By Kristie Popa
With Easter coming up in just a few days, many families will be hard boiling eggs to color and/or eat. Perfecting your egg boiling skills will lead to the perfect hard-boiled eggs! This is an easy activity that 4-H youth can complete with the help of their parents or another adult. Use these tips and tricks to get started:
Prepare your tools including:
- Sauce Pan (size depends on the number of eggs – up to 8 in a medium pan)
- Cold water
- Slotted spoon
- Bowl with ice water
Carefully place the eggs in the saucepan. Make sure that the eggs are in a single layer – do not place eggs on top of one another.
Use cold water to cover the eggs in the saucepan with water. Make sure the water reaches at least 1 inch above the egg. *If there is not enough water, the egg white can turn brown rather than staying white.
Place the saucepan on the stove and turn the stove up to medium-high heat.
As soon as the water comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.
Let the eggs stand in the pan with the lid on for 9-15 minutes depending on the size of the eggs.
- Medium Eggs: 9 minutes
- Large Eggs: 12 minutes
- Extra Large Eggs: 15 minutes
- *Boiled eggs with a green ring around the yolk have been cooked too long or at too high of a temperature.
After the time is up remove the lid from the pan. *Remove the lid away from you to avoid contact with the steam.
Immediately run water over the eggs until cooled or use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the hot water and place them into an ice bath (bowl with ice and water) to cool.
Once they are cooled, you can peel the eggs or refrigerate. *All hard-boiled eggs need to be used within one week.
Q: Are fresh eggs the best eggs to used for hard boiled eggs?
A: No, they actually are not. Very fresh eggs are more difficult to peel after hard boiling. There is an air cell that forms between the shell membranes as the eggs age which helps separate the egg from the shell. The best eggs to use are those that have been refrigerated for 7-10 days. It is also believed that you should store the eggs small end up for 24 hours prior to boiling for the best results.
Q: What is the best way to peel an egg?
A: To peel an egg, you should crack the shell by gently tapping the egg on the counter or on a plate. You can also roll the egg between your hands to loosen the shell. You should start peeling at the large end. It may also help to hold the egg under running water or dip it in the water to make peeling easier.
Information derived from National 4-H Curriculum 4-H Cooking 101 and incredibleegg.org