Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ph matters

In high school I detested Chemistry. I had a hard time grasping the principles, plus, I was convinced I would never need it in the "real world" anyways. I guess I was wrong. Living here on my little farm, I've found several uses for chemistry knowledge. First, my pool. It's imperative to keep the swimming water balanced. Balanced water keeps the algea and germs aways. It feels good to the skin. It looks clear and sparkly. Having a Ph between 7.5-7.8 it very important. I learned that Acid lowers the Ph, while Baking Soda makes it higher.

This was some knowledge that would prove very helpful to me yesterday. As I spent 90 minutes peeling 11 hard boiled eggs, and creating puckered/cratered eggs, I wanted to pull out my hair. I kinda knew that fresh eggs were harder to peel than older (store bought) eggs. I just didn't know why. Apparently it has to do with the chemistry of the egg:

"In fresh eggs the albumen sticks to the inner shell membrane more strongly than it sticks to itself because of the more acidic environment of the egg. The white of a freshly laid egg has a pH between 7.6 and 7.9 and an opalescent (cloudy) appearance due to the presence of carbon dioxide. After the protective coat is washed off the egg shell the egg becomes porous and begins to absorb air and loose some carbon dioxide contained in the albumen. This reduces the acidity of the egg which causes (after several days in the refrigerator) the pH to increase to around 9.2. At higher pH the inner membrane does not stick as much to the albumen so the shell peels off easier"

Some website suggested adding baking soda to the boiling water, to manually raise the Ph of the egg. I was open to any suggestions. So with a little fear (after last night's peeling fiasco) I set out to boil some more eggs today. Here are the steps to hard boiled Farm Fresh Eggs.

1. Use the oldest eggs you have. A few days in the fridge makes a big difference
2. Bring the eggs to room temperature.
3. Place eggs, single layer, in a pot, and cover with 2 inches of cold water
4. For about 1 dozen eggs, I added 1 Tbsp Salt and 0.5 Tbsp Baking soda.
5. Bring water to a boil (rolling boil), then cover.
6. Take off the heat, and let sit in hot water for 12-15 minutes.
7. To shock the eggs, run cold water over them, and then let sit in icewater bath for 15-20 minutes.
8. Watch the difference! It only took me about 20 minutes to peel 16 eggs. That's about 8 times faster!!

Now I don't have to be scared to make deviled eggs, egg salad, or potato salad anymore. And it'll be much easier to attempt eating a dozen eggs a day.


Maddy S said...

I read if you shake the pot hard enough the shells sort of come out on their own. I haven't tried this out but it's worth the try. It could cut down on time so much. Thanks for the recipe. If only I had fresh eggs like you. Eggs are one of my most favorite things to eat. That, cheese and chocolate.

Maddy S said...

Put a lid on the pot, forgot to mention that.

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