Great question Julie!
I refer to boiled eggs as "flash-boiled-then-simmered eggs". I wasn't sure if you meant "soft-flash-boiled-then-simmered eggs" or "hard" so I cooked up a response for both.
The following instructions are for large eggs.
What's The Deal With Pin Pricks?
I've seen it suggested that piercing the wide end of an egg - before cooking - with a needle or pin helps air (and to a degree sulfur) escape from the cooking egg. This is supposed to result in a perfectly oval egg without a flat bottom as the egg can spread to the small air pocket at the end of the egg.
In actual practice, piercing the shell of an egg is tricky business that often results in a cracked egg. If you are successful in piercing all of your eggs, the difference in taste and appearance is negligible.
Quick & Dirty Method Of Hard-Boiling
When Mr Breakfast was in college, a vibrant yellow yolk wasn't nearly as important to him as chasing skirts and getting stoned on beer. I - me being him - would simply bring water to a boil, place my eggs in the water and remove them all when the first crack appeared in any one of the eggs. The eggs would naturally be slightly over-cooked. But the negative effect of slight-overcooking was one of appearance. The yolk was more of an off-yellow, just-short-of-green color. The eggs still tasted great.
What's Up With Green Yolks? Is That Bad?
A greenish grey film will form on the surface of the yolk when the temperature of the yolk exceeds 158 degrees Fahrenheit. This discoloration is not unhealthful. It's just a visual indicator of a natural chemical reaction... hydrogen sulphide from amino acids in the white of your egg (or albumen) is reacting with iron from the yolk which causes a film of ferrous sulphide to form on the yolk's surface. If the film is thin, your egg will still taste fine.
My Friend Likes 3-Minute Eggs. Is He Crazy?
Your friend might not be crazy, but he is a daredevil. I don't recommend ever simmering eggs for less than 4 minutes. The clearest indication that an egg has been cooked long enough - at a high enough temperature - to kill salmonella bacteria is a solidified egg white. At 3 minutes, portions of the egg white may still be clear - and as the poem goes: "Egg white clear! Food poison fear!" Stay away from your friend. He sounds like bad news.
Why Do You Say Fresh Eggs Are Harder To Peel Than Older Ones?
I'm not a scientist, in the pompous go-to-science-college sense of the word, but I have a theory. Egg shells are what those fancy scientists call "porous". Basically, that means it has tiny microscopic holes that allow the egg to absorb air. I believe that the air that enters the egg over time creates - what I call - "a little wall of air" between the egg and its shell. Super fresh eggs have hardly any little wall of air at all. Therefore, the egg is all smooshed up against the shell. In the end, it's like a shoe. A tight shoe is hard to remove. A shoe with some room slips right off. Wow, maybe I am a scientist. Is there a test I can take?
I Have Something To Say About Boiled Eggs. What Do I Do?
This article was written by Mr Breakfast (aka Eddy Chavey).
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