3 Game-Changing Egg Hacks
By JESS BARRON
If you want to make it quick and easy to peel hard-boiled egg shells or you want a fast and simple way to separate egg yolks from egg whites or if you ever worry about salmonella exposure when putting raw eggs in your smoothies, eating soft scrambled eggs or enjoying raw cookie dough, read on for our game-changing hacks.
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1. When making deviled eggs or just enjoying hardboiled eggs for a snack, you may have found that your eggs are sometimes very difficult to peel. Older eggs are generally easier to peel.
But if you have young, farm-fresh eggs, there’s a trick to making them easier to peel: Puncture them with a push-pin or thumbtack before cooking them. (I sterilize the pin end over a flame quickly before puncturing the eggs.) According to the Science of Eggs, some scientists say pricing the eggshell with a pin lets water leak between the shell and the egg's internal membrane, making for an egg that’s easier to peel.
Best hard-boiling technique to avoid the green ring on the yolks: Put eggs in a pot in one layer (avoid stacking them), and try to put them in a pot that just fits the number of eggs. In other words, don't use a huge pot to boil four eggs.
Add enough cool water into the pot to just cover the eggs. The reason you do this is so the eggs don't bubble up during the boil and smash into the pan or other eggs, causing them to crack their shells. Add salt to the water. “Egg white solidifies more quickly in hot, salty water than it does in fresh, so a little salt in your water can minimize the mess if your egg springs a leak while cooking,” according to The Science of Eggs. ”The egg white solidifies when it hits the salt water, sealing up the crack so that the egg doesn't shoot out a streamer of white.”
Put the pot on your stove on high heat. When the water just reaches the boiling point, put a lid onto the pot, move the eggs off the heat, set a timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully pour out the hot water, and put the eggs into some ice water to stop the cooking. If you sometimes get a greenish ring around the yolk of your hard boiled eggs, this harmless but unsightly discoloration results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It occurs when eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature. This method — cooking eggs in hot, not boiling, water, then cooling immediately — minimizes the green ring.
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2. If you ever need extra egg yolks (such as for making my gluten-free chocolate chip cookies) or extra egg whites (such as for making Kelly's veggie protein scramble), here is a killer hack. In this video, Noelle Stransky, LIVESTRONG.COM's Sr. UX Designer demonstrates how to use a plastic bottle to quickly and easily separate raw egg yolks from the whites, without wasting a drop of either.
3. If you’re adding raw eggs as protein in your smoothies, eating soft scrambled eggs or enjoying spoonfuls of eating raw cookie dough out of the bowl from time to time (like me!) but concerned about exposure to salmonella, there is a solution that makes eggs completely salmonella-free.
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(Four out of five Salmonella Enteritidis food poisoning cases come from raw or undercooked eggs, so egg safety is a great way to stay well.) Davidson's Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs are submerged in a heated water bath that pasteurizes them and eliminates the risk of avian flu viruses as well as salmonella while keeping the nutritional profile and the flavor intact and unchanged. Even better, their eggs from vegetarian-fed hens that are hormone and antibiotic free, and they even offer cage-free pasteurized eggs that are Certified Humane. (Here's why Certified Humane is something important to look for when purchasing eggs.) Davidson's Safest Choice eggs are available nationwide, and are a smart choice.
Readers - Are you a fan of eggs? What's your favorite way to enjoy them? Were you aware of any of these egg hacks? Are there other egg hacks that we and the other readers should know about? If so, leave a comment below and let us know.
Jess Barron is Editor-in-Chief of LIVESTRONG.COM. Read some of her other health and fitness articles here. A longtime foodie and fan of Farmer’s Market fare, Jess particularly loves heirloom tomatoes, fresh figs with burrata cheese, and anything with pumpkin or peanut butter in it! Her love for food fuels her desire to exercise daily. In the summer of 2012 Jess lost 20 pounds in a test group for a new fitness program. Some of her favorite workout routines include walking, running, yoga, P90X, INSANITY, and mixed martial arts. Jess’s writing can also be found at Poprocks.com. She has appeared on MSNBC’s “The Most,” ABC News Now, and XM satellite radio and her writing has appeared on Wired.com and Yahoo!