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Omelette in a bag - Is it all its 'cracked' up to be?

It's a novel idea that has generated lots of online (and offline) buzz over the past few years, but unfortunately we don't recommend it. The idea? Cook an omelette in a plastic bag in boiling water! This unique cooking method is billed as a fun and participatory way to cook omelettes for a few people or a crowd so that everyone gets an omelette with the mix-ins they want. And it's all done with a minimal amount of fuss and dishes, and in buzz-generating style! (While you really aren't cooking an omelette, the result is eggs cooked in a rolled up omelette shape.) Here's how it works. Each person writes their name on their own Ziploc-style freezer bag. Into each bag go a couple cracked eggs. The bags are sealed, then shaken until the eggs are blended. Additional ingredients (ham, onion, green pepper, cheese, salsa, tomatoes - whatever!) are added, and the bags are sealed and shaken again. The bags are then placed in boiling water to cook for 10 to 13 minutes. Once removed from the water, the bags are opened and the omelettes roll out. So, what's not to like about this unconventional cooking method? Here's why we're not that crazy about it.

Ziploc bags are not meant to be heated to high temperatures (like that of boiling water!). Apparently the softening point of the plastic is a lower temperature than boiling water, so the fear is the plastic could begin to melt and chemicals from the plastic could leach into the omelette. Fans of this cooking method argue you'd probably have to cook quite a few omelettes this way to get sick from any chemicals that might leach into the food. While that is likely true, since the people at Ziploc don't recommend this as a way to use their product, we're not going to endorse it either. In addition to concerns about the safety of the plastic, another potential problem is that the hot plastic bag or the steam that comes out of the bag when it's opened could easily cause burns if you aren't careful. If you still want to try this cooking technique, my recommendation is to look for plastic bags designed to be placed in boiling water. They do exist, but they may not be easily sealed the way Ziploc bags are.

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