This recipe will show you how to make hard boiled eggs without water, and I'll explain some of the concepts of thermodynamics along the way.
First, go out to the chicken coop and gather some eggs. My sister has some Amerucana chickens so their shells are pretty pastel colors when they are laid.
Step 1: Wash the Eggshells
Egg shells are semi permeable membranes, so do not wash your eggs ahead of time and put them back in the refrigerator as you will have introduced material in your rinse water that will start to make the egg spoil as it sits.
Step 2: Place Eggs on Oven Rack
Step 3: Put Lid on Oven
Step 4: Setting the Time and Temperature
Step 5: Turn on the Oven
Step 6: Preparing the Ice Bath
By quickly submerging the eggs in an ice bath the membrane just inside the shell is loosened and the egg becomes much easier to peel. The same effect can be accomplished by heavily salting the water you boil eggs in if you are using the pot of water method to prepare hard boiled eggs.
To prepare the ice bath I first filled a bowl with water.
Step 7: Adding Ice to Ice Bath
Step 8: Wait for the Cooking Time to Pass
While the oven is operating, it turns on a halogen bulb in the top of the oven. The bulb is shaped like a letter "o". This provides heat to the glass enclosure below the bulb. While the oven is operating, a fan also runs that helps circulate the air in convection currents and keeps the temperature throughout the enclosure fairly constant during the cooking process. A thermocouple (temperature sensor) in the top of the oven monitors the internal temperature of the oven, compares that measured temperature to the setting on the oven dial and then turns the bulb on and off as needed to reach and maintain the desired temperature within the oven.
The heat is only directed from above, so if you want to cook something that requires visible browning then you need to flip over the food item half way through the cooking process. The eggs in this case are small enough that they are heating evenly through as the convection currents circulate all around the outside of the shells so no moving of the eggs are necessary.
You can bake a lot more eggs than I did in this batch, I only wanted six baked eggs for my purposes.
Step 9: Finished Eggs
When you bake eggs like this, the shells will accumulate little bits of grease if your oven is not spotlessly clean. (Which mine apparently was not.) But these spots were easy to remove with just a little bit of rinsing.
The only thing left to do now is enjoy some hard boiled eggs! I find the texture of eggs prepared in this way a bit creamier then when boiled in a pot of water. I suspect this has to do with getting the timing of the preparation perfected.