Thursday, July 31, 2014

Steamed Hardboiled Fresh Eggs

The only draw back I see with fresh farm eggs is that thy are a bear to shell when hardboiled. I usually mutilate the white part with much if it sticking to the shell. Until recently I use to store a dozen eggs in the coldest part of my refrig for five weeks before hard boiling them. Even then I had to peel them under running water. It has such a nuisance that I eventually stopped making deviled eggs. And for making dishes where the eggs would be chopped up anyway, such as egg salad, I just hardboiled fresh eggs. When cooled, I broke the egg roughly in half then used a spoon to scoop out the egg from shell. 

I had tried all sorts of suggestions, but for some reason they never worked for me.
...salted water
...water with vinegar
.,,water with baking soda
...pricking one end with a needle talk about disaster! Should have gotten me on video trying to accomplish this one. I came to the conclusion there must be some sort of kitchen trick involved here that I'm not aware of. Or perhaps the shells on home raised eggs are thicker. Regardless, the few that I successfully pricked still peeled in chunks. 
...placing the eggs into already boiling water
...placing the eggs into cold water then bringing to a boil
...starting out with cold eggs
...starting out with room temperature eggs
...slowly heating to a boil
...simmering instead of boiling
...boil for 7 minutes, let sit in the hit water for 7 minutes, run in cold water, then shake while in the pot to crack the eggs all over
...bring to a boil then turn off the heat. Run in cool water after 20 minutes. 
...bake them in the oven 
...peel them under running water
Yes, none of these worked on my eggs. The shell always stuck to the white. 

I've always been willing to try suggestions, but until right now I've not had good results using fresh eggs. But It surely makes me wonder about those store bought eggs. What the heck to they do to them that they end up peeling so readily? Cold storage? How old are they really? Is it something they treat the shell with to keep the eggs "fresh"? I always wonder what it is they do to our food. It's scary sometimes!!! 

Recently I was given a suggestion that I'm now trying out. Steam the eggs. So here's my first attempt.

........ Room temperature fresh eggs. Bring the water in the steamer to a boil, then add the eggs. Steam for 12 minutes. Immediately cool the eggs in cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel them. 

BINGO !  It worked! I had been prepared to try steaming them in a variety of different ways, but the first time around worked. Wow, I'm impressed. So I guess I'm up for making deviled eggs again. 


  1. I found the most thorough discussion of hardcooked eggs in a Serious Eats article - but fair warning, is a HIGHLY addictive website.
    Kenji nailed it, and you have confirmed it (as I did, too). The whole subject of commercial egg processing is a lot like watching how sausage is made. If I could, I would raise my own and never buy them commercially. Too bad they don't get indelibly date-stamped right after being laid.

  2. Interesting, Su
    I had never thought about the differences in the shells between commercially and home farmed eggs. The contents are definitely different so it makes sense that the shells would be also.