Any cook knows the sinking feeling of finding something unmistakably sharp and crunchy in your scrambled egg. However hard you try, egg shells seem determined to do whatever is necessary to worm their way into your food. You can crack as carefully as you like, but by hook or by crook fragments big or small will still sneak in.
The real trouble with egg shell is that spotting it is only half the battle. As everyone who has ever tried to chase a tiny speck around a gloopy bowl of raw egg will agree, shell is a notoriously slippery customer. No sooner do you think you have it cornered than it manages to somehow squirt free. Often, this process takes a good deal longer than the actual cooking itself.
The reason for this is, predictably, extremely sciency. Thanks to the high viscosity of the raw egg white, the fluid not only has greater resistance to anything trying to penetrate it, but also applies greater force to whatever small piece may have inadvertently become ensnared within. Essentially, whenever you move towards it, a wall of glutinous liquid also moves with you, pushing the piece along and further out of reach. It’s like trying to lick an ice cream with an inch long stud on the end of your tongue.
There are a few home cooking hacks that claim to provide a solution to this conundrum. Some advise that you salt your fingers before beginning the hunt, while others advocate the use of a large fork. These are all wrong and will just make you even angrier. Fortunately, there is a foolproof way to remove that pesky shell with a solution that’s right in front of your eyes.
As it turns out, the easiest way to tackle fragments is by using the other half of the broken egg shell. The jagged edge acts as a knife, breaking the surface tension of the whites and allowing you to easily move towards the wandering piece. You can then scoop up the piece without fear of losing it again, as the shell surface actually acts as a sort of chickeny magnet. Say goodbye to hours of irritating shell hunting.
The only problem with the half shell method is the nature of the tool you choose. Whilst a clean break will help you cut to the root of the problem straight away, using a shell that is badly fractured and beginning to disintegrate could leave you with twice the headache as other pieces begin to splinter. If necessary, break the shell again to make certain that you’re working with a straight line.
Though this might just seem like a hack of convenience, there’s actually a more serious benefit to getting shell out of your raw egg. Salmonella is actually believed to be more prevalent in egg shell than in the actual egg itself, so accidentally ingesting any could lead to an extremely unpleasant few weeks for you and your tummy. By adopting this method and hanging onto your broken eggs, not only will you save yourself some frustration in the kitchen, but also some unhappy hours on the loo. Which of these is more important is up to you.