Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

Dear Never Cook Naked Guys: In my experience, in order to make perfect hard-boiled eggs, the eggs need to be at least a week old. I’m not sure why, but they always come out perfectly. What gives?—Nothing’s Rotten in Denmark

Dear Rotten: We live in the country. We buy eggs from a woman down the road from us. Yet, we still don’t know exactly how old those eggs are. So unless you’re raising your own hens and are present for the blessed event, chances are you don’t know exactly how old your eggs are, either. Neither do we.

We do know this: brand-new eggs out of the henhouse become hard-boiled eggs that are more difficult to peel. The membrane that holds the whites to the shell in these eggs is more tenacious, mostly because the egg itself is more acidic when fresh. Over the course of a few days or weeks, as the pH of the egg rises, the membrane becomes less adhesive. Voilà. More easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs.

There’s a trade-off. Once the membrane begins to lose its adhesive properties, the yolks move around more freely in the white and thus, are often not perfectly centered in hard-boiled eggs. It’s not a big deal, but you were making claims for perfection, so we felt the need to point that out.

So yes, it’s true, perfectly fresh eggs don’t make the best hard-boiled eggs. But they do make the best scrambled eggs. And fried eggs.  And poached eggs. And puddings. And soufflés.  And meringues. We could go on, but those eggs are starting to get old.

Our very clever, very clothed Never Cook Naked columnists are at your disposal, able to troubleshoot everything from questionable table etiquette to tricky cooking techniques (as well as, natch, proper cooking attire). Ask us your question in a comment below!

About Bruce Weinstein | Mark Scarbrough

Bruce and Mark are award-winning, international best-selling cookbook authors with thirty-six published cookbooks and over 1,000,000 copies of their books in print. Bruce and Mark have published on topics as diverse as ice cream, ham, barbecue, goat, and vegetarian main courses. They are masters of the air fryer with The Essential Air Fryer Cookbook (2019), and The Instant Pot with The Instant Bible (2018) and The Instant Pot Bible: The Next Generation (2020).
Their You-Tube channel Cooking with Bruce and Mark offers hours of delicious fun and their podcast Cooking with Bruce and Mark reaches 10s of thousands with their culinary antics.
When they are not in the kitchen, Mark teaches lit classes and runs book groups throughout Litchfield County and online while Bruce teaches knitting and designs knitted patterns for both men and women. Find out more about what they’re up to at www.bruceandmark.com

Hungry For More?

Hungoevr, er, Hangover Cures

You may not be thinking this now, but with this stash of hangover fixes both tempting and therapeutic, you can snatch hope from failure, triumph from despair. Milton Crawford explains.

How to Store Holiday Cookies and Candies

Savvy tricks that ensure your Christmas creations look and taste as stunning as they did the moment you finished slaving over them even weeks after the fact. Let the holiday spirit linger!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *