Ever wonder why store-bought eggs are so easy to peel? Simply put- they’re old. Hard cooked, fresh eggs are harder to peel than old eggs, which can be frustrating if you don’t know the secret to peeling them easily. And here’s a hint: there are no additives required!Fresh eggs have a higher carbon dioxide level and a smaller air cell than old eggs, which causes the inner membrane to adhere more strongly to the egg white than it does to an old egg.
When the bloom of an egg is compromised by washing or age, it becomes more porous, allowing air into the egg and some of the carbon dioxide in the white to escape. This decreases the acidity of the white, which decreases the ability of the white to cling to the egg’s inner membrane.
When eggs age, they also lose moisture through the pores, causing the air space on the wide end of the egg to increase and the white to pull further away from the shell membrane. When the membrane is further from the shell, eggs are easier to peel. Similar results can be accomplished by letting backyard eggs remain in your refrigerator for a few weeks but then they wouldn’t be fresh, would they? Armed with this information, peeling fresh eggs can be done successfully and with a minimum of muttering under your breath.
Hard cooked, Fresh Eggs, the STEAM AND ICE METHOD
- In a covered pot with a steamer basket in it, bring several inches of water to a boil
- Carefully add the eggs to steamer basket when water is boiling.
- Turn down heat to simmer, cover and steam for 15 minutes
- Immediately remove eggs from steamer and place into a bowl of ice water
- When cool enough to handle, crack and peel.
Here’s a twist on tuna using hard-cooked eggs that results in an interesting, high-protein dish served as a sandwich, on top of a salad, mixed into cold pasta or eaten it as-is.
Tuna Egg Salad Recipe
1 can of tuna fish, drained
2 hardboiled eggs, peeled & chopped
Mayo to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh chives, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Serve on bread for a sandwich, on lettuce for a salad or mix into cold pasta for pasta salad as a main dish or side.
*Anatomical illustrations and photo reproduced for educational purposes, courtesy of Jacquie Jacob, Tony Pescatore and Austin Cantor, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Copyright 2011. Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, M. Scott Smith, Director, Land Grant Programs, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Lexington,and Kentucky State University, Frankfort. Copyright 2011 for materials developed by University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension. This publication may be reproduced in portions or its entirety for educational and nonprofit purposes only. Permitted users shall give credit to the author(s) and include this copyright notice. Publications are also available on the World Wide Web at www.ca.uky.edu. Issued 02-2011