When I first started practicing nutrition, I would eagerly meet with my new clients. We would talk about their week and I would write out a food plan. For example, I might suggest “2 hardboiled eggs with blueberries” for a breakfast choice or “salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts” for dinner. When clients would come back and I’d ask them about the boiled eggs or roasted vegetables their answers were a little evasive. It took a while but I eventually realized something important. You cannot assume cooking skills, no matter how basic. I now assume the opposite. Today, I was on the phone session with a client in Chicago and I asked her if she made the eggs I saw on her food journal. She said “no, I take them out from Whole Foods, they make them better than I do, mine turn greyish.” Here was someone who had boiled eggs but didn’t get great results. Hard-boiled eggs, and eggs in general, are one of my all time favorite foods. Though you’d think, as I used to think, boiling eggs was fairly straightforward, it is botch-able.
The pot you use should be large enough to hold the eggs in a single layer. No egg stacking.
Eggs should be neither too young nor too old and organic. Farm-fresh eggs will be difficult to peel. Instead, wait 3-5 days to cook new eggs. Place your eggs gently! in the pot and if you like boiled eggs as much as my younger son and I do, make half a dozen at a time.
Add enough cold water to just cover the eggs. I use filtered water. Some may say that’s unnecessary. Some may say filtering water is unnecessary. They haven’t seen the inside of a pre-war apartment’s pipes. We renovated, I saw, I filter our water. Do not add salt to the water as this makes your eggs tough. And if your eggs float to the top when you add water, they’re too old or rotten.
The KEY to Better Boiled Eggs
The truth is that hard-boiled eggs is really not a truthful name, I’ll explain. You put a med-high flame under your pot of eggs and THE SECOND it starts to boil; you cover the pot, remove eggs from heat and turn off the heat. The eggs should not ever spend time in boiling water. I guess one could say that if it’s at 212 degrees it is boiling even if not bubbling but let’s move on. You cover the pot and let the eggs sit. The three-minute concept is another myth unless you like soft-boiled eggs or Salmonella. The eggs sit in the water for a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 15 minutes. If you take a shower and dry your hair and come back to your eggs, they will be grey. My vote is for 12 minutes for medium eggs. Add 2 minutes for large or extra large.
Cold Shower and Shake
When you’re eggs are done cooking, drain the hot water but keep eggs in the pot. Run them under cold water for 2 minutes to cool them down and then drain the cold water. Put the lid back on the pot and shake back and forth for 30 seconds. The eggs will start to peel themselves. Finish peeling under cold running water.
You can store boiled eggs in a container for up to a week.
That explanation exhausted me so I’ll cover roasting vegetables another time.
When it comes to hard cooking eggs are you a) phobic, b) prone to making greyish eggs or c) a pro? Do you have any additions or corrections of my method? I’d love to hear.