As mentioned in an earlier post, we love eggs. And one of our favorite ways to enjoy them is hard cooked- for snacks, as a quick light meal, in egg salad, etc. So for us one of the main selling points of the All American Sun Oven is the ability to hard cook eggs without using any water.
Actually, the method used in the Sun Oven for hard cooked eggs is super cool for a few reasons: it results in easier to peel eggs; no water is used- that’s right, zip, zero, zilch; and you can cook two dozen at a time. All that’s needed is a fiber egg carton with the lid removed. Place the eggs into it and then onto the self-leveling rack in the Sun Oven.
So, the first thing I cooked in our new Sun Oven was hard cooked eggs using our fresh eggs, two days old to be precise.
Test #1 – Shortly after I put the room temperature eggs in the Sun Oven however, the sun began teasing me. It went from bright and sunny, to a shadow; and then to not even a shadow which is the minimum needed to cook in the Sun Oven.
I like to experiment and take note of results, so I just let it ride, adjusting the position of the oven every 30 minutes for maximum heat. Three hours later, the eggs were fully cooked. No, that is not a typo. Three hours (we went on an errand). What’s more, they were not overcooked.
Now as for the peeling, again experimentation ensued. I put some in cold water, some in the refrigerator, and left some to cool on the counter. Interestingly enough, the ones left to cool on the counter were easier to peel. They didn’t turn out great, but some were certainly deviled-egg worthy. No matter the peeling method, the texture of the whites was wonderful, creamy not rubbery as can be the case with hard cooked eggs.
More experimenting was needed.
Test #2 involved older, cold eggs straight from the fridge. I had a shadow for the entire 1 ½ hour cooking time and adjusted position of the Sun Oven every 30 minutes. They took longer to cook probably because of their starting temperature, and in a couple the yolks weren’t completely cooked. The group allowed to cool at room temp was harder to peel; the group cooled in the fridge was slightly easier to peel. Notable was that if you just crack one end of the egg and go from there less of the whites come off with the shell, also using your fingernail to lift an edge of shell helps. It took a long time.
For Test #3 I used older room temperature eggs. The day was full sunshine finally! Unfortunately, I didn’t set a timer and then proceeded to become distracted, so I do not know how long they were cooked, perhaps around 1½ hours. Sigh. I can tell you it was too long for such a sunny day. The yolks had the tell-tale grey-blue color around them indicating they were overcooked (also notice the brownish spot inside the shell in the foreground of the photo). In any case, they were again allowed to cool at room temperature, which took about three hours. However, the peeling success was unbelievable if I hadn’t seen it for myself!!! Out of 2 dozen hard-cooked eggs not one single solitary egg had so much as a dimple of whites damaged during the peeling process! These were by far the easiest peeling hard cooked eggs I have ever experienced! In fact, here is a photo of all those lovely eggs to show you!
Yet, I still needed to nail down this Sun Oven technique.
Test #4 – Again, older room temperature eggs were used, which I turned over in their carton the night before to center the yolks within the whites. On a sunny day they cooked for 1 hour with the oven thermometer reading 300 degrees F. Alas, cooked to perfection!!! They cooled for 2 hours at room temperature but then we had to leave for a few hours so I put them in the fridge. Most of them peeled fine, deviled-egg worthy, but not nearly the success as in Test #3 left at room temp only. The other caveat was that if I was making these into deviled eggs, being older the air pocket was so large it affected their shape. I cut one in half to show you.
In subsequent batches peeling had mixed results – some perfect, some not-so-perfect – but most of those are not so terrible they couldn’t be used for deviled eggs. Test #3 must have been a fluke?
So the “recipe” that resulted in the absolute best hard cooked eggs in the Sun Oven is:
1) Preheat your Sun Oven to at least 300 degrees
2) 1 to 2 dozen fresh eggs, not more than one week old (purely for the aesthetic reason of a smaller air pocket if making into deviled eggs; otherwise older eggs are just as tasty!)
3) Use eggs that are at room temperature
4) Turn the eggs over several hours before cooking to center the yolks (again, only important if to be used for deviled eggs)
5) Sun cook for 1 hour (condensation will begin to collect on the inside of the Oven lid when done) – be sure to set a timer!
6) Set the cooked eggs on your counter to cool at room temperature for 2-3 hours before peeling
We so enjoy our Sunny Hard Cooked Eggs every week!