Hack #3: The Hard Boiled Egg

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Somewhere in the world there might still be a few people who don’t know how to boil water. I venture there are a lot more of us fumbling around trying to perfectly hard-boil an egg.

A well-made hard-boiled egg is more than a tasty bite of protein on your toast or in a salad or sandwich. It can be a thing of beauty.

But only if cooked correctly.

There are definitely some bad eggs out there. You have seen them. Eggs which, when cut in half, have a grayish-green line around the dry-as-dust yolk. Or whites so rubbery they might bounce if you dropped them.

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avoid gray perimeter around yolk

When ready for a good hard-boiled egg, here is a foolproof recipe from start to finish. Cooked to perfection every time and consumed for nutrition and pleasure.

Eggs always remind me of the final scene in “Annie Hall”. The main character reminisces about his former girlfriend, Annie, after unexpectedly running into her on the street. He philosophizes, “It reminds me of that old joke–you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says, hey doc, my brother’s crazy! He thinks he’s a chicken. Then the doc says, why don’t you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would, but I need the eggs. I guess that’s pretty much how I feel about relationships. They’re totally irrational, crazy, and absurd, but we keep going through then because, well, most of us…need the eggs.”

Absolutely. We all need them eggs.

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HARD BOILING EGGS

  • Place eggs shell to shell in an uncovered saucepan as space allows.IMG_8349
  • Cover with cold water one to two inches above top of eggs.IMG_8350
  • Add a splash of white [or any kind of] vinegar. This helps prevent shells from cracking during cooking process.
  • Turn heat on high and wait for water to boil.IMG_8402
  • When water reaches full boil, immediately turn off heat and place a lid over pan.
  • Set timer for exactly 18 minutes. [At higher altitudes you need to add time.]IMG_8408
  • As soon as timer goes off, drain hot water and flush eggs copiously with cold tap water while still in pan.
  • Transfer eggs to bowl and set in refrigerator to finish cooling.
  • Once cooled, ready to peel and eat.

Peeling is the other, often imperfect, part of boiled eggs. Some people swear by peeling under running water. Others say it depends on the freshness of eggs whether they peel easily or not. I use the meditative approach and simply take my time, aiming for the smoothest release of shell and membrane from each part of the egg. Sometimes it works.

Other hacks here: Hack #1: Making Perfect Rice and Hack #2: Relishing the Radish