The rule at our house is the person that peels the eggs gets first dibs from the serving tray - a fair trade for the hardest job in making these treats!
After years of trying to find the secret to peeling hard boiled eggs, and dozens of tried but not true methods, we have finally found the secret, and it all boils down to science. Not baking soda, not cold water and cold eggs brought slowly to a boil, not salt in the water, not vinegar. Not heavy saucepans. Not fresh eggs, or eggs bought a week early and left to sit before making hard boiled eggs that peel easily. And certainly not plastic egg-peeling mechanisms that they sell on television. Not eggs chilled in cold water or in the fridge, or peeled immediately or left to cool for an hour. Yup. It's science.
Placing cold eggs in cold water and bringing them slowly to a boil with salt in the water only causes the molecules of the egg to stick to the inside of the eggshell as they heat up to boiling, and the older the eggs are the larger the air bubble inside the egg that creates that nasty crater at one end of your hard boiled egg.
The secret? To cook the eggs as quickly as possible, before the white has an opportunity to attach to the sides of the eggshell. I read about this technique, and I was a skeptic. My family thought I had gone bonkers. But I had nothing to lose by trying, and try it we did. One dozen eggs at a time, three batches in a row. And the result? Perfect hard boiled eggs and peeled clean as a whistle every time.
Start with fresh eggs. Leave them at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Next, fill a large heavy sauce pan or dutch oven half way with water. No salt, no baking soda. Just water. Cover and bring to a boil.
Next, using a large slotted spoon, carefully spoon the eggs into the boiling water. If they crack a little when you place them in the water, not to worry. Remove pan from heat, cover immediately, and let stand for 19 minutes for large eggs, 21 minutes for extra-large eggs.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with icy cold water (go ahead, put lots of ice cubes in it). Immediately when eggs are done cooking, remove from the saucepan with your slotted spoon and place in the icy water. Let the eggs cool for 30 minutes.
Gently crack the egg on the large end, and peel away. You will be as amazed as we were. These are EGGSCELLENT!
You can thank me later!