Friday, August 22, 2008

The Incredible Edible (Hard-Boiled) Egg

For some reason the whole "boil an egg" thing always evaded me. I never could remember how to go about cooking an egg that way. Without fail I'd call my parents and say, "One more time. How do you boil an egg?" I couldn't remember if you put the eggs in at the beginning or after it boiled. How long did you boil for? Covered or uncovered? How did you know it was done?

Well, a few weeks ago I got the brilliant idea to look up egg boiling in my trusty America's Test Kitchen Cookbook rather than once again calling the parents. They, of course, had a new way to boil an egg. I've tried it twice since then and both times they have come out perfect. (And I remembered how to do it without having to look up the directions!). I always seemed to get that green film around the yoke when I boiled eggs in the past. ATK promised that I would not with their method - and indeed I didn't.

How To Boil An Egg:

Place eggs in saucepan. Cover with water (water should be a couple inches above eggs). Add a dash or two of salt.

Bring to a boil uncovered over high heat. As soon as the rolling boil starts. Cover the pan and remove from heat.

Allow eggs to sit in covered pan for 10 minutes and then transfer immediately to an ice bath.

Let them sit in the ice bath for a couple of minutes. Then either peel them and eat or store in the fridge for up to a week.

And, just for fun - some more random egg facts about me:
  • I've been eating organic eggs for so long now that I'm used to brown. I saw a white egg the other day and did a double take because it looked so funny to me. (Side note though - it's not the color of the egg that determines anything - the egg is the same color as the chicken's feathers. Typically though the free-range/grain-fed chickens are the brown ones and the ones that have to spend their poor lives locked in a cage are the white chickens).
  • When I take eggs out of the carton I pull the bottom left egg out first, then the top right, then the top left, then the bottom right - and continue to work my way in towards the center of the carton. I have to keep the carton balanced. It really bothers me if there is an odd number of eggs in the carton and I've been known to find a use for the odd egg. When I lived with other people (family, roommates) who obviously did not understand the delicate balance an egg carton requires, I'd regularly re-arrange the eggs. I have gotten a little more ok with the odd egg thing in the past few years - but I still kind of breathe a little sigh of relief when I can take that odd egg out and the carton is balanced.


  1. that's the way i boil an egg, except i dont bother making it cold before peeling.

    buuuutttt did you know you can buy these cool egg timer thingies to just throw right in the pan? sam's mom gave me one and so far the eggs have come out perfect every single time i've used it. it's shaped like an egg, hard hard plastic, and turns from red to purple as it cooks, and theres a line inside and small chart to tell if it's soft boiled, medium or hard.

    err i just did a quick search and mine looks like this:

  2. Oh my goodness, that's so awesome about how you unload the egg carton. I do the exact same thing and my husband always laughs at me for it. I hate it when it's unbalanced!

    Now I want a boiled egg.

  3. I use a similar method for hard-boiling eggs--perfect every time. And I am also obsessed with the egg-carton balancing act. I applaud you for explaining the procedure so succinctly.

  4. I do something similar, I guess.

    Bring to a boil on high heat, uncovered. Then simmer on low heat for about ten minutes, uncovered.

    I also put a little vinegar in the water, rather than salt, to keep the eggs from spilling out if they happen to crack.

  5. I am so happy to see that others understand the delicate art of egg balancing!

    vinegar in the water is a good idea too, April. Does it have the same effect of upping the boiling temp as the salt does?

  6. lol I am the SAME way with the egg carton and it having to be balanced! Oh I found that SO funny,Nicole! :)

  7. lol I am the SAME way with the egg carton and it having to be balanced! Oh I found that SO funny,Nicole! :)