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"Eggstra" Special Egg Tips

Helpful tips and information about cooking, preparing and storing eggs

Eggs are all-natural, and one egg has lots of vitamins and minerals — all for 70 calories. The protein in eggs is the highest-quality protein found in any food...and at the cost of about 15 cents apiece, eggs are an affordable protein option.

Banish the greenish ring. This harmless but unsightly discoloration that sometimes forms around hard-boiled yolks results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It occurs when eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature – cooking eggs in hot, not boiling, water, then cooling immediately – minimizes this.

Food safety precaution: Piercing shells before cooking is not recommended. If not sterile, the piercer or needle can introduce bacteria into the egg. Also, piercing creates hairline cracks in the shell, through which bacteria can enter after cooking.

Never microwave eggs in shells. Steam builds up too quickly inside and eggs are likely to explode.

Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. To ensure easily peeled eggs, buy and refrigerate them a week to 10 days in advance of cooking. This brief "breather" allows the eggs time to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell.

Hard-boiled eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling. Cooling causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell.

To peel a hard-boiled egg: Gently tap egg on countertop until shell is finely crackled all over. Roll egg between hands to loosen shell. Starting peeling at large end, holding egg under cold running water to help ease the shell off.

To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh. If it rises to the surface, throw it away.

To keep the shell of a hard-boiled egg from cracking, add a heaping teaspoon of salt to the boiling water.

For best results and greater volume when whipping egg whites, make sure they are at room temperature.

To separate a lot of eggs at once, break them carefully into a big bowl and then (with your impeccably clean hands) simply scoop out the yolks.

Raw eggs separate more easily while still cold from the refrigerator, but allow the whites to reach room temperature to get maximum volume when beating.

Always store raw eggs in their carton because eggs can absorb refrigerator odors.

Storage time for hard-boiled eggs: In the shell, hard-boiled eggs can be refrigerated safely up to one week. Refrigerate in their original carton to prevent odor absorption. Once peeled, eggs should be eaten that day.

High altitude cooking: It's almost impossible to hard-boil eggs above 10,000 feet.

See: How to Cook Hard-Boiled Eggs.

Tips and photograph courtesy of the American Egg Board.

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