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How to Hard Cook Lots of Eggs at Once

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Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. 

Today: A genius alternative to hard boiling eggs that results in the creamiest, most perfectly hard cooked eggs every time.

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Are you making deviled eggs or dying eggs for Easter weekend? We had a hunch. Instead of finding a pot big enough to boil zillions of eggs, guestimating when they might be ready, and subsequently precariously fishing them out of scalding water, there's an easier way: Wet a towel and turn on your oven. 

Alton Brown is to thank for this genius solution—and though he admits it might seem a little crazy at first, trust him. All you need to do is wet a kitchen towel so it's just damp (make sure to wet the entire rag). Lay the towel on the center rack of your oven (remember, trust him). Line up as many eggs as you please on top of the towel, making sure they're not touching. The metal rods of the rack serve as little nests for your eggs, and the towel is there to protect the eggs from getting discolored by the racks.

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Turn on your oven to 320° F and let your eggs bake for 30 minutes. Then, pull the rack out and grab the four corners of the towel to create a little cradle for the eggs. Carry the towel with the eggs out of the oven and transfer the eggs to an ice bath. Let them chill out until you can handle them. Dry them off if you're making Easter eggs, or peel them if you plan to eat them. Alton says the oven method makes the eggs harder to peel, but we didn't have any problem at all. 

More: The best way to peel eggs.

Possibly the best part of this whole operation is the texture of the eggs: They're creamier than if they were boiled—maybe the best hard cooked eggs we've ever had. We have a feeling you'll be making a lot more hard cooked eggs now, so here are some ways to eat them (besides from your hand, with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, of course):

  

Virginia Willis' Deviled Eggs & Potato Salad

 

  

Bacon and Egg Salad Sandwich with Dukkah and Peppery Greens & Roasted Asparagus with Chopped Egg and Torn Bread

 

  

Bagna Cauda Toasts with Radicchio, Egg, and Avocado & Egg and Eggplant Sandwich

What are your favorite ways to use hard cooked eggs? Let us know in the comments!

First image by Bobbi Lin; asparagus image by Eric Moran; eggplant sandwich image by Emily Vikre; all others by James Ransom.

Tags: eggs, hard cook, hard boil, hack, alton brown