Kitchen Hack Fail: Omelet in a Bag
Fact: There is a lot of false wisdom floating around the internet.
Earlier in the month, our team compiled a collection of the smartest and most essential kitchen hacks you need to know about; as you might imagine, this required us to sift through a number of lackluster ideas and downright lies that plague Pinterest boards across the internet. #journalism
Fact: Most people do not enjoy being lied to.
One such item that immediately caught my eye on one of the earliest iterations our master hack list was the claim that boiling scrambled eggs in a plastic zip-top sandwich bag is an easy, foolproof way to make an omelet.
This claim is false.
Fact: Paula Deen was among my first culinary heroes.
I'm not sure where this plastic-wrapped egg cookery originated, but I do know where I first picked it up. When I was 16 and first fostering a real interest in food, Paula Deen was my idol. This was long before the scandal, before she danced with the stars, before the rampant riding memes, and before the promise of a self-branded clothing line… this was a time when Paula was just a nutty, but syrupy sweet, old southern gal who made pound cakes and giggled. And I trusted her.
So when she told me that I could and should make my own effortless custom omelet without greasing a pan, I sure believed her. And I did it.
Fact: Boiling scrambled eggs in a sandwich baggy is gross. And it’s definitely not an omelet.
I don't know what kind of miracle I was expecting. I was young and optimistic, who knows? But essentially, you’re using the plastic sandwich bag as a mold to form an arguably omeletish-shaped pouch of pale boiled egg... and as appealing as that may sound, it is a very strange and rubbery anomaly once released onto a plate. I repeat--this is not an omelet; this is a lie. This is one of those things that will make you understand why some people detest eggs. I have to assume that fast food chains use a similar technique to create the uniform egg squares that adorn their sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits.
I realize I first happened upon this idea during a different time, but I’m kind of amazed that this “recipe” is still being passed around the internet as a savvy kitchen trick. Did it ever occur to anyone that instructing people to eat food that was cooked inside of a common plastic zip-top bag might rub some folks the wrong way?
Given--everything you ever release into the public domain is bound to rub someone the wrong way, but this seems a little more legit questionable, yeah?
Fact: If your mother is scared of using the microwave, you should not--under any circumstance—attempt to feed her eggs you boiled in plastic.
As I recall, when I picked this cooking tip up from PD, she was pushing it as a clever means of making numerous omelets at one time (i.e. a breakfast for a crowd scenario). Please hear me now, you should not feed this to company; and as I quickly found out, you should not feed it to your carcinogen-fearing mother. My omelet-in-a-bag career hit an immediate and permanent stop when I tried to feed my mom breakfast and show off what I learned from Paula.
It worked out for the best, as I moved on to become a great maker of fried eggs.
Moral of the story: don’t trade cheap tricks for quality.
If you want to serve eggs to a crowd, go for a frittata or a quiche.
Like this one: Veggie and Herb Frittata
Or this: Zucchini and Goat Cheese Quiche
Don't sweat the technique--with a little practice, you'll be a pro in no time.