I know just about everyone has felt the frustration of trying to peel hard cooked eggs, and the fresher they are, the harder they are to peel. The shell sticks like crazy glue and you're left with an unsightly egg that resembles the cratered surface of the moon. Not very appetizing.
In the past, the only surefire way I'd found to guaranteed a shell would released cleanly and easily was to start by cooking eggs that were several weeks old, but we go through eggs so quickly at our house that we don't often have older eggs to cook.
But recently I read about a technique for cooking and peeling farm-fresh eggs on the blog The Prairie Homestead and I couldn't wait to try it. The technique worked beautifully and I'm so happy to be able to share it with you today. Happy peeling!
UPDATE: If you have an electric pressure cooker, I've learned a new technique that works maybe just a tad better. Check it out here.
Start by finding a metal colander or steam basket that will fit down inside a stockpot, leaving enough room for the lid to fit on top. Place your fresh eggs in the basket and add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan, but not touch the eggs.
Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to a boil. As soon as the water start to boil, cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. The steam temperature will remain the same weather the water is fully boiling or just gently boiling so lower the heat to reduce the risk of the pan boiling dry.
Set a timer for 22 minutes - give or take a minute or two depending on the size of the eggs. I tested this technique with my extra large store-bought eggs and they needed about 24 minutes - and yes, they peeled just as easily.
When the time is up, cool the eggs in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Your fresh eggs should now peel without any trouble.
And here are the results. The egg in the upper left is an extra large store-bought egg; the other two with darker yolks are fresh from the farm.