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Mucho Bocho
05-20-2012, 09:21 AM
I'm tired of shelling hard boiled eggs that stick to the white. If anyone could offer some advise on cooking hard boiled with repeatable results I'd love to hear it. I've tried many methods.

What sometimes works is put eggs in cold salt water on stove over medium heat covered until med bubbles emerge, let simmer one minute then remove and chill in ice water for 10 min. peel. The eggs I use are from a neighbors pasture farm and are orange as setting sun. They the come in different colors and sizes. Sometimes when I chill the eggs the shells cracks, sometime not.

When I finish shelling, I end up with 30% wasted albumen stuck to pieces of shell. And thats only because I have very good shelling technique, most people would only be left with a yoke. HELP

Pensacola Tiger
05-20-2012, 09:53 AM
I've noticed that the older the egg, the easier the shell comes off.

knyfeknerd
05-20-2012, 10:05 AM
Bring eggs to a boil. Not a rolling boil, but a bit over a simmer. Simmer/Boil for exactly 10 minutes. Remove eggs quickly and shock in an ice bath. Do not let them chill too long-only a minute or two. Over chilling the eggs makes them much harder to peel. I also don't do salt in the h2o.

oivind_dahle
05-20-2012, 10:06 AM
small holes in the eggshell before cooking. In cold water when boiled :)

shankster
05-20-2012, 10:28 AM
I've noticed that the older the egg, the easier the shell comes off.

+1
cold water-bring to boil-take off heat-cover for 10 mins-cool well-peel.
sometimes using a spoon(getting the backside under the shell)works for stubborn eggs..

sachem allison
05-20-2012, 11:14 AM
I've noticed that the older the egg, the easier the shell comes off.

you are absolutely right, the fresher the egg the more difficult it is to shell, all the membranes are still stuck to the shell, as it gets older the bonds weaken thus allowing the shell to be peeled easily. Most people don't realize that the eggs they just bought at the store or had delivered are not always fresh, they could have been sitting in cold storage for 30 days or more, before you get them.

mr drinky
05-20-2012, 11:57 AM
Yep, I use older eggs and have also (from a previous egg thread) been adding baking soda to the water. My eggs have been peeling fine as of late.

k.

shankster
05-20-2012, 12:23 PM
Interesting..I wonder what the science behind that is?

ajhuff
05-20-2012, 12:24 PM
Bring eggs to a boil. Not a rolling boil, but a bit over a simmer. Simmer/Boil for exactly 10 minutes. Remove eggs quickly and shock in an ice bath. Do not let them chill too long-only a minute or two. Over chilling the eggs makes them much harder to peel. I also don't do salt in the h2o.

This has been working for me except I heavily salt the water. Heavy salt. I've tried baking soda and get the food science of it but I could not discern a difference. Could be the influence of the grocery store eggs I buy,.

-AJ

Andrew H
05-20-2012, 12:31 PM
I read this chapter of on Food and Cooking last night for the second time.
The reason (and we don't know the exact process behind it) that the albumen sticks to the shell membrane is due to the pH of the egg. A very fresh egg is somewhat acidic (6.0 pH, if I remember correctly), but one you've had in your fridge for a week or two is somewhere around 9.0pH. The more alkaline (or less acidic, depending on how you look at it) your egg is the easier it will be to peel.

The simple way to make your water - egg combination more alkaline is to add an alkaline to the water. A teaspoon of baking soda per quart is what Mr. McGee recommends.

Edit: @AJ
Salt water is also alkaline, somewhere around 7.6-8.5 depending on how much you salt the water, so you could have just been making your water more alkaline with the salt than you were with baking soda.

Pensacola Tiger
05-20-2012, 12:56 PM
I read this chapter of on Food and Cooking last night for the second time.
The reason (and we don't know the exact process behind it) that the albumen sticks to the shell membrane is due to the pH of the egg. A very fresh egg is somewhat acidic (6.0 pH, if I remember correctly), but one you've had in your fridge for a week or two is somewhere around 9.0pH. The more alkaline (or less acidic, depending on how you look at it) your egg is the easier it will be to peel.

The simple way to make your water - egg combination more alkaline is to add an alkaline to the water. A teaspoon of baking soda per quart is what Mr. McGee recommends.

Edit: @AJ
Salt water is also alkaline, somewhere around 7.6-8.5 depending on how much you salt the water, so you could have just been making your water more alkaline with the salt than you were with baking soda.

I know that eggshell is permeable, but is it permeable enough for the baking soda to affect the pH of the egg in the short time the eggs are in the cooking water?

I wonder if soaking fresh eggs in a baking soda solution overnight would make them alkaline enough to peel easily.

Andrew H
05-20-2012, 01:01 PM
I know that eggshell is permeable, but is it permeable enough for the baking soda to affect the pH of the egg in the short time the eggs are in the cooking water?

I wonder if soaking fresh eggs in a baking soda solution overnight would make them alkaline enough to peel easily.

It seems to work; it does for me anyways.

Jim
05-21-2012, 01:17 AM
I have found that breaking the shells at the fat end as you are cooling them off in the water bath helps the peel.

The Edge
05-21-2012, 01:42 AM
Just a note, this adds nothing to this thread at all. Just reminded of a movie called "A World Without Thieves" where in one scene a guy takes a hard boiled egg, a scotch glass, salt, and pepper. Adds the salt and pepper to the glass, places the egg inside, and starts spinning the egg inside. He turns the glass upside down, and pieces of the shell slowly start to fall off until he has a perfectly peeled and seasoned egg. Not even sure if it's possible, but it was cool, and this just reminded me of it.

unkajonet
05-21-2012, 01:59 AM
Maybe this would work? I'd post the vid, but there is a quick instance of profanity. It is worth a look for his "technique"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN2gYHJNT3Y

apicius9
05-21-2012, 02:24 AM
Nothing to add to the solution of the problem, just want to express my gratitude and appreciation for the correct use of the plural of ovum ;) Seven years of Latin, a looong time ago...

Stefan

Crothcipt
05-21-2012, 03:13 AM
Maybe this would work? I'd post the vid, but there is a quick instance of profanity. It is worth a look for his "technique"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN2gYHJNT3Y
yes this works well. I usually don't shoot it into my other hand, but it will pull the shells off.

I do a little different, instead of top and bottom I will roll down 2 sides and blow through the hollow of the egg.

Mucho Bocho
05-21-2012, 07:56 AM
Good one. I'm going to give this egg blowing technique a try. Sounds like a tag line from a porno.


Maybe this would work? I'd post the vid, but there is a quick instance of profanity. It is worth a look for his "technique"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN2gYHJNT3Y

Mucho Bocho
05-21-2012, 07:56 AM
Noted Stefan


Nothing to add to the solution of the problem, just want to express my gratitude and appreciation for the correct use of the plural of ovum ;) Seven years of Latin, a looong time ago...

Stefan

Vertigo
05-21-2012, 08:20 AM
The trick I learned when I had to stock the salad bar was to plunge the cooked eggs into a large bowl filled with ice water and white vinegar, then swirl the bowl aggressively enough that the eggs kinda bang together and start to crack. The vinegar softens the egg shells and cracking the eggs helps them cool faster (which forces the egg to "pull away" from the shell). Once they're cool, the shells pretty much fall right off, but if not, rolling them with the palm of your hand against the counter usually takes care of it.

EdipisReks
05-21-2012, 09:31 AM
i slightly crack the egg shells about 10 seconds before i remove them from the hot water. they are easy to peel, then, old or young.

mr drinky
05-21-2012, 10:24 AM
i slightly crack the egg shells about 10 seconds before i remove them from the hot water. they are easy to peel, then, old or young.

Does that affect how long they stay good in the fridge? Just wondering. I've noticed before when eggs crack on their own, they tend to be easier to peel. Your crack thing makes sense.

k.

EdipisReks
05-21-2012, 11:34 AM
Does that affect how long they stay good in the fridge? Just wondering. I've noticed before when eggs crack on their own, they tend to be easier to peel. Your crack thing makes sense.

k.

hard boiled eggs don't sit around my home long enough for me to determine that, but i imagine that they wouldn't be any different in that regard...

Eamon Burke
05-21-2012, 01:58 PM
The procedure for hard boiling eggs for a salad bar:
Put the oldest usable eggs in cold water, boil for a few minutes. Turn heat off, leave the eggs for like 10 more minutes.

Put the pan in the sink, run cold water on them until the eggs aren't hot anymore. When that's done, just grab the pot and shake it back and forth like you are sauteeing the eggs, and let them beat each other up. After a few minutes, they are all peeled, just need rinsing to get the excess shell off.

Then you push them through a grate for a steamtable pan over the container you want. Bam.

mr drinky
05-21-2012, 03:16 PM
Btw, I know I have seen the 10 minute time a lot, but the best thing to do is experiment. With the different size of eggs these days, doneness is not usually a set time. I bring my eggs to a boil (just barely a boil) and let them sit covered for 7 minutes then plunge them in an ice bath. I also try buy the same size eggs, and I never do those jumbo ones as it can throw of some recipes.

k.

Mucho Bocho
05-21-2012, 03:23 PM
Salty, Agreed. that's pretty much my method as well except I find that they don't need longer than five minutes. I like the albumen firm but not too bouncy or hard. The baking soda sounds plausible but jury is out until I give it a try. I've heard that older eggs release shells easier. We'll see. I'm going to do a batch this weekend and stuuf them with pulled-pork. I'm going to do a batch with baking soda and a batch without and report my findings.

Just FYI, Baking Soda does wonders for crisping chicken skin too.


Btw, I know I have seen the 10 minute time a lot, but the best thing to do is experiment. With the different size of eggs these days, doneness is not usually a set time. I bring my eggs to a boil (just barely a boil) and let them sit covered for 7 minutes then plunge them in an ice bath. I also try buy the same size eggs, and I never do those jumbo ones as it can throw of some recipes.

k.

Eamon Burke
05-21-2012, 06:12 PM
I check doneness by dropping them a few mm above the counter. Too bouncy, overdone. under done feels loose when you shake it. I like my yolks anywhere from creamy to raw.

ajhuff
05-21-2012, 09:04 PM
I've tried the old eggs vs new eggs and could never tell a difference. Both still sucked. :laugh:

And maybe it's just me but I swear eggs have changed in the last 10 years. I never had problems peeling eggs. Then about ten years ago (I know because it is post marriage) I could get any egg to peel worth a damn. Baking soda, different times, pricked vs non-pricked, old vs. new, nothing helped. It wasn't until recently I started using heavy salting of the water have I had any success. Anyone else have a similar observation? I think they are feeding the chickens something differently (said as I don my tin foil hat).

-AJ

ajhuff
05-21-2012, 09:06 PM
One other thing. I think I read once about steaming eggs hard cooked. It would not be practical at home but is this a real technique? Some days it would be handy to be able to hard cook a few pans of eggs in the steamer if such a technique exists.

-AJ

Duckfat
05-22-2012, 10:51 AM
Interesting..I wonder what the science behind that is?

Baking soda neutralizes the Ph.

Dave