There are a million (okay, slight exaggeration) ways to peel an egg, and countless numbers of tips, tricks, and hacks that are supposed to make that deviled egg appetizer you agreed to make for the party an absolute snap. More often than not, though, experiences vary... and pock-marked, greyish-yolked boiled eggs find their way into your collection whether you like it or not.
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Oven-baking your eggs works well, but that requires preheating the oven; additionally, firing up the oven for a few eggs seems like overkill. Thankfully, science has found a better way: Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks, explains why steaming eggs is the best way to go when you're looking for an egg that is amazingly easy to peel.
When you steam an egg, you drop it into an environment that is already high-temperature; this shocks the egg white into cooking before it has a chance to fuse to the inner membrane of the egg (the rough, filmy skin just under the surface of the eggshell). This inner membrane is what gives most folks a hard time when peeling the egg after cooking; steaming makes this pesky collagen-based membrane slide right off.
In the video, Jeff demonstrates that a small amount of water, about half an inch or so, at the bottom of the pan is a sufficient amount to steam an egg. Just set the pan or pot on high heat until the water starts steaming, then place however many eggs you want to steam in the pan, cover the pan to trap the steam, and cook the eggs for about 12 minutes.
Once the eggs are finished steaming, you can either wait for them to cool or drop them in cold water for a few minutes before peeling. The cold water, while not essential to an easy peel, will round out the egg and make the oblong edges of the egg look much nicer.
Now comes the best part: just crack the eggshell against a hard surface, then watch the shell magically pull apart from the egg with little resistance... and no sticky egg white!
The best part about this hack is that it works faster than any of the other methods: creating steam with a shallow pan of water takes much less time than boiling a larger volume of water, and definitely less time than preheating an oven to the correct temperature. In less than 15 minutes, you can enjoy an egg that is both perfectly cooked and insanely easy to peel.