Did you know… ?

… that if you are hard-boiling eggs, and you forget them, they eventually explode?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Tominellay says:


  2. chcrix says:

    May one ask how we found this out?

    I’ve done it myself, but that was not the result I observed. Instead I saw them scorch and adopt a consistency close to that of vulcanized rubber.

    Or am I missing the gag here?

  3. sawdustmick says:

    ….and admitting it means you end up with egg on your face (sorry – couldn’t resist).

  4. bnaasko says:

    A friend of mone once tried to hard boil eggs in the microwave. Not only did they explode, but the blew the door right off the microwave and scattered broken glass throughout the kitchen.

    Thankfully, nobody was hurt.

  5. patergary says:

    ….and your kitchen will smell like a rancid egg. I’ve done it a month ago.

  6. I guess it wouldn’t be as bad if there were still water in the pot, than if it were all to have boiled away….

    But my dad accidentally did melt the bottom off a pot. It was a double boiler, and he didn’t realize that’s what it was when he started boiling water in the top pot. (I was there, and I didn’t notice, either….)

  7. ejcmartin says:

    sadly yes….

    Funny boiled egg story. My four year-old had a boiled (soft) for the first time a couple of weeks ago. My wife put the egg in an egg cup and lopped off the top of the egg and put it on the side of his plate. Shortly thereafter I hear “crunch crunch” and I look at my son whose mouth is full of egg, shell and all. “this egg tastes good Daddy” “John, you’re not supposed to eat the shell!” The knowledge we take for granted.

  8. mattmcg says:

    They really exploded? Once I left them in a man at night and the water vaporized, leaving a horrible black mess. The stink was so bad we had to visit Walmart at 3am to buy a floor fan. And i discovered that there are certain times of the year where Walmart doesn’t stock nice big floor fans (!!!!).

  9. Shepherdess says:

    Yes, and you can burn them and a good pan as well….took forever to get the smoke detector batteries out as the dogs were howling that their ears hurt. At least our kitchen did not catch on fire!

  10. penance2 says:

    I know three minute eggs, 5 minute eggs, but I do not know how many minutes for exploding eggs:-) this news is eggsplosive…yoke yoke :-)

  11. lucy says:

    How long did it take ? Just askin’…….

  12. rakesvines says:

    Did that. I also microwaved them making them look like fried without the oil. The white formed a membrane covering the yolk. When I poked the yoke, that also exploded into some many little scalding pieces – some of which stuck to my face.

  13. JohnE says:

    Haven’t tried this myself yet, but if you get those eggs boiled without exploding them, here’s an easy way to peel them:
    http://www.wikihow.com/Blow-the-Shell-off-a-Hard-Boiled-Egg (see the 11-second video at the bottom)

  14. Rachel Pineda says:

    I think you have to be one very dutiful person to sit around and wait for the eggs to be done. I suppose I could employ a timer every once in a while, but that might take away from the excitment of the whole process.

  15. And microwaving cold hard boiled eggs to heat them up can do that too, very shortly, even when you are watching them!

  16. r.j.sciurus says:

    Careful… keep blowing things up and you’ll end up on the no-fly list. Or in this case perhaps, the no-fry list.

  17. Patikins says:

    Oops! No, I haven’t exploded and egg (I’m not a big fan of eggs) but I have exploded baked potatoes. Seems like it doesn’t matter how many times I prick the spuds, I get one that explodes now and then. Cleaning the oven (not microwave) is one of my least favorite tasks!

  18. Tina in Ashburn says:

    OH MY! I had no idea eggs were so dangerous. This calls for a media frenzy and a government warning label on every one of these things!! Lawsuits! How about insisting for licenses to obtain and have such dangerous things…

  19. Andrew says:

    If you get some eggs out of the fridge and you’ll not sure if they’ve been boiled or not there is an easy test to find out: put the egg on a level surface and spin it: if it hadn’t been cooked it will not spin.

  20. irishgirl says:

    mattmcg-did you mean ‘van’ instead of ‘man’? Probably a typo there…

    I never boil eggs-I only fry ’em. But they will make a ‘popping’ noise if the heat under the pan is too high! And you’d better stand back, or you’ll get hit by flying grease! Don’t have a microwave, anyway.

    My mother always told me to lower the flame on the stove when I cooked-she’d say to me, ‘You’re just like your father’…meaning that he always kept the flame on high, too!

    Had to stifle my laughter here in the library reading these….

  21. Tim Ferguson says:

    Would the eggs boil in a box?
    If you watched the time on clocks?
    Are they burst, like waves on rocks?
    Or scrambled, just like Matthew Fox?

  22. Gabriella says:

    Gosh! No, Father, I didn’t know.
    There’s always something to learn in life …

  23. Liz F says:

    My daughter once accidently froze stuffed eggs (I hate calling them deviled.) She was really tired and I told her to put them in our extra fridge. She accidentally put them in the deep freeze. When she brought them too me the next day you could actually see through the white part! I gleefully showed them to our company who’d never seen anything like that before.

  24. gmaskell says:

    I did not know that

  25. Moscatelli says:

    @ penance2

    I know three minute eggs, 5 minute eggs, but I do not know how many minutes for exploding eggs:-) this news is eggsplosive…yoke yoke :-)

    … you mean yolk yolk ;-)

  26. Consilio et Impetu says:

    And did you know if you place an egg into a cup of water and it sinks it’s fresh, if it floats it’s an old egg?

  27. Charivari Rob says:

    How hot was that water into which you put the egg(s)?

  28. dhgyapong says:

    Once while trying to multi-task, I put some eggs on to boil and went downstairs to my computer and got lost in my work.

    Blam! Then Blam! again. Not sure what had happened, but sure enough, my eggs were exploding after the water had boiled away.

    I think exploded eggs are an indication of a writer. Non-writers don’t have this kind of thing happen to them, do they?

  29. Stirling says:

    Looks like the yoke’s on you :) da da tsssss.

    I completely understand if you ban this comment for excessive lameness.

  30. ghp95134 says:

    Yahhh …. I blew out a microwave in a hotel once trying to boil the egg. I heard later — and have NOT tried — that if you prick a hole in one end of the egg, it will not explode.

    As for boiling — I’ve only ever had the eggs crack and the white leach out and get poached.

    Be a good egg, now!

  31. ghp95134 says:

    I heard later—and have NOT tried—that if you prick a hole in one end of the egg, it will not explode.

    HEY! ….. That would be a good…. eggsperiment.

  32. Vincenzo says:

    chcrix: “I’ve done it myself, but that was not the result I observed. Instead I saw them scorch and adopt a consistency close to that of vulcanized rubber.”

    I microwaved an egg (no shell) without poking the yolk first once. After I took it out and put my fork into it, it exploded and the yolk shot across the room – turned into something like a rubber ball.

  33. Father, I am not even going to ask how you discovered this. Glad you’re OK!

  34. Sandy says:

    Love the funny stories! Here’s a tip, really – very fresh eggs that are hard boiled are a nightmare to peel; hard boil eggs that you’ve had for a while and the shells come off in a couple of big pieces. The easy way to hard boil eggs is to bring the water to a boil, turn it off, and let them sit until the water cools or almost cools. I read that years ago and have done it that way ever since.

  35. chironomo says:

    You oughta try the microwave method. Back in the eraly days of the microwave oven (1976) my Mom thought this would be a good idea and caused a really remarkable exposion. What’s really fascinating is the amount of pressure that the eggshell is able to contain before breaking…

  36. Geoffrey says:

    I never knew that! My mother taught me well with the “7-minute rule”.

  37. Eric says:

    mmmmm eggs aka Liquid chicken.

  38. ipadre says:

    I’ll have to try it. I could use something to lighten my day today!

  39. Mrs. O says:

    yes. And it makes a horrible mess. Could have ruined the pan too and smells REALLY bad.

  40. Jane says:

    Thank you for this tip on what not to do in the kitchen.

  41. colospgs says:

    My brother did that a while back. Boy was it LOUD too! We were in another room and thought they might be gunshots outside. We were so relieved when we saw egg all over the place.

  42. Gwen says:

    This does not happen with egg-beaters (fake, liquid, low cal and zero cholesterol egg stuff).

  43. Sacristymaiden says:

    Never done this. Think I’ll try it sometime when life needs a little jazzing up…

  44. Kate says:

    This happens with hot dogs, too. Who knew?

    When I discovered them, I tried to pass them off as a new delicacy to the kids – “Hey, look at this! Tonight we’re having POPPED DOGS!”

    They would have none of it.

  45. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Happened to me about a month ago. I put four on to boil, got busy and forgot them. Suddenly there was a sound like a gunshot! Boy, did that get my attention. Only one exploded, but it was all over the kitchen, on , under and behind everything. What a cleanup job! So – I also ask, “How did you find this out?”

  46. Andrew says:

    Hahahahahahahaha! Father, I am sure you made that comment from experience.

  47. david andrew says:

    Hen-fruit hand grenades.

    Gives the comic strip title “Savage Chickens” a whole new meaning.

  48. mrsmontoya says:


  49. glennbcnu says:

    Exploding un-fertilized chicken ovulations. My goodness!

  50. Ellen says:

    Eggs are yellow and white spheres of slimy evil. When I was a kid, I was forced to eat a cold fried egg. I’ve loathed them ever since. I’ll cook with them, but I won’t cook them, much less eat them (shudder).

  51. GOR says:

    Wow – so many eggsperiences! And some good tips too! I have had boiled eggs explode in the microwave when re-heating them. What a mess! But I have learned to cover them and only set the microwave for 15-20 seconds…

  52. Stuffed eggs is what the medievals called ’em, so Liz F isn’t far off. Except they thought you should put cheese and herbs in the paste, and that once you restuffed ’em, you should fry the eggs in oil. Sauteed cheesy deviled eggs. Sounds good, if you’re working hard and don’t mind a meal a bit high in cholesterol….

    The old dictionaries say that “deviled” just means that you put in a lot of spicy flavor. I guess that’s the paprika and mustard….

  53. irishgirl says:

    I know I already posted on this-but these accounts are hilarious! Have to keep from busting out into laughter here in the library, and my eyes are watering as I’m stifling myself….

    Ellen-I hated eggs as a kid, too. Had to cook one for home economics class in seventh grade, then refused to eat it…I even had to stay after school for that! Oh, how I cried!

    But now I LIKE eggs…who knew? Yet I won’t microwave them-I’ll cook them in a pan on the stove! Gotta keep ’em from exploding! : )

  54. Konichiwa says:

    Back in college one day, I was boiling some eggs after coming home from class all tired. I rested myself on the couch. Not long, a loud explosion woke me up from my sleep. I was thankful something woke me up. Otherwise there would have been a fire :D

  55. Sandy says:

    I’m laughing again at the eggsperiences of others. I just remembered today the time my first pressure pot exploded all over the ceiling. It was years before I had the courage to use one again. Maybe that’s another blog topic, Father!

  56. Daniel Latinus says:

    Just about a year ago, I had to work a twenty-four hour day. When my boss sent me home, I thought about visiting a local pancake house for an omelette, but decided to just go home and make some hard boiled eggs instead.

    I get home and start the eggs. I sit down in the bedroom and pick up a magazine, to pass the time while waiting for the eggs to boil. I doze off.

    I awaken to an odd odor and a funny sound. “My eggs!” I go to the kitchen and behold a gaggle of scorched and shattered eggs in an empty pot. The water had completely evaporated. Then I notice the bits of egg spattered around the kitchen. I was still fiding spatters just before Christmas.

    Big fun.

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