for 10 min and it should be done. works everytime for me.
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post #13 of 32
Skatz,,,,, How bout we say 12 n 1/2 minutes... You down with that... LOL...  
 Sharon
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 Sharon
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post #14 of 32
lol i guess it depends though, how fast your water boils and what kind of pot u are using....
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post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonM View Post

Skatz,,,,, How bout we say 12 n 1/2 minutes... You down with that... LOL...  

sorry i do tend to lean more towards 13 minutes ... yes
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post #16 of 32
I start with cold water and once it comes to a boil I let them go for about 12 minutes.  I've never heard of roasting them, that's an interesting way to make them.  As for peeling, I let someone else do that...I'm allergic to eggs and the smell of a hard boiled egg makes me feel ill.  Funny though I can cook them on the flat top all day long and never have a problem.
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post #17 of 32
Thread Starter 
it is not possible to roast an egg without it exploding in the oven ... even when cooking eggs in the microwave they have to be taken out the shell first ... there is no way that you can cook an egg in an oven/microwave oven while the egg is still in it's shell, the egg would just explode!!!
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post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coulis-o View Post

it is not possible to roast an egg without it exploding in the oven ... even when cooking eggs in the microwave they have to be taken out the shell first ... there is no way that you can cook an egg in an oven/microwave oven while the egg is still in it's shell, the egg would just explode!!!

Like lots of other things, it can be done, but you have to know how.
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post #19 of 32
Actually come to think of it I have seen someone do eggs in the steamer oven .  I was a little wary of it myself (this guy tended to put speed ahead of safety) but the eggs came out just fine with no breakage at all.   The guy was a floater and would come in if the chef (or head cook) was off and he worked at all of the locations the company had.  A few weeks after he demonstrated his egg technique to me, a memo came around from head office.  Apparently someone had taken his advice and used a hotel pan in the steamer oven to do eggs and ended up with burns from the boiling water that had accumulated in the pan, so from that day forward we were not allowed to use hotel pans in the steamer but were to use the steamer pans only (and the only person to use hotel pans in the steamer was this guy) and eggs were to be boiled in a pot on the stove.  
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post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 
there's nothing wrong with steaming eggs ... there is a Hobart pressure steamer at work and eggs sometimes get cooked in there, take about 6 minutes maybe ... steaming is fine because it is similar to boiling since water can't reach a higher temperature than 100 degrees celcius
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post #21 of 32
I think if one used the proper steamer pan and not a hotel pan using the pressure steamer would be fine, but this guy just tossed them in a hotel pan and that was the safety issue I had, and apparently the company ended up with the same concern. 
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post #22 of 32
if  you add about a tbs of  white vinegar to the water the egg will peel easyer  well  at least it should
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post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
^ yes kristen i believe somebody has already mentioned that
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post #24 of 32
Cold egg straight from fridge, pierce round end with tack to open the air chamber, drop into rapidly boiling water and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Count 10 minutes exactly. Remove egg to lots of ice-cold water and shake around a bit to crack the shell somewhat. Let stand until cold through -- this takes a good 5 minutes. Result: yolk just-barely-but-fully set, no green stuff, fairly easy peeling. Yes, high-protein feeds, slightly old eggs, and the like help, but in my experience more of it is about letting the egg stand in cold water long enough, and cracking the shell just a bit when it goes into the water (a little water runs in, and this helps separate the egg from its shell as the former shrinks away). Works perfectly no matter how many eggs you cook, though of course you have to gauge the water quantity so there's enough to come right back to a simmer when you add the eggs.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coulis-o View Post

it is not possible to roast an egg without it exploding in the oven ... even when cooking eggs in the microwave they have to be taken out the shell first ... there is no way that you can cook an egg in an oven/microwave oven while the egg is still in it's shell, the egg would just explode!!!

Wrong -- at least as opposed to the regular oven.  Just stick the eggs in a very low temperature oven and let them go.  They take about 45 minutes to cook at 175F, and you can hold them for another hour or so without overcooking them too severely.  (Yolks solidify between 160F and 165F.)  Alton Brown even did a show on cooking them in the oven -- he set them on right on the racks, I roast the eggs in their carton on a sheet pan. 

Anyway people have been cooking them in the ashes of a fire for countless milennia. 

I don't get your denial at all.

BDL

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post #26 of 32
And just when you thought this discussion was complete, here is a website that is devoted 100% to this very topic.  LOL.  Now I've seen everything.

http://howtohardboilanegg.com/
post #27 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post




Wrong -- at least as opposed to the regular oven.  Just stick the eggs in a very low temperature oven and let them go.  They take about 45 minutes to cook at 175F, and you can hold them for another hour or so without overcooking them too severely.  (Yolks solidify between 160F and 165F.)  Alton Brown even did a show on cooking them in the oven -- he set them on right on the racks, I roast the eggs in their carton on a sheet pan. 

Anyway people have been cooking them in the ashes of a fire for countless milennia. 

I don't get your denial at all.

BDL


BDL, in all due respect you are digressing in this thread about 'hard-boiling eggs', and go on to talk about such things as 'roasting' eggs. surely what you are talking about has nothing to do with the subject of 'boiling' eggs at all.

coulis
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post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coulis-o View Post




BDL, in all due respect you are digressing in this thread about 'hard-boiling eggs', and go on to talk about such things as 'roasting' eggs. surely what you are talking about has nothing to do with the subject of 'boiling' eggs at all.

coulis
 

Digression happens a lot in internet forums. If I thought it were a problem, I would have done something about it.

You learned something new today. That should be a good thing.
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post #29 of 32
I did a segment recently on this.  Boiled and boiled eggs trying to find a method that could be duplicated regardless of elevation or pan size (they make HUGE differences).

 

The goal was an egg with a set white, a creamy but set yolk with minimal greenish/gray tint, minimal "egg smell" and easy to peel.
 

I used both my immersion circulator and various pans on the stove so I could make sure I was getting the time and temp perfect.

160 for 45 minutes created a deliciously soft egg, but that was TOO soft of an egg white to peel.  Incredible flavor, terrible look.

Boiling and then leaving in hot water with the heat turned off ended up being very inconsistent as the size of the egg, volume of water in the pan, and pan size all impacted the way the egg cooked.  -not to mention temperature fluctuations to the boiling point based on elevation.

Straight up boiling was also hard to get consistent results for some of the same reasons listed above.

The winning method?  180-185 for 25 minutes with an immediate immersion in an ice bath made a perfect egg.  Easy to peel, delicate white, creamy yolk, no greenish tint. I should mention, 185 is the max temperature for this experiment.  There were a few times I took my eye off the thermometer while I walked away from the stove and the temp shot to 190.  Those eggs ended up all sorts of green with a stronger hydrogen sulfide smell.  I then asked friends all across the country to try my findings.  In all the cases, they reported back the egg was absolutely perfect.

More information here:
http://www.cookwithtom.com/?p=236 

post #30 of 32
I usually put the eggs in bring to a hard boil for exactly 18 minutes and they come out perfect every time. also have tried the vinegar method for peeling, but have found the best is to let hem rst under cold running water for 5 minutes then peel no problem.
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