The Center of Gravity: An “Eggs-periment”

I am currently reading Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking – The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. This is an excellent book (textbook, perhaps) – very comprehensive, covering everything from meat to veggies to bread, from the chemical structure of cinnamon to how Chinese preserved duck eggs are made. There are sections devoted to things I have always been curious about but have never been able to find on the internet.

While reading through the “Eggs” section, I came across an interesting tidbit about storage position: Apparently when eggs are stored on their sides (instead of the natural blunt-end up in the box), the yolks become better-centered when hard-cooked. Perhaps this is a well-known fact, but it is not something I have ever given any thought about. (Why would you store an egg on its side anyway, neither the box it comes in nor the tiny space in the fridge would allow for that!)

Nevertheless, the nerd in me was piqued. Every morning I have a HBE (hard-boiled egg) for breakfast. Yesterday’s HBE (type: large, organic, brown) had a very “skewed” yolk. So I decided to remove an egg (same batch) from its box last night, and preincubate it on its side for this morning’s HBE. Side-incubation time: overnight (<12 hr).

Result: Almost perfectly centered – though with a slight deviation towards the narrow end (perhaps expected, as egg has been stored narrow-end-down for days prior to side-incubation). Note also a slight “latitudinal” skewing, such that it is quite obvious which “side” the egg has been resting on overnight:


I thought this was pretty cool. This would be great for devilled eggs – no more cutting open an HBE to find a yolk sitting at an extreme pole, and making a terrible lop-sided devilled egg!


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