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Everyone can boil an egg but can everyone boil an egg without the shell cracking? In case it doesn't bother you eating an egg whose shell has cracked during the boiling process, you can move on, this review is not for you.
Why do eggs crack at all? The bottom part of the egg contains a small air bubble. When the egg becomes hotter and hotter in boiling water, the air inside the bubble expands and presses against the shell. This can lead to cracks. If the eggs have room temperature and you put them into cold water which is then heated, you may be lucky and no cracks may appear. Cold eggs directly out of the fridge tend to crack easily, though.
The trick is to prick a tiny hole into the bottom part of the egg before boiling it. The expanding air can escape through it and doesn't need a crack to do so. Of course, you can use a pin, every household has one. You can manoeuvre its head end into a cork (and then prick your finger every time you take it out of the drawer). If your hands aren't steady or your eye-sight isn't good any more, it can be a bit tricky to apply the hole, maybe you squash the egg before you can boil it. To avoid such a culinary catastrophe and also hazards to your health someone invented the egg pick. Although I searched the net thoroughly in English and in German, I couldn't find the name of the inventor.
The egg-pick is ~4 cm high and ~4 cm in diameter. It consists of two parts which are connected inside, how, is not visible. One would have to destroy the whole thingy to find out. The upper part is a bit wider than the lower part and can be moved down for about ½ cm with the help of an internal spring, I guess. If one does this, the point of a pin becomes visible.
I always take the egg in my left hand and the egg pick in my right one, hold it against the bottom part of the egg and then press the pin out to make hole. I've always thought this was the way to do it, but my research on the net has revealed that another technique is more widespread. You put the egg-pick on a firm surface, put the egg (broad bottom down) on it and then press the egg down. There's even a video on You Tube which demonstrates this. The egg-pick in question is a different make, it has the fitting name 'Mosquito'. In case my instruction isn't clear enough to follow, I advise watching it.
Amazon sells the egg-pick for 1.95 GBP. I think it's ideal as a small present when you're invited (if your friends have lived without this useful gadget up to now). Or treat yourself to one.