I’ve been cooking for a long time, y’all.
I’ve no formal training, of course, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know my way around a kitchen or a few things about the best way to prepare different types of food. Some things are just basics, like how to boil an egg, but it never ceases to amaze me how many people have no idea how to perform this simple task.
For those of you who may need a hand, you start with room temperature eggs. Place them in a pot large enough to hold them (preferably in a single layer) and cover the eggs with cool water. Bring the water to a boil, then remove the eggs from the heat and cover. Allow the eggs to sit for 10 minutes, then run cold water over them until they are cool enough to handle. For best results, peel the eggs before placing them in the refrigerator. Cooking hard-boiled eggs in this manner will guarantee they don’t form a green ring around the yolk and peel easily.
IF your eggs are not fresh. Did I forget to mention that?
Really fresh eggs will not peel easily, no matter what method you use to hard-boil them. Allowing eggs to sit in the refrigerator for at least a week will cause the membrane to shrink away from the shell, making peeling them after they’ve been boiled much easier.
At least for battery produced eggs – when I still shopped at what my brother (who has also jumped on the paleo/real food bandwagon) now refers to as the “gross-ery store,” the method I describe above produced beautiful hard-boiled eggs that peeled like a dream if I let them sit in the fridge for a week to 10 days.
The same cannot be said for the eggs I get directly from our farmer.
We drive out to the farm and pick our eggs up every Saturday morning (during the warm months, we just meet him at the farmer’s market). I can guarantee you that the eggs we purchase are no more than two or three days old – most of the time, they were gathered the day before. They’re only washed if there’s dirt or manure on them – all eggshells are porous, and have a naturally occurring protective film over them when they’re laid.
Battery eggs are all washed, removing that protective film along with the filth from the horrible conditions in which they were laid (remember the recent Sparboe Farms scandal?) and allowing pathogens such as salmonella to enter the egg through the porous shell. They’re then candled, packaged, and sent to distribution centers where they sit for who knows how long before finding their way to grocery store shelves (or your local McDonalds). No wonder they peel so easily when they’ve been hard-boiled.
Keeping in mind that fresh eggs don’t peel easily, when I decided to make deviled eggs for our party this last week I kept two dozen eggs in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. Yes, three. And this is what happened.
I’ve decided that ragged deviled eggs are an acceptable trade-off for peace of mind.
How old are the eggs you’re eating, and where did they come from?
Posted in participation of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday