After a lot of debating, it looks like the nutrition experts have finally decided that eggs won’t explode your heart if you eat them in moderation – a fact that three generations of men in my family have been happily proving for years now. Now, you can’t go all Gaston from “Beauty and the Beast” and eat five dozen eggs a day, but breaking a few eggs and preparing a tasty meal won’t do you much harm. So, as long as you are a healthy individual with no serious medical issues, have a relatively balanced and diverse diet and eat eggs in moderation you’ll be perfectly fine.
In fact, eggs are an excellent source of protein and have always been a staple of every athlete’s diet, though fitness enthusiasts who are trying to cut some body fat recommend using just one or two whole eggs mixed with 2-3 egg whites. With that in mind, let’s look at some interesting egg cooking secrets that all you egg lovers out there can use to create tasty meals without any hassle.
Breaking the eggs
1. Test the freshness of the eggs with a bowl of water
Knowing just how fresh your eggs are is important for a number of reasons – so you don’t risk eating spoiled eggs, so that you can remove the shell on boiled eggs more easily etc. A simple test involves putting an egg into a bowl of water – if it sinks and is turned sideways it’s fresh; if it sinks but is vertical or near vertical; and if it floats you should throw it out.
2. Slap the egg once on a flat and rigid surface to avoid hunting for bits of the shell
The classic two-handed break is the easiest to achieve, and it ensures that no stray shell fragments get into your food, but many people don’t realize what actually makes it work. You need to hold the egg so that the pointy end is facing your fingers and the round end rests on the palm, then hit the very middle of the egg on a flat hard surface. A single firm slap is enough, and you can proceed to pry the two ends apart using both hands.
3. Crack an egg using only one hand
The ultimate egg-cracking technique that makes you look like an experienced chef is the old one-handed clean break. You essentially need to hit the middle of the egg on a sharp edge, e.g. of a bowl, and use a unique finger motion to let the egg whites and yolk spill out elegantly. The video above should help you get the technique down.
Separating the egg whites from the yolk
4. Suck up the yolk using a plastic bottle
If you’ve got a plastic bottle lying around the house, which most of us do at any given time, you can use it to separate the yolk from the whites. Break an egg into a bowl, then squeeze the bottle to let a bit of air out, put the mouth of the bottle against the yolk, and then simply loosen your grip to allow air to go back into the bottle, along with the yolk.
5. Funnel out the egg whites in mere seconds
If you don’t have a bottle handy, you can always use a funnel to separate the yolk. You just carefully break the egg over the funnel, at which point the yolk will get stuck and the egg whites will seep out through the small hole. You can lightly shake it around to get all of the egg whites out, and just throw the yolk out.
6. Crack the egg into your hand and let the egg whites sip through your fingers
In those extreme cases, when you have to eat something right now, but you don’t have any tools at hand, you can just use your hands. Of course, you should wash your hands first, preferably using a neutral non-perfumed soap. Then you can crack the egg using the one hand technique shown in a previous paragraph and let the yolk rest on the palm of your other hand. Just let the whites seep through the fingers and keep the yolk balanced in the palm.
Peeling the shell on boiled eggs
7. Pierce the top of the egg to make it easier to peel
You can take the point of a sharp kitchen knife or a needle to puncture a small hole in the fattest part of the egg, before putting it in boiling water. After you’ve boiled it for several minutes – depending on what consistency you were going for – extract the egg and put it in a bowl of ice water for a hassle free peeling process.
8. Shake the boiled eggs in a pot with some water
For those that fear that they would make a mess if they tried to pierce an egg, you can just wait until the egg is boiled, then put it in a pan with just enough water to make the egg float, close the lid and shake it around so that it cracks against the walls of the bowl. It will be fairly easy to peel the shell afterwards.
9. Cut the egg in half with a sharp knife
Of, course there is always the way of the barbarian – quick, simple and brutal. Take a sharp knife and just cut the boiled egg in half. The shell will come of much easier, or you can simply scoop it out with a spoon.
Preparing a nice and quick meal
10. Create an egg mold out of bacon
It can be a bit tricky to make a perfect sunny side up egg, but if you use a nice long slice of bacon to create a round mold, you’ll get a nice round shape, and you’ll have bacon and eggs ready in no time.
11. Boil scrambled eggs
If you want to get best of both worlds, you can actually boil an egg that is entirely yellow. Just take an old shirt and put the egg in a sleeve, tying it off at both sides. You then grab the ends of the sleeve and spin the egg for awhile, before pulling it out and boiling it. It will be completely yellow when it is peeled. Watch the video above for a step by step.
12. Throw in a bit of baking soda for fluffier omelets
Omelets are a quick and easy to make meal, but there is a bit of finesse involved, especially if you want to make an exceptional omelet. An easy way to make your omelets nice and fluffy is to add a pinch of baking soda into the mix. Baking powder reportedly works just as well.
You’ll need find the right amount of baking soda through a bit of experimentation, as going overboard will make the eggs taste funny, and putting in too little won’t really fluff up the omelet. The amount of baking soda will also depend on the number of eggs that you are preparing.
There you have it folks, all the egg related hacks that you’ll ever need. Remember, eggs are perfectly fine when consumed in moderation, a few of them a day. The fact that they are actually highly nutritious and incredibly simple to prepare, particularly with the above hacks, makes them a great addition to your diet.