Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Hard Boiled Egg Tutorial

a while back my daughter wanted me to teach her how to do hard boiled eggs that were "pretty" -- no funny green rings around the yolk

I thought this would be a good thing to add to the tutorials here in Hattie's Kitchen

this instruction is what works here at high altitude -- if you live at sea level, you won't need to boil the eggs for as long a time

that said, here we go!
when I do hard boiled eggs, I usually am boiling what's left of the OLDEST dozen of eggs in the refrigerator

I'm not sure there is any science in that, but the ones that are fresher don't seem to peel as well

be sure none of the eggs are cracked before you begin

select a pan that is the right size to boil the number of eggs you want to cook -- you don't want them to bounce around too much and crack while they are in there

put enough COLD water in the pan to cover the eggs

put the pan on the burner at medium and let it slowly come to a boil

this slow warming helps keep the eggs from cracking

when the eggs come to a boil, turn down the heat so the water just simmers

set a timer for 12 minutes (again, this is the right time here at high altitude -- at sea level or somewhere in between this time will be less because water boils at a different temperature there)

check occasionally to make sure the water continues to simmer for the entire 12 minutes

when the 12 minutes are up, move the pan directly to the sink

pour part of the hot water out and run COLD water over the eggs

add some ice cubes and let the eggs sit for 5 to 10 minutes to cool

the quicker you get them cool the more the inner membrane shrinks away from the shell which makes it a lot easier to peel them

after the cooling time, you can either put the eggs back in the refrigerator in their shells (be sure to mark the container so you know which ones are cooked!) or you can peel them right away

to peel the eggs, select a tea spoon that is fairly thin and has a "pointy" bowl (those really rounded thick tea spoons just won't do this job as well)

use the back of the spoon to hit the shell all over to break it into small sections

while you are doing this you should be able to tell where the "air pocket" under the shell is

(in this picture it is there on the side of this egg)

beginning at the spot where the "air pocket" under the shell is, slide the tip of the tea spoon under the shell and the inner membrane and start peeling them off

go slowly and rinse in the ice water from the pan as needed to get all of the shell pieces off the egg

put the peeled eggs in a zip top bag or a container with a tight lid (you don't want the eggs to absorb "smells" from your refrigerator, and since they are really porous, they will!)

if you'll be eating these "out of hand", I recommend a light sprinkling of salt before you close up the container

so there you go -- perfect hard boiled eggs!

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