Introduction: Problem Solving and Tips for Boiled Eggs
Have you ever wondered why some recipes followed to a T do not produce the same results? I never had trouble cooking boiled eggs until I moved to a different state. I finally decided to try and figure out what I was doing wrong. I have tried many suggestions and never seemed to get it right. My brother shared a technique that he uses for boiling eggs and I tried his method several times and I still did not achieve the same results.
This instructable will share what I have learned over the past few weeks about boiling eggs and how I figured out what caused some of the problems that I was having and the steps I did to correct them. Follow through and let's boil some eggs.
Step 1: Important Things to Consider
After several attempts to make hard boiled eggs that were not green, rubbery, smelly, hard to peel, hard to slice, or under-cooked; I was on a mission to figure out why. I finally decided that I was over cooking the yolks because; when I reduced the cooking time the yolks did not have any of these problems except, I wanted the yolks a little more done than what I was making.
I knew our altitude was about 3500 feet and wondered if anyone had posted information about cooking boiled eggs at high altitudes and what the estimated cooking time would be for hard boiled eggs. I checked if there was some sort of calculation for cooking boiled eggs at a higher altitude and that is when I found : High altitude boiled eggs calculator . His information is for soft boiled eggs. I still needed to figure out how much longer to cook the eggs so the yolk was cooked enough for our taste. His information gave me a good starting point to do an experiment on. I estimated I had a 4 minute window to narrow down. I finally made some perfect boiled eggs for us.
While I was experimenting I was boiling two eggs at a time but figured out a way for my readers to get the correct cooking time for their altitude a little easier than the method I used as I will explain later.
Knowing the cooking time is one of the most important factors in making eggs to your perfection.
There are several things to consider when following someones boiled egg method.
Cold or room temperature eggs.
Type of pan used.
Type of stove top.
When the eggs are added to the pan.
Degree of done-ness.
I tried the steaming method using a stainless steel pot and stainless steel colander. The steaming method was supposed to help remedy the peeling problem. For some reason the bottom of the egg shell and the inside of the egg had a grey discoloration. I thought the problem was a chemical reaction to the pan so I tried a coffee filter in the colander but this method did not work for me because the eggs were difficult to peel.
My brother's method was poking a hole in the egg shell with a pin to release some of the gasses. It worked OK but I read that if you disturb the whites; it could make the egg difficult to peel.
I read a comment where a man used an object to slightly tap the rounded end of the raw egg just enough to allow the egg to release gasses without disturbing the membrane. This method worked great for me and did not cause the egg whites to cloud the water. They stayed inside the egg.
Step 2: Ingredients and Utensils
I used tap water, a stainless steel heavy bottomed sauce pan with a copper bottom, gas stove, and we are about 3500 Feet elevation. I used cold (large) eggs directly from the refrigerator. We like our yolks done but don't like a green ring. According to altitude org, soft boiled eggs at our elevation would take 6 minutes 7 seconds after the water starts to boil which gave me a good starting point for my experiment.
Cold eggs, fresh or aged are fine. I buy free range organic when I can find them and I used large.
Tap water for boiling.
Salt (optional I use Pink salt).
Ice water or very cold water (Ice works the best but I used cold water because I did not have any ice).
Heavy bottomed sauce pan with a lid I used the lid to help remove the water but it was not used while cooking the eggs.
Large slotted spoon, bowls, colander, small tipped rolling pin to crack the rounded end of the egg slightly, or a sewing pin to puncture the egg point, timer, index cards and marker, and stove top ( I used a gas stove).
Step 3: Gather Ingredients and Tools
For my experiment I cooked 2 eggs at a time but I thought of an easier way to experiment by placing the same number of ice water bowls as you have boiled eggs, on a table or counter-top. Use index cards or paper to number the bowls so as you remove the eggs at different times you can keep the eggs in the same order as they were cooked.
Tap the rounded end of the egg with the rolling pin or carefully poke a hole in the pointed end of the egg with a pin; carefully piercing only the shell,and not the egg whites.
Carefully place the eggs into the pan using a slotted spoon.
Add cold tap water and fill the pan until the eggs are completely covered with an inch or two of water above the egg.
Add salt if desired and stir.
Step 4: Heat
I used the online calculator for soft boiled eggs, using large eggs for the cooking time at 6 minutes and 7 seconds when the water began to boil; for my starting point for timing the eggs. I added 3 more minutes to the final test to have hard boiled eggs like the picture in the next step. Five minutes was too long and left a green color on the egg.
Turn the burner to high heat.
When the water begins a rolling boil reduce the heat to simmer.
Set timer for 6 minutes and 7 seconds.
Using a slotted spoon remove one egg at this point and run cold water over the egg to cool it enough to handle.
You can use a spoon to crack the eggs as they are removed from the pan, before placing the eggs into the ice water bowls. This will help the water penetrate the egg for easier peeling.
Then remove one egg at a time in 30 second intervals using a slotted spoon, until all the eggs are removed from the pan and placed into each one of the ice water bowls.
Step 5: Ice Water Bath
The boiled eggs should be in the ice water bowls for at least fifteen minutes.
Peel the eggs and place them in a colander and rinse with cold water. I like to begin peeling the eggs at the rounded end of the boiled egg as it seems to peel a little easier that way.
Slice the eggs using a smooth knife with a wet blade.
The wet blade will make slicing the eggs easier.
Step 6: Sunshiine's Final Thoughts
Another key to achieving the desired results is using the same pan to cook your boiled eggs, every time you make them. You should only need to experiment one time as long as you don't move to a different altitude or change some of the other factors I have mentioned here. I think most of the problems associated with boiling eggs is cooking them too long.
I am glad I took the time to do this experiment. I should be able to make beautiful bright colored yolks, perfectly cooked every time.I hope you give this method a try and it works for you. I save the egg shells to make a great tasting Pot of coffee .
I wish to thank this community for making this a great place to share ideas and projects. Thanks for stopping by and do have a safe and happy "New Years~"