What if you find yourself with a lot of eggs?
What can you do with them? You’ll need a quick solution to not waste them!
So, you found yourself with an overabundance of eggs:
– either from a store sale;
– because someone gave them to you;
– or you’re just not consuming them as quickly as your hens are producing.
There are lots of things you can do with them, like use them for recipes that require a lot of eggs, freeze them, etc.
What’s the BEST thing for you to make with all those eggs, now?
All things considered, here’s the best thing for you to make with a lot of eggs, and how:
It’s best to hard cook them!
Why is this the best of all solutions?
- it’s the quickest;
- it’s the easiest;
- it’s the simplest;
- it’s the one which require less items and resources;
- it’s the most practical (to handle, to store, to use…);
- it’s the safest (keeping raw eggs, for example, is too risky, in more than one way);
- it doesn’t take space in your freezer;
- and no mess.
What are the cons? the main con is, you get less options for recipes; still, this solution might give you more options than it seems.
Hard cooking your eggs, when you have plenty, gives you the best of both worlds — they’re ready to be conserved for a fair amount of time, and, at the same time, ready to be consumed as they are, at any moment you wish!
And, as if that was not good enough, they’re also ready to be transformed, reshaped or modified, to be used in a variety of recipes and uses, at any moment!
You might have noticed that I’ve been using the term “hard cooking” instead of the popular “hard boiling”: aren’t those the same? Not really.
In fact, you should never, ever, ever boil an egg! Let’s see why, and what to do instead:
What is boiling, and why you should not boil your eggs:
Boiling eggs is the process of cooking them in water, by bringing the water to a boil, and then letting them boil for a given amount of time, according to how hard you want them. We all know this.
So, what’s wrong with it? Several things, and I’m sure these will sound common:
- you’ll get rubbery whites;
- the yolks will get a weird green all around;
- in extreme cases, the all egg might get a grey color;
- you’ll get uneven cooking — the whites, being external, will cook faster than the yolk (center), therefore, the white becomes overcooked (and less tender) by the time the yolk becomes just tender enough;
- all that makes for not so appealing appearance and texture;
- the eggs get an unpleasant smell;
- the shells are much more likely to crack during boiling (as the eggs clash with each other and with the pan).
(So there is no good reason to boil eggs.)
You want to avoid all that, and here’s an easy, simple foolproof cooking technique, step by step, to properly hard cook eggs (whether or not you have a great quantity):
- Place the eggs in the saucepan in a single layer. Add enough water to come at least 1 inch (1.5 cm) above the eggs.
Make sure this doesn’t fill more than 2/3 of the pan; if it does, you need a bigger pan. Cover with a lid.
- Quickly bring just to boiling, on high heat. Stay close by.
As soon as the water comes to a boil (you’ll hear the shells start to bang), turn the heat off.
- Remove pan from burner to prevent further boiling, as some heat will still be coming from the hot burner.
Let eggs stand, with the lid on, in the hot water — about 12 minutes for Medium eggs; 15 minutes for Large; 18 for Extra Large.
- Then run cold water over the eggs, or, place them in ice water (not room temperature water) until completely cooled — in any case it will take only 1-2 minutes.
Once cooled, they’re ready (yay!):
You can now refrigerate them (in their shells) — they’ll be good for at least one week;
Or, you can peel and use immediately.
How long should you cook your eggs?
It just depends on your taste! Some people like their yolks runny, while others want them to be perfectly firm.
It also depends on the use: less time for a soft-cooked egg, more time for an egg used to make sandwiches!
In general, I recommend 6-7 minutes for a soft egg and 11-12 minutes for a hard egg (medium sized ones).
Now, for the yummy part:
What can you do with those hard cooked eggs?
With a supply of hard-cooked eggs on hand, you’re ready for almost any meal occasion.
Full of good protein, vitamins and fats, economical and easily transportable, hard-cooked eggs make a great on-the-go snack, and can be eaten from breakfast to supper!
Here you have some simple and delicious ideas, that show hard-cooked eggs have a wider range of uses than one would think.
- A soft-cooked egg, cooked for just a few minutes, and then placed in an egg cup with the top of the shell removed, is a great classic, especially with strips of buttered toast for dipping!
- You can add them to a salad (for example a Niçoise but not just that)! Chopped, sliced or wedged, hard-cooked eggs are the basis of egg salad and add protein and a happy glow to tossed and composed salads and casseroles.
- Chopped yolks and whites comprise Eggs Goldenrod and Polonaise Sauce.
- Whole hard-cooked eggs become comforting, familiar deviled eggs — or zingy, newly rediscovered pickled eggs (see below, on storage).
- Simply sprinkled with an herb or more fancily coated in sausage for Scotch eggs, hard-cooked eggs are nature’s own hand-held snack food.
- They can be enjoyed as is with a little salt and pepper, a few drops of sriracha sauce or a generous spoonful of hummus on top.
- Soft-cooked eggs are also divine when placed on a bed of asparagus, avocado slices or spinach pan-fried for a few minutes with a little garlic!
- To make a sandwich preparation, hard-cooked eggs are mashed with a fork (or in a food processor for a few seconds for a smoother texture) with a few tablespoons of mayonnaise, green onion or a few sprigs of finely chopped chives, salt and pepper.
- You can make stuffed eggs by emptying the yolks and crushing them in a bowl, then adding a little mayo and all sorts of ingredients depending on your inspiration or the contents of your fridge: chopped olives, sriricha, bacon bits, finely chopped smoked salmon, capers, smoked paprika, lemon zest, Panko breadcrumbs to add crunch… This preparation is then put back into the cavities of the egg whites and served cold!
- By adding them to a delicious potato salad, you’ll have a complete meal.
- You can have one or two in a ramen soup!
How to easily peel hard cooked (“hard boiled”) eggs:
Here’s a technique to peel them easily (after you’ve cooled them, of course):
- Crackle the shell by tapping gently on a board or table, until a fine network of lines appears all over the shell.
- Roll egg between hands to loosen shell.
- Peel, starting at large end. Hold egg under running cold water or dip in bowl of water to help ease off shell.
Did that work? Hopefully, yes!
However, there is no foolproof technique to ensure 100% that all the eggs will peel properly: sometimes, nothing seems to work.
This is because there are many factors that influence this, including the age of the eggs.
Very fresh eggs (especially for those lucky enough to have chickens at home) are more difficult to peel — the fresher the eggs, the more the shell membranes cling tenaciously to the shells.
Like I said, allowing eggs to cool before peeling also usually helps, so if you still find them too difficult to peel, here’s a tip: leave the eggs in ice water for 15 minutes or even overnight in the fridge.
The simplest method to solve the “too fresh to peel” situation is to buy and refrigerate eggs a week to 10 days in advance of hard cooking. This “breather” time allows the eggs to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell, for easy peeling.
Quick tips for use:
To segment eggs evenly, use an egg slicer or wedger.
For chopped eggs, rotate a sliced egg 90 degree in a slicer and slice again.
Or chop eggs with a sharp pastry blender in a bowl.
Draw down a wedger’s wires only partway to open an egg to hold a stuffing, or resemble a flower.
How to store hard-cooked eggs
Hard cooked eggs in their shells can be kept in the refrigerator for at least 7 days, their shells being the ideal packaging to preserve them. The only thing to remember is to keep them separate from the raw eggs in the refrigerator!
Peel them just before eating (or transferring them to a lunch).
Preserving your eggs:
To increase storage time, you can preserve them, and for this I suggest you pickle them.
This is a safe and effective method to make them last months.
You can pickle them all, or some, see recipe here!
If you like pickled eggs, you’ll be expanding both their duration and the ways of using them!
Pickled eggs are easy to store (do not require refrigerator), and, they can be used as a gift — a food ready to use, that you made with your own hands!
Why you should never cook an egg in a microwave?
The microwave is a marvelous invention: no one in a hurry will tell you otherwise! Practical, it allows you to heat or reheat any dish/food in no time!
Any food? No, no, no, some foods are NOT to be put in a microwave and this is the case of eggs!
“Here, what if I microwaved a whole egg to get a hard cooked egg?”
If you have asked yourself this question, stop the experiment right now: what you are about to do is DANGEROUS!
Indeed, with the heat, the yolk contained in the egg will swell, swell, swell… But the shell will not move. After cooking, when you take your egg out of its shell, it will explode into a thousand pieces (if it hasn’t already exploded in your microwave and covered its entire surface…).
If you don’t want to end up with egg all over your kitchen and above all don’t want to hurt your hands or eyes, NEVER put a whole egg to cook in a microwave.
Instead, hard cook them as I described above, or use another type of cooking method that is much safer!
What is the best way to store eggs to keep them fresh for a long time?
To keep eggs fresh for a longer period, it’s important to store them in a cool, dry place. You can store them in the original carton on the middle shelf of your refrigerator, keeping them away from strong-smelling foods like fish and onions. Make sure the carton is not cracked or broken, and check the expiration date before storing.
How many eggs are considered a serving size?
One large egg is approximately 70 calories and contains about 6 grams of protein. A serving size of eggs is typically 2-3 eggs, depending on the recipe and individual needs. It’s essential to note that eggs are an excellent source of nutrients, but they are high in cholesterol, so moderation is key.
Can I eat raw eggs safely?
No, it’s not recommended to consume raw eggs due to the risk of salmonella contamination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eggs can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella enteritidis, which can cause serious illness. It’s always best to cook eggs until the yolk is firm and the white is set.
What are some ways to use up a lot of eggs quickly?
There are several ways to use up a lot of eggs quickly. Some ideas include making omelets, frittatas, quiches, scrambled eggs, and deviled eggs. You can also try using eggs in baked goods like cakes, muffins, and bread. Additionally, you can freeze eggs for later use in smoothies, soups, or sauces.
Is it safe to leave hard-boiled eggs at room temperature for a few hours?
No, it’s not advisable to leave hard-boiled eggs at room temperature for extended periods. Eggs should be stored in the refrigerator within two hours of boiling or purchasing. Leaving eggs at room temperature can allow bacteria to grow, increasing the risk of foodborne illness. If you plan to leave eggs out for more than two hours, it’s better to refrigerate them immediately after boiling.
Can I use old eggs for baking or cooking?
While eggs may still be safe to eat even after the expiration date, their quality and taste might decrease over time. Older eggs may have a stronger flavor and less moisture, which could affect the texture and consistency of baked goods or dishes. However, if you’re unsure whether the eggs are still good, it’s better to err on the side of caution and discard them to avoid any potential health risks. Fresh eggs will generally yield better results in baking and cooking.