hard boiled eggs again?

dedtiredApril 17, 2014

So what did we decide is the best way to hard boil eggs so that they is no green ring and they are easy to peel?

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I don't remember what the last new method was, but I continue to steam them with good results. They must be peeled within 15-20 minutes after being steamed, or else the advantage is lost. I put mine in a steamer, turn the heat on high for 5 minutes, and then turn it down and continue to steam the eggs for 20 minutes more. Then I left them rest for 10 minutes, rinse with cold water, and peel them. It is best to crack the sides rather than the ends to get the peeling started.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:26PM
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Ever since Shaun put us on the the steam method it's the only way I cook them.....perfect every time.

Thank you Shaun

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 5:51PM
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What if you don't own a steamer? I have one of those folding metal baskets to put in a pot with water. Will that work?

Thanks for the directions, Lars.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 6:01PM
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The folding metal basket should work, but it won't allow you to put very much water in the pan. The pan I use is a stock pot that has an insert for pasta, and so I do not know if it is really a steamer or not, but the insert sits pretty high above the bottom. In fact, the insert came with a different stock pot that broke - handle came off or something, and the new stock pot is higher.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:01PM
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Yesterday the Tampa Tribune had an article about baking eggs in their shells for ease of peeling. She wrote 325 degrees for 30 minutes. She places one in each compartment of a muffin tin. She admitted to getting brown spots on the shells where the eggs touch the metal.

The link below is a You Tube video of my man, Alton Brown, and how he bakes eggs in their shell. He suggests 30 minutes at 320. He wets a terry cloth tea towel and places it on the rack with the eggs on the towel. No brown spots on the shell. After cooking, he cracks them and quickly cools them then peels. Short video, dozens of eggs.


Here is a link that might be useful: Alton Brown's baked hard boiled eggs

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:15PM
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I use an automatic egg steamer. It's my only single purpose appliance. My parents got theirs as a wedding gift, so I got used to it. :) They still use it...so when egg steamers came back on the market I got one. You do have to measure the water correctly though, to get the correct amount of cook. :) Much easier even than using the steam oven. :)

I've never liked peeling eggs warm so I can't speak to Lars's method, but learned the real deal about easy vs. hard to peel from someone in Kitchens Forum who grows chickens: The older eggs peel better. I saved my oldest eggs for the boiled ones. :) It works!

Do poke a pin into the round end of the eggs before you steam them so they don't crack.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:08PM
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Old eggs (from grocery store work well, I just bought some white ones for coloring). Let them come to room temperature, put in room temp tap water, turn burner on High and just as you see it start to come to a boil (not boiling furiously, but bubbles just starting to break) turn burner down to Low and cover, set timer for 10 minutes. Drain and cool immediately.

I did 6 eggs yesterday, 1 did crack so I peeled and ate it - no green ring, perfect fluffy yolk.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 9:20PM
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I continue as I always have, I put the eggs into cold water, bring them to a boil, turn off the heat and let them sit, covered for 10 minutes or until I remember. Then I drain off the water, roll them around in the pan to crack them, and cover with cold water. I add more cold water as necessary until they are cool, then roll them on the counter to crack them all over. Find the air pocket, usually on the big end, and peel. As long as you get the membrane, it peels right off, even on my fresh farm eggs.

And no green ring, which is from usually from cooking too long or at too high a temperature, or both.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 10:46PM
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So how old an egg is too old? I have a some antique eggs in the fridge now. They expired in like January and February. Is that too old? I have NEVER had luck with hard boiled eggs.

Baking sounds interesting but I want to make deviled eggs so I don't want brown spots on the whites.

Thanks for all the tips!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 11:13PM
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Ded, there is a very easy way to tell if eggs are still good. Put some water in a glass bowl. [probably at least 4 or 5 inches deep water]. Place an egg in the bowl. If it lies flat on the bottom of bowl, it's quite fresh. If the egg starts to stand on end but still touches the bottom it's still quite good. If the egg floats off the bottom but still close to the bottom it's fine and would probably make great, easy to peel, eggs. If the egg floats high or on top of the surface, it's bad. Throw them out. All of this has to do with the air trapped inside the egg, of course. Older they are, the more air transpires out through the shell. Let us know how they make out in the test. Be interesting.

I use the same method as Annie although I have steamed them a few times. If you don't have a steamer, you can use a metal colander over a pot of water. Then just put a smaller lid on top of the eggs, that fits to edge of colander.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 2:53AM
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I do my eggs similar to annie1992. Place eggs in cold water boil the water, turn it down when it boils and leave in the water for 10 minutes. Drain, cover with cold water and ice cubes. Peel after cooled.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:06AM
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I've tried everything, all of the above "tricks" and the only thing that works for me is steaming. I have a large stock pot that has a steaming basket that sits on top. I put the eggs in(cold) with the lid off, bring to a boil then I cover and reduce the heat to a medium-low temp to steam for 15 minutes. I then remove the pot to a cold burner and remove the lid and allow to cool. I have peeled them right away and I have left them sit for hours before peeling and either way they peel perfectly. I bust the fat end that has the air pocket on the counter and peel under running water. Others seem to defy the odds and have success with other methods but the eggs I get where I live just do not peel any other way besides steaming them and believe me, I've tried everything besides standing on my hands while peeling under running water with my eyes closed. HA!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:17AM
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OH and I forgot, yes you can use just a basket steamer. That's what I used until I found the insert that sits on top of my stock pot.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:26AM
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beachlily z9a

Years ago Lars posted directions for steaming eggs. That is the only way I do it. Need to steam some right now!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Another steamer here. Thanks Shaun. Put the eggs in my rice steamer, set for 20 minutes, rinse and peel. Perfection!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:08AM
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I use Annie's method. Even the "...until i remember" part.

I just don't get the 'old' egg. Who wants to wait around for older eggs?

The only difference is, i roll them on the counter on a damp clean tea towel to grab the shell bits, wipe off bits from my hand, and i put a bit of salt/pepper on a corner of the towel, (towel plate), as a dip for eating one fresh....shake the towel into the compost for clean-up.

I don't know what it is about eggs but it is the one thing i always forget i have on the stove. Maybe because it is something i never plan ahead..."ooh, i have eggs, i should boil a few.."

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 10:18AM
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Another tip I learned is to put the container of eggs on its side for about 12 hours before cooking. That way the yolk will be centered and make prettier deviled eggs.

Thanks for the tip about old vs too old eggs. I'll be floating my eggs today.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 11:47AM
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And my old eggs all floated to the top of the water in the bowl, so out they go. Had a major fridge clean out today to make way for the Easter ham, etc.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Oh well, I would have guessed that eggs older than 4 weeks wouldn't be good. I'm glad that you found this out the easy way rather than becoming sick! Does this mean that Mom will be dining at your house?
Besides deviled eggs and ham, what else is on the menu?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:18PM
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Sleevendog, Old eggs might be a city thing. I always have 1-2 dozen eggs in the house and when I'm using my second dozen, I buy more, because I might need a full dozen for a dish. Then I have old eggs. But the eggs I buy are much fresher from the farm than the mass market eggs. When they're new from the store, they usually have the whites that kind of stand up when you crack 'em. A lot of city eggs have been in transit so long, they're too old to do that.

Speaking of which, it's easier to whip eggwhites with older eggs. All of the traditional French macarons recipes actually have you separate the eggs, and let them rest and air out in the fridge for a week. (Air out as in cover with a paper towel, or cling wrap with holes cut in it.) I don't notice a big difference in volume when I do that, but I'm also generally using old eggs. :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:57PM
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I agree, plllog, there are old eggs and there are OLD eggs. Floating eggs doesn't necessarily mean they are spoiled, only that they are very old. If you want to crack one to see, go ahead, but if they're all floating around on top of the water, I'd pitch them instead.

My eggs are more like today's eggs and last week's eggs, LOL. The ones at the grocery are already a month or so old by the time they get to the store, then they sit there until sold, then they sit in your refrigerator. Old eggs can be ancient given that time frame.

There have been several studies and experiments done to determine how old is too old for an egg. Most found that an egg kept in the refrigerator for 6 months is still safe to eat, it's just not very good. The white gets runny, the yolk gets flat, it loses flavor. They seldom spoil, but they do dry out, according to my Ag Agent. And I leave fresh eggs, unwashed, sitting on the counter when I'm out of room in the refrigerator, and that's OK too. They'll age/spoil faster, they keep best when refrigerated, but leaving a dozen eggs on the counter overnight certainly won't cause them to spoil.

Washing them, though, or leaving boiled eggs on the counter, that's a definitely problem. Washing eggs removes the protective coating that prevents contaminants from entering through the porous shell. I wash mine right before I use them.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:00PM
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I used to buy grocery store eggs and keep them for a month - fine for making pancakes and baking, but we never really wanted to eat them scrambled (and I'm the only one who eats fried eggs). Then started getting them from my cousin and uncle, so a few days old at the most, they taste so much better now we eat more.

I've never tried hard boiling a less-than-week-old egg, but I read that older eggs peel more easily. The white eggs I just bought this week at the store cooked and peeled (at least that 1) fine - we'll probably do more tomorrow, I have a dozen and we won't really use them. I have 2 of my uncle's eggs left over, those are older than we've been eating them now, I'm sure they'd peel fine, but since they're probably (much) fresher than the store-bought ones I'll probably use those for pancakes, I'll have to get some more eggs from my uncle on Monday (fridge is rather full now). I wash them right before using, too but don't leave them on counter b/c they're likely to get broken.

I think you wouldn't want to use a really fresh egg that sinks for hardboiling (Annie would know better) but one that floats at 1 end would be perfect.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:17PM
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The eggs I tossed expired in February. Since they came from the grocery store, they were probably laid sometime in December.

Compumom, unbelievable, but my mom did agree to let me do Easter dinner. At 96.5 years old, it's about time. She is still going strong for the most part.

I'm keeping it simple. Romaine salad, baked ham, scalloped potatoes (no cheese), roasted brussels sprouts and strawberry shortcake for dessert. I decided to eliminate the pineapple casserole. It's just too much sugar and butter, something none of us needs.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 9:58AM
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dedtired, does that mean your Mom thinks you've finally become a responsible adult? Nah, can't be, LOL. My Mother tells me that you are only young once, but you can be irresponsible at any age. (grin)

I just boiled some eggs that were laid yesterday. (I had a dozen stashed in the refrigerator that were about a week old, and Ashley came and "liberated" them, the little stinker). I figured I wanted them for potato salad, so it didn't matter if they were ugly. Every single one of them peeled slick as a whistle, go figure, and so did the half dozen that were a week old that I boiled for deviled eggs.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 11:34PM
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Annie, Thank-you for the comparison! My favorite kind of eggs are nigh on impossible to peel when they're fresh (you have to pry little shards off one at a time, rather than pulling off whole sections) and really do peel pretty easily if they're older than eggs usually get in my house (but not old old!). Before learning about age, I always thought it was the brown eggs, though, because the white eggs we used to get were so easy. The white ones do have thicker shells. I'm no farmer, but I'm pretty sure it's the breed of chicken that determines the color and thickness and all of the shells, is that right?

So I wonder if it's both age and breed? Maybe you keep easy peel hens?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 4:03AM
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It's funny, I peeled the egg that cracked during boiling as soon as it cooled, the others sat in the fridge a few days, we colored them this weekend and I went to peel one this morning to show DD, it was horrible, couldn't get it off in decent-sized pieces. Hope she doesn't have as much trouble at school (sent it with an ice pack).

Is this b/c it had sat for too long after boiling, b/c it was cold straight from fridge, or eggs "too fresh" (though Annie said she hard boiled a 1-day old egg and it peeled now problem, these were store-bought so I'm sure they were at least 2-3 weeks old)?

I don't remember EVER having as hard a time peeling an egg (room temp or cold) as I did this AM!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:14AM
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Hey, Annie. Like all Moms, mine will perceive me as a child until I am 70 and she is 100 -- and beyond. Mom kept saying that she felt guilty that I was making the meal. I have to say that it has been a long time since I've seen her eat that much at once, so maybe having someone else (me) cook once in awhile is a good idea. She also talked nonstop the entire time she was here. My son's friend was a good sport listening to old family stories I have heard a thousand times. No matter how hard I tried to change the subject, she had a family story to tell.

Anyway, I never got around to making the eggs. We had so much food that eggs would have been overkill. I may try them later in the week.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 9:54AM
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