One of food media’s dirtiest secrets is that many of the recipes that appear online are not adequately tested before they’re published. Recipe testing is, after all, a process that requires extra time and resources, and many viral food hacks and “how to” tutorials don’t need to actually be cookable to become wildly popular on the internet, anyway. But one food hack that certainly could have used more testing was a Delish.com recipe titled “You Can Make Hard-Boiled Eggs In The Microwave, But You Need To Do It Right.”
A woman in Worcestershire, England named Bethany Rosser claims that after carefully following the steps outlined in the recipe, she opened her microwave and the scalding hot eggs exploded in her face. Rosser called an ambulance, and emergency responders rushed her to a nearby hospital where she received burn treatment. “It felt horrible, I was in total agony,” Rosser tells the Mirror UK. “I could feel my skin burning for hours afterwards — even while it was being treated in hospital.” The doctors told Rosser that she probably wouldn’t develop any scars from the incident, but long-term skin discoloration might be a possibility.
While the internet is full of food hacks involving eggs, microwaving them whole is widely considered to be a dangerous practice. The official homepage of the American Egg Board even has an explicit warning against the move. “Microwaves heat so quickly that steam builds up faster than an egg can ‘exhale’ it through its pores and the steam bursts through the shell,” the site warns. “For the same reason, when microwaving, always prick the yolk of an unbeaten egg with the tip of a knife or a wooden pick.” The Delish recipe does not mention pricking the yolk, but it does includes a “crucial” step of salting the water, so that “the egg won’t explode.” Clearly, this step doesn’t always prevent explosions.
Shortly after Rosser began telling her tale to the British tabloids, the microwaved egg recipe disappeared from the Delish archives. The link to the original post now redirects to a story about how to make hard-boiled eggs on the stovetop, but the syndicated version of the microwaved egg recipe is still live on MSN.com and you can also summon it via the Wayback Machine. The editors of Delish have not commented on Rosser’s experience with their recipe, or the removal of the post.
Considering how popular both egg recipes and microwave-related hacks are on the internet, this probably won’t be the last time that someone gets coaxed into this dangerous trick. But Bethany Rosser, at least, won’t get fooled again. “I will never boil eggs in the microwave again, and I hope nobody else will either,” she says.
• Woman suffers severe burns after microwaved eggs explode in her face [Yahoo]
• Microwaved eggs explode in woman’s face leaving her with horrific burns [Mirror]
• You Can Make Hard-Boiled Eggs In The Microwave, But You Need To Do It Right [MSN]