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So jcobleigh and I have been experimenting with boiling eggs, of late. A good friend of ours who is a personal trainer did us both a favor and created a recommended food plan, with good ratios of various things needed for staying healthy while strength training and doing regular aerobic workouts. One of her recommendations was to eat a whole egg white (that means NO yolk) every morning with breakfast. (Protein being excellent for maintaining muscle.)

Thus, we find ourselves boiling about a dozen eggs every week. We have differing theories on how this ought to be done.

jcobleigh's mother, following one accepted school of egg-boiling thought, puts the eggs in the water, turns on the heat, and when she notices that the water is boiling, cooks them for 12 minutes and then takes them out, puts them in cold water for 5-6 minutes, and they're hard-boiled. jcobleigh prefers this method, not necessarily out of loyalty to his mother, but because it requires the least amount of paying attention to the cooking eggs. The shells are brittle and are thus difficult to remove; the process tends to be painstaking. However, the (often greenish-looking, but who cares if you're not eating them anyway?) yolks seem to pop out easily.

jcobleigh printed out a Cooks Illustrated article on boiling eggs, where the author said that after much testing, etc., the "best" way to boil eggs is wait until the water is at a roiling boil, then put in the eggs, leave them boiling madly for 3 minutes, then take the pot off the burner for 18 minutes, slowly letting the water cool down with the eggs still cooking. At that point, take them out, put them in cold water for 5-6 minutes, and they're hard-boiled. I admit, this approach takes slightly more attentiveness and is probably slightly longer. However, the shells are a little more flexible, so they often slip off in a couple of big pieces; the process is usually easy. The downside is that the yolks are a lovely yellow color (always), but they do not pop out as easily.

Yolk color is irrelevant. The point is that we always end up with a trade-off when we come to dismembering the egg: shell easy or yolk easy?

It's not a holy war. We've decided that whenever he cooks the eggs, he does them his way, and whenever I cook the eggs, I do them mine. In the end, we get plenty of protein.

Does anyone have any egg-boiling recommendations?


One tip is to add a bit of vinegar to the water before you boil the eggs. I'm not entirely sure what this is supposed to do; one source says that it stops the white from leaking from a cracked egg, another source says that it makes the eggs easier to peel.

Another tip is to add salt to the water to make it boil faster.

Me, I prefer my eggs poached or fried... 8-)

mmmmm eggs