10 things you wanted to know about chickens but were afraid to ask – 11# Boiled eggs


You fancy a chucky butty (well that’s what they call them where I come from, it’s generally known as egg mayonnaise). It’s simple enough to make, egg, pan, water, boil, peel, mash, mayo, bread, eat. It’s amazing isn’t it how the shell just peels off… or at least it always used to on those shop bought chicken eggs you hard boiled so what’s wrong with these eggs my backyard flock are laying? The white sticks to the shell in lumps and what previously had been a bowl of glistening white elliptical shapes now resembles some moth eaten mess.


The answer is simple – the eggs you are using are just too fresh, or to put it another way, they aren’t old. The contents have not started to evaporate and shrink and hence the contact between the white and the shell remains in place. In scientific terms, the mammillary layer (which is the inner most layer of the shell and connected to the calcareous layer) is in direct contact with the outer thin (the outer most layer of the albumen surrounding the yolk).

The solution is simple too – if you fancy hard boiled eggs that peel easy then put aside some eggs for a week or 10 days before you use them. You’ll find they peel like the good old shop bought ones once boiled.

Side note – the eggs you buy in the shops are old enough to have evaporated sufficiently to enable clean peeling when boiled… (it’s debatable if they could be called ‘fresh’!)




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