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Monday, February 27, 2012

Avoiding Green Eggs

I do not like green eggs and ham...  well, I'll live with the ham, but there's no need to
have green eggs.  If Sam-I-Am knew the secret of cooking perfect eggs, they would
not turn green.

Even without Seussificaton, egg yolks
do turn green.  Here is why: Yolks
contain iron.  Egg whites contain
hydrogen sulfide, and where the yolks
and whites meet, those two chemicals
react.  Given sufficient heat, as in
overcooking, the yolks will develop a
green-colored film.  Even though they
are less appetizing, the chemical
reaction does not change the flavor of
the eggs.

There's another way for eggs to turn
green.  Cooking or storing eggs in
an iron skillet or a metal pan will turn
them green as the iron ions from the
pan react with the sulfides in the eggs.

Kevin Murray, president of Tasteful Events Catering in Rochester, N.Y.,
offers a few tips to prevent green eggs. 

“I am usually cooking in volume, but it definitely depends on the surface
of the cooking pan and containers. Eggs will oxidize against aluminum
and metal pans in cooking and serving.  You can avoid this by adding a
little bit of vinegar to the pan when cooking.  The acid in the vinegar seems to
offset the oxidation.  Also, use plastic containers or glass bowls to maintain the
eggs.  I always try to serve them in plastic, just because they keep their yellow
color much better.”

Next week: The Exponential Yumminess of Caramelized Onions

The Atomic Kitchen is a blog that explores better ways to cook, using science to explain
relationships between ingredients, cooking techniques and preparation. It's fine to know how.
It's even better to know why.

Article ID: TAK1

keywords: the atomic kitchen,  eggs, green eggs, yolks, iron

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