Thursday, 17 June 2010

How to Hard Boil the Perfect Egg!

Nothing cryptic here! That's exactly what this is about - hard boiling eggs!! I made some boiled eggs the other day for the picnic at the castle and it occurred to me that some people may not know the tips I've learnt over the last few years to make the result a bit nicer (mainly aesthetic). I have only 3 tips but they make all the difference. I'll apologise now if you've heard these already and I'm 'teaching my grandma to suck eggs'!! :-) And when/if you get to the end maybe you could leave me a cooking tip or two that you've picked up along the way, especially if it's about how to poach an egg because I've never found a foolproof way to do this!

I've heard all sorts of suggestions for preventing an egg cracking when you put it into the water - from adding vinegar to putting it in cold water to start - and nothing worked for me until I heard about putting a little hole in the shell. It needs to go in the rounded end of the egg where the air-sac is located. I do it by stabbing the egg deliberately but controlled and twisting the skewer to grind the hole without cracking the egg (sounds more complicated than it is but I don't know how else to explain it).

Here's a close-up of the hole. See, it doesn't need to be very big. I think the science behind this is that, as the egg cooks, the air-sac expands and the hole allows the air out of the egg instead of causing the egg to crack. You still need to be careful putting the egg into the boiling water.
I boiled the eggs for a full 10 minutes. As soon as the time is up, drain the hot water off and immediately cover the eggs with cold water, then drain and repeat a couple of times finally leaving the eggs to cool in more cold water. This process prevents the outside edge of the yolk from going grey.
Then it's time to peel the eggs. I tap the side of the egg on a chopping board (again be deliberate but contolled) to just break the shell. Next, using the palm of your hand, roll the egg back and forth and the shell will break up enough to peel it cleanly.

The finished result! You have to admit it looks more appetising than a greying uneven lump. Now don't forget to let me know if you have any useful tips to share!
Bye for now
Teresa x


Anonymous said...

I didn't know how to hardboil an egg until recently, mostly because I don't really like them so it's never come up!

I do have a tip for poaching an egg but I can't remember it... I'll ask the other half later for you!

Vintage Girl/Marivel said...

it's hard for me.
I will try...
Have a nice day

wayside wanderer said...

Pretty brown eggs! I have never heard of putting a hole in the egg, but will give it a try. I loved boiled eggs and perhaps I need to make some for our Father's Day Lunch tomorrow.

Typical of me my mind has gone blank on a cooking tip to share. I have recently discovered the bar mop which are nice absorbent kitchen towels. I love these even better than a microfiber towel and they do an excellent job even when it comes to cleaning mirrors and glass instead of paper towels.

mary said...

I knew about the cold water but I never knew about pricking a hole in them! It is a timely tip because my youngest has just developed a taste for egg sandwiches!

Anonymous said...

Apparently the key to poaching eggs is to swirl them a little as you add them to the water.

Knot Garden said...

It certainly does look like a perfect hardboiled egg, and the yolk is so central, maybe that's down to the hole. I'll give that a try! I can't poach an egg though!