Can Eggs Really Explode?
The Incredible, Inedible Exploding Egg
My eighty-four year-old mom is a bit forgetful, which is why she doesn't cook much anymore. She's unable to stand at the stove for more than a few minutes and, unfortunately, sometimes forgets she's got something on the burner or in the oven if she walks away and gets distracted. But I did give her a small, for the rare occasions she does want to prepare something she can't cook in the microwave. And one of those things is hard-boiled eggs. handheld timer
Unfortunately, mom fell asleep on the couch and didn't hear the timer ... which she'd forgotten about and left on the kitchen counter next to the stove.
So the water all boiled out of the pan, leaving six very hard-boiled eggs behind. And do you know what happened?
Well, I told my Facebook friends how, when I stopped over my mom's house, I ended up having to clean egg off the ceiling. But can you believe, my friends doubted my integrity, implying that I'd EMBELLISHED about the exploding eggs? Hmpf! Sure, they said, eggs can explode in the microwave, but not out in the open in a pan when the water boils away.
What do you think? Did I exaggerate to make my Facebook post more interesting? :)
What Do You Think Of My Exploding Egg Story?
Do you think egg really ended up on the ceiling?
The Exploding ... Or, Rather, Exploded ... Egg
Yep, this is what can happen in a microwave for sure. But that's not where my mom's boiled eggs exploded.
And The Answer To The Exploding Egg Question IS.....
Yes, eggs can and DO explode on the stove. And I'm not the only one who says so.
Posted by Mythman99 on the Discovery Channel forum (now gone):
"I exploded 2 eggs today. Put them on to boil, walked away, and forgot about them. About an hour later I hear BAM, like a pan fell on the floor (thought is was my son doing something downstairs). A few minutes later BAM. No I go to see what happened and smelled the burning odor. The kitchen was covered with egg shrapnel. On the ceiling, the floor, the walls, the cabinets. It was egg mush everywhere. I found one piece over 20 feet away. After all the water boiled away the eggs continued to cook, didn't crack, and I'm guessing gained a lot of pressure up by the way the stuff was everywhere. Sounds like a myth test to me...or at least a chance to blow eggs up and make a mess!"
But WHY Do The Eggs Explode?
At high temperatures, water inside an egg, mostly in the white albumen, vaporizes even as the albumen solidifies. If the pressure inside the egg exceeds the breaking strength of the shell, the egg will explode. (Which is why you should poke several holes in an egg if you're going to microwave it.)
The reason some pierced eggs still explode might be that the membrane inside the shell was not actually broken. Or perhaps the cooked contents of the egg block the small holes before any pressure is released.
The Exploding Egg Experiment
Why things happen the way they happen
I know this isn't exactly the same as what happened with my mom's exploding hard-boiled eggs, but it's directly related anyway....
How To Boil an Egg the CORRECT Way - There IS some science to it.
- Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. Add cold water to cover the eggs 1 inch. Heat on high just to boiling. Remove from burner, and cover the pan.
- Let the eggs stand in hot water for about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium eggs; 18 minutes for extra large).
- Drain the eggs immediately and serve the warm. OR, cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water, then refrigerate.
Get Your Boiled Eggs Right Every Time - I'm Thinking Mom Needs This For Christmas
One really cool feature about this gizmo is that eggs in the same batch can be combined to cook soft, medium or hard boiled ... and none of which will explode!
Other features of this great gadget....
- Prepare up to 7 eggs, exactly the way you like them
- Convenient egg tray can be lifted with one hand for rinsing under cold water
- Electronic timer with audible ready signal; on /off switch with indicator light
- Brushed stainless steel design, comes with egg poaching dish
And if You're Hard-Boiled Eggs Come Out Just Right - Here's what you can make....
Tasha Tudor is an American icon -- a great storyteller as well as an excellent keeper of the home. She enjoys cooking and, when I found her book at the library,...
These are fairly basic stuffed eggs--with one SPECIAL INGREDIENT (curious now?)--but there are other, more creative and yummy stuffed egg recipes listed on this page as well.
Get the recipe here.
© 2010 Deb Kingsbury