Saturday, April 6, 2013

Baked Egg Pinvestigation

We're finishing up Egg Week here on the blog. I'd think we would have done this before Easter, but so many good egg submissions came in right before or right after Easter that we figured we'd just do it now.

Making "hard boiled eggs" in the oven rather than on a pot on the stove has really hit this year's "Now That's What I Call Baking" play list. Everyone's trying it! What is it? Well..instead of boiling eggs, you bake them. It is supposed to be easier, less of a mess, and the eggs not only are supposed to be easier to peel, but they are supposed to be much tastier (creamy as some have described it). Now I don't know about you...but a creamier egg just sounds strange to me...but I'm willing to give it a try. So I did! 

I started first by reading the submissions we have received about baking eggs. Let me show you. 

The Original Pin:

The Pinstrosities:
 "Hey guys, Elizabeth and Melody here :) So we found a pin on Pinterest about making hard boiled eggs in the oven and you would think we had found gold!  Well, of course it was too good to be true.We followed the directions and baked them at 325 for 30 minutes. We ended up putting them back in the oven 2 more times for 10 more minutes each because they were not done. When they were finally done 20 minutes later than the original pin said, we took them out and peeled them. The original pin said they would peel so much easier while they were still warm with cold water running over them, so that's what they did and some peeled okay but most were boogers to peel and were not smooth. Also, they were covered in brown spots from baking so they looked disgusting."

Dorcas says, "It sounded so simple. But it doesnt work, at least not without modifications. The eggs scorch. You get brown spots all over them (see photo attached). I think maybe they left out a step? Perhaps the muffin tins should have water in them???"

We even had a previous post on was that submission:
Brown spots, harder to peel, and according to Dorcas...not tastier! This one was perfect to test out. Remember my dyed egg "eggsperiments"on Thursday? This is where I got my "hard boiled" eggs to dye. 

I decided to try a few different things and see what I could come up with. 

The Pinvestigation:
Here was the plan. 
Starting with the oven cold I was going to put 1 egg on straight on the rack, 1 in a muffin paper on the rack, 1 in a muffin tin with water, 1 in a dry muffin tin, 1 in a lined muffin tin, and one in a silicone "pan". I would then let the eggs heat up with the oven and do the cooking and see how it turned out. 
Then I wanted to cook 6 more eggs in the same manner, only start these ones out in a hot oven. 

Well...I found I only had 6 eggs on hand so I had to just do one or the other. I was guessing that I'd have better success with starting with the cold oven, so that's what I did. I guess the hot oven test is for another day. 
So here was the set up:
I even had my cookie sheet under in case any broke and ran over...and it conveniently hides the bottom of my oh so lovely and "clean" oven.  

I turned the oven on to 325 and set the timer for 25 minutes (fully expecting to have to cook them longer since the oven wasn't warmed up yet). 

At the end of 25 minutes I excitedly went to the oven door, expecting to find some speckled and some non-speckled eggs. Here's what I found:
Pretty much there was no difference. I was a little surprised. So I took the eggs out one by one, keeping them in order so I knew which was which, and inspected them a little closer. 

1. On the rack:
 One small little faint brown spot. Not bad. 

2. In the muffin liner on the rack:
 A more defined brown spot, but nothing bad. 

3. In the muffin tin with water:
 More speckles...but just on the one end. 

4. In the dry muffin tin:
 Clear. No visible blemishes. 

5. In the lined muffin tin:
 A very faint discoloring on the end. Not much worth nothing. 

6: In the silicone pan:
4 brown speckles. 

I was quite surprised. I took the first three (again, keeping them in order) and put them in a bowl of cool water to help them cool down and I found a few of them wanted to "float". More like they didn't want to sink and stay put...they wanted to hover and wander. The eggs I was using weren't super fresh. As a side note...did you know you can test for an eggs freshness by doing a float test? Here's how to see how fresh your egg is, according to

  • Sinks to the bottom and stays there, it is about three to six days old.
  • Sinks, but floats at an angle, it's more than a week old.
  • Sinks, but then stands on end, it's about two weeks old.
  • Floats, it's too old and should be discarded.

So there you go. But back to the story. The eggs weren't really fresh, and I didn't want to sit and try and keep them in place so they didn't get mixed I let them sit on the counter to cool. When they cooled I did a spin test (a cooked egg will spin well, a raw egg won't) to see if they were all done, and they weren't. So I dried the eggs off completely and put them back in their spots and baked them for another 10 minutes. They seemed done after this so I went on to letting them cool and coloring them. 

I found that two had cracked a little, so I used those for the marbled eggs that I dyed. 

And there's all the eggs dyed (well...I didn't dye one, just to see what it was like undyed inside. 

So next I was looking to see how easy or hard they were to peel, and if there were any brown spots inside. Most of them peeled well. They peeled in smaller chunks as the shells were quite brittle, but they didn't stick to the egg inside. (As a side note...the more fresh your eggs are, the harder they will be to peel).  

1. On the rack:
 No problems peeling this one. This egg had two brown spots inside. The green in the middle is from my fingers...I had left over food coloring from the dyeing on them. 

2. The Egg in a liner on the rack:
Where the egg was done, there were no problems peeling this one. The bottom (where it was touching the paper) was not done all the way...and it jiggled like jello jigglers...and it was disgusting. It's that funny little divot on top of the egg. There was no discoloring from baking (just spots where the dye came through the egg). 

3. The egg in the water in the muffin tin:
There were no problems peeling this egg and there were no visible "burnt" spots...but they could be there under the dye of course...didn't think that one through. Oh well. 

4. The egg in the dry muffin tin:
 No problems peeling this one, but it did have some light "burnt" spots (along with the red spots where the dye came through the shell). 

5. In the liner in the muffin tin: 
There were no problems peeling this egg and there were no visible "burnt" spots...but they could be there under the dye of course...didn't think that one through. Oh well. 

6. In the silicone pan:
This one wasn't done all the way. The part that was sticking up out of the pan was done, but the other half was jello. It was gross. I didn't see any burn marks. This egg went straight in the trash. 

So then I cut each egg in half to see if it had cooked all the way through and to get to the taste test. Other than egg #2 and egg #6, the eggs were done all the way through. I took one half of the #1 egg, salted it and popped it in my mouth. Tasted normal at first...but the aftertaste is a little rubbery. Not bad, just different. The texture is slightly creamier, which I wasn't a big fan of. Even though that egg was definitely done all the way through, the texture made it seem like it wasn't completely done. If you like creamier...than this will be perfect...I just like my egg whites very thoroughly done and to have a "done" texture. So then I thought I'd test them out as deviled eggs.

With the creamy center of the deviled eggs, the creamy texture of the whites was masked pretty well. If there were a plate of boiled deviled eggs mixed with a plate of baked deviled eggs, I don't think I would be able to 
taste a difference. But maybe I would...that's a test for another day...a day when I have more eggs in my fridge. 

So my recommendations from this? I would definitely start with a cold oven...that seemed to work pretty well. What they were put on/in to bake didn't seem to make a huge difference overall as far as the discoloring went. If you use a silicone pan you'll have to turn the eggs and cook for a longer time. Bake them for 30-40 minutes and do a float test before you call them done. Let the cool completely before trying to peel them. 

Well, recommendation would be to just boil the eggs. This method took longer, wasn't necessarily easier to peel, and I like the texture of boiled eggs better. But to each their own I guess. 

Well, this week has bee "eggciting". Thanks for following along! 


  1. I'm confused as to how this is easier than boiling an egg...

    I have always boiled an egg the same way and never had an issue making them or peeling them. It only takes ten minutes-ish:

    1. i was thinking the same thing. how much easier does it get than filling a pot with water, plopping in a few eggs and boiling!! it takes like 30 seconds!!

    2. Agreed with both of you... this oven method also uses much more electricity (heating up an oven vs. a few minutes of cooktop time).

      My favorite is the Betty Crocker cold start method... put eggs in pot, cover with cold water, put on stove top, once the water starts to boil remove from heat and cover, let sit 15 minutes...done! The eggs are much less likely to crack this way.

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  3. I bake my eggs in a muffin pan & sometimes get the brown spots on the outside, but never the inside. Then I put them in ice water. This makes them easier to peel & washes off some of the spots.
    It just seems easier for me to put them in the oven for half hour and forget them while I do something else. I usually make at least a dozen at once.

    1. I steam my eggs in a steamer basket for 20 minutes. They peel perfectly every time, even with eggs laid that very day (we have chickens so I know how fresh the eggs are). The steam permeates the egg shell (boiling water doesn't) and loosens the membrane. Occasionally I might get one egg that cracks with this method, but overall they turn out beautifully. I've suggested this to many people and those who try it are amazed at how well the eggs peel.

    2. Can you go over what you use to steam them in and if it starts with a cold pan. Then a cold water bath?? I would like to try this.

  4. I tried this using Alton Brown's instructions ( It worked perfectly. I usually can NOT boil an egg so that it's cooked through but doesn't have that icky grey coating on the yolk. These eggs did cook through, and didn't have the dreaded grey ring. As far as taste and texture, well, I can't tell you for sure because as a rule I don't eat eggs at all, but my husband and kids seemed to like them just fine.

  5. 5 mins in boiling water ...done !

  6. You were lucky you didn't encounter one of the other problems with baking eggs - I once made a Greek Easter bread with red-dyed eggs baked into the top of it. The eggs exploded... made a heck of a mess of the oven and the bread!

  7. I tried this for the first time this Easter. I put a silicone mini muffin pan on top of a cookie sheet and put the eggs sideways, so they ended up sitting on top of the muffin pan, not inside the holes. I baked them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, then put them immediately into an ice bath. I don't know how easy they would have been to peel immediately after cooled because we dyed them the next day, then I peeled them the day after. But cooking them Friday and peeling them Sunday, they were very easy to peel. Usually when I make deviled eggs I swear up and down that it is the last time I'm ever doing it, but this really did make them not a hassle and I'll use this method again. The only brown spots I had were on the inside of the shell in the place at the bottom of the egg where there ends up being a void, no brown spots on any of the cooked eggs.

  8. I also steam my eggs. my steamer came with two trays so I'll do supper vegetables or rice in one and eggs for later in the other.

  9. I've had no issue with this method, but I use a pre-heated oven. If you can minimize the areas where the egg is touching metal then the brown spots are minimal. The egg yolk is creamy but the word are firm when I do this.

  10. I also baked my eggs this Easter. Boiling might be as easy, but I have yet to ever boil a large quantity of eggs and not have several broken, cracked or exploded eggs. And trust me I've tried every trick, so I'm not a fan of boiling eggs. My eggs turned out lovely. I put them in a *mini* muffin tin, which allowed me to do 2 dozen in one whack, and kept the eggs on their side so the yolk was always in the middle. (This was part of the instructions in the original pin

    My only snafu was trying to find out if I needed to preheat or put the eggs in a cold oven, I opted for the second way and found at the end of 30 mins my eggs had no brown spots and my tester was not done enough. I let them go another 8 minutes and found that all my eggs had the spots. I plopped them into the ice bath and let them cool in the fridge until I was ready.

    As for peeling I think that still has to do more with the age of the eggs rather than how they are cooked. Out of my two dozen, 18 where about a week old and 6 I bought the day before, and about 2/3 peeled much easier, while the rest were a bear to peel. I peeled them about and hour after cooking to make deviled eggs. (Which I colored the whites and filled a definite Pin Win!) Taste was about the same I think, although most agreed that the whites were firmer than regular boiled eggs, and no brown marks on them. I think the mini muffin pan is the ticket, since not only does it keep them on their side, the shell has minimal contact with the pan.

    1. I used the mini pan to and worked great! Mine were nice and soft inside.

  11. This is the pin I followed and it does mention the need to preheat the oven and also talks about the brown spots. I tried them before Easter and thought they came out well.

  12. I like steaming my eggs. :) 15-20 minutes in the steamer make lovely, normal, perfectly hard boiled eggs :9

  13. I tried this once, in my toaster oven (because I couldn't see heating up my big 'ol oven for six eggs) @325 for 30 mins and they all cooked without scorching or brown spots. However, like you, I didn't like the taste at all... The texture is just, I dunno, different and blah. This method isn't any easier than boiling eggs and I like the taste of boiled eggs better.

  14. Ok, Grandpa used to bake eggs in the wood stove. They taste different than boiled. The eggs were put in the stove after dinner was made and fire was almost out and banked. Turned before bed and eaten in the morning. But that was a consequence of using a wood stove! LOL

  15. I've never had a better egg... my dark brown spots were much smaller. Tasted awesome. Nice to be able to do a whole big amount at a time. More expensive then boiling though. But fun!

  16. Mine were also easy to peel and I started with a hot oven.

  17. For those of you that report having trouble with boiling eggs, may I preset the best method that I've found? My eggs come out perfectly every time this way.

    I'm really curious about the steamer method, but I think I'll pass on baking them.

  18. I actually wrote a blog post about making hard-boiled eggs in a toaster oven, which is now the only way I cook them.


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