Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Secret to Easily to Peel Fresh Hard Boiled Eggs: Steam Them


I love hard-cooked eggs.  I like to keep a container of them in the fridge and like to pop one in my mouth for a quick, nutritious snack.

The one downside to fresh eggs is how hard they are to peel.  Everyone says 'just mark some and put them aside for a few weeks and then they'll peel fine'. Well, to me, that defeats the purpose of raising chickens for the fresh eggs if you're just going to let them sit around and get old.  I was determined to figure out how to get perfectly peeled hard-cooked eggs.  I tried every method out there I think - with mixed results. 



Then several months ago, a friend told me a great tip for hard-boiled eggs.  STEAM them instead.  No more boiling. No more hard-to-peel eggs.  No more waiting until your fresh eggs are old. No more salting the water or adding vinegar.  It's easy, quick and foolproof. And here's how you do it:


Heat water to boiling in the bottom of a double boiler, vegetable steamer or bamboo steamer.

Rinse your eggs in warm water (you can use eggs you just collected that morning, if you want) and place them in the top of the steamer.  Steam for 20 minutes and then plunge the eggs into a bowl of ice water until they are cool enough to peel.




Roll each egg on the counter to break the shell and then crack the wide end of the egg and peel.  Perfectly peeled eggs - every time !

And you won't get that grayish green rim along the yolk that results from cooking the eggs for too long and cooling them too slowly.

EGG SALAD
My favorite recipe to use the hard-cooked eggs in is egg salad. After rough chopping the eggs with a pastry cutter, I mix in some chopped onion, enough olive-oil mayonnaise to bind the mixture, a splash of apple cider vinegar, chopped fresh dill, sal de mer and some white pepper.


DEVILED EGGS 
Of course deviled eggs are another option.  I mash the yolks with olive-oil mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, a bit of sugar, and then add a bit of fresh dill, salt and pepper -  and scoop the mixture into the halved whites with a small ice cream scoop.

Then garnish with a cooked cocktail shrimp and a sprig of fresh dill.

Try steaming your eggs. I promise you once you try it, you will never boil again.


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80 comments:

  1. Just ran across your blog, and I absolutely love it!! Very informative and I love reading other peoples chicken stories. I tried your apples on a rope trick today, and my little ladies loved it. Plus it was entertaining to watch!!


    http://nachomaticdesigns.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Kristin ! Lots more planned for hthis year. I hope you follow us on facebook also. The link is on the left hand side of the home page.

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  2. I'll have to remember the egg steaming method.

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  3. I will never boil eggs again...I love the steaming method!!

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  4. Followed Mike's link to your blog. I will have to get a steamer now and try this.
    Hubby loves hard boiled eggs, but they are so frustrating to peel. Even with the store-bought eggs I have to use until we retire and get our own chickens.

    I am looking forward to following your blog. Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Thanks Linda. Glad to have you. You will be amazed at how the steamed eggs come out.

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  5. I just found my steamer insert for my saucepans...

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    1. Yes, I had to dig out my wok and bamboo steamer to try it !

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  6. It's winter time here in New Hampshire. My eggs tend to freeze before I can get to them in the morning. Is there any way to use frozen eggs?

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    1. We crack frozen eggs into a bowl, put them in the fridge to thaw and use them for scrambled, etc... anything that doesn't call for "rising".

      Just noticed this is a 2 year old question but hopefully helpful...

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  7. I always learn so much from you Lisa Thanks for sharing!!

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  8. I will have to try the steaming method, never even thought of it! Thank you! :)

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  9. Never heard of steaming or freezing eggs, gonna give it a try

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  10. Sarah, as long as the frozen eggs haven't cracked, just sit them in a bowl of warm water to defrost them and they should be fine.

    Cracked eggs, I would toss or scramble up and feed back to the chickens.

    Steaming works like a charm. I will NEVER boil eggs again !

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  11. Nan....you have been chosen at random to win a feed bag tote. Can you email me at:fresheggsdaily@gmail.com so I can send it out to you ? Thanks !

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  12. I still need to practice the cracking part, but hubby loved the egg salad. :)
    I added some chopped celery, used regular mayo, and sprinkled a little kosher salt on it.

    Thank you! :-)

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  13. I haven't made boiled eggs, deviled eggs, etc. in years because I was so frustated with the peeling process. I tried this method today and I LOVE it. Thanks for the great and useful post! - Carolyn

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    1. You are welcome Carolyn. I just steamed a dozen and a half this afternoon for easy weekend snacks. I will NEVER boil and egg again.

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  14. just tap and peel the eggs under cold running water. the shells just float away, leaving no bits stuck to the egg

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  15. I am definitely going to try this, as I have so much trouble peeling my fresh eggs! It's such a waste. I will be trying this out this week. Thank you for your insight.

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  17. I don't have a bamboo steamer. Would a metal steamer insert work, or would it get too hot and cause a problem? I really have too much kitchen stuff to store a big steamer without driving my husband crazy...

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    1. The metal steamer insert will work just fine. The friend who told me about this actually uses a metal vegetable steamer.

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    2. Hello, my name is Tom and I tried this steaming method using the bottom of a big pressure cooker an used a cast iron pan set on top for the cover, since I didn't want to pressure cook the eggs and I didn't have another lid on hand to properly fit it.

      I filled the water level to just below the top of the metal vegetable steamer and brought to a boil. I then carefully placed 18 eggs on top and placed the pan on top to start the steaming.

      I steamed the eggs for 13 minutes and immediately placed them into the sink that had been premixed with water and ice while they were steaming. With this being the first time I have ever steamed eggs, I must say that I will no longer EVER boil an egg again.

      Out of the 18, only two cracked. 1 was hard to peel which left me with 15 perfect eggs. Not bad for the first time, eh?

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    3. Wonderful! And good to know a bit of an alternative method. Glad you tried it and it worked.

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  18. do you place the eggs in the steamer in the beginning or after the water boils? if after it boils then 20 minutes im assuming? i sure hope this works.....ive also given up on hard boiled eggs too because of the frustrating peeling.....i will be trying your egg salad recipe....sounds delish!!!!

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    1. Usually once its boiling, but sometimes I just pop them in as soon as I have rinsed them all off. Works find both ways.

      I think the key to wonderful egg salad is fresh eggs and fresh dill.

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  19. I love your little how tos and tid bits of info! My aspie son is obsessed with eggs, loves them! I decided to get some chickens and get back into it this spring because of him. His favorite way to eat an egg is hard boiled. I love the idea of steaming it!! I hate boiling and usually end up with green around the yoke because I got disracted by the kiddo. (once left eggs boiling for a 1/2 hour until the water was mostly evaporated) Do you think it would work in a rice cooker that has a plastic basket? I should probably just invest in a bamboo steamer..

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    1. I tried steaming eggs in a rice cooker with the plastic basket it came with and they came out PERFECT!! Peeled super easy, no green around yolks and not tough. Eggs were fresh from my chickens yesterday to boot. I put the eggs in the basket at the same time I added the water to the rice cooker and then timed 20 minutes once I heard the water inside boiling.

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  20. Great info! I was having a terrible time with peeling my eggs. I tried cooking them in the oven but that was terrible, they got over cooked. I'll try this method next!

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  21. I love the idea of steaming eggs. Fresh eggs are the best for taste, but so hard to peel. I'm definitely trying this.

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  22. So do you keep the water boiling the whole 20 minutes or bring it to a boil and then turn off and let it set for 20 minutes?

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    1. I bring the water to a boil, add the eggs, leave the water boiling for 20 minutes under them then turn it off and pop them into the ice water. I've never tried turning off the stove when I add the eggs. I mean the steam is cooking them not the flame right ? Try it and see.

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    2. I wouldn't think that the steam would last for 20 minutes after turning off the heat. Then again, I've never tried to steam anything without the water boiling the whole time, so I could very easily be wrong about that.

      Going to try this tomorrow, I think, I'm due to cook up a batch for keeping in the fridge for snacks, and while this seems to take longer than boiling, if it makes the peeling easier, it'll be well worth it!

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  23. Just tried the steamed eggs - everyone of them was perfect but one and that was operator error. Rolled it a little too hard and it smooshed. Thanks for the wonderful tip!

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  24. Can you make this in two layers of the bamboo steamer or would the steam not reach?? I have made them but I have an electric stove which makes it a little more difficult to monitor how much heat to use for the right amt. of steam. Once they came out perfect the next time it seemed the steam was too low & although the eggs cooked they didn't peel easily.

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    1. I have never tried two layers. I bet you could tho. I keep the flame on high the whole time ....maximum steam !!

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  25. Just picked up a bamboo steamer at a yard sale. I've never used one, do you have to use a WOK with it? I can't tell in your picture if that is a WOK? I've tried googling vids on steaming eggs not coming across anything useful. Does the bamboo steamer have to sitting on top of the water or can it be immersed in water? Sorry for all the questions :)

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    1. Nice yard sale find ! I use a wok and they are designed to be used with a wok, but you can just set it over a slightly smaller pot. It needs to be sitting above the water. I usually add about 4" or so of water and that's sufficient.

      Keep your eyes peeled - I bet you could find a wok at a yard sale too :0)

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  26. I searched everywhere for the bamboo steamer, lo and behold, my brother had gotten one in a box at a auction.....works like a charm...my granddaughter and I steamed hard boiled eggs today......:-)

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  27. We eat salad a couple times a week and I love putting a couple hard boiled eggs sliced on top. I had pretty much given up on having them peal nicely. I'd much rather have fresh eggs than perfectly pealed as you pointed out! I will have to give this method a go. I have a multipot from Calphalon that comes with a steaming basket. I bet it will do the trick.

    Thanks for submitting to Eat Make Grow!

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    1. P.S. I also pinned this to the Eat Make Grow Posts that Inspire board!

      http://pinterest.com/marigoldhaske/eat-make-grow-posts-that-inspire/

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  28. I use the EggHead Egg cooker! Perfect eggs everytime and it has a timer that goes off when they are done! I love it! I also use a touch of my zuchinni relish in my egg salad, yummy!

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  29. I will NEVER boil my eggs again!! Just found this post this morning and tried it just now. I have never had my eggs (fresh today) peel so easily!!
    Thank you
    Thank you
    Thank you!!

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  30. Thanks for the steaming idea, will try it as soon as I get a steamer. :) I used to boil my eggs for 5+ minutes to get hard boiled eggs, but recently learned of this method which is I bring the water to a boil, put a cover on, turn off the heat and let them sit for 15 minutes, then into the ice cold water. It's not really steaming and not really boiling either, but somewhere in the middle. So far so good, I haven't lost any eggs and peeling is easier especially when you dip the egg back into the water after cracking and peeling off your first piece.

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  31. I found this recipe and was very excited for it....I don't have a steamer, so I tried the double boiler method. It took two hours...they peeled fine, the yokes were bright yellow...but it takes forever!!! And some of them didn't seem totally cooked on one half. What did I do wrong!? I even covered them with a lid!

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    1. That's very odd. I have done countless batches in the steamer over boiling water and 20 minutes is all it takes. Was your water at a rolling boil? And yes, covered is good.

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    2. A double boiler is NOT a steamer, it is designed to keep the item being cooked below boiling to cook it slowly. Generally you use a double boiler to keep chocolate from scorching when you melt it for instance.

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    3. Either will work fine, its the heat that cooks them....

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  32. I place fresh eggs in STAINLESS STEEL 4 qt dutch over, bring to rolling boil, remove from heat, cover and time 20 minutes, drain water and cool eggs in tap water. They are sometimes hard to peel, but no green ring. I will try plunging into ice water. People compliment me on beautiful hard boiled eggs, no green ring, all the time. I am going to try making your homemade mayo w/dill, you have NEVER steered me wrong Lisa and FED is my very favorite site.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, try the ice water, I think that's key to the easy peeling. Let me know if you notice a difference. And I agree, no green ring when you steam them.

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  33. One thing I forgot to mention is that Mom used to take a hard boiled egg, place in egg slicer, two slices of bread w/mayo and arrange sliced egg on one slice. Warm hard boiled egg sandwich was oh so delicious. While dieting once, I prepared myself a salad, and had 1 sliced egg on one piece of bread, (a foldover)never tired of this for lunch, took to work every day and lost 40 lbs over time. Thank you for all the wonderful tips and recipes.
    Signed: your devoted fan!!!

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    1. Oooh that does sound good...and you're right, eggs are such a great 'diet' food. SO nutritious and low calorie. I wish more diets would incorporate eggs as a larger part.

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  34. can you peel them later? like for coloring Easter eggs? I was going to try this but we won't be peeling them until tomorrow. I also make hard boiled for hubby's lunch but peel each day, not all at once. Any info on this?? Thanks so much and Happy Easter!!

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    1. You sure can. Just leave them in the ice water until cool then refrigerate them.

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  35. After some time getting the courage to try steaming the eggs, I am so amazed...I will never boil again...they were absolutely perfect!
    I have told so many people about this, but they always look at me like I have a few screws loose!

    thank you so very much! :-)

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  36. I'm assuming you can make soft-boiled eggs with this method. Has anyone tried a shorter steaming time for the oh-so-delicious soft-boiled eggs?

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    1. I haven't but I'm sure that if you reduced the steaming time you could soft boil them.

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  37. I am going to try some right now! I also heard about baking them in the shell. Have you tried that?

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    1. I haven't tried baking them although I have heard of that method but I haven't happened to have the oven on at the same time I need to cook some eggs!

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  38. I cannot wait to try this method! My husband enjoys deviled eggs, but I can never get a decent boiled egg from the shell to fix them! Thank you!!!

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  39. I am so bad at peeling eggs! Thanks for the tip.

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  40. Lisa,
    Tried the steam method with a steamer (not a bamboo one, but one for veggies) and although covered and 20 minutes they were not done. I think they might have been too cold from the fridge and therefore need more time.. dont want to overcook though.. ugh...

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    1. Hmm..I've done them right from the fridge, but next time maybe try letting them come to room temp before steaming?

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  41. I tried baking them once...what a disaster! I'm going to trying steaming them tonight. Love, Love, Love your page and great information....couldn't do this without your help!!

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    1. I keep meaning to try baking them..but I never remember when I have the oven on for another reason!

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  42. :( Sorry didn't work for me, well it worked on some, but not all.

    The duck eggs did better but the chicken eggs were about the same, tearing very badly. I will try again. Not sure what happened. I took them out of the fridge, let them sit for a bit and then put them in warm water (needed to see if there were any floater, since they were from Sept.). Then I put them in the steamer following the directions and then cold water.

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  43. I have never had a problem with the peel literally falling off the eggs.... All I do is boil the eggs and pour out the hot water and immediately ADD Cold water running into the pan over the eggs...leave set a minute or so... I crack the egg around and voila the peel literally slides off....I think it is the hot cold shock that releases the shell.

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  44. Thank you for this tip! I have had chickens for 18 years, and have always just been frustrated by peeling eggs. I referenced this page in the Easter segment of my blog, Homesteading The Suburbs.
    http://homesteadingthesuburbs.com/2014/04/19/happy-easter/

    Thank you!

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  45. Thanks for your tips on steaming eggs! I used my bamboo steamer over my wok today and they were all fully cooked after 20 minutes. I put them straight into an ice bath and the shell came right off.

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  46. This is the BOMB!!!! Thanks. Trying to pick those shells off fresh boiled eggs has been a pain for YEARS.

    Marilyn in MS

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  47. I can't believe how easily this worked. Just tried it this morning and I am sold. It worked so well, I won't go back to boiling again. Thanks!!

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  48. Tried this last night. I used my vegetable steamer for an even easier version (stick them in, set the timer, come back when it's done) and they were THE BEST hard boiled eggs I've ever made. Perfect texture, could have made perfect deviled eggs with NO ugly chipped eggs (I did break one while trying to smoosh the shell, but that was my fault).

    I will always want to bring deviled eggs to occasions because NOW I KNOW A SECRET. :)

    Now I just have to wait for my chickens to start laying to test on fresh eggs! (actually, I tried to explain to the hubs that I was testing this out to see if it was better and would make fresh eggs peel easier, and his response was a super blank look and said 'but these are old' because they were store bought.)

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    1. Yup, this is an awesome secret we're glad to share!

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  49. I have never had a problem with the peel literally falling off the eggs.... All I do is boil the eggs and pour out the hot water and immediately ADD Cold water running into the pan over the eggs...leave set a minute or so... I crack the egg around and voila the peel literally slides off....I think it is the hot cold shock that releases the shell.

    فوائد الزنجبيل

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