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Egg-specially Mad


I love eggs. I egg-specially love boiled egg whites.

But last night, I experienced a special kind of temper tantrum (that involved an egg).

[I was egg-specially mad.]

Now, I need to provide some backstory to this tale.

First, I am one week off my second half Ironman finish, so I’m in that post-race cuckoo land.  This time, however, the weirdness is much less —I think because I have another huge goal in the future, and I know I have to get on it. I haven’t been mopey or sad, because I don’t have time for that.

I gave myself six days after the race to eat junk, be lazy and act like I have no triathlon experience whatsoever. And that was great. But yesterday, was time to get back on the horse.

Second, I emailed Ilana, [the super nutritionist], and I asked her to get me in line for Ironman Coeur d’Alene. I have 37 weeks, and I would like to take of 1-2 pounds per week, so I can actually run without hauling this weight (and also, LOOK AWESOME… ah-hem.. okay. How about just not look like the Jolly Red Giant?)

So she provided me (and the Expert) with a specialized meal plan, and I cannot tell you how tight it is. She warned me that it would be rough, but then we could adjust and go from there. Plus, if I am paying money for a meal plan, I’m more likely to stick with it. [If you want Ilana to work with you personally, you can contact her here.]

So, part of our jumpstart includes egg whites.  Yay. I actually love boiled egg whites.

But I’ve been having some issues with my eggs for some time.

I cannot get the boiled eggs to peel without complete egg destruction. No matter what I do.  I have boiled them, put them in the oven. Organic eggs, vegetarian eggs, free-range eggs, cheap eggs, regular eggs… it doesn’t matter. It’s eggspocolypse.

Last night, I was so hungry. I was simply trying to squeeze in a few eggs whites and veg for dinner, and I couldn’t get the egg to peel.

I lost it.

Egg ended up against the kitchen backsplash (oh, and what a mess).  When I am starving and I can’t get an egg to peel, I can’t take this. I need help (mental, perhaps… but help nonetheless).

But seriously. WHO has the secret to boiling perfect eggs? Who? I need my eggs to peel! Easily! Help.

I have tried:
1) Bringing eggs to a boil, then turning off burner and letting cool down naturally in the pan. Then refrigerator;
2) Bringing eggs to a boil, turing off heat, and letting them set in pan for 12 minutes, followed by an ice bath and fridge;
3) Bringing eggs to slow boil, turning off burnder, sitting in pan for 19 minutes, then fridge; and
4) Oven cooking them in a muffin tin for 25 minutes and 30 minutes (this was the closest, but the eggs were overcooked….sigh).

What am I missing? Each time I brought the eggs straight out of the fridge… is that the problem? Should I bring them to room temperature first?

How do you make PERFECT eggs? HOW!?!?  What kind of eggs?  Really? How long to boil? What? What?



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  • Lori

    October 8, 2012 at 11:34 am

    So frustrating! I have been told to add a pinch of either salt or baking soda to the water when boiling to see if that helps loosen the fierce grip. Give it a try and see if one works!

  • TriFatty

    October 8, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Older eggs always peel easily. I don’t remember why exactly. Something chemical which to me is the same as saying, “Magic”. They say poking a hole in the shell works, too, but I’m way too lazy to do that. We usually take the last half dozen of a carton and boil them and have pretty good luck.

  • Jennifer Ferguson

    October 8, 2012 at 11:38 am

    SALT!!!! Salt in the water makes all the difference… I don’t know why, but I do know this is ALWAYS the way my mom did it, and I thought I was smarter than her once and didn’t do it. I had the same result you did. Salt in the water and VOILA! easily peeled eggs! 🙂

  • Katy`

    October 8, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I have the same problem… I find that the ice bath helps. FWIW, Ive seen this baked method on Pinterest, but people say that they are a total b!tch to peel.

  • Lea

    October 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I put mine in water, bring to a boil, boil for 10 minutes, drain, add lots of ice and water and let cool. They usually peel very easily. Good luck to you cause I know that can be super frustrating, especially when you’re in a hurry or starving.

  • Sharla

    October 8, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I have the same problem. I even have 4 chickies in the backyard, so I have fresh eggs, but I got to the point, when I want a boiled one, I’m usually starving and need something immediate..
    I buy already hardboiled eggs at Costco. No messy peeling, ready to eat and very portable and they didn’t cost anymore than regular eggs and they are already to go 🙂

  • Emily

    October 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I’ve always put salt in my water, put eggs in BEFORE the water is boiling, boil eggs for 12 minutes and then do a bath of cold water and/or ice bath when they are fully cooked. Never really had an issue with this method, but I’ve also seen several posts on Pinterest saying baking soda in the water works wonders.

  • Duckie

    October 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    The problem is the quality and freshness of the eggs you are buying. The membrane is much tighter on farm fresh, organic, free range eggs than mass produced grocery store varieties for two reasons. One is the health of the chicken and the egg itself and the other is the freshness. The older they are, the looser the membrane between the white and the shell, thus the easier it will be to peel them. Also, adding a little salt to the boiling water helps to relax that membrane as well. My suggestion is to buy two cartons of eggs, one organic-free range-generally awesome-bad peeling, and one normal grocery store variety. Use the grocery store variety while the good eggs sit in the back of the fridge and get old. Then when the cheap ones are gone, you have good eggs properly “aged” and can buy another thing of fresh ones. Use the old carton for boiled, the new carton for everything else and just keep rotating them. Works for me! I get good eggs and can peel the hard boiled ones as well.

  • Lauren

    October 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Mere – the secret is super simple: The eggs need an ice bath IMMEDIATELY after the timer is done for the boil. Have a large bowl ready with ice and water (lots of ice) and transfer the eggs from the boiling water to the ice bath. Leave them in there until they are fully cold (15-20 minutes), and then you can dry them off and refrigerate them. This will also prevent the grey/green yolks.

  • Laura Burnett

    October 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Once the eggs begin to boil, I add 10 minutes to the boiling process. Then I immediately drain the hot water in the pan, fill it up with cold water and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Then I refrigerate 🙂

  • Jana

    October 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    The best trick I’ve found (no matter how they’ve been cooked)…tap the egg all over, then roll gently in hand until whole shell is cracked. Then try to peel! Much, much easier to do than just tapping once and trying to take shell off in one place, bit by bit. Hope that helps!

  • Krista

    October 8, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    My grandma’s recipe works like magic. Put eggs in a pan, add a couple pinches of salt, add cold water to cover — plus a little extra, bring it to a boil, keep it between a simmer and a boil for 12 minutes, at 12 minutes take them off the heat, put them in a colander and run ICE cold water over them until they are cool to the touch. Usually I run water until they feel warm to the touch then dunk them in ice cold water for a few minutes. Then peel them on a paper towel, crack one end then the other then roll the egg in the palm of your hand across the paper towel, then peel, and dunk (or rinse) in a bowl of fresh cold water. Enjoy. Sounds more complicated than it is.

  • Sally Young

    October 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    the fresher the egg, the harder they are to peel….so boil up your older eggs or look for ones that have a use by date that’s not as far away as you would normally buy. Also, if you boil a dozen eggs and then just put them in a container in the frig, they will keep for about a week and will be way easier to peel. Dunno why. Just is.

  • Cassidy

    October 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I bring the eggs to boil, and cook for 10 min (I start the timer when they are just about to boil- you have to watch them for that perfect moment in between simmering and boiling). After the ten minutes, immediately plunge into ice water to stop them cooking. You can peel them pretty easily once they are cool enough to handle, but they peel better after a day or two in the fridge. I usually boil a bunch, and then just keep them in the fridge.

  • Donna

    October 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I took have quested for the perfectly boiled egg. I’ve tried all variations and nothing works over and over. Ahhh, I do have moments of greatness, but no long-term success so I gave up, and now I “bake” my eggs. I crack the eggs into a nonstick muffin tins and bake them at 350 for 10-15 minutes. The consistency of the white is the same as if you boil it, but the yoke is sooooo much better. It tastes richer. You can lessen or increase the time for the right amount of doneness. PLUS, this is the bonus, you can make a dozen for the week and have a grab-and-go breakfast. Sometimes I add diced onion, chives… I always add kosher salt, white pepper and garlic powder. Yum!

  • Leslie

    October 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    The best way I’ve found to acheive “perfect egg whites” is to buy organic liquid egg whites from Whole Foods (non-GMO or filled with other extraneous crap). If you want something pre-prepared, try boiling the whites in a rammekin or pan-frying them with some Pam (or olive oil in a Misto) with an egg ring.


    October 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Older eggs work best I usually buy a dozen, then wait a week to hard boil them. Here’s my process (using eggs right out of the fridge):

    1. Put eggs in a pot and cover with COLD water.
    2. Turn on high and bring to a boil.
    3. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn OFF the heat, cover the pot and set a timer for 10 minutes.
    4. After 10 minutes, use tongs to transfer the eggs to a towel. Do not rinse in ice; let them cool at room temperature.

    Perfect eggs every time. I’ve also heard that putting 1TBSP of white vinegar in the water helps break down the membrane if you have really fresh eggs – but I don’t usually have a problem with my method so I’ve never really tried it.

  • Karrie Kunich

    October 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I hate to say perhaps your eggs are too fresh. The fresher the egg they harder they are to peel. I have chickens and have tried to use their eggs to boil and they never come out right. Finally I read that super fresh eggs have this problem. What?! I want super fresh eggs though. So now I buy a carton from the store and boil them when they are nearing their expiration and I keep the fresh ones for other times. Also, our store sells bags of already peeled eggs so those are my go to when I am on the road and haven’t planned my meals well (I will run in to the store and get a bag of six already boiled and peeled eggs). I share your frustration. I look forward to all of your trials and tribulations leading up to your next Tri.

  • Suzanne

    October 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Cool the eggs down in the fridge as you have been doing. Then run them under hot water just before you peel them. The egg shell will expand slightly from the hot water, but the heat will not go through to the egg itself because you’ll do it very quickly (and the egg is still cold, so it is contracted). Good luck!

    • Suzanne

      October 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      I’d try all of the ice bath ideas…and while the eggs are still in the hot water, shake them around a good bit until the shells crack some. Then dump them into the ice bath. Sometimes i also peel under running water, and start at the air sack end, which seems to be easier to get under the membrane. I’d like to say this would work every time, but every batch of eggs seems to be different. KEEP TRYING WE ARE SO PROUD OF U!

  • Laura

    October 8, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve been told to use eggs that are not too fresh. I bring to boil, then Rolling boil for 8 minutes. Keep the hot water in the pan and add cold water until the water is cool. Not 100% perfect eggs all the time, but most of the time. Hope it helps.

  • Donna

    October 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I buy the Eggland pre-boiled, pre-peeled eggs in a bag. It’s the easiest way. If you like them hot, Put them in a pot of cold water, bring to boil, pull them off the heat and cover for 8-10mins. Run them under cold water and they should peel very easily.

  • Erika

    October 8, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    We eat boiled eggs warm so after cooking we peel while still hot. I usually just run them under a little cool water enough so that I can handle them without burning myself and then peel. Easy peeling.

  • Jesseca Hauser

    October 9, 2012 at 12:35 am

    I have the answer! Put the eggs into the pan. I put 6-7 in a smaller to medium sauce pan. I usually make two batches for a dozen eggs.Then fill just above the eggs( so they are bobbing a little) with water. Once they are boiling set the timer for 7 min. when the 7 min are up take them off the burner and start filling the pan with cold tap water until it runs over. The pan will still be too warm to set in your sink so empty the pan (keeping the eggs in it) and refill with cold tap water. Empty and refill again with cold tap water. By the third time of doing this you should be able to set the pan on the bottom of the sink and just let cold water fill and overfill it for a minute or two. Then empty the pan, dry off the eggs a little with a towel and put them in glass bowl in the fridge until they are completely cool or whatever temp you like them at. They peel off easy EVERY time. So easy my 4yr old can gently crack and peel them herself. Let me know how you do with this one. This has always worked for me NO MATTER how old, organic, white, brown or cracked in the pan from boiling the eggs are. Good luck!

  • Helen

    October 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I’ve had the same problem and found it helps not to boil too many eggs at one time. They need their space when they boil. Good Luck!


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