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"Peeling" a hard boiled egg w/out peeling

chowser Jul 24, 2008 04:40 PM

I don't agree w/ the hard boiling technique mentioned but this looks like a great way to get the peel off the eggg:


  1. m
    MeowMixx Aug 5, 2008 11:08 AM


    My friend got me this as a gag birthday gift. Much more sanitary than blowing, I'd say

    1. s
      spkspk Aug 4, 2008 11:40 PM

      Okay, I had to try this method over the weekend.... Totally did not work for me. Maybe I didn't peel a large enough circle at each end of the egg. Maybe I wasn't blowing hard enough. Maybe I gave up trying too quickly because my husband walked by and asked me what the hell I was doing...

      1. DockPotato Aug 4, 2008 12:47 PM

        I'm definitely going to try this. Must be fun. How far do you reckon one of those puppies could fly?

        While typing this I had a brain movement. There is a possible way to eliminate mouth contamination.

        Does anyone recall the science experiment in which a boiled egg is sucked through the mouth of a milk bottle? No-one said that the egg had to be completely peeled.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DockPotato
          maria lorraine Aug 5, 2008 01:37 AM

          I thought I wasn't blowing hard enough (OK, I can hear the laughs now), so I blew even harder and that thing went flying -- at least a foot straight out.

          Different scientific principle with the egg going into the milk bottle after a piece of paper is burned inside the milk bottle -- that's from the creation of a vacuum.

        2. Alacrity59 Aug 1, 2008 07:10 PM

          This is wonderful. Now I can use my air compressor in the kitchen for more than cleaning out the coils on the bottom of my refrigerator. Pickled eggs here we come.

          1. maria lorraine Jul 31, 2008 10:32 PM

            OK, I did this today with four eggs. HB eggs cooled in ice water. I had to peel off about a 3/4-inch circle on each end of the egg to make it work -- and when the egg came out, it came out perfectly clean.

            I did think by the time I picked off that big a piece of shell off each egg end that in a few extra seconds I could have shelled the whole egg...but no matter, I had to try to blowing method. Works great. Will have to see how little of the shell I can pick off and still have perfect blow-peeled eggs. .

            No mouth germ worries: The HB eggs were for my own personal consumption.

            4 Replies
            1. re: maria lorraine
              FoodFuser Aug 1, 2008 06:15 PM

              Nice to hear a report of positive results.

              Maria, how old were the eggs?

              I've got a deviled egg event forthcoming, and have a few dozen aging in the fridge.

              3/4 inch sounds intuitively right. I'm considering a modification of the method: cradle a melon baller on the egg's pole as I tap to break, so as to transfer the energy into cutting a more easily peeled circle of shell.

              Did you bother with the alkaline wash?

              1. re: FoodFuser
                maria lorraine Aug 1, 2008 07:03 PM

                Eggs are older than a week, probably 10 days, no alkaline/baking soda wish. Came out clean as a whistle. You have to blow hard, and direct your breath in a focused "beam." But it works well. Now I want to try to see just how tiny a piece of shell I have to remove to get the same great results. If a melon baller works for you, fine. I don't think that will better than plain old fingers, though, because you have to have the dexterity to pick up a piece of shell.

                1. re: maria lorraine
                  Rubee Aug 1, 2008 11:49 PM

                  Nice! I keep trying to follow the thread and hoping somebody commenting had actually actually tried this technique. Thanks for the report.

                  Edit: Apologies to JasmineG and toutefrite - I just read through everything again and realized you tried this too ; )

              2. re: maria lorraine
                chowser Aug 4, 2008 09:03 AM

                I tried it, too, and thought the same thing--that it would be faster for me to peel the eggs than to peel the rings around the top. It was also harder to blow than I expected. I'll have my husband who's played trumpet do it next time. The kids had fun with it, though. One more thing, though, if the yolk is near the end to blows out, the whites shred.

              3. toutefrite Jul 28, 2008 04:52 PM

                Would this work as well with soft-boiled eggs? Or would the blowing force cause the more fragile white to break apart? I guess I will have to experiment over the sink.

                14 Replies
                1. re: toutefrite
                  Caroline1 Jul 28, 2008 06:54 PM

                  Let us know if it works. First off, it will probably depend on how soft the egg is. A four minute egg will probably have more chance of survival than a three minute egg. But who knows? I would expect the egg white to split because of uneven interiorr pressure from the soft yolk being "squished", but we'll never know for sure until somebody tries it. Good luck!

                  1. re: Caroline1
                    toutefrite Jul 29, 2008 05:30 PM

                    yes, the four minute egg was a failure. There were gelatinous gobs of egg white and viscous yolk all over. Perhaps my lungs are just too powerful given that I am such an athlete (total sarcasm).

                    1. re: toutefrite
                      Caroline1 Jul 29, 2008 07:20 PM

                      hmmmm Thanks for trying! Sorry it didn't work. But if you're ever overwhelmed by the compulsion to give it another shot, so to speak, I was thinking about it this morning and wondering if perhaps it would work if you crackeled the shell on the large end about half way up. Seems to me that that would allow the sac the egg is contained in to rupture with a much greater pathway to let the whole egg throug. But hey, don't try it untless you enjoy a diet of soft boiled eggs!

                      I've been racking my brain trying to remember how it's done, but there is a French dish (and I can't remember what it is either!) in which the whole but very soft egg is served atop something, but the egg is still perfectly preserved in it's shell form. It's NOT a poached egg. I think it's just soft boiled, then peeled like a hard boiled egg. I think for it to work by blowing the egg, the egg would have to be pretty well aged.

                      You're a good one for going to all the trouble, then reporting back! Thank you! :-)

                      1. re: Caroline1
                        Sam Fujisaka Jul 29, 2008 07:48 PM

                        For that, you break the egg into plastic wrap draped into a cup, twist the wrap shut, and poach. Take the egg out when it is a bit more than poached and unwrap--you get a ball of not poached, not soft-boiled, not hard cooked.

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                          Caroline1 Jul 29, 2008 08:06 PM

                          LOL! I'll bet you can get an egg with some funny crannies and creases in it's exerior with that method! Sam, you're soooo creative! Blown any hard boiled eggs lately?

                          1. re: Caroline1
                            Sam Fujisaka Jul 29, 2008 08:17 PM

                            C1, not my creativity--that is, I think, a fairly established way of doing eggs since the dawn of plastic wrap in France. I was going to blow those hard eggs at Dana Zsofia yesterday or today, but we had some logistical problems--had to go buy and haul a large roll of barbed wire up to the finca.

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                              Caroline1 Jul 30, 2008 03:13 AM

                              Then that explains my ignorance. I've been rather ticked at the French ever since they embraced cuisine minceur, lo these many years ago. They hadn't heard the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Still, French or not, it has a lot of fun possibilities for using eggs as an edible art form. Use one of those hand-held heat sealers intended to reseal bags of potato chips to make a little octopus shaped bag to cook an egg in. Look, Ma, white tentacles and an orange head! Or use a rubber glove to sous vide scrambled eggs, serve it on a waffle and call it, "Let's give breakfast a hand." Lots of possibilities! '-)

                              Here's hoping the barbed wire is to keep animals out, and not guerillas!

                        2. re: Caroline1
                          maria lorraine Jul 29, 2008 07:59 PM

                          Steak tartare is served that way, with an egg like you're describing, as well as Salade Lyonnaise, one of my favorites.

                          1. re: maria lorraine
                            Caroline1 Jul 29, 2008 08:10 PM

                            Bingo! Steak tartare! That wonderful dish from yesteryear, before the government said it had to be served at 140F. <sigh> Gourmets are the victims of Federal germ warfare!

                            1. re: Caroline1
                              maria lorraine Jul 29, 2008 09:36 PM

                              Hmm...I find it rather often, and the the salade lyonnaise is rather common here in the Bay Area. Never enough lardons for me, though.

                              1. re: maria lorraine
                                Caroline1 Jul 30, 2008 03:17 AM

                                I was kidding, ML, though I tend not to order steak tartar in restaurants, prefering to make my own at home. Restaurant chefs tend to try to get a little too creative by putting their own "mark" on a dish, often leaving out the very ingredients I savor the most. I'm from The Little Red Hen school of cooking.

                                1. re: Caroline1
                                  maria lorraine Jul 30, 2008 11:21 AM

                                  I suspected you were kidding, but there are many -- many -- who not only frown upon the raw egg in ST, but the rather extreme carnivore aspect of it.

                                  I prefer to make ST myself as well, grinding the meat at home (have even done it in a food processor) or asking a butcher to do it before my eyes. However, there happens to be a lovely French bistro near me that does ST quite well, with the raw/coddled egg sitting in its half shell poised perfectly on top of the mound of tartare. No gratuitous embellishment, no improvisation for improvisation's sake.

                                  Care to expound on The Little Red Hen School of Cooking? Is that making everything from scratch? Sounds like a great title for an article, even a comedic essay (I know you write.)

                                  1. re: maria lorraine
                                    Caroline1 Jul 30, 2008 02:35 PM

                                    "The Little Red Hen School of Cooking" is my version of if you won't help me make it, you don't get to help me eat it.

                                    But that is truly a joke because I really hate having anyone insist they help me cook. I am absolutely a charter member of the "Too Many Cooks Spoil School." And I do love feeding people! I am one of those poor souls who can gain a pound or two just smelling the bakery, so I'm a strong subscriber to the idea that if I fatten everyone else up, I'll blend right in. '-)

                                    1. re: maria lorraine
                                      Caroline1 Jul 30, 2008 02:51 PM

                                      Oh! And about the steak tartare... The master chef who taught me to cook when I lived in Turkey used to have caniption fits over ground meat! Insisted she mince hamburger by hand using two razor sharp knives, and that every tiny piece have clean cut edges. She said grinding mashes the meat and it won't be as flavorful or juicy or have the "proper" texture. And she was absolutley right. But oh my god, what a lot of work! She would mince meat by the kilo, I would mince it by the ounce. But it really is better. So if you've never had it minced by hand, and find yourself in the mood for doing things the hard way, make yourself a quarter pounder! If you're generous enough to make it for two, well, bless your heart! It must be love.

                    2. JasmineG Jul 27, 2008 12:39 PM

                      This is fantastic! I'm definitely going to do this the next time I make hard boiled eggs.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JasmineG
                        JasmineG Jul 28, 2008 04:21 PM

                        I did this with eggs this morning, and it was totally fun, though it didn't work perfectly. I didn't put baking soda in the water, so that may have been one variable, and I was using pretty small farmer's market eggs, so that may have made it harder. I ended up on one egg with a bunch of the white stuck to the shell (once I blew the egg out), but the other one was a lot better. I'll try this again with some larger and less fresh eggs and see what happens.

                      2. maria lorraine Jul 26, 2008 01:55 PM

                        Much better video of the same technique here -- "Blow and Catch":

                        1. chef chicklet Jul 26, 2008 12:49 PM

                          I'm easily amused, I think its funny! Don't think I'd do it for actual cooking but sure would be fun to entertain my sons with!

                          1. jfood Jul 26, 2008 11:30 AM

                            This is totally, absolutely, without a doubt....


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Veggo
                              jfood Jul 26, 2008 04:46 PM

                              Hey if it works for Sam, go for it. And if that's the case, many bars in the US will be swapping hard boiled eggs for peanuts.

                              Can anybody say "Cool Hand Luke."

                              1. re: jfood
                                Veggo Jul 26, 2008 05:00 PM

                                jfood, once again our respective business schools' doctrine at of U. of Chicago and Wharton are in congruence.
                                A successful business plan does NOT include Sam blowing eggs..:)

                                1. re: Veggo
                                  Caroline1 Jul 26, 2008 07:05 PM

                                  Boy, you really love to leave doors open, don't you? Good thing I'm a lady... Some of the time, anyway. '-)

                                  If I haven't passed, you up, I'm sure I've at least tied you on deletions this week. :-(

                            2. AnneInMpls Jul 24, 2008 09:20 PM

                              Would this technique work with quail eggs? If it does, I am *so* going to make quail-egg scotch eggs!


                              11 Replies
                              1. re: AnneInMpls
                                jlafler Jul 24, 2008 09:26 PM

                                I think it would be hard, because the quail eggs are so small I would think it would be hard to force sufficient air through. On the other hand, the business of putting the eggs in ice water immediately after cooking really does help with peeling. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but it makes the membrane stick to the shell rather than the egg.

                                1. re: jlafler
                                  Morganna Jul 25, 2008 04:36 AM

                                  anyone tested the baking soda thing, too?

                                  1. re: Morganna
                                    Nyleve Jul 25, 2008 07:32 AM

                                    I found the baking soda instruction slightly confusing. Does one put it into the cooking water or the cold water soak? If just the soak, that's not a very long time for it to have any effect on the egg.

                                    1. re: Nyleve
                                      Morganna Jul 25, 2008 07:38 AM

                                      I was thinking the cooking water :) I usually put salt in the cooking water, that helps keep eggs that crack from pouring out completely into the water, so I'll just try baking soda. I'm gonna boil a wodge of eggs tonight so I'll report back on how it works for me :)

                                      1. re: Morganna
                                        maria lorraine Jul 26, 2008 12:56 PM

                                        A wodge of eggs, an exaltation of larks...

                                      2. re: Nyleve
                                        maria lorraine Jul 26, 2008 01:17 PM

                                        Nyleve, the written instructions per Ferris say to cool the eggs after boiling in cold water with ice and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Ferris says that this reduces "adherence" -- ostensibly of the membrane to the egg.

                                        1. re: maria lorraine
                                          Nyleve Jul 26, 2008 01:51 PM

                                          I'm skeptical. But that's not unusual for me.

                                          1. re: maria lorraine
                                            jlafler Jul 26, 2008 03:25 PM

                                            The thing is, you really don't need the baking soda; ice cold water does the trick by itself.

                                            Okay, here's my theory: the rapid cooling condenses any water vapor between the membrane and the shell (there must be some in there), making it stick together (think wet bathing suit). Because the egg cools from the outside, this happens to the membrane/shell before it has a chance to happen to the membrane/egg. If I'm right, the most effective thing would be to plunge the eggs into ice water for a limited time (say, 20 seconds), then remove them.

                                            1. re: jlafler
                                              maria lorraine Jul 26, 2008 04:14 PM

                                              There are two tricks to optimum peeling.

                                              Ice-cold water method:
                                              An immediate plunge into ice water causes the peels to be shucked
                                              like a charm. (Method: Cover eggs with cold water, bring to boil and turn off heat, cover and steep for 18 minutes, then plunge into ice cold water.)

                                              The reason this works is a relative shrinkage thing: The shell, membrane and solidified egg white all shrink when exposed to cold but the solidified egg white shrinks the most of the three. It tightens measurably and pulls away from the membrane, creating an air space and separation between it and the shell/membrane, thus easier shuckage.

                                              Baking Soda method in cold water for fresh eggs:
                                              But the baking soda in the ice water is a good trick for FRESH eggs when those are used to make hard-boiled eggs. Fresh eggs are more acidic than eggs a few days old and that causes the egg white to stick to the membrane, according to Harold McGee. Adding baking soda to the cold water decreases the acidity, so the egg white doesn't stick to the membrane, so easier shuckage that way also.

                                              1. re: maria lorraine
                                                Hue Jul 26, 2008 04:42 PM

                                                Shrinkage? You mean they shrink?

                                                1. re: Hue
                                                  maria lorraine Jul 26, 2008 05:55 PM

                                                  Shinkage = shuckage.

                                  2. purple goddess Jul 24, 2008 09:17 PM

                                    All I have to say is:

                                    1. Sam Fujisaka Jul 24, 2008 05:19 PM

                                      Now that is fantastic. An actually NEW idea!

                                      bw & thew, its a technique for home cooks. How many people eat hard cooked eggs in a restaurant?

                                      14 Replies
                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                        Gio Jul 24, 2008 05:52 PM

                                        This reminds me of.....
                                        "You know you don't have to act with me, Sam. You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Sam? You just put your lips together and... blow. "

                                        Would I use this technique when preparing eggs for guests? Probably not. But I must say, it's innovative. I've only blown raw eggs.

                                        1. re: Gio
                                          Sam Fujisaka Jul 24, 2008 08:02 PM

                                          Gads, we have the same scenes etched in our minds? Now, in terms of eggs, I've only blown raw ones as well. I was cooking too many other things tonight to do any, but you can bet that tomorrow will have me shooting hard eggs out of their shells at my daughter, Dana Zsofia. She will laugh her a&& off!

                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                            jlafler Jul 24, 2008 09:15 PM

                                            Yeah, but when you blow raw eggs, it's usually because you want the shell for some sort of art project.

                                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                          Caroline1 Jul 24, 2008 05:53 PM

                                          Not that new, Sam. I've been doing it with raw eggs since I was a little kid. Did it with cooked eggs at least thirty years ago, but I was making egg salad, and you know how your jaws ache after you blow up too many baloons? Yeah. Like that! But if you got Dizzy Gallespie on the team, I'll bet you could have enough hard boiled eggs to make egg salad for an army in no time flat...! '-)

                                          1. re: Caroline1
                                            Sam Fujisaka Jul 24, 2008 08:06 PM

                                            C1, I had never, ever seen that technique nor had dreamed it possible. Love it. Tomorrow: blowing hard cooked eggs at my daughter. Oh, and what end do you blow? Small or large? Guessing small.

                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                              Veggo Jul 24, 2008 08:28 PM

                                              Sam, I hope I'm not interrupting your knitting, but this is not a manly method. If it serves to entertain Dana Zsofia, all's forgiven...:)

                                              1. re: Veggo
                                                Sam Fujisaka Jul 24, 2008 08:59 PM

                                                There is nothing as gratifying as having your daughter develop a sense of ironic/moronic/sophomoric humor, an appreciation of spicy food, a lack of fear of bugs and worms, and a sense of self.

                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                  Hue Jul 26, 2008 04:39 PM

                                                  Bravo ,Sam, bravo..

                                                  1. re: Hue
                                                    Veggo Jul 26, 2008 04:46 PM

                                                    Hue, you will get by with your 7:39 reply to my 7:35, 18 posts below (at the moment) which will get zapped! Taint fair!

                                              2. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                Caroline1 Jul 24, 2008 09:01 PM

                                                Yup. The small end. But don't forget a generous blow to the large end! The membrane around the egg acts like a balloon, then the large end pops and out it flies! But it's not as easy as blowing raw eggs. If you're a trumpet player, you're good to go for the day!

                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                  maria lorraine Jul 26, 2008 12:27 PM

                                                  Oh, this is all such a fun read!

                                                  I have to see if my lungs (former opera singer and underwater swimmer) are up to the test. All in the interest of science. I'm not worried about looking foolish!

                                              3. re: Caroline1
                                                budlit Jul 26, 2008 11:06 AM

                                                when I was a kid, at easter we would blow raw eggs, pour liquid jello in and wrap in foil to gel. when you cracked them open you got jello eggs (which kids like better)

                                                1. re: budlit
                                                  maria lorraine Jul 26, 2008 01:08 PM

                                                  Cool! I may have to buy Jello just to try this.

                                                  1. re: budlit
                                                    Caroline1 Jul 26, 2008 04:25 PM

                                                    Oooh, Easter! One of the things I love to do with hard boiled eggs at Easter time is to crack the shell as if to peel, but not fine craze, kind of larger grain. Then put the cooked egg in Easter egg dye, let them sit about fifteen minutes, THEN peel them. They have this gorgeous crackled color finish to them. I've used them in a clear gel mold, but I've also cut them in half, devilled the yolks, then stuck them back together and used them as a component of a "salad composee" in a sort of nest arrangement: Lettuce cup, one larger or several smaller eggs, maybe a few yellow cherry tomatoes or asparagus tips. Works great as a first course, and it's pretty. Kind of like brocade eggs.

                                              4. b
                                                bw2082 Jul 24, 2008 04:50 PM

                                                sorry but someone blowing into my hard boiled egg is not going to happen. big eeeeeewww

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: bw2082
                                                  thew Jul 24, 2008 05:07 PM

                                                  you mean their fingers all over them is better?

                                                  1. re: thew
                                                    bw2082 Jul 24, 2008 05:53 PM

                                                    well yes. presumably hands are washed and don't involve bodily fluids.

                                                  2. re: bw2082
                                                    oakjoan Jul 24, 2008 08:50 PM

                                                    Yikes, bw2082, you must not adhere to George Carlin's method of keeping your immune system in tiptop shape: simply pick food up and eat/use it when it falls onto the floor. Gives your immune system a real workout!


                                                    1. re: oakjoan
                                                      michele cindy Jul 30, 2008 06:41 AM

                                                      And where is George now???

                                                      1. re: michele cindy
                                                        MattInNJ Jul 30, 2008 11:34 AM

                                                        Dead, like all of us someday.

                                                    2. re: bw2082
                                                      JJwilliams Aug 15, 2008 04:55 AM

                                                      You could always peel your own that way.

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