Monday, June 11, 2007

Tips: Ziploc Omelets

This past March, I went winter camping with my kids. It was one of those campouts when, in the rush to leave, things were left behind. While trying to fix breakfast the next morning I realized I had forgotten to bring a frying pan or spatula. Without either, I was unable to scramble the eggs for breakfast. While pondering what to do, I remembered I had once seen a friend cook scrambled eggs by boiling them in a plastic bag. I had often cooked oatmeal in Ziploc bags by pouring boiling water into it, but I had never tried it with eggs. I had always been curious. So, I pulled out a Ziploc and cracked a couple of eggs into the bag. I zipped up the bag and squished it in my hands to scramble the eggs. Then it went into the boiling water. The results were pretty fair. It would have been better if I had remembered salt and pepper. The only thing was it didn’t really taste like scrambled eggs but an omelet.

That got me thinking. All I would have to do is to chop up normal omelet ingredients (orange peppers, onions, etc.) and toss them into a Ziploc bag. And make sure to pack a couple of eggs. Then all I would have to do is crack in the eggs, squish it up, and boil them. Since that campout in March I have wanted to try it out. Who wouldn’t like a delicious hot omelet (without the mess) on a cold morning while camping? But alas, I have not had the opportunity to do that. So this last Saturday morning after I fixed the kids breakfast I tried it. I chopped up onion, green pepper, mushrooms, cheese, and sausages which I tossed in a Ziplock bag with a couple of eggs. I also put in some salt and pepper. After squishing it up in my hands I dropped the whole bag into some boiling water.

Almost immediately one of the kids came screaming to me about some disaster and I had to help them out. Since the omelet was boiling instead of frying, I didn’t have to worry about burning it. After a few minutes I came back and it seemed cooked. So I pulled it out, dropped it on a plate, and ate it. Let’s just say it was perfect. It tasted just like a regular omelet. It was also shaped nicely because I didn’t scramble it while trying to flip it. My wife tried a bite and loved it too. Best of all, the only clean up was throwing away the Ziploc bag. So now we have a new recipe in our camping cookbook.

Ziploc Omelets would also work well for a multiple day trip. You just have to make sure the ingredients will stay fresh without refrigeration. All the ones I listed above will last several days, but you would have to use vegetarian sausage. Eggs are fine as long as you leave them in the shell.

While I was “cleaning up”, Rebecca reminded me of another tip. Since the boiling water is still clean, you can reuse it for your morning cup of hot chocolate, reducing your fuel needs for the meal. That is true for us since we always boil water in the morning for hot chocolate anyways. With this meal we cooked everything in one pot at the same time.

6 comments:

Angie M. said...

Wow, what a great idea! Definitely filing this away in the mental file cabinet for future use. thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

That's a great idea and I might just have to try it at home...I can never seem to get my omelets to cook right...

Cristine said...

Great idea, and GREAT omelets, you were right! Northerngirl and I went camping this past weekend. She brought all the fixins, and we tried this out. They were awesome! It's the first time I didn't burn an omelet. Easy clean up, and the water was used afterwards for my morning cup of coffee! Keep the ideas coming!

Anonymous said...

Come on guys, this is toxic!! Do not do this. Ziplock bags were not hold up to that kind of heat. Search around. I hope the author gets cancer from this and that those of you that agree get it too for being so stupid.

Anonymous said...

DO NOT TRY THIS! ZIPLOC BAGS ARE NOT CREATED TO WITHSTAND BOILING WATER. BY BOILING THE ZIPLOC BAGS, the PLASTIC BAG MIGHT MELT IF YOU HEAT IT UP TOO MUCH! THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT HEATING PLASTIC BAGS CAUSEs A RELEASE OF TOXINS IN YOUR FOOD DUE TO THE BREAKDOWN OF THE BAG!

ZIPLOC'S OWN SITE HAS WARNED USERS FROM DOING SO AND HAS STATED THEIR BAGS ARE NOT TO BE BOILED!

REMOVE THIS POST SO PEOPLE WON'T FOLLOW THIS "TOXIC" ADVICE.

Anonymous said...

I hope Alaska has good layers...
This is insane. Do you realize Ziploc bags are NOT made for boiling water temperature ?, and they definitely start to "go soft" around 195 degrees. Boiling water is at 212 ... for more info: http://camping.about.com/od/campingrecipes/a/ziplocbaggies.htm Megan O. Maginnis, Consumer Specialist for S.C. Johnson & Son, makers of Ziploc baggies.Megan was replying to an inquiry about boiling with baggies. "Thank you for asking about using Ziploc bags to make omelets. While we appreciate hearing about new and innovative ways to use our products, we must be cautious that these new ideas follow label directions. "Ziploc bags are not designed or approved to withstand the extreme heat of boiling and therefore, using Ziploc bags to make any recipe that requires the bag to be boiled is not recommended. "Like all of SC Johnson's products, Ziploc bags cam be used with confidence when label directions are followed. All Ziploc containers and microwaveable Ziploc bags meet safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for temperatures associated with defrosting and reheating food in microwave ovens,as well as room, refrigerator, and freezer temperatures. "Please share these facts with others who may have this misleading information. We also encourage people to go to www.ziploc.com for more information on the proper use of this product." Definitely NOT good to cook in a Ziploc bag