Jill Wagner

A box without hinges, key, or lid,yet golden treasure inside is hid.

Bilbo’s riddle to Gollum J.R.R. Tolken- The Hobbit

The hard- boiled egg, with its vibrant creamy yellow center around a soft white case, is one of the greatest natural treasures. With a nutrition profile rich in Vitamin A, D, E, K2, B-12, folate, riboflavin, zinc, beta-carotene, choline and omega 3 fatty acids, phosphorous and more, the hard-boiled egg packs a big punch in a small package.

This superfood, eaten around the world, is found at every grocery store with brands and packaging that promote it. Today our grocery stores offer a wide variety of chicken eggs. Our local eggs include lifestyles of the chickens themselves. Available varieties include “commercial” white eggs, cage- free, vegetarian fed, enhanced diets of omega-3’s, organically fed, free-range, and pasture raised.

The Oak Park Eat’s team decided to host a blind taste test to see if there was a difference in the flavor of hard boiled eggs from different stores and brands. We tasted eight different brands of eggs.

Purchased eggs ranged in price from $1.19  to $6.50 per dozen. We went to four different locations including River Forest Whole Foods, Oak Park Jewel, Oak Park Farmers Market and Forest Park Ed’s Way.

Our testers were blindly given sample eggs from Dutch Farms (commercial), Eggland’s best (vegetarian fed), Happy Egg Co. (free range), Jewel house brand (commercial), Phil’s (cage- free eggs), Prairie Wind Family Farm (from Oak Park farmer’s market), Vital Farms Alfresco (pasture raised), and Whole Food’s 365 (cage-free plus).

In order to keep the egg prep consistent, I dropped the eggs, straight from the refrigerator in boiling water, set the timer for 12 minutes and turned off the heat as soon as a bubble appeared in the water. After cooking the eggs were submerged in a bath of ice and water to ensure easy peeling.

All the shells of the eggs stayed intact except the Whole Foods 365 brand where 5 of the 12 of the eggs cracked when placed in the hot water.

All eggs were peeled and placed on plates and our Eats testers selected the top eggs based on the color, texture and flavor of each egg in a blind taste test of hard boiled eggs.

The top hard boiled egg votes went to: 

  • 1. Eggland’s Best vegetarian fed eggs
  • 2. Dutch Farms conventional eggs
  • 3. Jewel large conventional eggs

In this taste test, the judges preferred conventional eggs over free range or organically fed birds. The top vote earner, Eggland’s Best, received a perfect score from all four egg tasters making them a clear favorite in the hard boiled egg category.

Stay turned for our next egg test! We’ll pit these same brands against each-other in a blind sunny-side up test next month.

Do you think these results will hold true?

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