I’m quite happy with my
method of shelling
fresh, hard-boiled eggs, since it’s fast and gets
out all the
whites, but the result isn’t suitable for deviled eggs. So when I
stumbled across this
method of making
your fresh eggs easier to shell, my ears perked
According to Harold
McGee, author of On
Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, the
problem with shelling fresh eggs isn’t lack of an air pocket, but is
instead an acidic albumen (egg white.) Hard-boil a fresh egg with
an acidic albumen, and the whites will bind to the membrane of the egg
and be impossible to peel. Over time, the albumen’s pH naturally
rises, making the proteins in the whites bind to themselves rather than
to the membrane — suddenly, the egg is peelable.
McGee’s solution is
simple — add half a teaspoon of baking soda to
each quart of water you plan to boil your fresh eggs in. This
raises the pH of the water, which makes the albumen less acidic, and
makes your eggs easier to peel. As you can see from this photo,
the blogger who turned me on to the new hard-boiling method got very
pretty eggs by following McGee’s advice.
We don’t have any spare eggs
to hard-boil at the moment since our
chickens are in the midst of their molt,
but this trick is definitely worth saving for future
experimentation. In the spring, I always want to get rid of my
excess eggs by bringing deviled eggs to potlucks, but the idea of
painfully peeling them all holds me back. Maybe in 2011, deviled
eggs will become our primary potluck item.
As a side note, I
couldn’t resist throwing in this video showing Tim
Ferriss’s method of shelling hard-boiled eggs. It’s just crazy
enough to work.
to a common chicken-keeping problem? Our homemade chicken
waterer never spills or fills with poop.