How to Scramble an Egg Inside Its Shell Before Hard-Boiling

by A.J. Andrews
It took years of research, scientific inquiry and poultry interrogation to figure out how to scramble eggs in their shells.

It took years of research, scientific inquiry and poultry interrogation to figure out how to scramble eggs in their shells.

One egg, one long-sleeve T-shirt and centrifugal force are all you need to scramble an egg in its shell before you hard-boil it. Technically, it's just a hard-boiled egg with a broken yolk, but that won't stop the "oohs" and "ahhs" you'll receive from the little ones -- usually kids under the age of 5 or so -- who see you perform this bit of egg trickery. Although there is no culinary benefit in scrambling an egg in its shell, save adding color variation to a dish of hard-boiled eggs, perhaps, it does ensure you won't have any leftover yolks.

Insert the egg into a stocking or the sleeve of a long-sleeve T-shirt and position it in the center.

Tie a piece of twine tightly on either side of the egg to hold it in the center of the sleeve.

Grasp the sleeve with both hands about 1 foot to the left and right side of the egg.

Rotate your hands at the wrists forward in a circular motion to wind up the sleeve and tighten it around the egg, them move your hands outward quickly to stop the winding and pull the sleeve taut. The winding motion is just like the old locker-room stunt in which you tighten up a wet towel before using it like a whip on a friend in gym class.

Repeat the winding motion about 10 to 12 times, pulling the sleeve taut each time after you wind it. The winding-and-stopping motion scrambles the egg yolk and white in the egg. Untie the twine and take the eggs out of the sleeve or stocking.

Place the scrambled in-shell eggs in a saucepan and cover them with an inch or 2 of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and remove from the heat.

Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the eggs sit for about 12 minutes. Cool down the eggs under cold running water until you can remove the shells without burning yourself.

Place the eggs, one at a time, on their sides on the work surface and roll them back and forth under your palm to crack the shells all the way around. Peel off the shells, and you'll have scrambled-and-hard-boiled eggs.

Items you will need

  • Stocking or long-sleeve T-shirt
  • Twine


  • You can hold a flashlight to the eggs in a dark room to check if you've scrambled them enough before you boil them. If the eggs glow red when you hold the flashlight to them, they're ready. If they glow yellow, put them back in the sleeve and scramble them a few more times.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images