Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday encore ~ The only problem with fresh eggs, finally solved

I love everything about keeping chickens, and I especially love having an endless supply of fresh eggs. 
But there is one problem with fresh eggs that has always confounded me – I've never been able to hard boil them successfully, 
as peeling them is an exercise in futility. I end up tossing most of the white away with the shell, 
and I also end up in a very bad mood. It's always a lose-lose proposition, so I gave up hard-boiling fresh eggs long ago. 
Which is a crying shame because egg salad sandwiches have always been my favorite.

Anyway, I was whining about this dilemma to my favorite chicken whisperer, who graciously shared her secret 
for fresh hard-boiled egg success. "Stick a pin in it," she said.

I suppose you could use a safety pin or a straight pin, but my dad always taught me 
to use the right tool for the job, so I bought an official "egg piercer."

You place the fat end of the egg on top of the yellow thing and push down. It's as simple as that.

The tiny sharp object at the bottom of the device pierces the egg, unlocking the membrane from the inside of the shell. 
Or something like that. I'm not exactly sure on the whole science part of this process, all I know is that it works.

My method for hard boiling eggs is to put the eggs in a pot of cold water, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and 
let them boil for 12 minutes, then run cold water over them for a few minutes. So that's what I did with my pierced eggs.

Here they are after they've been boiled and rinsed with cold water. 
Most of them are wearing hats because some of the egg white leaked out of the holes.

A very small price to pay for a shell that slips off in two pieces.


  1. I wonder if you could avoid the little hats if you do them the way I do. I learned it from Husband, who learned it from Jacques Pepin.
    Get the water boiling first, then put in the pierced eggs.
    Turn the heat down and cover them and simmer them for fifteen minutes.
    Drain them, rattle them around in the pan so the shells crack, then dump them into a bowl of ice water.
    Roll them between your hands and the shells slip right off.

  2. For any years now, j and I have had an egg cooker..this gadget, one of our favorites, will automatically cook from 1-6 eggs in different ways...hard boiled or poached, each with different degrees of automatically....? Spoiled? You bet, and we LOVE it!!!!!

  3. Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you. I am forever in your debt.

  4. I have never had fresh eggs, always having to use store eggs. My success with hard boiled egg peeling is a gamble - I've never heard of piercing them, so I just toss the eggs in the water, bring it to a boil, then take the pot off the heat and let it sit for 20 min. (what a span of time we have here!) I do roll them around on the counter and sometimes the shell slips off, other times I have chunks. I'm going to have to try one of these methods!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  5. Store eggs are rarely that fresh but I always put salt in the water with the eggs and bring the whole deal to a boil with a lid, let them set 20 minutes and then open the lid and they are perfectly hard, rarely does an egg break or send any white out. I will give this a try to see if that also keeps all the white inside with the pinhole

  6. Now I want egg salad, thank you very much.

  7. I've heard of this method before but never tried it...that last picture looks I need to boil and eat some eggs :)

  8. Enjoy all the egg salad sandwiches from here on in....Yummy fresh eggs instead of old eggs from the store...
    I love egg salad sandwiches with celery and onions diced up in them..
    Love from NC

  9. Howdy, I used older eggs at least 3 days old. And I add tablespoon of baking soda to the water. Perfectly hard boiled and out of the shells. Good Luck :)

  10. I've read -- and think my experience has shown it to be true -- that older eggs hard boil better than fresh eggs. I use your start with cold water cooking method.

  11. Good solution since your problem is that your eggs are fresh and wonderful.

    Doubt it would make a difference, but I learned to bring the salted water with the raw eggs in it to a boil and then turn off the heat and let sit for about thirty minutes.Works well on run of the mill store eggs.

    The egg piercer is cool.

  12. My very favorite method is oven baking them for hard cooked eggs.

    These folks also recommended boiling your fresh eggs with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.


  13. Such a variety of advice and techniques here in the comments! That egg piercer is really cool ... though I can imagine that I would find a way to hurt myself with it.