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All about Eggs - How to Prepare & Store

Basket of eggs

Nothing stimulates the practiced cook's imagination like an egg. - Irma Rombauer

The effect of heat on eggs

An egg sets or coagulates at temperature of 160°F, which is lower than the temperature of boiling water. When heated above this temperature it becomes hard and tough. For this reason eggs, whenever possible, should be cooked slowly, especially when boiled, poached and scrambled.

Raw Eggs in BowlHow to prepare shell eggs for cooking

This recipe is certainly silly. It says to separate two eggs, but it doesn't say how far to separate them. - Gracie Allen


Break each egg separately into a small bowl or cup to make sure it is fresh before adding it to the mixture. The easiest way to break an egg is to hold it in the left hand and tap it with a knife, then put the thumbs into the crack and break the shell apart. If the white and yolk are to be separated, do one of the followings:

1. Hold your hand over the egg white bowl, pour the egg into your hand and let the egg white ooze through your fingers while retaining the yolk in your hand (this is a very easy, albeit un-elegant, way to separate eggs). Make sure to wash your hands first.

2. Tip the yolk carefully from the one half of the shell to the other until all the white has fallen into the bowl below .

Tips : Cold eggs are easier to separate

How to beat eggs

Beating is very much easier if the bowl used is the right shape for the beater.

•  For a rotary beater it is better to use a deep narrow basin in order that the thick part of the beater may be covered by the egg.

•  For a wire egg whisk it is better to use a wide bowl

•  One or to egg whites can be very easily beaten on a flate plate, using a table fork, knife or chopsticks.

When a recipes asks for slightly beaten egg, use a fork or whisk to beat eggs just until the yolks and whites are blended.

For a well beaten egg, use a beater, mixer or whisk to beat eggs until they are light and frothy.

Tips : DO NOT use aluminum bowl to beat egg whites in or it will discolor the whites.

Tip : To get the greatest volume when whipping egg whites, let the egg whites come to room temperature first.

How to boil eggs

  1. Bring to boil in a saucepan enough water to cover the eggs
  2. When the water is boiling, lower the eggs carefully into the pan, using spoon
  3. Cover and boil gently for the required time, Take care not to race the boiling or the eggs may crack. For a lightly cooked egg, allow 3 to 3.5 minutes. For a moderate soft egg, allow 4 to 5 minutes, for a hard-boiled egg, allow 10 minutes. Duck eggs must be boiled for not less than 14 minutes
  4. Crack the shells of hard-boiled eggs as soon as they are cooked and plunge them immediately into cold water; leave to cool. This helps to avoid a dark ring round the yolk which is often the results of over-cooking. It will also peel easier.

Tips : To determine whether an egg is hard-boiled, spin it, if it spins, it is hard boiled, if it wobbles and will not spin it is raw.

Storing shell Eggs

Shell eggs should be wiped clean if necessary and stored in a cool, dry place. While eggs will keep in your refrigerator for several weeks, they can lose some quality.

Eggs readily absorb odors and should not be kept near strong smelling foods in open containers like onions and garlic. The best way to store eggs is in their carton in the refrigerator. This way, they can be kept for 4 weeks beyond the pack date.

Sometimes, you'll only need either egg whites or egg yolks for a recipe. Once out of the shell, you can keep eggs whites for about a week in the refrigerator and egg yolks will keep for two or three days (although they should be covered with water).

Did you know that : Eggs age more in one day at room temperature than in one week in the refrigerator.

If an egg is fresh, its egg white is thick. If it’s runny, it’s not.

A fresh egg will stays on its side if placed into a bowl of salted cool water. If it stands up, it isn’t fresh. If it floats to the top, it’s spoiled.


Other guides and tips:

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.