As a food writer, I see tons of new products, ingredients, trends, and so on. I usually don't pay too much attention to them. (There are so many gimmicks out there!) But sometimes, they resurface so many times, you kind of have to take notice. And sometimes, I'm glad that's the case!
I am in general not a fan of tools designed for one task. I think you have to really love pineapple to want to keep a pineapple corer in your kitchen drawer, for instance — especially if you live in a city apartment, as I do. So when I first saw the Negg, a gadget designed to "take out the mess and add goodness to peeling hard-boiled eggs," I thought pass. I have two good tried-and-true methods for boiling and peeling eggs, and the idea of owning a tool for that purpose alone seemed silly.
Note: Technically the $14 option is an off-brand version from another company, but the reviews on Amazon are decent and that's the one I have. So if you're looking to save a few bucks, that's the way to go.
Buy: Egg Peeler, from $14
But my methods only work most of the time. If the eggs are just not in a cooperative place, or they are too fresh (fun fact: older eggs hard-cook and peel more easily), then even the best efforts may still leave you plucking shards of shell from the eggs or, worse, plucking pieces of egg from the shells.
If you are making egg salad, you're going to chop up those eggs anyway, so losing a bit of white here and there isn't so bad. But it's annoying, and I really can't stand food waste of any sort. And scraping those small bits of egg white from chunks of shell is not how most of us want to spend our kitchen time.
If you're making deviled eggs, well, that's when things get real. It's unsatisfying to put out a platter of pock-marked eggs; the used cars of deviled eggs, with their dings and dents. This is where we really want those smooth and unblemished whites.
So the peeler arrived, in its little box with the words: "Easy. Fast. Fun." on the side. A little brochure instructed me to boil the eggs for 11 to 12 minutes, then place them in an ice bath (so far, much like the way I usually make my hard-boiled eggs). Then the unitasker comes into play.
You just fill this little container with 1/4 cup of water, add the egg, shake a few times, then take the egg out and slide the shell off. And the shell actually does slide off — every single time. See, there are little bumps on the sides of the container, as well as indents on the top and bottom of the devices, and somehow, those little curves definitively crackle up the shell, and the shell seems like it just can't wait to get away from that egg.
Turns out the thing is easy, fast, and fun. My 15 year-old son also thought so, and it's not usually easy to rope him into egg peeling. So I made room in my kitchen cabinets for one more little gadget (it comes in different colors, too). And the best news is that my deviled egg output is going to get a lot more robust, which will make everyone in my world just that much happier. (Chipotle deviled eggs, anyone?)
More Ways to Put the Negg to Good Use
What do you think? Do you hard-boiled enough eggs that this would make sense in your kitchen?