Older eggs peel more easily

Ask the Chef

Sunday Gourmet

July 25, 2004|By Jim Coleman & Candace Hagan | Jim Coleman & Candace Hagan,Knight Ridder / Tribune

I watch a lot of the cooking shows and every time someone peels a hard-boiled egg the shells fall right off. This never happens to me; is there a trick in doing this?

Don't you wish in real life that you could sometimes just yell, "CUT!" and redo something you messed up? I have some inside information for you: On cooking shows, we do it all the time.

You never see the spills, splatters and goof-ups that happen on every one of those sets. The real reason that shells peel right off the eggs on cooking shows is probably because the food is ordered well in advance of taping to make certain everything is there when they need it.

And believe it or not, when it comes to hard-boiled eggs, the fresher they are, the harder they are to peel. Now let me make myself clear (because I can picture all the e-mails now complaining about my advice to use old food). I'm just suggesting that if you have two containers of eggs in the fridge and you want some hard-boiled -- reach for the older ones.

Another trick I use in demonstrations is, after the eggs have cooked, I pour out the hot water and semi-roughly roll the eggs around in the pan to crack the shells, then cover them with cold water.

I don't know if there is any science behind it, but hey, it works for me. Try it, and if you drop a whole carton of eggs on the floor, stop the cameras.

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