10 Genius Hacks for Cooking Eggs

From picky kids to broke college students to anyone who needs protein, eggs are a staple in many people's diets. While there are a hundred ways to prepare eggs, there are also a hundred ways to screw up this simple ingredient. Learning a few new foolproof ways to prepare eggs will help you feel like a culinary master, even if you can barely boil water.

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1. Shake the Peel off Hard-Boiled Eggs

Getting the stubborn peel off a hard-boiled egg is frustrating. If you're struggling to remove the peel without taking half the egg white with it, try a technique that will not only work but will also help you work out some of that frustration. Put one egg in a Mason jar with a few inches of water, close the jar and give it several vigorous shakes. The shell should be entirely separated from the egg. For best results, crack each shell right after the eggs come out of the boiling water and let them sit in cold water for a few minutes before shaking.

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2. Poach Eggs in Plastic

Poaching eggs is one of the most difficult preparation methods there is, and it's one of the most rewarding to get right. Take a shortcut that will keep eggs from falling apart in the water. Grease the inside of an individual plastic sandwich bag and crack an egg into it. Squeeze the air out of the bag and tie it closed with a knot or twine. Submerge the plastic-wrapped egg in a pot of boiling water for about three minutes. Then, open the bag and carefully slide out the cooked egg.

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3. Oven-Bake Big Batches

Eggs may seem like something that should only be served fresh out of a pan, but they're surprisingly great for big-batch meal prepping. Make one big omelet on a sheet pan and then cut it into squares to make individually wrapped breakfast wraps or sandwiches to keep in the freezer. Blend 12 to 16 eggs with about 1/2 cup of milk and spread the mixture on a greased rimmed sheet pan. Sprinkle the eggs with any toppings you want and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the eggs are set.

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4. Make Poached Scrambled Eggs

Do you want to expand your egg-prep repertoire? Try a new method that combines poaching and scrambling, creating a soft and fluffy cloud of eggs. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a pot. Stir the water to create a whirlpool and pour a few whisked eggs into the moving water. Cover the pot and let the eggs sit for 30 seconds to two minutes or until they're set and floating at the top of the water.

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5. Waffle Some Crispy Eggs

If you prefer your eggs crispy, a waffle iron is the secret weapon for making a perfect breakfast. Make a sheet of waffled egg to eat plain or use it as the wrap for a low-carb breakfast taco. This method is also perfect for making a single serving of eggs and waffles. Pour two scrambled eggs into one half of the waffle maker and waffle mix into the other half. Both parts of your breakfast should be done at the same time.

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6. Prolong Eggs in the Freezer

It's not a good idea to freeze whole eggs because the liquid will expand, and it will often cause the shell to crack. That's why people generally don't think about freezing whole eggs, but it is possible, and you can keep fresh eggs available at all times by making frozen egg cubes. Crack and whisk together your eggs; freezing doesn't work well with separated eggs. Pour the mixture into ice cube molds or mini-muffin tins and freeze. Keep egg cubes in a freezer container for up to a year.

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7. Make Smoked Eggs

The next time you're firing up a smoker, save a little room for some eggs. Putting whole eggs into your smoker infuses them with smoky flavor, making them a tasty addition to potato salad. They are also delicious to eat on their own. Try smoking raw eggs for about two hours or place peeled hard-boiled eggs in the smoker for about 30 minutes.

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8. Start Poached Eggs in the Shell

If you want to perfect the classic poached egg technique but it never seems to work, try Julia Child's trick. Stick a pin in the end of each egg you plan to poach and then put the eggs in a pot of boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove the eggs and lower the heat to a simmer. Let the eggs cool enough to handle them and then crack them into the simmering water to poach them. That 10-second bath should be enough to help eggs keep their shape.

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9. Test Egg Freshness in Seconds

When it comes to eggs, the fresher they are, the better. How are you supposed to know whether the egg in your grocery store carton was laid yesterday or four weeks ago? Test them yourself by filling a bowl with cold water. A fresh egg placed in the bowl will float to the bottom. A semifresh egg will stand up on one end. If an egg floats on the water, toss it.

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10. Make a Gooey Egg Envelope

Here's a trick that's bound to impress. Start by separating the white and yolk of an egg. Stir the white a bit and pour it into a hot nonstick pan. Quickly rotate the pan so the white spreads into a thin layer. Let it cook and then carefully lower the whole yolk into the middle of the white. Use a thin spatula to fold the whites over the yolk, creating a neat envelope that will spill runny yolk when pierced.

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