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Egg Salad is Easy… Right?

egg_saladBy Trish Derge

I know it sounds simple, and it actually is…but there are a few tips I’d like to pass along to you on how-to make the best hard-boiled eggs. There are several cooking method variations, but no matter which you use, there are common mistakes you should try to avoid.

1. Using the wrong size pot
Don’t try to cram too many egg in a pot. Not only will the eggs cook unevenly, but there’s more risk of an egg cracking.

Trish’s Tip:  Eggs should sit in a single layer and have enough space to move around.

2. Starting with boiling water
If you’re about to place uncooked eggs in a pot of boiling water, stop!

Hard-boiled eggs should always be started with cool water. Bringing the water and eggs up in temperature together helps promote even cooking and prevents cracking.

Trish’s Tip: Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water.

3. Using eggs that are too fresh
Hard-boiled eggs can be difficult to peel, and this is especially true when they’re made using eggs that are too fresh. As eggs age, two things happen that make them easier to peel. First, they lose moisture through small pores in the shell, and the air pocket at the tip of the egg gets larger. I don’t want to get too scientific here, but the pH level of the egg’s whites rise as they age, which makes them adhere less strongly to the shell.

Trish’s Tip: For hard-boiled eggs that are easier to peel, use older eggs. Buy your eggs a week or two before you plan to boil them.

4. Overcooking them
Ever found that the yolk has a gray-green tint? A slightly stinky sulphur-like odor? A rubbery white? Dry, crumbly yolk? All of these are results of an overcooked hard-boiled egg.

Trish’s Tip: Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover them with cold water, bring to a boil. Then, remove the pan from the heat, cover it, and let it sit for 10 minutes for firm yet creamy hard-boiled eggs, or up to 15 minutes for very firm eggs.

5. Not using an ice bath
In theory, it seems like the eggs should be finished cooking when the timer buzzes. But, in reality, that’s not the case. Even once the eggs are removed from the water, they’re still hot. The heat from carryover cooking will continue to cook the eggs, risking overcooking.

Trish’s Tip: Not only is an ice bath your ticket to stopping the cooking immediately, but it will also help separate the egg membrane from the shell, making it easier to peel. Once the eggs have finished cooking, drain the water from the saucepan and transfer the eggs to an ice bath. Let them soak until they’re fully cooled.

Trish’s Easy-Egg Salad

      Place six eggs in a sauce pan, and cover with cool water
      Bring water to a boil, and cook 7 to 10 minutes
      Remove from heat, and rinse with cold water, or place in ice bath
      When cool, crack and remove the shell, then slice and chop the eggs into pieces in a medium size bowl
      Add 1/3 cup Mayo, 2 tbsp Yellow Mustard, mix well, salt and pepper to taste
      Serve on toasted bread of croissant…or use as a dip with crackers!

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