Chopped, sliced or wedged, hard-cooked eggs are the base for egg salad, and they add protein and a happy glow to tossed and composed salads and casseroles.
Hard-cooked eggs are often incorrectly called hard-boiled eggs. Yes, the cooking water must come to a boil. But you’ll get more tender, less rubbery eggs—without a green ring around the yolk—and you’ll have less breakage if you turn off the heat or remove the pan from the burner, allowing the eggs to cook gently in hot water.
Very fresh eggs may be difficult to peel. The fresher the eggs, the more tenaciously the shell membranes cling. The simplest method for easy peeling is to buy and refrigerate eggs a week to 10 days in advance of hard-cooking. This brief “breather” allows the eggs to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell.
Follow these steps to produce picture-perfect hard-cooked eggs, and visit the American Egg Board for quick and easy hard-cooked egg recipes.
- Place eggs in single layer in saucepan. Add enough tap water to come at least 1 inch above eggs.
- Cover. Quickly bring just to boiling. Turn off heat.
- If necessary, remove pan from burner to prevent further boiling. Let eggs stand, covered, in the hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium, 18 for extra large).
- Immediately run cold water over eggs, or place them in ice water (not standing water) until completely cooled. Once cooled, refrigerate eggs in their shells and use within one week of cooking, or peel and use immediately.
- To remove shell, crackle it by tapping gently until a fine network of lines appears all over the shell.
- Roll egg between hands to loosen shell.
- Peel, starting at large end. Hold egg under running cold water or dip in bowl of water to help ease off shell.
- To segment eggs evenly, use an egg slicer or wedger. For chopped eggs, rotate a sliced egg 90° in a slicer and slice again. Or, chop eggs with a sharp pastry blender in a bowl. Draw down a wedger’s wires only partway to open an egg to hold a stuffing or resemble a flower.
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