Quod Erat Demonstrandum: Hardboiled And Harder To Undress

Unprofessional Cookery

Show me a person who has attempted to hardboil an egg and I will show you a person who has inevitably effed up this simple task.  Seriously.

Admit it. We’ve all been there at one time or another, just wanting a deviled egg.  How hard could making an egg be?  Just drop an egg in hot water, let it go and boom- you’re halfway there to eggy perfection, right?  Wrong.

In all my years of cooking I’ve led dozens of eggs down a path to hades paved with good intentions.  I’ve accidentally cracked eggs by boiling them, undercooked them and cooked them so long that all the water evaporated from the pot.  I’ve had grey rings around every yolk of a hardboiled egg that I’ve ever cooked from the mid=nineties on.  How do professionals and southerners alike do it?  What is their magical Mason Dixon secret for making a hardboiled egg  that looks like a hardboiled egg?  I mean, it’s not like I’m an idiot on this one.  I’ve read countless instructions on how to “perfectly” hardboil an egg.  I read little hints and tricks like adding acids and salts to the water, letting the bath simmer and not boil, covering and uncovering the pot, everything.  Still I couldn’t get a perfect hardboiled egg to save my freaking life.  That was until the day when, much like Mr. Miyagi and Ralph Macchio, someone showed me the way of the egg.  The secret that eluded me on perfecting hardboiling eggs for almost two decades was by far one of the simplest cooking hacks that I had ever learned, and now its my chance to share my newfound wisdom with you, fair reader.

To make the perfect ringless hardboiled egg without ripping your hair out, you must always do the following in this order:

1. Fill a large saucepot on the stove with a generous quantity of cold water.  (Enough to cover the total amount of eggs by an inch or so.)  The water has to be cold, no cheating.

2. Gently place all your eggs in the saucepot.  Do not add anything to the water (e.g. salt or vinegar).  Crank up the heat as high as it will go.

3. Let the eggs go, uncovered, until the water reaches a full rolling boil.

4. Cut the heat immediately.  Let the pot sit undisturbed for 10 full minutes.

5. Prepare a large ice water bath somewhere in those 10 minutes that is large enough to handle all those eggs.  I suggest doing this in the sink.

6. After the 10 minutes pass, fish out the eggs from the hot water and shock them in the cold water.  They can hang out there for a while if you’re in the middle of doing other things, it won’t hurt them.

7. Once the eggs are cooled off, remove them from the ice water bath and proceed with your recipe.

I guarantee that if you do these steps all in order that you will end up with perfect eggs every time and very few casualties.  Ridiculously easy, right?

So now that we have that forehead slap moment out of the way, you’re still going to have to peel and use all those eggs that you’ve just hardboiled perfected.  Which enters elusive mystery number two: how to peel a hardboiled egg without completely ruining the white.  Next to creating the perfect hardboiled egg, this also escaped me for the better part of twenty years.

However, I have a hack for that too that is equally as simple.

To easily peel a sticky batch of hardboiled eggs, you must always do the following in this order:

1. TAP your eggs all over on a hard surface to crack the shell.  Do not squish and roll them.  Don’t just tap the bottom and have at it.  Tap those buggers all over- bottom, top and sides.  Do this with all your eggs.

2. Turn on the faucet, using cold water.

3. Peel each egg under cold water, pointing the water flow under the place that you’re peeling as you go.  The water will easily separate the egg from the chalaza and rinse off any shell detritus that may cling simultaneously.

4. Proceed to use the eggs as you like.

I know, stupid easy, right?  Who would have thought?

So now that you’re all Macchioed out on the ways of the egg, you can wax on-wax off with your own dozens of double A extra larges yourself.  Myself, I’m off to try to catch flies with chopsticks.

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