boiling water start, hard boiled eggs

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by siduri, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. siduri

    siduri

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    I think i did a thread once about why most books and internet sites say to start eggs in cold water and then start timing once they boil.  I said i get too distracted to notice when they boil, and i'm usually doing ten things at the same time anyway.  So i only start in boiling water. 

    Now, i wanted to ask if any of you start with boiling water and then put the eggs in, bring to boil and then shut the gas and leave covered.  How long do you cook them?  (I know it will depend on the size but a rule of thumb is fine)

    Boiling they do tend to get overcooked and greenish. 

    (My eggs don't crack this way, i lightly tap the large end first, then lower slowly, letting them heat as the spoon goes into the water, waiting a few seconds as they get warm.  The crack at the air capsule lets water in and makes them very easy to peel, and they don;t generally crack where the white is.) 

    so the question is,

    boiling water start

    bring to boil, close gas

    let sit for ??? how many minutes?

    p.s. i have no patience for looking through the hundreds of sites of hard cooked eggs on internet.  All of the ten i opened said to start with cold water.  I want one with boiling water, that you shut off.  So i turn to my friends here.  (P.s. you don;t have to answer but please don't tell me to look on internet - i did, and even if i'd found it, can i trust the person who wrote it?)

    thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  2. ordo

    ordo

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    13'.
     
  3. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Here in Salt Lake at 4,300 feet above sea level boiling water isn't as hot as it would be on the coast.  I go 18 minutes.

    mjb.
     
  4. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Why boil them at all? I've stopped using boiling water and now prepare them in the oven!

    Preheat your oven to 325F. You can place them directly on the rack, but I put them into muffin tins (I like the mini-muffin tins). It's much easier to place them in the oven and remove them. After 30 minutes, take the eggs out and put them in ice-cold water for 10 minutes. Some of the eggshells may have brown spots on them, but usually it's only on the shells. Now and then, part of the white gets a bit of brown on it. You'll never have green yolks again. Also, the eggs are much more likely to be easy to peel, whether they're fresh or less fresh.

    Try this and see what you think!

    Mezzaluna
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2013
  5. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Was just waiting to hear from someone trustworthy before I tried the oven thing.

    Thank mezz.

    mimi
     
  6. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97

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    The oven sounds interesting. I steam for 10 min then ice them down. Perfect

    Nice soft boiled at 5 min. Solid whites and creamy yolks
     
  7. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Preassure steam them 6 minutes - perfect every time as preassure cooker steam is always the same temp.

    Also the preassure re-distributes the air-space that is found in the egg and makes it the easiest to peel, the shells literally slip off.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  8. siduri

    siduri

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    OK, let me see if i got this

    Ordo, you say 12 minutes - do you mean you put them in boiling water, bring it to the boil again then shut the gas and cover and sit 12 minutee??? 

    Mezzaluna, i have a huge oven, heating the whole thing up and then baking for 30 minutes means taking an hour to make hard boiled eggs - just too long.  Also it feels like an immense waste of gas.  Probably a great method when you have a lot of eggs to cook and if you're the kind of person who knows what they're making an hour in advance.  If I'm down to the hard boiled eggs, it's probably because it's already 8:00 and i want a quick dinner! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif   I might try it if i'm making deviled eggs for a crowd or something though. 

    MichaelGA, that sounds intriguing, especially since it's so fast.  Is that 6 minutes from when it starts sizzling? 

    thanks all
     
  9. chefedb

    chefedb

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    To light an oven and use  that amount of energy for a half hour and not to mention heating up whole place to me is crazy. When I learned cooking from the old masters over 60 years ago one of the things pounded into our heads was " there is no such thing as a hard boiled egg" it is in simmering water. This also helps in keeping the color of the yolk in tact and not making egg tough. I often steam so egg does not boil. 

    If for egg salad or chopped egg  I break eggs into a stainless pan and cover with plastic wrap then steam . This way I don't have to peel and no chance of shell in anything and since hands do not peel, it is far more sanitary. Many health departments tell you after an egg is peeled it must be submerged  whole into boiling water again to kill any bacteria  introduced from your hands while peeling .Gloves help but are not the answer to everything . In a lot of cases gloves cause a false aura  of security
     
  10. siduri

    siduri

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    I agree Chefedb, with the oven, but isn't steam hotter than boiling water?  This would go for the pressure cooker too, i imagine.  the whole point being that water can't go over 212 but steam can get far hotter. 

    So wouldn't steam make them get green around the yolks even more than boiling water? 

    And if it's not the temperature of the water then why not just boil them?

    Next time i do hard cooked eggs for a crowd (highly unlikely but who knows) I will try various methods, but until them, i wondered simply how long if you put them in boiling water from the start, bring rapidly to the boil then cover and shut the gas.  How long should they sit there to cook?
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I often start with hard boiled water.  I lower the eggs in and let it come back up to a boil, usually that takes no more than a minute.  Shut the lid, turn off the stove and leave them in there for about 9min - the yolk is not runny but it glistens.  If I wanted them hard boiled I'd leave them in there for another minute or 2.  So about 10-11min.  Does that answer your question?
     
  12. duckfat

    duckfat

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    I always start with boiling water. Remove your eggs from the fridge about 5 minutes in advance so they are not cold when setting them in the water. I use a slotted spoon and lower them slowly in the water so the shells don't crack from temperature shock or hitting the bottom of the pan. Turn the water down to a simmer. Cook six minutes. If you want runny yolks go 3 minutes but when I do soft boiled eggs I hit the water with a teaspoon of baking soda right before I pull the eggs. This makes the shells very easy to peel.

    Dave
     
  13. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    I start cold eggs in cool water and bring to a boil.

    Turn off, cover and 9 min later dump the hot water and add ice and water to the pan.

    Perfect every time.

    I like to keep a par of 10-12 boiled eggs around for snacks and sandwiches.

    Was planning on trying the oven method 1. just to do it and 2. when the oven is in use anyway to pop a few in to keep up the par level.

    Believe me when I say that using the oven in Texas in the middle of summer is not something I would do just to make egg salad.

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smiles.gif

    mimi
     
  14. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I start in soft boiling water, how else can you time exactly how much cookingtime an egg needs? Soft boiled; 6 minutes, hard boiled; 10 minutes.
     
  15. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    There are as many ways to soft/hard cook an egg as there are Gmas and moms.

    mimi
     
  16. siduri

    siduri

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    Thank you all:

    Quote:
    That's what I say!  unless you hover over the stove waiting for water to boil...Thanks
    yes!  Just what i wanted to know - i COULD go through a couple of dozen eggs to get there, but what are friends for, anyway?
    thanks Dave, i never remember to take them out in advance but lower them slowly anyway
    and not in rome without air conditioning!  My problem with first method is that i am never looking at the eggs when they come to the boil and i never know how long they;ve been boiling. 
    Indeed.  My way is the boiling water way, but i always end up overcooking because i don;t know how long to go, since the only info i could ever get was for a cold water start. 

    Now thanks to other boiling-water-starters, i can go with confidence and not make an egg salad with soft boiled eggs, or with green eggs (like sam-i-am)
     
  17. dillbert

    dillbert Banned

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    Siduri -

    now that all the "Granny Science" is out on the table, we can get to the actual science of why everybody's Granny has a different fool-proof method which does not work for anyone else....

    you're in Rome.  do you keep the eggs on the counter or in a fridge?
    the starting temperature of the egg does influence the timing of whatever method you choose.
    (we got a new refrigerator - and I had to adjust the cooking times I'd used for 15 years......)

    starting in cold vs. hot / boiling / simmering water:

    how cold is cold, how big is the burner, how much cold water are you heating, how many eggs are you cooking?
    it makes a difference - longer heating time = longer time for heat to transfer into the egg.

    the inconsistent amount of cold water is the biggest factor.
    "cover eggs one inch" - works for same pot, same water temp, same number of eggs.
    use the same pot with 2x the eggs, less water needed to cover, heats faster, eggs underdone.

    turn off and let stand....
    as experience goes, you may have noticed a large volume of water cools slower than a small volume of water.  (actually depends on the "surface area" of the water volume, but as a general rule for common pot sizes / shapes.....)
    eggs will be over / under done as those factors change.

    rubbery white, etc.
    rubbery whites are due to over cooking
    the green yolk ring is due to over cooking

    it is possible - by too high temp cooking - to overcook the whites before the yolk is 'done' -
    heat only transfers into a egg from the exterior at a given rate - that rate depends on two things:  heat transfer coefficient and temperature difference (outside to inside) - aaah, surface area as well - the pewee to jumbo size thing....
    problem:  the transfer of heat slows down as the white / yolk begins to solidify.  a sustained  'overly high' exterior heat input can overcook the white before the heat has time to get to the yolk.

    cook a steak / roast too fast = same effect - burnt on the outside, bloody on the inside.....

    of course, none of the egg cookers have ever done that, eh?

    boil / simmer / steam
    water boils at 212'F / 100'C at sea level.
    problem:  
    all the water in the pot is _not_ boiling - it's actually somewhat just below boiling temperature.
    the water molecule H2O exists at 212'F/100'C in two forms:  liquid and gas (water and steam) - it's the "bubbles" thing . . . .
    there is a seriously major difference between the two phases.  it takes a lot of heat energy to make water at 212/100 change from a liquid (water) to a gas (steam) at the same temp 212/100.
    (latent heat of vaporization, anyone?)

    so when steaming, the steam condenses on the cold egg and although the temperature of the steam is the same, condensing steam imparts a lot more heat energy to the egg and the egg cooks faster.  and is more prone to over-cooking.

    oven cooking -

    same deal.  if the temp is too high, rubbery whites, raw yolks.

    green rings... over cooked is over cooked - it's a chemical reaction, sulfur + iron thing - the heat source does not matter.

    there's a good explanation with pictures for the Granny challenged here:
    http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/10/the-food-lab-science-of-how-to-cook-perfect-boiled-eggs.html

    the only actual "fool proof" method is to start with boiling/simmering water, start timing from when the water returns to the prior state, experiment to determine the right timing for egg size and egg starting temperature at your altitude.

    that you can replicate at any time with any number of eggs in any size pot.

    I take a short cut - because my usual is three eggs in the same pot with roughly the same amount of water from the same spot in the same refrigerator.  water gets to a mild boil, in go the eggs, set timer for 16 minutes, remove immediately & chill shock.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  18. siduri

    siduri

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    Thanks Dilbert

    most of that science is pretty clear with simple reasoning to this particular granny (the quantity of the water, the time to bring it to the boil, the beginning temp of water and eggs, the size of the pot and the eggs), all, obviously, important factors,

    I'm cooking for my family and friends and myself.  I'm not too troubled if the egg yolk is a little greyish and i;ve never had what i would call a rubbery white.  No one has ever complained, (though making an egg salad i didn't want the yolk to be half runny).   I just want to get them cooked through, without wet centers, starting with boiling water, because besides all the scientific reasons, they;re just easier to do since i refuse to hover waiting for the moment water comes to a boil. 

    I suspected that the bringing of the water with the eggs in it to the boiling point would be a VERY inexact procedure, because of all the factors you mention.  (MY water is barely cool at best in summer, and very cold in winter) and the gas can take more or less time.  But a rough approximation of time is all i needed.  I will eyeball the rest (small eggs, less time, cold eggs, more time, etc)

    My conclusion is that while the rules of physics and chemistry and biology apply to cooking, the actual act of cooking is quite approximate - as all measurements are. 
     
  19. michaelga

    michaelga

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    The eggs done in a preassure cooker - the time starts when it is up to preassure.

    You set the eggs on a steamer rack so they aren't touching the water... the water boils, the eggs remain cool.  Preassure seals the unit and within half a minute the entire pot is 15psi and 250F... 

    6 minutes later give or take a minute depending on your size of eggs and desired level of doneness and you are finished.

    Here is a good article with pictures that walks thru the process.  (you don't need the improvised little cups... a regular steamer basket works great.

    http://www.hippressurecooking.com/cracked-soft-medium-and-hard-boiled-eggs-in-the-pressure-cooker/
     
  20. dillbert

    dillbert Banned

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    it's a really bad, incomplete, inaccurate article.

    the site is selling pressure cookers.
    if the only tool you have at your disposal is a hammer, _everything_ looks like a nail.

    1 - the dude has never heard of the membrane on a egg
    2 - the dude has not the first clue of what affects the color of the yolk
    3 - "...musty 7-10 day old " - really?  the dude needs a clue
    4 - "online previews" / Modernist Cuisine - go to the references, search for the word "egg" - "NOT FOUND" - really good resource.
    5 - "Pressure steaming an egg at higher pressure, will result in the cracking of the shell prematurely, causing the whites to ooze out and be immediately cooked as they exit the shell . . . " - really?  you put an egg - the interior of which is at atmospheric pressure into a pressure cooker - the environment of which is higher that atmospheric pressure, it cracks, and the whites, from the low pressure egg interior, ooze out into the higher pressure area . . . the dude needs to work on his physics - things do not "ooze" from a low pressure area to a high pressure area.
    6 - "open the pressure cooker and place the eggs under cold running water..." - this is why they peel cleanly.  you can boil them, steam them, nuke the, bake them, set-in-sun them, it's the chill shock that condenses internal moisture between the coagulated whites and membrane (the dude does not know there's a membrane there....) that results in the clean peel.
    7 - ..."inflating it and separating the white from the shell." - really?  the due does not understand basic physics, the basic construction of an egg, nor what/where/who/how/why the "air pocket" gets bigger, what make the whites 'stand taller' - etc and et al.

    the dude is not doing food science - the dude is doing food "let me sell you a pressure cooker" mysticism.