Jacques Pépin's Trick For Perfect Boiled Eggs Involves A Thumbtack

If you love deviled eggs or are making an egg salad for lunch, legendary chef Jacques Pépin has a trick for you to get those hard-boiled eggs just right. Pépin boils eggs using a seemingly unconventional trick and an even more unusual tool to achieve perfect results every time. The French-born TV host recommends using a thumbtack or pushpin to put a small hole in the egg to ensure you never get rubbery egg whites and that the egg shells don't crack as they cook. In his book "Essential Pepin," he explains that you want to take the tack and make a pin-sized hole in the round end of the egg. Why here?

The anatomy of the egg makes this a must. An air chamber is located at the round end of the egg, and making the tiny hole allows enough time for air to escape when the egg hits the water. The small hole helps to alleviate pressure and creates an equilibrium, letting gas escape from the shell as it warms and expands. 

Other benefits

Using a tack to let the air and gases out also ensures the round base of your egg is truly round, but that's not the only benefit of using this method. This pinhole technique can especially benefit older eggs whose air sacs have gotten larger with age as the gas inside increases as they've patiently rested in the fridge waiting to be used. That small opening allows it to quickly escape. As an added benefit, once the eggs are boiled, the shells peel off with great ease. 

But you also want to pay attention to the heat. Pépin goes on to explain that the egg whites get rubbery if you turn up the heat too high and keep it there. This is because as the egg whites cook, a copious amount of bonds are formed, which pushes out the moisture, giving your boiled eggs an unpleasant texture. Pépin says to use barely boiling water to combat this issue.