bowl of eggs on a placemat

Eggs-Things You May Not Have Known

eggs in a basket
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Eggs are a food that I have always loved and adored. As a kid, I remember Saturday morning breakfast with pancakes and grits accompanied by a broken yoke, fried egg (over hard). Fond memories of my dad knowing exactly how I liked my eggs cooked. However, scrambled are now my favorite. Eggs are so versatile in so many ways. Here, I decided to do some experimenting with eggs and show you some differences in how certain time and cooking techniques yield interesting results.

First, some quick egg 101 for you.

Eggs in glasses of water to test for freshness

Egg Basics

Eggs are a great protein and fat source offering a delicious breakfast component, or really anytime of the day. I love boiled eggs for snacks and on my salads. Of course one of my favorites is egg salad, just love this for lunch and have been eating it for years. Never gets old.

Composition

  • Yolk: Makes up 1/3 of the egg, 3/4 of the calories, and all the fat is contained here along with vitamins and minerals.
  • White: Makes up 2/3 of the egg, and over 50% of the protein
  • Large Eggs: Great for baking: By Weight: Yolk: 22grams White: 35grams

Grading

  • USDA grades gives eggs a grade of AA, A, or B, AA being the best
  • Graded by egg characteristics of interior and exterior
  • Not graded according to size
  • Difference between AA and A is the firm and tightness of the egg and the amount of spread the egg gives once cracked open

Egg Storage

  • Refrigeration between 34-40 degrees F
  • Expiration date? You can keep eggs refrigerated 4-5 weeks past packaged expiration date

Nutrition

  • Loaded with vitamins and minerals
  • Rich in Vitamins A,D, E, K, and B-complexes (fat and water soluble vitamins)

Come along with me in my kitchen lab and lets see some fun observations about the incredible, edible egg.

Your Kitchen Is Your Lab

Testing for freshness

One way you can test if you eggs are fresh is with a glass of water, simple huh? Let me show you.

Simply, place the egg in a glass of water, if it stays close to the bottom and does not rise/float or tip up, its fresh. If the egg floats or tips up and away from the bottom of the glass, then you might want to say goodbye to that one.

As eggs age, oxygen is able to get inside the egg and cause air pockets (why the egg will start to float). Eggs are usually still good 4-5 weeks past the expiration date on the carton. This would be a great way to test that for fun!

Left: This egg is fresh, just purchased and sitting on the bottom of the glass, no air pocket.

Right: This egg is 4 weeks past expiration date on carton. See how the egg is starting to rise from the bottom and trying to tip upward? Demonstrating the air pocket is starting to form as the egg ages.

What a great experiment to do with your kids!

Hard Boiled Eggs

Talk to people and they will tell you they have a certain ways they like to boil eggs and get great results. Growing up, my mom always taught me to boil eggs for 7 minutes, then place them in cool water to cool. I’ve been eating them this way for many years.

If you are a soft boiled lover, simmering them for 3-5 minutes is a perfect outcome. Simmer verses boil.

However, I have a friend who does something different, she boils for a minute, removes from heat, covers for 15 minutes, then places in ice bath to cool. With that, I did each method and placed them side by side.

Two Methods

  • Boil on medium for 7-8 minutes and then cool
  • Boil on medium for 1 minute, remove and cover for 15 minutes, then cool

You can tell from the left egg, the yolk is not as cooked compared to the right. The color is different as well. The egg on the right looks like a nice color and almost perfect, depending on your taste.

Peeling Eggs

Is there a difference in peeling fresh eggs verses older ones? Here, I took a fresh egg I just bought(white shell) and one that was older by a week (brown shell). Older eggs seem to peel a bit better than the fresh ones. Aging definitely must play a part in this.

eggs that are fresh and boiled
Older egg Newer egg

The older egg definitely peeled easier and in bigger pieces. By the way, there is no differences in white and brown eggs than the the color of their shell and the type of chicken they come from. Check out this article on healthline.

Egg Washes

Egg washes are a bakers best friend. Love the way an egg wash makes baked goods so incredibly beautiful. Just gives it that beautiful color and shine that creates a terrific finishing touch.

Two Methods

  • Egg + Water (standard egg wash)
  • Egg yolk + water (Yolk wash)

The egg wash creates a beautiful finishing touch, however the yolk wash brings in just a hint more darkness in comparison. Which do you prefer?

egg wash and yolk wash side by side on bread
Regular egg wash Yolk wash

Poaching

I’m becoming more of a fan of poached eggs and who can resist a scrumptious Egg Benedict (poached eggs on top of English muffins with hollandaise sauce). Typically, I was 100% anti-runny yolk girl, why my dad always made my fried eggs over hard (yolk completely cooked). But, I have to say I’m becoming a fan.

Here is a trick I learned in culinary school, adding just a bit of vinegar (1-2tsp) to your boiling water will make a HUGE difference in your beautiful poached egg.

The vinegar is acidic but it does a wonderful job in tightening those proteins in eggs, reeling them in, so to speak. You really notice a difference when the vinegar is not added as seen on the right. The egg white just goes all over the place in the water. Additionally, adding the vinegar seemed to allow it to cook much faster.

Who knew eggs could be worthy of science and kitchen exploration!!!

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