This weekend there’s gonna be a lot of eggs sacrificed in the name of Easter. But just because you are doing to dye the eggs, doesn’t mean you have to ruin them.
I remember boiled eggs from my childhood. The yolk was gross. It was greenish-yellow, dry and grainy. I used to hate the yolk. Now I worship the yolk of an egg, as one of the yummiest things on earth.
I have learned how to cook an egg so that the yolk remains creamy and a deep yellow color. No sulfur-green ring of death.
But there is one thing that drives me crazy about boiled eggs. Why do some eggs peel easily and some eggs cling to the shell? I have heard all sorts of solutions to the problem, but wondered which ones really work and which are just old wives tales.
Today I experimented with a few of the solutions that I’ve seen around, to decide once and for all, what makes an egg come out of its shell easily. I was going to post this in the morning, but it has taken all day to figure this out!
I started with 3 batches of hard boiled (or more accurately hard cooked) eggs. I used this method:
1. Place eggs in a sauce pan with enough room temperature water to cover the eggs
2. Turn on the stove to high heat
3. Bring water to a strong simmer
4. Turn off the heat and cover the pan
5. Leave on the stove for 12 minutes
6. Remove from the stove, and place eggs in a cold water bath
Batch 1: I added nothing. I used both new and old eggs. (The newer eggs sink and lay at the bottom of the bowl. The older egg, tips so it’s straight up and down in the water.
Batch 2: I added 2 tablespoons vinegar. Again with old and new eggs.
Batch 3: I added 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Again with old and new eggs.
Do you know what I found out? Nothing!
There was no rhyme or reason to how well the eggs peeled. I had guessed that the older eggs would peel easier, but they didn’t. And the eggs with the vinegar and kosher salt were no better than the plain ones.
And this egg. This egg is my enemy!
Back to the drawing board.
I made three more batches. (Good thing I had about 6 dozen eggs in my fridge!)
The first batch I used the method above, except I carefully added the eggs to already simmering water, instead of starting with room temperature water.
I didn’t bother with old and new eggs, since it didn’t make a lick of difference in the first tests.
The second batch I steamed.
1. Place a steamer basket over a small amount of water in a saucepan.
2. Bring to a simmer
3. Cover and steam for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and cool in a water bath
The third batch I made using my pressure cooker
1. Place steamer basket in pressure cooker
2 . Add a little water (about 1/2 inch)
3. Bring to a simmer.
4. Add the eggs
5. Put on the cover
6. Allow to come to pressure
7. Cook 5 minutes.
8. Remove from heat
9. Allow to sit about 3 minutes
10. Release the steam
11. Put the eggs in cold water bath
I’m happy to reports all three of these methods were superior to the first three attempts!
Hooray! My day wasn’t wasted after all!
The easiest to peel was the pressure cooked egg. It was so easy, that I peeled all the ones I pressure cooked, just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. And it wasn’t. They all peeled easily.
The shell came off in a few big chunks. Very satisfying!
Now, not everybody has a pressure cooker. And it was a lot more effort than regular boiled eggs. Plus, the pressure cooker really narrows your window of success as far as the yolk is concerned. If you overcook them just a little, you will end up with the green ring of death!
So, I was really happy that the steamed eggs were almost as easy to peel. (And yes, I peeled them all to make sure they weren’t a fluke either.)
Both the steamed eggs and pressure cooked eggs were the easiest to peel.
The steamed eggs were quick and easy. The water simmered quickly and all-in-all it took less time and effort than the other methods. So I will give this method the nod as my winner.
Stop listening to all the advice about adding stuff to the water. None of it is true!
If you are looking for a way to make perfect hard boiled eggs that are easy to peel, try steaming them this time!
A tip for peeling. Wait until the egg has had a lot of time to cool off. The cooler the egg, the easier it will be to peel it. A warm egg that isn’t completely set won’t peel easily.
May your yolk be ever creamy and delicious and may your shell slip off like a cartoon on a banana peel.- Old Irish Proverb
Happy dyeing (not to be confused with dying,) and Happy Easter!