Hard-cooked Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs that aren’t actually boiled?  There’s no water involved?  I think the proper term is “hard-baked eggs”.   A few versions of the recipe have been making the rounds on Pinterest for a while.  I remember my grandfather doing something similar when we visited during my childhood, and thought I’d give them a try to see if the recipe lived up to the hype.

Hard-baked Eggs

12 or 18 raw eggs, placed in muffin tins or a jelly-roll pan so they cannot roll off.

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Place eggs on center rack and bake 25 minutes (30 min for duck eggs).  Remove from the oven and allow to cool before peeling. 

(Adjustment: If you are already baking something in the oven at 350, you can add some eggs on the top rack of the oven and bake for 25 min.  The heat will be reduced by the item baking below them.)

What exactly is the hype?

1)Claim: They taste better than hard-boiled.

I found this not to be true.  While they taste a bit more “roasted”, perhaps, it’s not like the baking imparts a delicious smokiness to the egg (perhaps it would if you had a wood-fired oven?).

They were perfectly done in the middle, with no greying of the yolk, so perhaps that makes them a tinge less sulfur-y than eggs that are more easily over-cooked while boiling on the stove. Overall, they tasted just as yummy as hard-boiled eggs.

2)Claim: They peel easier (even fresh eggs just laid).

What I found:  YES!  They peel very easily.  Typically, I don’t hard-boil eggs from our chickens until they are 2 weeks old (3 weeks for duck eggs), since they will peel much easier when the membrane holding the white to the shell has broken down a little bit.  (By the way, this doesn’t mean those eggs are “old”, most grocery store eggs are already 30-60 days old by the time you purchase them).  The eggs I baked were laid YESTERDAY, and the shell just slipped right off as soon as the egg was mostly cooled. 

3)Claim: There is less clean up.

Well, yes, there is less clean up, if you mean that you don’t have egg-water to pour on the plants, and 1 pot to wash (I confess to putting the muffin tins right back in the cabinet.  There wasn’t a speck on them…).

My friend Kelsy pointed out that there is much more ENERGY expended, and I think that is the more important issue.  I baked 18 eggs while baking lunch.  I just put them on the top rack of the oven.  I wouldn’t preheat the oven and run it for half an hour just for 18 eggs, but I would put them in with another dish that is already cooking.

So, the bottom line is that hard-baked eggs turn out very well, and if you are already baking a dish, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make a batch this way.  I’ll definitely be doing it again.  🙂