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  #1  
Old 04-27-2017, 04:47 PM
HoneyBadgerDC HoneyBadgerDC is offline
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Help settle the egg peeling question

My experience, sometimes it almost falls off by itself and sometimes I have to peel it one flake at a time and everything in-between. My usual method of cooking I add eggs to cold water and bring to a boil for about a minute. I let them sit in the hot water for about 10 min and then move to cold water for about 10 more minutes to cool before peeling. I am starting to believe that some eggs just peel easier than others. Are there any sure fire methods for easy peeling?
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2017, 05:20 PM
Quartz Quartz is online now
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Use older eggs. Fresh eggs peel less readily.
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:26 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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There's another thread where someone suggests steaming eggs to hard-boil it.
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:48 PM
Tom Terrific Tom Terrific is offline
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My wife adds vinegar to the water then boils the eggs as normal. Runs cold water on them and peels. Usually the peels come right off. Maybe one egg out of 50 or so doesn't peel easily.
  #5  
Old 04-27-2017, 07:01 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Older eggs, then pour off the hot water, crack each with a spoon, and put in cold water. As the innards cool they contract, drawing in water through the cracks.
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:37 PM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is offline
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
Older eggs, then pour off the hot water, crack each with a spoon, and put in cold water. As the innards cool they contract, drawing in water through the cracks.
I was told to do this, but to put ice and cold water into a tumbler before spooning in one hot egg.
Then, over the sink with your hand covering the top of the tumbler, rapidly shake the tumbler containing the egg up and down.
After a minute, stop and peel all of the broken shell easily off of the egg, placing the cleaned egg in a bowl.
Then, add more water to the tumbler & spoon in another hot egg to repeat the process.
  #7  
Old 04-27-2017, 08:04 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is online now
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Jesus, this is like hiccup remedies.

Yesterday I decided to pickle some eggs -- I'd had them for two weeks -- so I brought six to a boil, turned off the heat and let them sit for ten minutes, then cracked the shells as I put them in cold water.

AGONIZING peeling, bits of white came off with the shell. Not going to be the prettiest of pickled eggs.
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:08 PM
kayT kayT is offline
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The rule about peeling hardboiled eggs is this: if you intend to use them in potato salad or egg salad, cut up, then they will peel perfectly no matter how you cook them or how old they are. If you intend to make deviled eggs for a picnic attended by people you would like to impress, no matter how you cook them or how old they are, the peels will come off as described by Ukulele Ike above. Or worse.
  #9  
Old 04-27-2017, 08:14 PM
shunpiker shunpiker is offline
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Originally Posted by kayT View Post
The rule about peeling hardboiled eggs is this: if you intend to use them in potato salad or egg salad, cut up, then they will peel perfectly no matter how you cook them or how old they are. If you intend to make deviled eggs for a picnic attended by people you would like to impress, no matter how you cook them or how old they are, the peels will come off as described by Ukulele Ike above. Or worse.
Have you posted that in the "What 'laws' have you come up with?" thread?
  #10  
Old 04-27-2017, 08:18 PM
Okrahoma Okrahoma is offline
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I tried it at least a dozen different ways. I concluded that it is the old/fresh eggs thing. Fresh eggs won't peel easily no matter how you cook them/cool them.
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:26 PM
not what you'd expect not what you'd expect is offline
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I don't think there is a good answer. I've tried just about every trick I've ever heard of and sometimes they peel easy and sometimes they don't.

When it matters, I usually just make a few extra and hope I end up with enough decent ones.
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:41 PM
Aspenglow Aspenglow is offline
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Please. Try steaming them. Just once.

I raise hens and use fresh eggs, still warm from the hen, all the time. I hard cooked half a dozen such eggs this morning. It works great.

You can use any cheap old vegetable steamer you have hanging around. Put it in a pot, fill with water to the bottom of the steamer. Add your eggs, warm, cold, whatever. Put the lid on. Turn on the heat. When you know it's steaming (I use a glass lid on my pot so I can see), reduce heat just enough so the steaming continues and set a timer for 13 minutes.

When the eggs are done cooking, plunge them into cold water and ice. This is not to loosen the shells. It simply stops the eggs from cooking and prevents that nasty blue sulfur ring they can get.

Peel. Easily. Every time.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:06 PM
Peanuthead Peanuthead is offline
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Tap them on the counter to crack them all over and peel under cold running water. I got that from the Frugal Gourmet and it really works.
  #14  
Old 04-27-2017, 09:21 PM
CairoCarol CairoCarol is offline
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post

Yesterday I decided to pickle some eggs --
Can you give us the recipe? I also pickle eggs and would be interested in seeing if our recipes are similar or not. (Mine is basically water, vinegar, sugar, beet juice, and whole cloves - boil together, then pour over peeled eggs and refrigerate. Ready in 3-5 days.)

The beet juice turns the eggs a beautiful shade of crimson. I like to make them for parties because they are so lovely. But no one ever eats them. My husband and I don't care; that's more leftovers for us.
  #15  
Old 04-27-2017, 09:23 PM
dropzone dropzone is offline
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Yeah, but he was a perv and his cooking advice is automatically suspect.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:26 PM
Not Carlson Not Carlson is offline
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I seldom have trouble peeling eggs because I always crack them BEFORE boiling them.
If cracked too much, the whites will bubble out during boiling, but a gentle tap on the counter top is usually enough to create a small fracture that allows the shell to separate easily once the egg is boiled.

Give it a try next time.

Last edited by Not Carlson; 04-27-2017 at 09:28 PM.
  #17  
Old 04-27-2017, 09:39 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CairoCarol View Post
Can you give us the recipe? I also pickle eggs and would be interested in seeing if our recipes are similar or not. (Mine is basically water, vinegar, sugar, beet juice, and whole cloves - boil together, then pour over peeled eggs and refrigerate. Ready in 3-5 days.)
Sounds like we're on the same page.

I take 2 or 3 medium red beets, simmer until tender, then put a cup of the beet water into a saucepan with a half-cup of cider vinegar, a couple tablespoons of sugar, a tablespoon of kosher salt, and some fresh-ground back pepper. I hate cloves, so I substitute a bay leaf. Simmer for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves, then pour over the peeled sliced beets, a sliced onion, and the eggs. And I give it at least 48 hours in the fridge before tucking in.

You can cheat by buying a quart of Manischevitz Borscht in the kosher section of the supermarket and just dropping your eggs into that. But I like the pickled onions and beets especially as a summer side dish.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:43 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is online now
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I plan to invoke the power of our Dark Lord Satan over the next pot of eggs I boil. My immortal soul in exchange for easy peeling, plus a warm roll with butter. (I need a snack)

I'll report how it turns out.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:02 PM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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I'll see your steaming and raise you one - I bake them. You need a muffin tin or a jelly roll pan to keep them from rolling around in there. Oneeach in a muffin tin works great.

Set them in a cold oven and set the timer for 30 minutes; set the heat to 325. Go read a book.

When they come out, cool them by any method you like - I usually eat the first couple hot with butter and toast. They peel like a dream.
  #20  
Old 04-27-2017, 10:12 PM
NAF1138 NAF1138 is offline
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Once upon a time this site required cites to support options.

So, go read this from The Food Lab

Also a follow up article with further research.

The key to perfect peeling is starting cold eggs in a hot environment. Steam or straight into boiling water. Both work.

Evidence and experiments etc etc above. Also, cooking times and methods.

Don't be fooled by old wives tales. Trust science.

Last edited by NAF1138; 04-27-2017 at 10:16 PM.
  #21  
Old 04-28-2017, 02:33 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
Please. Try steaming them. Just once.
I agree, I steam for hard and soft boiled eggs. Get the steamer steaming, pop the eggs in (no need to prick with this method either) and I give it 5 minutes for soft boiled and 8 minutes for hard.

For the hard eggs I then pop them into cold water for a few minutes to make them easy to handle and peel under running water while still warm. Never any problems regardless of the freshness of egg.
  #22  
Old 04-28-2017, 05:34 AM
elbows elbows is offline
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Add baking soda to the boiling water. The eggs will peel quite easily. Someone just taught me this and it works well!

Also, I crack the eggs thoroughly with the back of my knife, a which also makes them easily peeled!
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:49 AM
NAF1138 NAF1138 is offline
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. Never any problems regardless of the freshness of egg.
For good reason. Even the freshest store bought eggs are old enough that it won't make much difference how old your eggs are. If you are getting them farm fresh it can be more difficult. Still, steaming is great because it's faster than boiling.

See food lab articles linked in my post above.

Last edited by NAF1138; 04-28-2017 at 05:50 AM.
  #24  
Old 04-28-2017, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
Please. Try steaming them. Just once.

Peel. Easily. Every time.
When making hard-boiled eggs, I always steam them. It seems to have no effect on how easy they are to peel. Sometimes they peel easily, but usually not.
  #25  
Old 04-28-2017, 06:21 AM
NAF1138 NAF1138 is offline
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When making hard-boiled eggs, I always steam them. It seems to have no effect on how easy they are to peel. Sometimes they peel easily, but usually not.
Do you put them into the hot steam or do you put them into the cold pot and then start the steam?

Last edited by NAF1138; 04-28-2017 at 06:22 AM.
  #26  
Old 04-28-2017, 06:31 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Jesus, this is like hiccup remedies.
You hold your breath while the eggs are boiling???
  #27  
Old 04-28-2017, 07:43 AM
psychonaut psychonaut is online now
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Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
Do you put them into the hot steam or do you put them into the cold pot and then start the steam?
I use a dedicated egg steaming device. First I put the eggs and water in, then I turn on the machine. It beeps when all the water has boiled away.
  #28  
Old 04-28-2017, 08:16 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
For good reason. Even the freshest store bought eggs are old enough that it won't make much difference how old your eggs are. If you are getting them farm fresh it can be more difficult. Still, steaming is great because it's faster than boiling.
I normally get mine from the local farm with a "laid on" date that is normally within the previous day or two.
  #29  
Old 04-28-2017, 09:00 AM
NAF1138 NAF1138 is offline
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I normally get mine from the local farm with a "laid on" date that is normally within the previous day or two.
I am super jealous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
I use a dedicated egg steaming device. First I put the eggs and water in, then I turn on the machine. It beeps when all the water has boiled away.
Try putting a pot small pot of water on the stove and put about an inch of water into it. Slap a lid on and let it boil then gently lower the eggs straight into the water. If you don't have a steamer basket this works just as well and you get the speed of steaming.

Last edited by NAF1138; 04-28-2017 at 09:03 AM.
  #30  
Old 04-28-2017, 09:45 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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I am super jealous.
They are good, the sizes are all over the place but it is a small price to pay.

What I really want to find is a local supplier of bantam eggs, I love those crazy little fellas. The yolk seems to take up around 75% of the egg and I've never had a reliable enough supply to get the soft-boiling time right. I live in hope.
  #31  
Old 04-28-2017, 10:07 AM
snoe snoe is offline
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So, go read this from The Food Lab

Also a follow up article with further research.

The key to perfect peeling is starting cold eggs in a hot environment. Steam or straight into boiling water. Both work.
The two posts give contradictory advice -- to be crystal clear, the author's current preferred method is given in the second link. (I follow this method, the boiling version. It works! Usually.)
  #32  
Old 04-28-2017, 10:34 AM
NAF1138 NAF1138 is offline
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The two posts give contradictory advice -- to be crystal clear, the author's current preferred method is given in the second link. (I follow this method, the boiling version. It works! Usually.)
It's been a while since I read them. I saved them because I really like the food lab blog and it seemed like a handy reference. Mostly I feel like reading them both gives you insight into they why, but looking back it looks like he even says in the first link that he replaced it with the second one.
  #33  
Old 04-28-2017, 10:34 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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Originally Posted by HoneyBadgerDC View Post
My experience, sometimes it almost falls off by itself and sometimes I have to peel it one flake at a time and everything in-between. My usual method of cooking I add eggs to cold water and bring to a boil for about a minute. I let them sit in the hot water for about 10 min and then move to cold water for about 10 more minutes to cool before peeling. I am starting to believe that some eggs just peel easier than others. Are there any sure fire methods for easy peeling?
in my experience, apart from the freshness of the egg (which plays a role,) the slower/more gently you hard cook them, the harder it is to peel them. worst by a long shot was using a sous vide circulator to cook them; 170 degrees for 45 minutes. huge ribbons of the white were peeling away with the shells.
  #34  
Old 04-28-2017, 10:40 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
I agree, I steam for hard and soft boiled eggs. Get the steamer steaming, pop the eggs in (no need to prick with this method either) and I give it 5 minutes for soft boiled and 8 minutes for hard.
Steaming advocate here, too, but my times are different. 6 for soft, 12 for hard. But I do them straight from the fridge. My method is a little different than Aspenglow's. I put the eggs in once the water starts boiling, not before. Then I cover, reduce heat a little bit, and set the timer. It's a fast method to boot, too, since it doesn't take all that long to boil up a pint (if that) of water (you only need enough water that it doesn't all completely evaporate by the end of the time.) Twelve minutes gives me perfectly hard-boiled eggs, no green or gray or around the yolk, no chalkiness. I've tried ten minutes, but there's still yolk oozing at that point, so something like "medium boiled" eggs, if there's such a thing. Do your own experiments to see what works best with your cooking vessels and eggs.

After that, they get dunked into an ice bath. I wait about 10 minutes and then peel them under running water. Now, I'm not sure what people define as "peel easily," but I can't remember the last time I've had any white stick to the shell using this method. This is not to say the shells just slip right off. Sometimes they do, but sometimes they take a little bit extra smacking the egg around to loosen the shell (and this is all from the same age batch.) But I haven't had a white stick to the shell in I can't remember when, and I just did a bunch of a couple dozen eggs for Easter.
  #35  
Old 04-28-2017, 10:49 AM
moojja moojja is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
Please. Try steaming them. Just once.

I raise hens and use fresh eggs, still warm from the hen, all the time. I hard cooked half a dozen such eggs this morning. It works great.

You can use any cheap old vegetable steamer you have hanging around. Put it in a pot, fill with water to the bottom of the steamer. Add your eggs, warm, cold, whatever. Put the lid on. Turn on the heat. When you know it's steaming (I use a glass lid on my pot so I can see), reduce heat just enough so the steaming continues and set a timer for 13 minutes.

When the eggs are done cooking, plunge them into cold water and ice. This is not to loosen the shells. It simply stops the eggs from cooking and prevents that nasty blue sulfur ring they can get.

Peel. Easily. Every time.
I have to try that, does not work.
  #36  
Old 04-28-2017, 11:18 AM
Bill Door Bill Door is offline
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I pressure cook mine in an electric pressure cooker on the high pressure setting. That's 11.6 psi, or, for the SI folks, 79,979.18, ah hell, call it 80,000 Pascals.

I put them in cold in a basket over one cup of water, run for three minutes at pressure, then quick release and plunge into cold water. They peel perfectly every time. Sometimes too easily, when I color Easter eggs with the grandchildren I like to kind of crackle the shell before dying to give a colored design to the egg underneath, but if done in the pressure cooker crackling the shell results in it falling off.
  #37  
Old 04-28-2017, 11:23 AM
Irishman Irishman is online now
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To summarize the second article:

1) Use older eggs, not fresh ones. Any store-bought egg is sufficiently old, as they sit for 30+ days during handling. This is for ease of peeling. Fresh eggs do not peel well.

2) Put the egg into already hot water. This can be boiling water or steaming the eggs. Steaming eggs works faster because you don't have to wait for as much water to come to boil, just a small layer at the bottom of the pot and a steaming basket to hold the eggs.

3) Drop eggs into boiling water, cook for about 30 seconds, then drop the temperature to a low simmer (bubbles beginning to form).Thehigh temperature sets the outside of thewhites to aid peeling.Cooking at a low simmer keeps the temperature around 180 F. (You can use a thermometer, or justuse the bubbles as a guide.)This allows the temperature inside the egg to even outso theyolk gets done without overcooking the white and forming a green yolk surface.For steaming eggs, there is no need to drop the temperature.

4) Cook for 12 to 15 minutes. It is harder to overcook because you keep the water temp at the right level that holds the eggs at the perfect cook temperature*, so duration isn't critical as long as you cook sufficiently long.

5) When you remove the eggs from the heat, shock them with ice water, and fully cool them. The cold water shock helps prevent the divots in the bottom end so the eggs are more fully round, and this process also helps the egg peel easily.

Viola! Perfect hard boiled eggs with no green yolk and easy to peel.

* The interesting fact about cooking is that the amount of cooking is controlled by temperature, not time. Time allows the heat to soak through the food to cook the interior, but using high heat is what causes the exterior to overcook while the interior is getting done. If you hold the temperature constant, the food will come to done and not continue cooking beyond that temp. There is a cooking technique called sous videthat vacuum seals food in pouches and then cooks them in a relatively low temperature bath for long periods --hours. It demonstrates the principle. Eggs held at 170 F can essentially sit for hours and not overcook.
  #38  
Old 04-28-2017, 11:37 AM
Irishman Irishman is online now
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According to the article, the keys to easy peeling are to put the eggs in after the water has reached temperature, not put in cold water and heat with the water; and cold shocking the egg when removed from the heat, plus allowing to fully cool. Slow heating and slow cooling lead to the egg and shell binding.

Also, he looked at pressure cookers, but recommends against them as they cook at a higher temperature than boiling or steaming. Thus, there is a tighter window for perfect eggs. One minute difference means the difference between still soft yolk center and green skin on yolk.

If you get good results consistently from your method, then there's no harm continuing to do it that way. But he did actual experimentation, data collection, and even double blind evaluation (a separate blinded test administrator from the cook, and a different blinded egg peeler who rated how easily they peeled).
  #39  
Old 04-28-2017, 12:26 PM
Rezer Rezer is offline
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
I pressure cook mine in an electric pressure cooker on the high pressure setting. That's 11.6 psi, or, for the SI folks, 79,979.18, ah hell, call it 80,000 Pascals.

I put them in cold in a basket over one cup of water, run for three minutes at pressure, then quick release and plunge into cold water. They peel perfectly every time. Sometimes too easily, when I color Easter eggs with the grandchildren I like to kind of crackle the shell before dying to give a colored design to the egg underneath, but if done in the pressure cooker crackling the shell results in it falling off.
I came here to say exactly this. I've tried many of the methods here, but once I tried in a pressure cooker I stopped bothering with anything else. Before you even get started peeling the shell is typically already detached from the whites thanks to the quick release of pressure. And no need to fuss about the eggs being too fresh!
  #40  
Old 04-28-2017, 12:39 PM
Gus Gusterson Gus Gusterson is offline
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Another vote for steaming. We tried everything else. Steaming is the only method we've found that works 100% of the time.
  #41  
Old 04-28-2017, 01:23 PM
CarnalK CarnalK is offline
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Kind of weird that not a single person has mentioned peeling technique. You don't have to do any of these odd cooking rituals if you just start from the big end where the air space is and make sure you are taking the skin with the shell as you peel.

Last edited by CarnalK; 04-28-2017 at 01:24 PM.
  #42  
Old 04-28-2017, 01:38 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Kind of weird that not a single person has mentioned peeling technique. You don't have to do any of these odd cooking rituals if you just start from the big end where the air space is and make sure you are taking the skin with the shell as you peel.
In my experience, it doesn't really make all that much a difference. It's slightly easier to dig in there, but that's about it. I think maybe the cold-hot-cold theory mentioned above is the trick.

Last edited by pulykamell; 04-28-2017 at 01:40 PM.
  #43  
Old 04-28-2017, 01:50 PM
CarnalK CarnalK is offline
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It totally makes a difference as you can get under the skin easily from the beginning. I'm sure some of these techniques makes the skin less adhered but the proper peeling technique is how I described.
  #44  
Old 04-28-2017, 01:55 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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It totally makes a difference as you can get under the skin easily from the beginning. I'm sure some of these techniques makes the skin less adhered but the proper peeling technique is how I described.
It's easy enough to get under the skin from any angle, in my experience. Obviously, your technique works for you. I use the running water to help make that separation. Do whatever works for you. I prefer starting from the middle of the egg.

Last edited by pulykamell; 04-28-2017 at 01:56 PM.
  #45  
Old 04-28-2017, 02:00 PM
Aspenglow Aspenglow is offline
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Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
When making hard-boiled eggs, I always steam them. It seems to have no effect on how easy they are to peel. Sometimes they peel easily, but usually not.
I cannot account for your failures, I'm afraid. All I know is that steaming works great for me, and I cook a lot of very fresh, previously-hard-to-peel eggs with this method. I think others have clarified the science behind why it works and it pretty much dovetails with my personal experience.

I hope you find a solution, because peeling a batch of sulky eggs is not a fun way to spend your time!
  #46  
Old 04-28-2017, 07:17 PM
Mind's Eye, Watering Mind's Eye, Watering is offline
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According to the article, the keys to easy peeling are to put the eggs in after the water has reached temperature, not put in cold water and heat with the water; and cold shocking the egg when removed from the heat, plus allowing to fully cool. Slow heating and slow cooling lead to the egg and shell binding.

Also, he looked at pressure cookers, but recommends against them as they cook at a higher temperature than boiling or steaming. Thus, there is a tighter window for perfect eggs. One minute difference means the difference between still soft yolk center and green skin on yolk.

If you get good results consistently from your method, then there's no harm continuing to do it that way. But he did actual experimentation, data collection, and even double blind evaluation (a separate blinded test administrator from the cook, and a different blinded egg peeler who rated how easily they peeled).
I just tried this method this evening, using eggs fresh from the store, and the eggs were a dream to peel!

Boiling water dumped directly on three dozen cold eggs, simmer for 5 minutes, steep (on burner but heat off for 7 minutes), then ice water until very cold.

The last time I did this, it took hours to peel them, and I trashed at least a half dozen. The ones I did use were all pretty rough looking.

I am now a believer! Thanks to all for this thread!
  #47  
Old 04-28-2017, 10:49 PM
BetsQ BetsQ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
Also a follow up article with further research.
I just made a batch using these instructions and the one egg I've peeled so far was perfect. I used eggs purchased from a farmers' market 6 days ago, which I suspect doesn't qualify as old.
  #48  
Old 04-29-2017, 12:10 AM
Number Number is offline
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Steam in the basket of a rice cooker for 50 minutes, then put them into ice water until they're cool enough to peel.

I tried several techniques and initially avoided cooking them this long since most instructions warned it would be too long. But with this method they peel consistently and look and taste good to me.
  #49  
Old 04-29-2017, 05:11 AM
JustinC JustinC is offline
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I put the eggs in boiling water, once they're done the pan goes in the sink and I run cold water over them for a few minutes.

Then an egg goes in a tall glass with enough water to cover it, cover the glass with one hand and shake up and down vigorously. The shell slips right off after that.
  #50  
Old 04-29-2017, 06:15 AM
Mithras Mithras is offline
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I have the most success cooking the eggs at least the day before and refrigerating them. Then, when it's time to peel them, I put them in hot water for a little bit first. The theory is that the heat causes the shell to expand enough to not stick. Or I just feel like I'm doing something clever which causes me to think they peel easier.
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