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