Cooked in the Shell
Eggs cooked in the shell are sometimes referred to as "boiled" eggs. However, for best flavour, texture and appearance, it is recommended that eggs be cooked in their shells without boiling.
Cooking eggs in boiling water can over-cook them. Over-cooked eggs can become tough and rubbery-textured and a grey discoloration can form around the yolk.
This discolouration is the formation of ferrous sulphide, a combination of the iron in the yolk and the sulphur in the white or yolk. This reaction may occur when eggs are cooked at too high a temperature or for too long, when they are cooled too slowly, or when there is a high level of iron in the cooking water. The grey colour does not look very nice but the eggs are still edible.
Place cold eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) cold water over top of the eggs. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Immediately cover the saucepan and remove from the heat to stop boiling. Let eggs stand in the water, covered, for about 3 minutes for large eggs. Remove eggs from the water. Place in an egg cup. Slice off one end and eat with a spoon.
Place cold eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) cold water over top of the eggs. Bring water quickly to a boil over high heat. Immediately cover the saucepan and remove from the heat to stop boiling. Let eggs stand in water, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes for large eggs. Drain water and immediately run cold water over eggs until cooled.
- Use eggs that have been in the refrigerator the longest; the less fresh the egg, the easier it is to peel.
- If desired, the large end of the eggs can be pricked with a pin or an egg piercer prior to cooking. This step is not essential but some cooks feel it helps prevent the eggs from cracking.
- Rapid cooling after cooking helps prevent a greenish ring from forming around the yolk.
- To hard-cook an egg quickly for Egg Salad, crack it into a poacher or microwave egg cooker and cook until the yolk is cooked. Immerse in cold water for rapid cooling, if desired; drain well.
- To determine whether an egg is hard-cooked, spin it. If it spins smoothly and rapidly, it is hard-cooked. If it wobbles and spins slowly, it is raw.
- Keep hard-cooked eggs refrigerated and use them within a week.
Peeling Hard Cooked Eggs
Crackle shell all over. Roll egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Or hold egg under cold running water or dip egg in a bowl of water to help ease off the shell. Begin peeling at the wide end of the egg where the air cell is located.
Source: "Grade A" Family Favourites' Egg Farmers of Ontario, www.eggsite.com