My uncle introduced me to the “omelette in a bag” when I was an impressionable college freshman living in a dorm. A firefighter, he said his firehouse used the recipe when they needed a quick breakfast in between emergency calls. I think he may have overestimated the rigor of my liberal arts program.
Nevertheless, “omelette in a bag” is a fantastically obvious, easy, and fun recipe—especially for campers. It requires almost no clean up and few ingredients. All you need is eggs, your favorite omelette ingredients, a bag, and a pot of boiling water. There’s no skillet to scrub down, or pan to balance on sticks above a campfire.
To make “omelette in a bag” you must abandon any sensitivities about cooking with plastic. There’s no denying the chemistry at play here; your egg will enter the party wearing the likes of a latex tube dress and will go home with you. To ensure nothing harmful slips into your yolk, you’ll want to choose the right bag: a strong, classic quart-sized Ziploc with a zipper.
Ziploc Zip'n'Steam Microwave Cooking Bags, 30 for $9.06 on Amazon
Not just for veggies!
Most Ziploc bags are made with low-density polyethylene, a term you’ll likely confuse with others soon enough and that’s fine. Low-density polyethylene, alongside high-density polyethylene and polypropylene, is considered a relatively safer choice plastic in this scenario: It does not release Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that can have negative health effects. (You didn’t ask, but you might want to know plastic straws are usually made of polypropylene.)
Polycarbonate, on the other hand, is more of a bad guy in this situation. It can release BPA, so you’ll want to avoid making “omelette in a plastic bottle” or “omelette in a take out container”. That’s not to say polycarbonate is too terrible—it’s just not great when heated up. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says polycarbonate plastics tend to break down from exposed heat and/or dishwashing, which could allow BPA to sneak into your foods.
Still skeptical? You have the right to be! However, about 10 years ago, Good Housekeeping conducted an in-depth study on chemicals released from common kitchen plastics and found that most were passable on BPA scans. Furthermore, Ziploc has since released its Zip ‘n Steam™ Microwave Steam Cooking Bags, which the company says safely allows for steaming in the microwave—and, in turn, for “omelette in a bag.” You have options.
But enough about the plastic. You’ve read this far; you’re on board. So here goes…
How to make an omelette in a bag:
1. Bring a pot of water to a soft boil.
2. Crack a few eggs into a plastic Ziploc bag.
3. Add salt, pepper, and any other ingredients you like. Think mushrooms, chopped broccoli, etc. Some say “omelette in a bag” was first invented in the West, in Denver. So if you want to eat an authentic Denver omelette, be sure to add ham and red and green bell peppers.
4. Squeeze any remaining air out of the plastic bag. This is critical! If you can’t get it all out, leave the bag unzipped, slowly dip it into the boiling water up to the seal, and then seal it shut. The heat of the water should force the extra air out of the small opening.
5. Boil for 15 minutes.
6. Pull the omelette out with tongs, or simply shake it out of the bag. You’ll probably be surprised by how smoothly the omelette rolls out. If you cook thoroughly enough, the omelette should keep its shape, and no one will know the difference from your “omelette in a bag” and one prepared at your favorite brunch spot.
Rollie Hands-Free Automatic Electric Vertical Nonstick Easy Quick Egg Cooker, $29.95 on Amazon
It's also way cheaper than this single-use gadget option!
Related Video: How to Make the Basically Perfect Omelette
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