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Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by ELOISEtheCHICKEN, Jul 17, 2008.
Does anyone know why boiled eggs break sometimes?
When boiling the egg, start with an appropriate sized pot. Eggs crack and ooze during the boiling process when they are forced to bounce off each other or the side of the pot when the bubbles begin to bobble them around. Eggs should have a little breathing room inside the pot in order to avoid this. It is not uncommon to find that every now and then one egg will crack from bouncing off the bottom. However, you can significantly reduce the chances of cracking the eggs by giving them freedom in the pot.
The temperature of your water also contributes to the cracking and oozing problem. Eggs typically come out of the refrigerator before they are boiled. Asking them to adjust too quickly to a temperature change will ultimately lead to stress and cracking. For evenly boiled eggs, fill the pot with the eggs first and then add room temperature or cooler water to the pot. Let them sit for five or ten minutes before adding any heat to allow their shells to warm up to the waters temperature and then gradually turn the heat up. Plopping eggs into boiling water is too stressful and encourages uneven boiling and shell cracking.
A medium high heat works better than a high heat simply because it allows the water to heat a bit more evenly while still giving the egg shells time to adjust. Once the boiling process is in full swing and there are bubbles bouncing the eggs all about, lower the heat just a tad to create a less vigorous boil. It is not uncommon to fill a pot with water, drop in a few eggs, turn on the stove and then go about your business having no real idea how long and at what rate the eggs have been boiling. However, keeping an eye on your bubbling eggs will allow you to stick to that three minute rule, which is actually accurate. It takes three to five minutes to boil an egg. The time variation depends on the actual temperature of the water at the time of turning on the stove as well as the temperature of the water while boiling
And here is another site on boiling eggs:
Here's my technique for unbroken boiled eggs. Put eggs in a single layer in a pot. Cover with cold water. Dump in a lot of salt (at least a tablespoon for a small pot). Bring to a boil, but turn heat down to a simmer as soon as it boils. Set timer for 10 minutes. Drain and cover with more cold water. I rarely have a boiled egg break. I did yesterday because I didn't watch the pot and it boiled vigorously for several minutes. The water was full of egg whites.
This is how I cook mine for unbroken hard-boiled eggs. Cover eggs with cold water. Turn on heat and as soon as the water boils, take pan off heat and let set covered for 20-25 minutes. Drain and cool under cold water.
Great advice, thank you.
I too only put in one layer of eggs. Also, I don't know quite why it works but ever since I started adding vinegar to the water, about 1 T per batch (of about 8-9), I haven't gotten any cracked ones and they peel really easy. No vinegar taste either so don't worry about that. I got the recipe online several months ago and haven't looked back!
Anything that you add to the water will raise the heat capacity of water---raising the boiling point. Doesn't matter what you put in. The boiling process will happen at a temperature higher than 100C or 212F, so the egg will start to cook before the water actually starts that rolling boil that breaks them. Firmer albumen at boiling point=less cracks and less seepage with cracks.
Adding a teaspoon (or Tablespoon depending on size of pot) to the water helps. good ol wives trick.
oops..i meant adding a tsp or tblsp of white vinegar to the water helps