This is probably a stupid question, but I'm curious now after I opened the refrigerator looking for eggs to make a cake and there was only one and it was cooked. Is there any way to undo that, whether at home or an industrial way?


No, there is no way you could do this in a kitchen. The process of denaturation is usually considered irreversible, a boiled egg stays boiled.

Ok, it is possible to un-denaturize proteins if you have the right chemicals and a fast centrifuge available and it earned Colin Raston and his team an Ig Nobel Prize. But even they can't "unboil" your boiled egg from the fridge yet.

So it seems you either have to quickly perfect the method of Colin Raston (and possibly earn an award or two on the way) or schedule a trip to the store. Alternative approaches are asking your friendly neighbours for an egg or two, choosing a cake recipe without eggs or postponing the baking project.

  • 3
    If I understand right, even that process doesn't totally do it: it's only the white, the proteins get un-denatured but no guarantee they're entirely back to their original structure, and there are non-egg chemicals left in the egg white (not sure whether it's trivial to remove them).
    – Cascabel
    Nov 1 '16 at 15:00
  • 1
    You can't unboil or unscramble an egg. This is called entropy.
    – henning
    Nov 2 '16 at 13:45
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    @henning: Entropy has nothing to do with it. A stack of lego blocks will tend to fall down and scatter across the floor as life happens around them, but you can still pick them up and re-stack them. Same goes for cooked food; it's just much more difficult because of the scale and complexity. The only place entropy comes in is saying some of the energy used to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again will be forever dissipated in an irreversible manner.
    – MichaelS
    Nov 3 '16 at 8:38

Yes its possible.

But its not easy - the team who first did it won an Ignoble prize - you can see it here

  • 7
    +1 for the Ig Noble Prize, -1 because even said Ig Noble Prize laureates can't unboil a whole egg.
    – Stephie
    Oct 31 '16 at 20:26
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    Yeah, this is pretty cool science, but summarizing it as "possible" and "not easy" is misleading. Maybe consider editing to include a more clear summary of what those folks did (and didn't) do, and a more clear answer about what you can actually do at home, which is what the OP is asking about?
    – Cascabel
    Oct 31 '16 at 22:07
  • Somethink like: youtu.be/MZamL8FXKOE?t=800
    – Crowley
    Nov 1 '16 at 15:43

The simple and practical answer is no. You will have to go buy another egg!

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