Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hard Boiled

I've got a quick little tid-bit for you this week. I was clicking around on Pinterest and came across a tip about hard boiling eggs. Any of you who have chickens know that it's a real pain in the butt to peel fresh hard boiled eggs. The fresher they are the more of a pain and mess you have on your hands. I feel like I'm in one of those bad infommercials where the person can't peel a potato without hurting herself or who makes a mess of straining pasta like she's never heard of a collander. Well, put your hate for peeling fresh hard boiled eggs behind you. I have the tip to answer your prayers and it won't cost you three easy payments of $19.99.

In every egg, there's a thin membrane in between the shell and the egg white. When you buy eggs in the store you never really encounter this membrane because your eggs are likely a few weeks old (at least). The older the egg, the thinner this membrane becomes. When you crack a fresh egg from your backyard chickens, you may notice it's a bit harder to get the shell to break. It's this inner membrane. It's thick. When you hard boil a fresh egg, this membrane seems to fuse the shell to the egg white. Peeling the shell tears up the egg white. As you can imagine, forget about pretty fresh deviled eggs. Mine usually end up looking like they went through a weed wacker. It's a painful task. I usually end up swearing at least once during the process. Okay. More than once.

So what is the miraculous tip that is going to change your life you ask? Baking Soda. Put about a teaspoon (or a little more) of baking soda in the water you are using to hard boil the eggs. Now hard boil your eggs like you normally would. Watch it though because when I tried it, my water seemed to boil up fast. I had to turn down the heat quickly. When you get ready to peel your eggs, rotate the egg all around while you gently tap the shell on the counter or the side of your sink or wherever you peel your eggs so that it becomes cracked all over.

Now peel. Voila! It will be remarkably easier than without the baking soda. I'm not a science genius, so I'm not sure exactly how it works, but it does. It somehow loosens that membrane from the shell.

*I only hard boiled four eggs just to see what would happen, so if you're doing a large batch, you may want to increase the baking soda a little. I've not tried it yet, so I'm not sure if the teaspoon would be enough.

I've peeled three eggs over the last few days that I hard boiled with the added baking soda and they've all been pretty easy. They weren't perfect, but much easier than usual.

Remember, if you're using store bought eggs, you are unlikely to have this peeling problem and my exciting tip won't be so exciting for you. You may want to store the little tid-bit away somewhere in your brain for when it might come in handy some day. With Easter coming up, I'm pretty happy about this new found information. Hard boiled Easter eggs here I come!