Getting ready to cook a dozen eggs or so? Many families around the country will be doing the same thing this weekend as they prepare to decorate Easter eggs. Here are five tips to help you end up with the perfect batch of eggs.
Choose good eggs. Make sure they’re clean, free of cracks and not expired. Look for the USDA grade shield or mark since graded eggs must meet standards for quality and size.
Refrigerate the eggs until you’re ready to cook them. According the Egg Safety Center, eggs can be safely refrigerated for up to four to five weeks beyond the Julian Date (a 3-digit code) on the carton, which is the date the eggs were packed.
If you’re boiling: American Egg Board has a simple recipe for the perfect hard-boiled egg. Place eggs (no cracks) in a single layer in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the eggs by one inch. Heat over a high heat to a boil, then remove from the burner immediately, cover and let stand for 15 minutes (18 minutes for extra large eggs). Drain and cool by placing then under running cold water or in a bowl of ice water. When eggs have cooled, refrigerate until you’re ready to eat.
If you’re baking: Set your oven set at 325 degrees. Place clean crack-free eggs on the oven rack and bake for 30 minutes. As a precaution, place a baking sheet under the eggs to catch drippings in case one breaks. Place the baked eggs in ice water and peel as soon as they’re cool enough to handle.
When you peel: To perfectly peel a hard-cooked egg, gently tap egg on counter top until shell is finely crackled all over. Start peeling at large end, holding egg under cold running water to help ease the shell off. Hard-cooked eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling.
And some quick safety tips:
- Inspect eggs before purchasing to make sure they’re not dirty or cracked. Dangerous bacteria may enter a cracked egg.
- Store eggs in their original cartons in the refrigerator rather than the refrigerator door.
- If you’re having an Easter egg hunt, consider hiding places carefully. Avoid areas where the eggs might come into contact with pets, wild animals, birds, reptiles, insects or lawn chemicals.
- Make sure you find all the eggs you’ve hidden and then refrigerate them. Discard cracked eggs.