Hard-boiled eggs are the ultimate workweek time-saver. They can be added to packed meals for a protein-rich lunch that will keep you focused all afternoon or serve as a healthy and delicious snack that combats the 3 pm slump. But nothing ruins all that planning like peeling your eggs to find they're severally over-cooked.
To strike that perfect balance for an egg that’s neither runny nor chalky, you’ll need a little bit of kitchen science on your side, and that’s where J. Kenji Lopez-Alt comes in. Lopez-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats and author of the newly published cookbook The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, found that the perfect hard-boiled egg is cooked at two different temperatures. While that sounds complicated, it’s as easy as popping some ice cubes into your pot of boiling water.
Egg whites, Lopez-Alt explains, are best cooked at 180 degrees F, while yolks reach their ideal state when cooked at 170 degrees F. Though you will need a thermometer for absolute egg perfection, we think the steps are easy enough to warrant another tool. Simply cook your eggs for 30 seconds at 180 degrees F, then pop ice cubes into the pot until the temperature has reduced by 10 degrees. Let your eggs cook another 11 minutes, and you’re set with superior hard-boiled eggs.
Ready to move on to poaching eggs? We have a cooking trick for that, too.
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