Hard Boiled Eggs – Cooking the Perfect Egg

Hard boiled eggs are not that complicated to make, however there are ample discrepancies when it comes to the proper way to boil an egg. There is something disconcerting about cracking open an egg to find a discolored yolk or having to make six extra eggs for a recipe because you know at least that many are bound to break and ooze while boiling.

A few tips to make you egg recipes a little nicer and easier and to make egg boiling an embarrassing joke of the past. Some of the tops chefs in America will tell you to place a little salt in the water. Salt in the water can help to alleviate the disoriented boiling factor that can happen on stoves that are uneven or pots that heat with variation. A pinch of salt can help with this factor while a handful of salt will create a salty crust on the egg.

Avoid the mistake of boiling a hard boiled egg. If you are unsure of whether your egg is boiled or not, spin the egg. An egg that spins smoothly on its axis is boiled while an egg that wobbles off its axis is not. This allows you to avoid cracking open the egg only to find out you were wishing for a different result.

When boiling the egg, start with an appropriate sized pot. Eggs crack and ooze during the boiling process when they are forced to bounce off each other or the side of the pot when the bubbles begin to bobble them around. Eggs should have a little breathing room inside the pot in order to avoid this. It is not uncommon to find that every now and then one egg will crack from bouncing off the bottom. However, you can significantly reduce the chances of cracking the eggs by giving them freedom in the pot.

The temperature of your water also contributes to the cracking and oozing problem. Eggs typically come out of the refrigerator before they are boiled. Asking them to adjust too quickly to a temperature change will ultimately lead to stress and cracking. For evenly boiled eggs, fill the pot with the eggs first and then add room temperature or cooler water to the pot. Let them sit for five or ten minutes before adding any heat to allow their shells to warm up to the water’s temperature and then gradually turn the heat up. Plopping eggs into boiling water is too stressful and encourages uneven boiling and shell cracking.

A medium high heat works better than a high heat simply because it allows the water to heat a bit more evenly while still giving the egg shells time to adjust. Once the boiling process is in full swing and there are bubbles bouncing the eggs all about, lower the heat just a tad to create a less vigorous boil. It is not uncommon to fill a pot with water, drop in a few eggs, turn on the stove and then go about your business having no real idea how long and at what rate the eggs have been boiling. However, keeping an eye on your bubbling eggs will allow you to stick to that three minute rule, which is actually accurate. It takes three to five minutes to boil an egg. The time variation depends on the actual temperature of the water at the time of turning on the stove as well as the temperature of the water while boiling.

Once the eggs have boiled, drain them and rinse them in lukewarm, not cold water. Again, adjusting to extreme temperatures too fast create problems with the hard boiled egg. It is better to allow them to cool themselves down naturally then to force them into the refrigerator or the freezer to speed cooling time.

Hard boiled eggs are not difficult to make. Because they are not difficult to make the majority of weekend chefs don’t provide their eggs with the due patience required to create an excellent egg and end up with shells that stick to the egg, yolks that look way off color (they should be a firm yellow with a mildly dark outer layer) and eggs that have been over-boiled and dried out. A little patience goes a long way when boiling an egg.



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