James Martin says you should 'never put eggs in the fridge'
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Knowing where to store eggs is a controversial topic among households, with an ongoing debate as to whether they belong in the fridge or at room temperature on a kitchen surface. While neither will make your eggs “go off” more quickly, James Martin has shared the crucial reason why he never keeps them chilled – and why you should do the same. Speaking to Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on This Morning, he explained that the porous texture of “all eggs” is the reason to keep them at room temperature.
After baking two Victoria Sponge cakes with different types of eggs, James Martin delved into the differences between hen and duck eggs. He told the presenters that “the quality of eggs is key” for a good bake.
While the point of the cooking tip was to see if the presenters could identify which eggs were used in each sponge, James noted that where you store eggs can also impact how they taste in other dishes.
He said that whether you use produce from hens or ducks, “all eggs are porous”, which is “why you never put eggs in the fridge”.
The celebrity chef noted that the texture of the shell means that “they absorb all the flavours from the fridge” and can end up tasting more like other ingredients without any warning that is until you eat them.
Though it may sound unpleasant to have “flavoured” eggs, James noted that their porous texture can be used to your advantage.
He said: “If you have truffle for instance – in the restaurant we put that in a bowl with rice and put the eggs on the top and cling film it and leave it overnight.
“When you break the eggs in the morning for breakfast for customers, [you get] truffle scrambled eggs but there’s no truffle in it. The truffle flavour has gone through the egg and into the egg itself.”
It’s not just the smell or taste of other foods that can seep into egg shells too. In fact, according to an expert at British Lion eggs, bacteria and unpleasant odours can also emanate through the tiny pores.
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The egg experts said: “It’s tempting to store eggs in something that’s either more practical or pleasing on the eye than a basic box.
“You may have a lovely looking spiral egg holder or handy egg shelf in your fridge but the truth is nothing can beat the original carton.
“Not only does the box protect the eggs, but it also shows the best before date which you can refer back to anytime you’re unsure.”
They suggested keeping eggs in the carton if you do choose to store them in the fridge in order to stop the transfer of bacteria and odours through the eggshells.
The experts noted that for “optimum quality and safety”, eggs need to be kept at a steady temperature below 20C.
To achieve this, you should try to avoid moving them too often between very cold and very warm temperatures such as between a hot car and fridge, or fridge and hot kitchen.
The British Lion eggs team said: “If you have a cool pantry that doesn’t heat up when the kitchen temperature rises, that’s fine for storing eggs but whilst a regular kitchen cupboard may seem a relatively constant environment, temperatures can still fluctuate when you’re cooking things that produce a lot of heat or steam.”
If you can’t provide a consistent temperature in your kitchen, they suggested keeping them in the fridge instead.
While this is “best practice” to ensure a constant temperature, the experts warned against cooking eggs straight from the fridge.
instead, when you do get around to using the eggs, you should remove them from the fridge around 30 minutes prior to cooking them in order to bring them back up to temperature.
If you have raw eggs leftover without their shell, you can store them in the fridge as long as you consume them within a few days. The egg experts said: “Keep the whites and yolks separated – both should be stored in the fridge in air-tight containers to save them from spoiling.
“A simple trick to keep your yolk nice and soft is adding a very thin layer of milk to it – don’t drown it!” In terms of timings, whites can be kept for around two days, whilst the yolks can be kept for up to four.
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