The Food Lab takes on Hard boiled eggs

sushipup1May 13, 2014

A favorite subject here. Have we ever discussed the hot vs cold treatment?

Here is Kenji's take on boiled eggs, after lots of eggsperience.

Here is a link that might be useful: Food Lab's boiled eggs

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I never thought I'd say an article on boiled eggs was a fun read, lol.

I think I learned about steaming eggs on here (?). I've steamed old storebought eggs and fresh 'real' eggs for 20 min. or so, then doused with cold water until cool enough to handle. They have all peeled beautifully as long as I peeled asap. So far, hehe.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:22AM
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Great article. Thanks for posting. I always wondered how they got the round bottomed eggs!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 1:50AM
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Did we ever discuss the idea of starting hot, not cold, and shocking afterwards, and completely cooking the eggs all to make for best peeling?

Kenji is always fun to read.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:07PM
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This morning I needed to boil 2 eggs for packed lunch for work. Having read the article, I decided to give it a try. Lowered 1 egg from fridge into boiling water - egg didn't crack. Lowered second - it cracked badly. Lowered 3rd - cracked. 4th - cracked (it's addictive like roulette). Since I had only 1 egg left in the fridge, I poured the boiling water down the sink, filled the pot with cold tap water and placed the partly cooked 1st egg and the precious 5th egg in the pot. Brought water slowly to a boil and... the 5th egg cracked as well.

What i usually do, with hardly any cracking, is put the refrigerated eggs in a pot of cold tap water, leave them for a couple of minutes and them turn on the gas - low flame - bring to boil, turn off the gas after a minute and leave the eggs for 15 minutes in the pot.

Sometimes the eggs peel easy, sometimes not, but at least one gets a hard boiled egg!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 4:52AM
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"----Kenji is always fun to read.---"

I agree. Also you learn a lot because he is a MIT graduate.

But many times I have found very curious theories and suggestions, tests from him.

This is one of them.

If you dump cold eggs into boiling water, most of the time you will get burst eggs. Egg shells may be permeable, but the rapid expanding air inside from sudden heat will crack the shells.

For instance, if he experimented with a ton of eggs, I would like to find out first:

1. Are all the eggs the same? There are many different breeds of chickens. Are the eggs from old hens or young hens? Do different diets make different eggs?

2. What is sticking to the shells? the membrane or the egg white? or both?

When you have more than one variables in an experiment, but test only one, then you have an experiment which will give uninterpretable results.


This post was edited by dcarch on Tue, May 20, 14 at 7:46

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 6:57AM
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Always entertaining reading intensive experiments crammed into a short amount of time with distractions...myth busters scenario. More patience is needed over a longer period of time?

My eggs have never been from the same 'farm'. I get em' when i thinks it. Always a local carton whatever organic free range means...
Some fresh from a friends backyard herd. Even Martha's pretty Arcana ones from a friend that works for her...

Pull out of the fridge for a while, put in room temp water, bring to simmer, let it go a few minutes, turn off heat, let sit 10-15, run under cold tap water...few minutes. Crack all over on p-towel on counter, peel under running water, eat. Cool the others in the fridge.
I always get about 95% easy-peel. But always nice yolk, no green edge.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:23AM
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You can boil a cracked egg. I wouldn't throw an egg away just because it cracked in the water. It's fine to eat!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 1:13AM
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Of course. I've eaten many a cracked hard boiled egg, but then it does depend on how badly cracked the egg is. The 3 eggs I lowered into the boiling water were so badly cracked they were irredeemable. The 5th which cracked in the tap water I ended up eating. It was an OK cracked egg.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 4:28AM
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