Sunday, September 9, 2012

Perfect Hard Cooked Egg Quest

Since the beginning of the year I have been on a slow carb diet. This past month I have been transitioning to the Paleo diet. On both diets I consume a lot of eggs. While I love my scrambled eggs with salsa in the morning for breakfast, sometimes I need grab and go protein for lunches or snacks. Hard cooked eggs are perfect IF you can get perfect hard cooked eggs. 

I have been on a quest for some time now to get the perfect hard cooked egg. I've tried the boiling water method where you put the eggs in a pan, add water 1 inch above the eggs, and then the instructions go various paths from there. My biggest problem with these methods have been what is boiling? I am an engineer and boiling to me means I get out thermometer and measure the water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, then start the timer one that point has been reached. I got green rimmed eggs every time. The other method I have experimented with have had better success with, but still inconsistent, is baking the eggs in the oven. I've had eggs crack and brown spots left on the whites with this method. Sometimes the eggs wouldn't be completely cooked and others I would get the dreaded green ring, although not nearly as bad as the boiling methods.
I eventually came upon the method of steaming your eggs. What I like about this method is that you boil the water first with your steamer basket in pot. In this method, I didn't feel like I needed to get out a thermometer. I put enough water in the pan to almost touch the bottom of the steamer, put the lid on, and put the pot on the stove. I turn the stove on to medium high heat and let the water come to a boil or when I hear the bubbles and the lid rattling (very scientific I know). Then I place my eggs in the steamer basket, return the lid to the pan,  and let them cook for 13 min. After they are cooked, I place the eggs in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. I then drain and dry them off. They are now ready to eat or store in the fridge for later and beautiful.

For the steaming method I am typically making 4 eggs at a time. In my steamer basket, this method will still work for up to 6 eggs. I haven't experimented with more eggs, but I will update the post with findings when I do. I also did the steaming method several times starting with 18 min. and decreasing the time with each iteration until I got the eggs to where I think they are perfect. The eggs also peel very nicely with this method as well. Store bought eggs do not have to be aged as they arrive at the shelves already aged. I buy my eggs from the farmer's market and have great results as well without aging them.

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