The Trick to Making the Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg
Okay, I can’t really take credit for this one (I’ve got to give that to the culinary Jedi extraordinaire Mr. Jacques Pépin), but I did take the time to test his methods. I also tried doing all of the other crazy tips you’ve heard of for making perfect hard-boiled eggs—placing them in cold water and bringing them to a boil, removing them from the heat and letting them sit in hot water, even cooking them in the oven!
Never doubt Jacques Pépin’s pin
And what did I find? The Jedi himself knew the secret. If you’re going to boil them or bake them (it doesn’t really matter) you will run the risk of having some crack during the process.
This is due to a tiny air pocket inside the egg that when heated expands and cracks the shell. If your goal is to have perfect hard-boiled eggs in intact shells do as the master does: take a small needle and poke a hole in the rounder end of the egg prior to cooking them.
That way, the air pocket will puff out as the egg heats and your eggs will remain perfectly round and wonderful. An unblemished canvas for your Easter decorating.
An ice bath is good for your eggs
The trick for a not only beautiful, but delicious egg is what you do with them after they are cooked. When they are done (about twelve minutes in simmering, not boiling water) immediately place them into an ice bath. Pour out the hot water in your pan and replace with cold water and ice. Let them sit for at least 10-15 minutes. This will remove the sulfur flavor from the eggs and make them delicious.
If you’re just going to eat them, and not paint them, use the pan to crack the eggs prior to filling with cold water and ice. Just bang them around some in there. When the shells are cracked it allows the sulfur to dissipate even better.
And that’s it. That’s the trick—poke a hole prior to cooking (whether you bring them up to a boil in cold water or put them directly into boiling water or bake them like a crazy person) and ice bath.
Happy hunting everyone!