Friday, May 08, 2009

Hard-boiling farm-fresh eggs?

Farm-fresh eggs do not peel well! Peeling is easier if eggs are not hard-boiled until they are 1-2 weeks old. As the egg ages, air slowly penetrates the shell, helping to separate it from the membranes inside.
Some websites suggest modifying the traditional hard-boiling procedure to make fresh eggs easier to peel. I've had pretty good success with the modified method, but haven't yet done the sciencey side-by-side comparison that this situation cries out for. If you try the modified method let me know how it goes!

1. Put the eggs in a single layer in a pan. Add enough cold water to cover the eggs by 1 full inch.
2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. When the water reaches a boil, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan.
3. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for 16-18 minutes. (this gentle cooking yields tender, not rubbery, eggs.)
4. Cool the eggs under cold running water, or in prepared ice water.
Modified for very fresh eggs:
After the eggs have been sitting in the hot water for 16-18 minutes, remove them to very cold ice water as above and SAVE the hot water; don't dump it out. (tip: use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the hot water.)
5. While the eggs cool, bring the hot water back to a boil. Then put a few eggs at a time back in for 10 seconds.
6. Take the eggs back out of the boiling water and cool them again in ice water.
Final step for both procedures: refrigerate the eggs for up to 1 week, or crack them all over, peel, & serve immediately.

Incredible Egg
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