If there is one downside to farm fresh eggs, it’s this: They make the worst hard boiled eggs! Super fresh eggs contain so much moisture it causes the whites (and sometimes the yolk) to cling to the shell, tearing as you peel. And the peels come off in teensy tiny shards. It’s maddening!
For the longest time, I thought the only way to combat this problem was to “dry” fresh eggs in the refrigerator for anywhere from one month to two before hard boiling. Until I stumbled upon this idea…
Prick a tiny hole in the top of the egg with a tack. You just want to pierce the shell; you’re not necessarily looking to puncture into the entire egg, though I have done that plenty of times and it still produces a nice hard boiled egg. I’m not sure why this method works. I suppose it has something to do with venting and air flow–maybe it causes some of the moisture inside the egg to evaporate? (Does anyone know?) And don’t worry….the shell doesn’t crack, surprisingly enough.
Next, place the pierced eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Turn the heat onto high and bring to a boil. The second the water begins to boil, cut the heat, cover the pan with a lid and set the timer for 10 minutes. It’s really important not to let the water hard boil because that produces a chalky yolk.
Once the timer goes off, remove the lid, strain the water and immediately submerge the eggs in an ice bath. This prevents the eggs from over cooking and it also helps with the peeling process. Most experts recommend changing vessels for the ice bath, but I don’t like having to wash an additional bowl. I use the same saucepan and it seems to work fine.
As you can see, the pricked method produced a gorgeous hard boiled egg that was laid yesterday! Granted, pricking eggs with a tack might be the goofiest, uptight cooking method ever conceived but for someone who eats as many hard boiled eggs as I do, this little trick is a game changer. (Did I just write that? That pricking eggs is a game changer? Yeesh.)
UPDATE: After using this method extensively for the past year, I’ve concluded that super farm fresh eggs just don’t make the best hard boiled eggs. For best results, let the eggs “dry” out in the refrigerator for at least a week or even two before using this method.
Enjoy your Easter weekend, everybody.