If you use eggs in everyday cooking, you probably think there’s not much to it. But without wishing to teach your grandmother to suck eggs, as the saying goes, we think you could be wrong. That’s why we’ve compiled 13 egg hacks in the kitchen that could just make your life that little bit easier. Eggs have been a versatile kitchen staple for generations. Whether you have childhood memories of boiled eggs and soldiers in your grandma’s farmhouse kitchen, or you wow your friends with sophisticated soufflés in a contemporary German style kitchen diner, nature’s perfect protein food packs a powerful punch in the kitchen. Take a look at the tips below and let us know if you’ve learnt anything you didn’t already know. 1. Fresh eggs sink To find out how fresh an egg is, place it in a large glass of cold water and watch carefully. Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom. If it floats somewhere in the middle, it’ll be fresh enough to cook with. Eggs that rise to the surface are no longer safe for consumption. 2. Raw eggs spin slowly If you store both uncooked and hard boiled eggs in the fridge and you get confused, there’s an easy way to determine whether an egg is cooked or not. Place it on its side on a flat plate and give it a spin. If your egg spins slowly, it’s raw. A fast spin means it’s cooked. 3. Pin prick saves cracking Before you boil an egg, prick the bottom with a needle before placing into a pan of boiling water. This will release the pressure inside the egg, meaning it is less likely to crack during cooking. It also makes hard-boiled eggs easier to peel. 4. Cold eggs are easier to peel Once you’ve boiled your eggs for the required time, shock them in cold water immediately to stop the cooking process. That way, you won’t overcook soft boiled eggs, while hard boiled eggs will be easier to peel since the ice water will loosen the shell. 5. Vinegar and baking soda aid peeling Several other tricks can be used to make hard-boiled eggs easier to peel. They include adding vinegar or baking soda to the cooking water, starting the eggs off in boiling (not cold) water, and shaking the boiled eggs in a glass of cold water. 6. Fresh eggs and vinegar make poaching easier If you like to poach your eggs ‘freestyle’ by cracking them into a pan of boiling water, there’s a simple trick to stop the egg white from dispersing and/or sticking to the pan. Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the cooking water. NB: Fresh eggs hold their shapes better than week old ones. 7. Cling film is the easiest way to poach Alternatively, get perfectly formed poached eggs by using cling film or a sandwich bag. Place some cling film around the inside of a cup and brush with oil, then crack an egg into it. Tie it securely, making sure no air is left inside, then pop into boiling water to poach. 8. Flat surfaces are best for cracking eggs Did you know that the best way to crack an egg is on a flat surface rather than on the edge of a bowl? Not only will this keep bits of eggshell from breaking off and landing in the bowl, it also minimises egg white or, if you’re really unlucky, egg yolk from dripping into the bowl. 9. Use an egg shell to retrieve broken shell bits How do you retrieve broken eggshell that’s fallen into the mixing bowl by mistake? Use an empty half eggshell to scoop it out. Interestingly, the shell will act as a magnet to attract the rogue piece(s). 10. Separating yolk from white is best done by hand The easiest way to separate the egg yolk from the egg white is to crack the egg and pour it into your hand. Scoop up the yolk and let the egg white run through your fingers into a waiting bowl below. Or squeeze an empty plastic water bottle, placing it over the egg to gently ‘suck up’ the yolk. 11. Frozen eggs last longest Make your eggs last longer by freezing them – yes, really! Raw eggs can be frozen (minus the shell!) in ice cube trays; you can also freeze separated egg yolks and egg whites. Hard-boiled egg yolks freeze perfectly well too, though egg whites will go tough, rubbery and unpleasant in the freezer. 12. Onions make tasty moulds Instead of just frying eggs on their own, why not make them tastier and in a prettier shape all at once? Simply cut a large onion or bell pepper into ‘rings’, place one into a hot pan and crack your egg into it. Delicious. 13. Baked eggs are a healthy treat Baked eggs can be a special treat, especially if they’re done with a bit of a twist. Try eggs baked in muffin tins (with prosciutto and herbs), or eggs baked in other foods such as avocado, potato or tomato for a variation on the theme. About the author: Mike James is an independent writer - specialising in business management and online security. When not working, Mike likes to escape the stresses and challenges of this role by keeping fit, eating healthily and relaxing with water based therapies. Or, as the Romans said: Salus per Aqua (aka 'SPA').