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Today I went six for six in Hardboiled Egg. You know what I’m talking about. Six eggs perfectly hard boiled, and peeled without demolishing any of the whites. Anyone who tells you they have a foolproof method for making perfectly boiled and peeled eggs every time is lying. You are not a fool. Eggs are very independent. (If Julia Child didn’t say that, she should have.)

Perhaps you’ve heard the disclaimer: “Cook?? I can’t even boil an egg!” Well, I’m here to assure you that boiling eggs–or anything else you do with an egg–is a culinary art not to be sneezed at. So just pick a method that seems to work for you, and stick with it.

Neighbors of ours in what is known as the urban core installed a chicken coop in their backyard. City ordinance permits chickens but no roosters. For a while, we enjoyed regular deliveries of eggs straight out of the chicken.

Then tragedy struck. A raccoon broke in. Bye-bye chickens. The flock is being restored with better security, and I’m looking forward to eating more of those beautiful and delicious eggs. The shells can be pale green or brown or peach colored. The yolks are sunrise orange. I believe these eggs are significantly superior to grocery store eggs, and I am delighted to support the enterprise.

Oh, and just in case you wondered, here’s how I cook hardboiled eggs:

Put the eggs in a deep saucepan and cover completely with cold water.
Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 15 minutes. (This is the part where you might have to experiment a bit)
Select one egg for your “tester.” (It’s best to plan for a sacrificial egg when you’re counting on a certain batch for, say, deviled eggs.)
Run your test egg under cold water. Tap the shell to crack it all over.
Gently try to slip off the shell all in one piece (rarely happens).
Cut the test egg in half to check the texture of the yolk and the white.
If you like it, you’re good to go.  If not, let the remaining eggs sit in the hot water for a while longer. (I warned you it’s not foolproof!)
Pour out the hot water and run cold water over the remaining eggs (with ice!)
When the eggs are cool, tap to crack the shells and peel away.

Wrecked eggs become egg salad or salad garnish. Nothing is ever lost.


  1. Do you have a tried and true method for soft boiled–really soft!
    Thanks for the hard advice…so to speak!

  2. I had no idea where this post would go when I saw the title, but I loved it! Keep ’em coming!

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