Here’s How to Cook Pasture Fresh Eggs for Easy Shell Peeling
By Allan Nation The Stockman Grass Farmer
My breakfast consists of a cup of coffee and two pasture-raised hard-boiled eggs. Like many consumers who start raising their own eggs or buying them fresh locally from a pastured egg producer. Carolyn and I had a great deal of difficulty peeling the freshly laid eggs. Often as much as a third of the boiled egg wound up going into the compost still clinging to the peeled shells. You have probably experiences this aggravation as well.
Here’s a cooking method I learned from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Café Cookbook that has worked exceptionally well for us in producing east-to-peel fresh eggs.
Take the eggs you are going to eat for breakfast out of the refrigerator the night before so they come to room temperature.
Actually, I frequently fort to do this and the eggs still turn out all right, but a room temperature egg cooks better than a cold one and is less likely to crack the shell when you first put it into the boiling water. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
Over high heat, bring enough water to a full boil so that the water will completely cover the eggs. Lower the eggs gently (very gently!) into the water with a large slotted spoon and then turn the heat down slightly. Alice Waters cooks her eggs for exactly eight minutes but I like a firm yolk and cook mine for ten.
While the eggs are cooking prepare a bowl of water and ice.
When your cooking time is up, remove the eggs and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to cool.
Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, crack them all over on the tabletop and return them to their ice bath for another five minutes.
Then remove them from the ice bath and peel them in cool water.
I have found that by using Alice’s cooking method, freshly laid eggs shed their shells cleanly and easily every time. Give it a try.