Here's Why Your Pickled Eggs Are Rubbery

A jar of pickled eggs in red liquid
A jar of pickled eggs in red liquid - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Considered a classic bar snack, pickled eggs started as a way to make eggs last longer. It's thought that German immigrants brought this method of preserving eggs to America around the time of the Revolutionary War, and they have been a reliable and easy protein-rich snack to have on hand ever since.

Pickled eggs require only a few ingredients, and the whole process has only a few steps. At its most basic, this dish involves hard-boiled eggs and a pickling solution, usually made of vinegar, salt, sugar, and some spices. Still, sometimes, the result isn't exactly a culinary delight. Rather than being pleasantly bouncy when you bite into the egg, it feels a bit rubbery. And no one likes to chew on rubber.

There are a few reasons why the texture of your pickled eggs may be off. One problem may be you started with overcooked hard-boiled eggs. Another issue may be with the brining liquid itself. Leaving the eggs in a pickling liquid that's too strong will change their texture over time.

Read more: The 20 Best Egg Brands, Ranked

Cooking Time And Brine Can Affect Texture

pickled eggs in a bowl and in a jar
pickled eggs in a bowl and in a jar - James_gabbert/Getty Images

Not to worry, there are ways to avoid ending up with rubbery pickled eggs. It's all about taking care in each step of the egg pickling process. You want to hard boil your eggs following the classic method of starting with the eggs in a pot filled with cold water that is just about 1 inch above the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot and remove from the heat. The eggs should rest for between 12 and 18 minutes, depending on the size of the egg.

Now you've got properly cooked hard-boiled eggs, it's time to think about your brine. How can a brine be too powerful? Pickling liquid is a balance of water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. So, if the solution is high in vinegar, it makes the liquid quite acidic. And If the eggs sit in that liquid too long, you get rubbery eggs. There's a simple enough way to avoid this problem. You want the pickling liquid to do its job in the beginning, and then after the eggs have reached the proper degree of pickling, you can dilute the solution with some water.

Season Up Your Eggs

Pickled eggs in a jar with herbs and spices
Pickled eggs in a jar with herbs and spices - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

So, how long is too long for hard-boiled eggs to sit in full-strength pickling liquid? It takes at least 24 hours for the pickling liquid to work its magic on the eggs, and letting them rest there for a few days is even better. If you're not going to eat them in the first few days, it makes sense to add a bit of water to thin out the brine. You're also going to want to build a better brine from the start, too.

The brine is the essence of what makes a pickled egg so tasty. So, how you season the pickling liquid shapes the final product. At its foundation, the vinegar you use influences the taste. Some recipes call for white distilled vinegar, while others use apple cider vinegar. Adding spices and herbs can also enhance the flavor of the eggs. Bay leaves, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns are all great additions. Some fresh dill and a few slices of your favorite chili pepper would work great, too. Don't be afraid to experiment with some less common options as well. Why not try a touch of curry powder or five spice? Some recipes incorporate beets into the process to give the eggs a distinctive pink hue.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.