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Hard Cooked Egg Dilemma


weinoo
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I make a mean hard-cooked egg. None of this green around the yolk stuff, stinking up the place like at every Seder you've been to. My hard-cooked eggs have a white that's nice and tender and a yolk perfectly cooked throughout. I'm not kidding. I mean, I do use the method which Fat Guy so accurately wrote about in his eGCI primer about eggs. Never boil them. Chill them quickly. They're good, I'm telling you. But...but...but...

I can't seem to get the yolk to stay centered during cooking. I recall reading a tip that you should rest eggs on their sides overnight before cooking and that would center the yolk. So that when you peel the egg, and cut the egg in half, the yolk is in the center and you have 2 symmetric halves. My eggs often look as if Marty Feldman cut them.

Of course, that's of no concern if you're just hard-cooking eggs for egg salad. But if you want them for presentation, they should look nice, no?

So, what's the trick? And if you have any other secrets about hard cooking eggs, let me know please.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I can't say I've ever had this problem (and I do make hard boiled eggs often enough). The only thing I can think of is that I use eggs that were laid within seven days, so they're very fresh, and they're from birds that get exercise and scratch in the dirt and have fun. Just a guess, perhaps a lack freshness or quality may affect it.

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McGee points out (p 88) that fresher is better. The white will still be thick and the chalazae nice and taut. This increases your odds of a centered yolk. Other methods, like side-resting, bottom-resting and spinning, he reports to be unreliable.

Of course, fresh eggs are often harder to peel . . .

Dave Scantland
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McGee points out (p 88) that fresher is better. The white will still be thick and the chalazae nice and taut. This increases your odds of a centered yolk. Other methods, like side-resting, bottom-resting and spinning, he reports to be unreliable.

Of course, fresh eggs are often harder to peel . . .

Yes and I think there's a sweet spot where they're not too hard to peel and still have a well centered yolk. The last hard cooked eggs I did were with oldish eggs and almost every one were very much off center. Very easy to peel though of course.

nunc est bibendum...

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For me once I discovered I could do this, I now always steam my eggs. Having several wet/soft/hard boiled eggs in the fridge that can be used over the next few days is a joy.

Also for your question, eggs a few days old may be the best for boiled. Use the fresh for poached and etc etc.

The timings are for a thermomix starting from cold. (Only 6 at most)

500g water from the tap

Varouma temp

Time:

- 11 min or less white not fully set, a wet one but useful.

- 12 min solid white liquid yolk - (Om nom nom nom - note to self, stop this)

- 13 min almost hard boiled, yellow yoke, with a dark orange semi solid middle.

- 14 hard boiled

- 15+min hard boiled but going to powdery yolk

Once cooking time is complete plunge into cold water, however if you need to server hot then times change (E.g a guess -30 secs if searving 2 mins later - but test it).

Anyone got timings for an ordinary oven?

A Steam Oven

Other steam cookers

Making eggs to a "type" is not easy, Thermomix gives me 6 "As I want them" what if I need 600 ?

To be honest I wouldn't but I know people who would.

Edited by ermintrude (log)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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Seriously, if that blow technique works, it's the best tip I've gotten in about a decade.

I stir for centered yolks, btw, Mitch. Doesn't always work though....

Yep, it works. You peel a piece about the size of a fingernail off of each end, support the egg with your hand cupped around it (so the egg doesn't blow out some place other than the end) and blow. Hard. It makes a weird squeaky noise before it comes out. The baking soda is the key. It can flavor the eggs ever so slightly, so try it before you boil 100 for a giant batch of grandma's deviled eggs. It's a great trick at a family gathering.

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For me once I discovered I could do this, I now always steam my eggs. Having several wet/soft/hard boiled eggs in the fridge that can be used over the next few days is a joy.

Also for your question, eggs a few days old may be the best for boiled. Use the fresh for poached and etc etc.

The timings are for a thermomix starting from cold. (Only 6 at most)

500g water from the tap

Varouma temp

Time:

- 11 min or less white not fully set, a wet one but useful.

- 12 min solid white liquid yolk - (Om nom nom nom - note to self, stop this)

- 13 min almost hard boiled, yellow yoke, with a dark orange semi solid middle.

- 14 hard boiled

- 15+min hard boiled but going to powdery yolk

Once cooking time is complete plunge into cold water, however if you need to server hot then times change (E.g a guess -30 secs if searving 2 mins later - but test it).

Anyone got timings for an ordinary oven?

A Steam Oven

Other steam cookers

Making eggs to a "type" is not easy, Thermomix gives me 6 "As I want them" what if I need 600 ?

To be honest I wouldn't but I know people who would.

Are you steaming in the basket or the varoma?

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welll...

as soon as the water comes to a gentle boil, I slip the eggs in. they're pretty fresh (usually get them at the farmer's market).

then I set the kitchen timer to 10 minutes at which time, they're done.

I've never had difficulty using this method.

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Aesthetics don't bother me ... but they might for other people.

Usually doesn't bother me, either, but I'm interested in centered yolks because, for particular applications like deviled eggs, it's a necessity. I usually throw away three or four halves because the egg white cup has a thin wall that breaks.

I sadly believe that Dave hit the nail on the head above:

McGee points out (p 88) that fresher is better. The white will still be thick and the chalazae nice and taut. This increases your odds of a centered yolk. Other methods, like side-resting, bottom-resting and spinning, he reports to be unreliable.

Of course, fresh eggs are often harder to peel . . .

Chris Amirault

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OK, friends, 'splain me this, please. Does the baking soda go into the cooking water or the ice bath water? When the bit of shell is broken off at each end of the egg, do you have to break the membrane as well, or does that come off with the 'hard blow' technique? Inquiring minds want to know... :blink: (Mom used to do all the hard boiled eggs in the house, I cheat like hell and buy them cooked and peeled from the supermarket deli... :blush: )

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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The baking soda goes into the cooking water at the beginning, so the eggs are boiled in it. I guess I break the membrane, too, at the ends of the egg when they're done but I have never really thought about it.

I might do an eggsperiment to see how little baking soda you can use and still blow the shells off. Maybe a smaller amount couldn't be tasted.

So eggciting!

Edited by runwestierun (log)
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