You may have, a time or 67 in your life, hard boiled an egg. And you may have, during those moments, spewed a continuous stream of curse words under your breath while doing so. Because peeling eggs, unless you enjoy this activity, is usually a messy time-suck filled with many small failures.
You may have tried to peel the eggs too soon, and burned the tips of your fingers. Or had to prepare a spa-like ice bath for the precious ovum, wait for them to cool, then gently tap their protective crusts in 12 different places to create sufficient cracks to loosen their shells, so they may be pulled off beneath a steady stream of running water. (The divas.)
You may have summoned all your patience and coaxed the shells off with a spoon, or submerged the eggs in cold water and gently rocked and shaken them up against the sides of a container in the hopes their stubborn outer layers would break and fall away of their own accord. And that may have worked, or not. Either way, it was probably still annoying.
If you’re making devilled eggs and need them to retain their oval shape, I suppose there’s no way around these elaborate peeling ceremonies. Some eggs turn out nicely and suffuse you with a feeling of triumph; and some usually resemble golf balls crushed by trash compactors, eroding your hard-won pride.
But if the final product you seek is egg salad, allow me to introduce you to an infinitely easier way to hard boil eggs that requires zero peeling. I followed the technique shared in a viral video by TikTok creator Jamie Fielding. Here’s what you need:
- A bread loaf pan
- A baking dish large enough to hold the loaf pan
- Avocado oil, vegetable oil, or cooking spray
First, coat the bottom and sides of the loaf pan in avocado oil, vegetable oil, or cooking spray (avoid olive oil due to its stronger flavour). Crack your eggs into the loaf pan — I used seven, because that’s what I had — but you can add as many as will fit in the pan (up to two inches in height). Place the pan in the baking dish and fill the baking dish with water, up to the same height as the eggs.
After baking in the oven for 30 minutes at 180°C, use a spatula to help release the baked eggs from the pan. Flip the pan over onto a cutting board, give the bottom a tap, and pop out the eggs, which have baked into a nice white rectangle. Chop into small pieces, and you have the perfect base for your egg salad.
Now, does this take longer than boiling eggs, or microwaving them? Yes and no. While it does take 30 minutes in the oven, that’s not work time — you can do any number of other things, like Wordle (or its many variations), laundry, or ingesting your daily quota of memes and dog videos on social media. Also, there’s no waiting for them to cool, careful shell-cracking, peeling, or resentment at being bested by a tiny, inanimate object a toddler could crush. (Plus, we’ve heard microwaving them makes your kitchen smell like a giant fart for a good long while. Pass.)
Overall, 10/10 recommend this easy, mess-free method of preparing hard boiled eggs for egg salad, with a total work time of about five minutes.