A couple of weeks ago I read a blog post about boiling fresh eggs, I have hunted diligently for that post so I could link to it here but ain’t had no luck. Anyone that has chickens has run into the age-old issue of cooking hard-boiled eggs, FRESH eggs just wont peel after being boiled! It is frustrating. irritating, and ultimately enlightening. I don’t understand all of the science and ain’t got the motivation to look it up, but suffice it to say that if you leave your FRESH eggs in the fridge uncovered for 3-4 weeks they will boil up and peel fairly well. The older they are the better, what does that say about store bought eggs?!!!!! They are all labeled “farm fresh” but they sure peel good even straight from the store!
I had read all sorts of sure-fire process’ that are guaranteed to make your FRESH eggs peel reliably after cooking. In the past I had tried most of the ones using traditional egg in boiling water techniques, lots of salt, baking soda, vinegar, starting with cold water and rapidly chilling when done, cracking the shell once the water came to a boil to name some of the most popular. None worked reliably for me. Recently I had read that steaming your eggs worked like a charm so today I decided to find out. Additionally my wife had bought some funky device called “Eggies” for boiling eggs outside of the shells, she insisted I try them so I ran a head to head test to compare the methods.
For the Steaming method I put the colander in the pot and put enough water in to leave about a 1/2″ of space between the water and the bottom of the colander. The pot was put on the stove and brought to a full boil, then I placed seven eggs in the colander, placed the lid on, and set the timer for 15 minutes. When the timer went off only 1 had cracked egg. I separated them and left 3 to cool on the counter while the other 4 went into ice water.
Next I proceeded to set up the Eggies, What a pain in the ASS! After thoroughly reading the instructions, I cleaned the cups, lubed them, assembled them, then carefully cracked an egg into each of the 4 cups. They were then sealed, placed in the pot which was filled with warm water and put on the stove. When the water came to a boil I reduced the heat to a gentle boil and set the timer for 15 minutes as suggested by the chart on the back of the instructions. All went well which then led into the peeling and evaluation phase.
These are the steamed eggs after peeling. The shells slipped right off of the warm and chilled eggs alike.Above are the eggies after boiling, cooling, and opening. As you can see I broke the yolk on one of the eggs while filling the cups, that was my fault, I had forgotten how tough the membrane in duck eggs can be!Based on the results I would have to admit that both steaming and Eggies create a hard “boiled” egg that peels easily. But if you take into account the effort put into each method along with the aesthetics of the finished product Steaming wins hands down! The original recipe I read for steaming eggs said to steam them for 20 minutes but then I read several posts on the forums at Backyardchickens.com that claimed excessive cracking at that length of time and recommended cutting the time in half. More posts reported slight undercooking at the 10 minute mark, I like HARD boiled eggs with no iridescence left in the yolk but no green ring either, so I settled on 15 minutes and got perfectly cooked eggs with only one cracked.
I highly encourage all of my fellow backyard chicken owners to give steaming eggs a try and start enjoying easy to peel hard boiled eggs again!