I make hard-boiled eggs just a few times a year – usually to make deviled eggs; now that my kids are growing up, we haven’t taken time to color them for Easter. We should enjoy them more often in a packed lunch or as extra protein garnish on tossed salads, but they seem to get pushed back in our fridge and forgotten. Since I fix them so seldom, I forget just what cooking method works best.
I decided to dig into some of the information I’ve collected on cooking eggs, and spell it out for us all.
Experts don’t agree on how to hard-cook an egg. Do you start them in cold water or hot? Do you simmer the whole time, or gradually bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and let them stand? Do you prick the shell before cooking?
One thing everyone agrees on: don’t overcook them and produce a greenish-gray ring around the yolks. This is the one thing my mother often did. She seemed most concerned about having them cooked through; I think she left them 20 minutes when I was old enough to start paying attention. As I became interested in cooking and read up on it, I talked her into cutting the time.
I’ve often looked to Julia Child for advice. In her book, The Way to Cook, she describes a method that she admitted “takes a bit of fussing, but does produce the perfect hard-boiled egg … [which] shows not the faintest darkening of yolk where the white encircles it
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