Recently eggs have been on my radar, possibly because my toddler daughter’s obsession with them, especially hard-boiled eggs for breakfast. Of course she makes a big mess of the egg breakfast holding it in her tiny hands but she is happy and gets good nutrition at the start of the day. My spouse and I jumped on the bandwagon – it’s delicious and seems easy enough to do at home early in the morning. So it seems one of us is always carrying a boiled egg around. The other day a few questions came up on how to boil an egg perfectly since I commented to my spouse about the dark green shaded ring around the egg yolk, which indicates to me that the egg was cooked too long. Another issue is that eggs often brake during the cooking process simply because they bump into each other and roughly hit the wall of the cooking vessel once the water boils violently, even when you delicately lower them into the pot on a tablespoon. Not that Arabella cares about broken or overcooked eggs but I owe it to my daughter as a professional chef to make her the perfect boiled egg.
I took over the egg cooking process in our house - for now at least. So we started experimenting with cooking time, temperature fluctuations and even changing the cooking vessel to perfect the ever popular but sometimes overlooked glorious hardboiled egg.
My spouse buys organic large brown eggs for us at home which is an excellent source of vitamin E. and as you probably know eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The chickens that lay our eggs are fed an all-organic and vegetarian diet.
I utilize the egg carton in the cooking process – yes, I cook the eggs in that cardboard box actually - a large enough pot is needed to fit the boxed eggs though. Cooking them in the carton solves the problem of egg breakage since they can’t roll around wildly anymore in the boiling water.
Note: the eggs in this recipe come out of the refrigerator – this influences the cooking time
My ideal recipe for a hard-boiled egg:
- bring water to boil and immerse the card-boxed egg(s) into it . Wait until the water boils again then switch the heat setting to the lowest level on the gas burner. Then steep for 12 minutes. So that the eggs cook gently to the point of moist doneness without running into problems of having a dark green shaded ring around the egg yolk. If you prefer the egg yolk to be drier, steep the eggs three minutes longer.
- Cool eggs under running cold water for 1 minute then peel. The shell should come off easily and
the center of the egg will be warm which adds to the pleasure of the eating experience.
(lower egg carton with eggs into the water
(deviled eggs with golden beets)
Note: sprinkle sea salt over halved breakfast eggs
If you want to be an “eggspert” keep reading
I realized that egg cookery has many variables:
Salting the egg cooking water (1 teaspoon/4 cups water) will make the cooked eggs shell come off more easily - the protein firms up better in the egg white.
Fresh eggs are often more difficult to peel like the ones I get from the Farmer’s market. Eggs that have been in our refrigerator for 3 days are easy to peel.
If you have a hard time peeling a boiled egg: put the already cracked egg in the center of your microwave and zap for 20 seconds - this will solve the problem.
A trick to know if an egg is cooked sufficiently: with a slotted spoon remove a cooked egg from the cooking water then spin it on the kitchen counter - an uncooked egg will spin out of alignment versus the cooked one which stays centered because the cooked egg yolk does not move around anymore.