Monday, August 15, 2016

Hard Boiled Eggs

I learned, I think from my mother, to immerse hard boiled eggs immediately in cold water to make them easier to peel.  Like much that I learned from my mother, it was both utilitarian and pedestrian.  (Can you tell that I am reading too much Arthur Conan Doyle?)  Why does this work. I suddenly realized why yesterday. The membrane that prevents easy peeling is pressed by the expansion of the white against the inside of the shell; immediate cooling causes the white to shrink back pulling the membrane with it. Thus, there is nothing causing the membrane to stick to the inside of the shell.


  1. Read The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs, then give their method a try. It produces perfect hard boiled eggs that also peel very easily. A little experimentation might be in order, to find what time and settings work best for you, at your altitude with your stove.

  2. Didn't follow the link but is that the one about putting the egg in a glass tumbler and shaking it until the shell is shattered? Half the time when I do it the shell comes off completely. It works great.

    I also steam the eggs for 11 minutes and dunk them in ice water and I think they're perfect.

  3. I shake the eggs in the pot and the shells break apart and fall off, the hotter, the better.

  4. I got the method I use from Straight from the fridge into boiling water, leave them in for 11 minutes for hard, six minutes for soft. Shocking them in ice water and then chilling them for 15 minutes or (better) in the fridge over night will make it easier to peel, and also shrink the dimple at the wide end of the egg.
    If the eggs are fresh from the chicken they won't peel easily even with this technique. They don't have to be really old, just 5 or 6 days after they come out of the chicken.