How The Humble Lemon Will Protect Your Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eggs are a timeless ingredient that humans have enjoyed since before the dawn of civilization. Eggs have been an integral part of the human diet for thousands of years thanks to their versatility and wide range of health benefits (per Incredible Egg). According to Healthline, eggs are high in protein, low in calories, and include some of the essential proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals we need to survive. The best part about eggs? There are a million and one ways to prepare them.

Whether you take it sunny-side-up with breakfast, scrambled into a stir fry, or whisked into an egg-white cocktail, eggs are a utilitarian ingredient that fit into countless recipes. One of the trickier ways to prepare eggs, however, is hard-boiling them. Perfecting hard-boiled eggs can be precarious because you can't actually see the egg cooking, and if you're not careful, the shell can easily crack while boiling. And let's face it, hard-boiling eggs takes a little more time than other common cooking methods and no one wants to start over when the shell cracks. However, a little lemon squeeze can go a long way when hard-boiling eggs.

The acid in lemon juice protects eggshells

Acid is often used in recipes as a way to tenderize meat, cook fish, balance out meals, and add bright, zesty aromas to a dish. Commonly used acids include lemon, lime, wine, and vinegars. They're simple, accessible accents that can enhance just about any food — including hard-boiled eggs.

Using lemon as a failsafe for picture-perfect hard-boiled eggs is an easy, user-friendly hack. Before you begin the boiling process, Pure Wow says to brush the surface of your eggshells with fresh lemon juice to protect the shell from cracking. Then proceed with boiling the egg in a pot of water. Et voila! A crack-proof shell that's even easier to peel when you're finished. Not in the mood to carefully brush on lemon juice like the artisanal chef you are? Chef and YouTube personality Chef Ricardo Cooking added lemon slices straight to the boiling pot for a stronger shell and stress-free peeling.

Hey, when life gives you lemons, make hard-boiled eggs!