What’s the best way to peel hard-boiled eggs? Perhaps secret is a bit of an exaggeration. The truth is that there is no reliable way for peeling hard-boiled eggs, and anyone who claims otherwise is trying to sell you something.
Nonetheless, our procedure will enable you to generate flawlessly boiled eggs with clean-peeling shells on a fairly regular basis!
As the new guy at a fancy-pants restaurant in Boston, it was my responsibility to get up at the crack of dawn and prep breakfast whenever one of the Beacon Hill politicians wanted to dazzle their campaign financiers with boozy waffles and flawlessly soft-boiled eggs topping their asparagus.
The truth is that there is no reliable way for peeling hard-boiled eggs, and anyone who claims otherwise is trying to sell you something. And I believe I’ve tried all of the approaches numerous times. Despite the thousands of eggs I’ve boiled in highly controlled conditions over the previous several years, the best hard-boiled eggs I’ve prepared this year is no better than the finest boiled egg I cooked 12 years ago in that Beacon Hill kitchen.
However, a little of the classic scientific method has tremendously aided my success rate. It was a difficult case to crack when it came to discovering the unpleasant truth about hard-boiled eggs. But I can now make perfectly boiled eggs with clean-peeling shells on a regular basis, and you can, too!
How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
Place your eggs in a best electric egg cooker insert in a covered pot, steaming at full blast on the stovetop, or directly from the fridge into already-boiling water. If the water boils, reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible. Cook the eggs for 11 minutes if you want them hard, or 6 minutes if you want them soft. Serve. Alternatively, if served cold, quickly shock them in ice water. Allow them to cool in the water for at least 15 minutes, or better yet, overnight. Remove the peelings under cold running water.
That’s it: no baking, no pricking, no tricks, no gimmicks.
However, there is still a lot more eggsplaining to be done.
Does an Egg’s Freshness Affect How Easy It Is to Peel?
When the eggs are really fresh, the age of the egg does make a difference: Eggs that have just been laid are more likely to cling to the shell.
In the United States, eggs can sit for up to 30 days before being packed, and the sell-by date can be another 30 days beyond that, so the eggs you buy at the store are most likely old enough that no further maturing at home is required. Even so, it’s not a bad idea to hunt for the product with the earliest expiration date.
Should You Start Boiled Eggs in Hot or Cold Water?
Let us get one thing out of the way right away: we are going to fry eggs directly from the fridge. Allowing them to cool to room temperature does not make much of a difference, and it will takes a long time.
*Everything described here still applies to you Euro types who store your eggs at room temperature.
The temperature at which the eggs were begun made the biggest impact in how cleanly they released from their shells in my tests: Easy-to-peel eggs result from a hot start. Whether that hot start is in boiling water, a steam-filled pot, or a pressure cooker, it doesn’t matter. Those eggs will be much easier to shell than those that were begun in a chilly kettle.
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