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Culinary Lesson #10 - Hard Boiled Eggs

Friday, October 12, 2012

Q9:  Anytime I make hard boiled eggs for deviled eggs, I end up with the same two problems.  First, the outer rim of the yolk turns green in color.  Second, the yolk seems to set right on the edge of the egg, making an uneven 'boat' for the filling to sit in.  Are there any tips to avoid either of these?

A9:  Not only are there tips available for both questions, but they both happen to be extremely easy and straight to the point.  As touched on in an earlier culinary lesson, eggs can either be one of the easiest things to cook granted you know a few tips, or they can be one of the must frustrating things to cook if you haven't been let in on a few secrets.  Below, I have straight to the point steps that will result in perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs every time.

Overall method adopted from The New Best Recipe.

  1. One day before you plan on making your hard boiled eggs, wrap a rubber band around your egg carton  (to keep it closed) and let the carton sit on its side overnight.  This is all that's needed to ensure that your yolks will be centered.
  2. The next day, place six (or so) eggs in a single layer in a saucepan.  Add enough cold water to the pan so that the eggs are covered with an inch of water.
  3. Uncovered, turn the heat to high until a boil is achieved.
  4. Once a boil is achieved, turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let rest off of the burner for 11 minutes.  Note that although I'm a firm believer in using sight, smell, and/or taste (rather than a timer) to know when something's done, this is one of the rare occasions when you really need to rely on a timer instead.  Letting your eggs cook for just a few minutes extra is one of the leading causes for the unsightly green rings around the yolks.
  5. While the eggs are cooking, create an ice bath (nothing more than cold water combined with ice) in a large bowl.
  6. After the 11 minutes are up, use a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to the ice bath.  Let them cool for five minutes.
  7. After the five minutes are up, gently tap each egg on a hard surface until all sides are fractured.  Starting on the wider end of the egg, begin peeling the shell and thin membrane off.  To make things easier, try peeling the egg in the ice bath to keep the peeled portions clear from shell fractions.

*Note:  The above cooking times are for large eggs.  Times will vary slightly for medium and extra-large eggs.

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