With the Easter celebration a month away and two egg-related questions from our readers, we “egged on” Chef Jeff to answer these “hard-boiled” questions!
Q. What do I need to do to create a hard-boiled egg that peels easily? – Betsy, Fremont
A. There are a couple of factors that lend themselves to peeling hard boiled eggs easily. One of them is to start with eggs that are not farm-fresh, but rather a week old. Because the shell of an egg is porous (having tiny spaces or holes through which liquid or air may pass), over time the egg white inside the shell shrinks from evaporation. As the egg shrinks, it creates a larger gap inside the shell when it’s time to peel them.
Make sure the hard-boiled egg is cool, or cold, when you peel it. When things get cold, they shrink (don’t go there!), and that helps the egg contract slightly from the shell.
What do I do? I peel them under a trickle of cold, running water. Place a colander in the sink to catch the pieces of the shell, and as you crack each egg, allow some of the water to get inside the shell. This will allow you to peel the egg easily, especially when you want them for a good presentation, such as deviled eggs.
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Q. Why do hard-boiled eggs sometimes get a black film? – Stella, Appleton
A. Hard-cooked eggs get a black film around the yolk when it’s been cooked at too high of a temperature.
To avoid the black ring, place eggs in a pot of cold water, put them on the stove on high. When the water starts to boil, shut it off and leave the pot on the stove. Once the water cools to the point you can reach in with your hand and take out an egg, they are perfectly hard-cooked.