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Old 04-10-2010, 05:28 PM   #1
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Fresh eggs...the really fresh kind.

Does anyone have chickens? We have free range 5 hens and they seem to be laying more than ever right now. I was just watering the yard and heard a low buck bucking coming from my potted fern. Yep...sure enough she was hunkered right down in there. When she was *done*.....there where 8 eggs in that plant. Not to mention the 5 eggs I found yesterday on the BBQ cover that I had hurled in a corner.

Please come over and get some eggs.

For those of you that have chickens, here is my question. Why are the really fresh eggs so hard to peel after boiling? They are of no use for deviled eggs because they're so ugly after I peel them. I've noticed they get a bit easier to peel after they've been in the fridge awhile, but they're not as good. Is there a secret to peeling them?

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Old 04-10-2010, 05:40 PM   #2
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No secret. Fresh eggs are harder to peel because the shell is full. The membrane is stuck to the inside of the shell. As an egg ages, it loses moisture and the insides shrink, allowing the membrane to pull away from the inside of the shell so it's easier to get the shell off.
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:46 PM   #3
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As a long-time chicken owner, hard-boiled really fresh eggs are almost always impossible to peel properly (even if you prick them). The reason behind this is that egg shells are porous & admit air. Freshly laid eggs have little air in them. As they age, the shells admit air space between the interior shell & egg (& as Andy noted, moisture escapes), thus when you boil (actually, it should be a light SIMMER, not a boil) them the shell is slightly detached from the interior egg, allowing for an easier peel.

If I know ahead of time that I'm going to need hard-boiled eggs, I always hold eggs for at least a week or two - whether home eggs or store/farm bought - before cooking them. Another pointer is to make a pinhole through the large end of the egg before boiling to let air (& obviously some water) in when boiling. Sometimes this works; sometimes not.
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:46 PM   #4
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When you go to cool the eggs off in some cold water try cracking the shells on the air bubble end to see if it loosens them. I've heard that helps.
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:02 PM   #5
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Ahh. Thank you. I thought I was doing something wrong when I boiled them. I'll try the pin prick thanks!

I did have some luck once, when I actually peeled the eggs under water (in a giant bowl of water not running water). However the second time I tried it, not so lucky. More egg salad I suppose!

Makes me wonder...how long have grocery store eggs been around?
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:12 PM   #6
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Supermarket eggs can actually be several months old & still legally be called "fresh" by commercial standards. But I still let them sit a week before trying to make deviled eggs out of them - lol! And I always pinprick the large end regardless.
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Supermarket eggs can actually be several months old & still legally be called "fresh" by commercial standards.
EEW. eew eew eew. That explains why I always had horrid digestive problems with eggs before I had chickens. I still don't eat alot of them...maybe 4-6 a week. But at least I'm able to eat them now...because I love them.

That is just sad...what is going on with the FDA??? Nothing should be that old unless its in a can.
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:35 PM   #8
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Well, frankly - & the FDA is definitely NOT on my "wonderful" list - eggs really do naturally have a VERY long shelf life if stored properly. Particularly if they haven't been fertilized by a rooster (which commercial eggs definitely have not.

So really no need for "eeewws". And I really don't think your digestive problems were due to supermarket eggs unless you were buying them from one particular source that wasn't storing them properly.
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:44 PM   #9
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Well, I don't seem to be running to the woods right after I eat the fresh eggs for some odd reason. They really have made a huge difference for me. I just can't eat supermarket eggs at all. LOL. Sorry for the TMI!
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:58 PM   #10
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A trick I learned at the summer camp I worked at is to crack the egg at the air bubble end as Alix suggested and then stick a small spoon in between the shell and egg. Work the spoon down the egg - they have about the same curve and it usually pulls the whole shell off fairly easily as you move the spoon around. We were given fresh eggs from a nearby farm and would be peeling dozens at a time (feeding 600 per meal).
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:58 PM   #11
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Many/Most eggs reach stores only a few days after the
hen lays them. Egg cartons with the USDA grade
shield on them must display the “pack date” (the day
that the eggs were washed, graded, and placed in
the carton). The number is a three-digit code that
represents the consecutive day of the year (the
“Julian Date”) starting with January 1 as 001 and
ending with December 31 as 365. When a “sell-by”
date appears on a carton bearing the USDA grade
shield, the code date may not exceed 45 days from
the date of pack.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Supermarket eggs can actually be several months old & still legally be called "fresh" by commercial standards...
I find this hard to believe.

The USDA dictates egg cartons carry a pack date. This is the date they are washed, inspected and packed in a carton. If a Sell By date is included on the carton, the USDA dictates it cannot be more than 30 days from the pack date. The pack date is on the carton as a three digit Julian date.

There's no money in storing eggs for months before selling them. The egg farmer gets no money until he ships them so he has no incentive to hold them. The grocer has no incentive to store eggs he's already paid for. He gets no money for them until he sells.

Farmers with any business sense don't produce more eggs than they can sell.

However, a fresh egg with an intact shell will last a long time. Typically 4-5 WEEKS from the pack date.

Sorry, UB. Didn't read your post before posting mine.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kuki View Post
That is just sad...what is going on with the FDA???
I've heard bad things about the FDA. A Readers Digest article talked about how backed up they were. Can't remember what all the article said though.
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:35 PM   #14
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It's the USDA - United States Department of Agriculture that's the governing agency here.

The FDA - Food and Drug Administration is a different agency with different responsibilities.
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:18 PM   #15
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Ive had chickens for the past 8 years or so, tried everything pin-sized hole, boiling in salted water, steaming, pealing under cold running water...... and have had no consistent results. that is why i use the fresh eggs for everything other than hard boiled, and buy supermarket eggs for that purpose only. Just got 6 more baby chicks 2 weeks ago.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:37 PM   #16
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I have had chickens for several years, and here is my solution to the sticky shells.

WASH your eggs for boiling--I use a drop of dish soap and slightly warmed water. (Cold water causes the egg to contract, and might draw contaminents on the surface into the interior.)

Then, put them into an open container in the fridge for a week or so. This allows some of the moisture in the egg to evaporate, and the egg will be much easier to peel.

If you are not going to boil the eggs, don't wash them--they will stay fresh for a much longer period. The egg has a natural coating that keeps the water in the egg from evaoporating--that is why they last so long.
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