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Jan 5, 2009 02:01 PM

Hard-cooked eggs exploding in water...on the STOVETOP.

anyone ever had this happen? i understand the phenomenon in the microwave, but i just had 2 eggs burst open in water that hadn't even reached a simmer yet. they definitely weren't rotten - had already passed the "float" test, and smelled fine when they popped.

what gives? any thoughts?

i'm just thankful i had a lid on the pot!

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  1. Very interesting. I've never heard of that but it's obviously a pressure build-up. Supermarket eggs are treated or coated in some sort of substance to help preserve them after washing. My only guess is that there was an excess of this substance (I think it's a oil or a wax) and it sealed up all the pores in the eggs. There is a common practice of piercing egg shells with a straight pin to help alleviate pressure build up and thus, cracking of the shell, but this is by far more than just a shell cracking!

    1 Reply
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      I used to do the piercing thing, with a stright pin or thumbtack, and found that I still got cracking. Then I read somewhere a theory that the pin can actually START a crack, so I tried unpunctured and had better luck, fewer cracks. I've also read that salting the water is good because, like binegar, it coagulates anything that leaks from a crack, stopping further leaking. Same method, starting in cold, turning off heat and timing once the water boils.

    2. If you pierce the wide end of the egg very carefully w/ a pushpin or thumbtack, it will prevent this. Did you put the eggs into cold or already boiling water? Maybe covering them w/ a lid was a contributor? I don't usually cover eggs when boiling them. Oops, just realized you must've started w/ cold water (it DOES help to read...). Do you live at a high altitude? Never heard of that happening, and no, I don't bother piercing my eggs anymore. (After one shattered from a too dull push-pin. Is there an easy way to corral a raw egg on vinyl? :) ) Adam

      2 Replies
      1. re: adamshoe

        i did everything precisely the same way i always do (and i make a batch of hard-cooked eggs at least every couple of weeks)... place eggs in a pan of cold water, cover & bring to a simmer, remove from heat, and let sit for 10-11 minutes (i always use large eggs & they turn out perfectly cooked every time). i don't live at high altitude, and those two eggs burst before the water was even simmering. it was so bizarre!

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Maybe it wuz jes them pre-born chikenz tryin ta tell you sumpin....? ;) "The Revenge of the Pullets" ... I can see the movie now. Adam
          P.S. Where are all the food-science techie types who could chime in with some insights?

      2. I just had this happen with farm fresh eggs. So that negates anything put in the eggs. I do the cold water then boil. Do not cover. Thought maybe it was the farm fresh as I don't usually use them, but a friend gave me some. Was kinda strange. I had two in the pot. They went one at a time. They had only boiled for about a minute.

        1. I bring the water to a boil slowly. I find that I get more cracking if the water reaches a boil (or simmer, or really hot) too quickly. Because of this, I don't cover the pan. To guard against too much whites leaking in case of a blow out, I will add vinegar to the water.