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After some furious brainstorming in The Frying Pan, I recently prepared some hors d'oeuvres for a group of friends. These snacks were meant to include a thinly sliced boiled egg element. Unfortunately I found that I did not have a technique that reliably produced egg slices at my desired thickness.

My Technique

I boiled the eggs and placed them in an ice bath. I shelled them and placed them, one at a time, on my cutting board (leaving the remaining eggs in the ice bath.) I was hoping the time in the bath--about 15 minutes--would be enough to firm the eggs to aid in slicing.

I drew a sharp, honed blade (6" chef's knife that I use for pretty much all of my prep) across the egg and essentially tried to freehand it. The results were tasty and they were fine for my friends but I would have really liked them to be more uniform.

I did try wiping my blade between slices and this helped a little, but the biggest problem I was having was the change in consistency between the white and the yolk. The knife would hit the yolk and it would sort of drag or turn. I tried a few different grips and I ended up just kind of clawing it.

Alternate Ideas

For next time, I have considered trying to freeze the boiled eggs and letting them thaw slightly before slicing. Something in my gut tells me that frozen hard boiled eggs won't be good eats. It seems like the texture would be changed.

I have read about using dental floss to make a clean cut... but I don't see how that would help here. Is there some magical dental floss technique that I'm just not envisioning?

Some quick Googling also lead me to the idea of wetting my knife or adding oil before each cut. I really feel like the problem is the egg itself and it's awkward shape and consistency. But maybe there's something to this advice after all?

Results

As you can see below, I ended up with some small guys and some fat guys. They were tasty, but I WANT PERFECTION!

Bacon & Egg hors d'oeuvres

  • Is there any reason you cannot use a purpose-built egg slicer? media1.onsugar.com/files/users/1/17470/21_2007/img20l-thumb.jpg – Matthew Jun 9 '14 at 13:57
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    No particular reason apart from not wanting another gadget in the kitchen. #apartmentlivingproblems – Preston Jun 9 '14 at 15:50
  • Slice them before you boil them. Not sure why you really care, yours look great as they are – TFD Jun 10 '14 at 7:07
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    @TFD Exactly how is one supposed to slice an uncooked egg? Now THAT would be impressive kitchen technique. – logophobe Jun 11 '14 at 19:55
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    Wet, thin blade, like a boning knife. Chef's knife is almost exactly wrong for the job. – Wayfaring Stranger Jul 28 '15 at 21:26
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Between slices, dip your (very sharp) knife in water. It really does work. You don't want your knife wet enough that it makes your eggs wet, it just lubricates. Also, the eggs should be very cold before slicing. Your finger food looks great BTW.

  • The proximity of "slice" and "finger" in your post makes me a little nervous. Strange eh? By very cold do you mean I should stick them in the fridge? Any comment on the freezing idea? – Preston Jun 9 '14 at 6:43
  • 20 minutes in the freezer should do no harm and will no doubt make the eggs easier to slice. You don't want to freeze them solid, just firm them up a little. You can do the same thing with bacon or other tricky-to-slice meats. – ElendilTheTall Jun 9 '14 at 7:16
  • @PrestonFitzgerald I concur with Eledil, a short time in the freezer helps to slice just about everything. Yankee's solution isn't bad either, if you don't mind buying another gadget. I admit - I have one. – Jolenealaska Jun 9 '14 at 19:30
  • An addendum to @Jolenealaska suggestion - wipe any egg yolk off of the knife before dipping in water as the egg yolk will create (unnecessary) friction. – jsanc623 Jun 10 '14 at 14:54
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Egg slicers work very well for this - consistent, thin slices. It's also good for more than just eggs - mushrooms, avocados, mango and strawberries also slice nicely in a well-made model. Avoid the cheap ones - the wires aren't solidly mounted and will break with regular use.

  • I will occasionally use my egg slicer to slice some strawberries or mushrooms, just so I can say "See? It's not a uni-tasker!" (Note that mushrooms will quickly destroy a cheap egg slicer, so you have to weigh cost vs. being able to say there's only one uni-tasker in the kitchen.) – Marti Jun 10 '14 at 2:47
  • Yeah, I had an egg slicer that I wanted to find other uses for and tried it on a mushroom. It cut one mushroom nicely, and then fell to bits on the second one, not something I'm going to bother replacing. – Doug Kavendek Jun 10 '14 at 2:53
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Two solutions to consider, either separately or together:

1.) Did you apply a bit of oil to the blade of your knife? That's my go-to.

2.) If you don't have an egg or strawberry slicer, the dollar store generally has onion holders for a buck or less. Use it to hold the egg in place and slice right flush with the tines.

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