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How to Peel Flawless Hard-Boiled Eggs

How to Peel Flawless Hard-Boiled Eggs

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Peeling hard-boiled eggs, when mastered, can lead to beautiful deviled eggs. We've got it down to a science.See More: How to Hard-Boil an Egg

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The Perfect Hardboiled Egg, A'la Adam

Eggs are a near perfect food, loaded with protein and goodness and very friendly to our health. Nothing beats a hardboiled egg as a quick snack or crushed over a salad. I’m fortunate to have them on-hand, all the time lately, because my son never lets us run out.

I remarked to him the other day how perfectly cooked his eggs are (they’re always “flawless”) and how easy they are to peel. He explained the whole thing. I don’t doubt that we all know how to make hardboiled eggs, but I was nevertheless impressed by all he’s learned (much I didn’t know) in a short time and so I asked if he would write out his recipe so that I could share it here. He did, and he didn’t spare any details. Here it is:

The best hardboiled egg, a’la Adam:

I messed up hardboiled eggs pretty bad until I learned what doesn’t work. And I looked up a bunch of videos and got their ideas and worked them into my own recipe for the perfect hardboiled eggs. I think I got it down.

Easy to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs 2 Ways

Easter is only a few weeks away, which means it will be hard boiled eggs galore very soon! My mom always used to set up an egg dying station in the garage with a table full of stickers and all the fun colors! Some years we would tie dye the eggs. Some years we would write on them with that white crayon. Some years it seemed like more dye ended up on us than the eggs, but we always had a blast!

Of course, then the whole week after Easter it was a marathon of hard boiled eggs for breakfast and all the egg salad sandwiches we could possibly eat! The worst part was always peeling the eggs. Not only did you end up with dye colored hands, inevitably the shell would stick to the white and we would end up with a very sad looking hard boiled egg. I am here to tell you – perfectly easy to peel hard boiled eggs are possible every time.

I have 2 fail-proof methods for easy to peel hard boiled eggs. One involves an Instant Pot, the other, is a simple stovetop method. They both include an ice bath to transfer the hot eggs immediately after cooking. This shock in temperature from hot to cold acts on that white membrane that usually sticks to the egg white, and pulls it away from the egg. Both methods are equally effective, and yield perfectly easy to peel hard boiled eggs.

Let’s start with the stove top method because anyone can do it. The biggest trick here is to boil a large pot of water first and carefully lower cold eggs into the pot. Once they cook covered for 15 minutes, carefully transfer them directly into an ice bath.

I personally use the Instant Pot method now that I have one. I don’t have to wait for the water to boil, and I can pretty much set it and walk away. All you need is your Instant Pot, the steamer basket insert, and at least 1 cup of water. Place the eggs on top of the steamer basket, add the cup of water, and seal your Instant Pot. Make sure your steam valve is closed. Set your Instant Pot on manual pressure for 6 minutes and that’s it! Once it comes to pressure, it will start the countdown. When your eggs are done cooking, manually release the pressure, and carefully transfer the eggs to an ice bath.

For both methods, allow the eggs to chill completely in the ice bath, about 15 minutes before peeling or storing in the refrigerator. Regardless of the method you choose, I hope you enjoy flawless easy to peel hard boiled eggs!

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs Every Time

Do you want to know what one of my most favorite foods is? A hard boiled egg. More specifically a hard boiled egg with a bit of salt and some hot sauce. And even more than that, I love me a good deviled egg or egg salad. Considering those are some of my favorite foods, you’d think I’ve been making hard boiled eggs with ease and perfection my whole life. WRONG.

I sucked at making hard boiled eggs. Every time I tried to make them they were either overcooked, impossible to peel or grey and gross around the yolks. So I gave up. Any sort of hard boiled egg anything was saved for when I saw them at a restaurant or a friend more knowledgeable than me made them.

Enter Kristen from Living, Loving Paleo. I was telling her of my hard boiled eggs woes and she gave the easiest technique in the whole world for making hard boiled eggs. I mean, you guys prior to this I tried everything. Poking a hole in the shell, boiling them, adding vinegar to the water. Nothing worked. Nothing. Short of bringing a basket of eggs to a witch doctor I didn’t know what do to.

If you follow me on Instagram you know how deep my love runs for Kristen (you should follow her as well HERE). Not only am I thankful to have gotten to know Kristen via this crazy online blogger thing we do, but I’m lucky enough to live near her as well. Which means we get to hang out whenever. Most of the time we have “meetings” to discuss work ideas, yap about the hippie shit we love, complain about the social media algorithms (#kiddingnotkidding) and just all around have a good time. Every time we hang out, it’s literally never enough time. If you want to know why I love her so much go check out her Instagram or head over to her blog and sign up for her newsletter. You won’t regret it.

Anyways back to the eggs. Kristen and I decided it would be fun to create a joint post together on how to make these BEST EVER hard boiled eggs for you. So last week she came over and we Instagram-lived the entire thing. As well as how to make a “cool” and “hip” chopped up sweatshirt… but that’s for another post. However, we decided put it our killer egg demo out there into the internet world forever for generations upon generations to learn from. Or something like that. You can head over to see her post on this life changing matter HERE. Let’s get started shall we?

    Eggs – It doesn’t matter if they are old or new, pasteurized or not. Brown, white, pink, rainbow. Doesn’t matter. Many times I’ve heard that older eggs peel better but I haven’t noticed a significant difference with this tip. Use whatever you have.

Watch the Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs Video!

There are a few ways to peel hard-boiled eggs without taking off the shell and in the video below you’ll see me try the most popular methods.

It’s important to keep in mind that making easy-peel eggs starts with using week-old eggs and making sure to soak them in an ice bath, prior to peeling. Once you’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to move on to the next step:

How Long to Store Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs will stay good for up to 5 days refrigerated in an airtight container. They are definitely one meal prep ingredient I keep on hand to make eggs salad for lunches or a high-protein snack that’s easy to grab before a run or after school sports.

Bonus tip: If you’re wanting to save eggs for longer periods of time, see how to freeze eggs here.

This Is the Easiest Way to Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs

Taste of Home

Everyone has that one task they hate. Maybe it’s cutting onions (so many tears) or unwrapping candies for a favorite cookie. For me, it’s peeling hard-boiled eggs. I always hate removing the shell because no matter how hard I try, I never can get the perfect peel. That means my deviled eggs never look as flawless as I want (though I can recommend some delicious takes on the appetizer).

Lucky for me, our sister site Taste of Home‘s Test Kitchen has three easy methods for removing the shell with picture-perfect results. That means no more ugly eggs and no more frustration! And I can cross this task off my list of most-dreaded. Let’s start at the very beginning: getting the perfect hard-boiled egg.

How to cook (and peel!) perfect hard-boiled eggs

To make eggs that are easier to peel, our Test Kitchen recommends not boiling your eggs at all. No, not even with a bit of vinegar or baking soda (our experts found these cooking hacks didn’t help at all). Instead, place eggs in a steamer basket inside a pot. Fill the pot with water up to the base of the basket. Heat your water, and once it begins to boil, set a timer for 14 minutes. This adorable strawberry timer should do. When time is up, remove the eggs from the basket and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This should create perfectly hard-boiled eggs.

Test Kitchen tip: Older eggs peel easier. If your eggs are reaching their use-by date, they’re just perfect for hard-boiling. Psst! There’s a simple trick to telling how to tell how old your eggs are.

Method 1: Get cracking

Instead of picking away at your egg under cold water, try rolling a hard-boiled egg back and forth on a hard surface until the shell is completely cracked. It should look like a cool mosaic before you even begin to peel. Once totally cracked, start peeling from the large end of the egg—it will help separate the thin skin (membrane) from the egg’s surface. To make things even easier, peel under cold running water. Heads up: This is the reason you shouldn’t be washing your eggs.

Method 2: Shake it up

This method is super-fun! To remove the shell, place a hard-boiled egg in a Mason jar with about one inch of water inside. Make sure the jar is tightly sealed and start shaking.

As you shake, the egg will crack and the water will help loosen the shell. After a few seconds, the egg shell should be falling off.

Method 3: Use a spoon

Taste of Home

To start, give the egg a good crack on a hard surface. Then carefully insert a spoon between the shell and the egg and rotate until the shell is completely separated. The shell should peel off easily, with minimal mess.

That’s all it takes for pain-free peeling! Now you’re ready to try out some of these delicious ways to have eggs for every meal.

Steaming Hard Boiled Eggs – I’ve Found My Solution.

Has a hardboiled egg ever left you cursing? I’ve been in that position more times than I care to admit it’s not the best way to start the day, let me tell you. I love a hardboiled egg or two in the morning for breakfast – especially after a work out! What I don’t love is dealing with a clingy egg membrane that makes the peeling process a hellish experience. I loathe when the shell is coming off in little bits and, by the time I’m done, 3/4 of the egg is gone leaving me with nothing but a hard yoke and a fowl mood. How hard is it to peel a friggin’ egg, Dana? REALLY HARD SOMETIMES, OKAY?!

This is especially an issue if the eggs are fresh because the egg membrane has yet to separate itself from the shell.

When making an egg salad sandwich or a potato salad, having a nice looking egg doesn’t matter. But when it comes to devilled eggs or simply wanting to enjoy a nice full egg for yourself, you need it whole and looking flawless no dimples, no craters – just a nice smooth surface.

There are several methods to working with fresh eggs and hard-cooking them without destroying them come peeling time, but I’ve had my best luck with steaming them. The hot steam permeates the egg shell and makes it a heck of a lot easier to peel, leaving me happy and with perfect eggs every time! It feels miraculous the first few times, trust me. It’s like a dream.

How to do it:

If you’re using a steaming basket, fill a pot with approx. 1 inch of water (so that it reaches to just below the basket) and set it on high heat until the water is boiling and producing steam. If you’re using a steamer that sits higher and on top of the pot, add approx. 2-3 inches of water.

Once the water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat and carefully set the eggs into the steamer (best if in a single layer, but if not, increase steaming time by adding an extra 2 minutes or so).

Cover, and place the pot back onto the heat. Lower the heat to medium-high.

  1. 6 minutes = soft boiled
  2. 10 minutes = hard boiled with a bright yolk
  3. 12-15 minutes = cooked-through hard boiled egg

Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place them into a bowl of cold water to cool them down.

Run cool water from the tap and peel the eggs under the cool running water. The shell should just slide right off! Beautiful.

How to make easy peel hard boiled eggs

when i was little and we dyed eggs for easter, we didn’t pay much mind to how we hard boiled the eggs, because mostly the goal was to avoid a mess if an egg slipped through little fingers or rolled off its perch on the bookshelf before we found it.

i’m sorry to say that back then i was convinced that i hated eating hard boiled eggs (i wasn’t the only one in the family in this camp) so making the eggs easy to peel for future consumption wasn’t really a thing we were concerned about.

this notion that i didn’t like hard boiled eggs persisted for, oh, 34 years and some odd weeks, up until late january of 2018. i was working on developing recipes for the spring issue of edible maine (out now, by the way! there’s a digital edition posted on their website if you’re interested and outside of maine.), and decided that the spinach and arugula salad with bacon and sautéed mushrooms would benefit from some hard boiled eggs, both visually and in terms of substance.

so, i dutifully googled how to hard boil eggs and found a million results, replete with tips and tricks and lore and legends. i went with the method suggested by one of my favorite food bloggers and the results were fine, if not foolproof. luckily no one sees the underside of a hard boiled egg in an overhead photograph anyway…

when the photo shoot was over, my disinclination to waste food won out over my supposed dislike for hard boiled eggs. i say “supposed” because i hadn’t ever *actually* eaten a hard boiled egg before deciding, years ago, that i didn’t like them (what can i say, small kate wasn’t much into order of operations: try food first then render a verdict on said food wasn’t really my jam).

we all know where this is going so i’ll save you the suspense: turns out i like hard boiled eggs! and now that i know that, i’m way more interested in how to cook hard boiled eggs so the shells come off easily. because, deviled eggs. maybe with bacon testing is still underway. yum!

fortunately, i was a little behind on my magazine reading and it turns out cook’s illustrated had my back: in the march & april 2016 issue that i happened to grab off my stack, they had an article on easy-peel hard cooked eggs (paywall alert!). perfect! i’m totally happy to let them boil their way through pallets of eggs and just do what they tell me.

well, with a little bit of verification on my part anyway. i had some recent but not straight-from-the-chicken eggs from trader joe’s and a carton of straight-from-the-chicken farmers’ market eggs in my refrigerator and decided to hard boil six eggs, three of each, all at once to test the urban legend that the age of the egg makes a difference.

at least in my small sample size, the old lore that fresh eggs are more difficult to peel than older eggs held true, but only very slightly, because this method of hard boiling the eggs proved so reliable. one of my three farm fresh eggs didn’t peel perfectly (but was still totally usable, even by deviled egg standards).

cook’s illustrated also provided a trick for super fast peeling that i tried and will employ if i’m making egg salad, but not for deviled eggs or pretty salads. basically you put the eggs (still in their shells) in a tupperware container half filled with water (definitely one that seals tightly!) and shake it violently for 30 – 60 seconds, until the shells are smashed off. it’s fast and it works and also the eggs are definitely not flawless after that experience.

so now i know a) that i like hard boiled eggs and b) how to cook hard boiled eggs to ensure perfectly cooked centers and easy peel shells. i’m not sure whether i’m more excited about a) or b)…

did you make this recipe?i’d love to know what you think of it! leave a comment below and share a picture on instagram with the hashtag #tastyseasons.

Perfectly Cooked and Peeled Hard Boiled Eggs – An Egg Experiment

A few weeks ago I made a couple dozen of red beet eggs. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Peeling the eggs turned into a total nightmare. Who would think such an easy task could turn out to be so complicated. One of the first things we learn how to cook and many of us have been taught all so wrong.

I’ve had the same method for cooking hard boiled eggs for years. Tried, true and they turn out perfectly cooked. Yellow, creamy yolks – no grayish greenish ickiness. So that’s all fine and dandy but they end up peeling and looking like a horror story. Then there’s method I was taught growing up – it’s the total opposite. The eggs peeled effortlessly but were rubbery and had green, dry crumbly yolks.

So I need the best of both worlds – a perfectly cooked and easily peelable egg. Here we go…..

The experiment is simple. A dozen eggs – same batch – and two different methods. I opted to use a fresh dozen of eggs. I’ve always heard that older eggs peel better. Thing is though, I tend not to think that far ahead. I don’t pick up a dozen of eggs with intentions of aging them in the back of my fridge for when the hard boiled egg mood strikes. So we’ll keep it real and work with that most of us have tend to have on hand – fresh eggs.

I’ve had my own chickens for over a year now and always have hard boiled eggs in my fridge. So fresh eggs to me now is “straight from the coop”. Eggs straight from the coop are not good hard boiled – they peel horribly. Wait at least 3 days before hard boiling fresh eggs. Anything you’re buying in the store is way older than 3 days, so you’ll always be good to go on cooking them up right away.

I’ll explain the results at the end though the pictures pretty much speak for themselves.

Place eggs in a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover an inch over the eggs. Over high heat, bring water to a full boil. Remove pan from heat, cover and let sit for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, remove eggs from sauce pan and cool eggs in a bowl of ice water.

Fill a saucepan with enough water to cover eggs by one inch, but do not add eggs yet. Bring water to a full boil. Add eggs. Reduce heat to medium and maintain a low boil/simmer for 11 -12 minutes. After 11 minutes, remove eggs from sauce pan and cool eggs in a bowl of ice water.

Method 1 was perfectly cooked – egg whites and yolks. The problem with my preferred method is painfully apparent – they don’t peel well. Chunks of egg whites comes off with each fleck of shell. It’s a mess. I now officially feel guilty for all the Easter Eggs made with this big no of a method.

Method 2 is clearly the winner. The eggs peel effortlessly – the shell almost slides off. The eggs yolks are cooked perfectly and the whites are close to it. You couldn’t ask for anymore on your quest for the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg. End of story.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed this “eggs-periment” (hehehe, super cheesy, I know) and I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments! Happy Cooking!

How to Peel Farm-Fresh Hard-Boiled Eggs

We’ve all been there. You get home from the farmers market with all your beautiful produce and your farm fresh eggs. Then it hits you: a hankering for a good, old-fashioned hard-boiled egg. You carefully select your eggs, place them in the pot, and simmer them to perfection. Your mouth waters just thinking about their gorgeous orange yolks and rich delicious flavor as you gently crush the shell and peel it away, the salt shaker ready and waiting.

But why? After talking with numerous farmers, chefs, and egg aficionados, I was consistently given this hard truth: Fresh eggs are harder to peel than older eggs.

There are many benefits to purchasing eggs directly from a farmer, including freshness (eggs sold in grocery stores are often six weeks or older, compared to farmers market eggs, which are often just days old) and nutrition. So now that I had uncovered the scrumptious-ness of farm fresh eggs, often barely a day old at the Farmers Markets, I simply could not revert back to the days of grocery store eggs with their yellow yolks and stiff whites.

I was determined to solve this problem. So, I set out to test some new cooking methods. After a lot of trial and error I am sharing the results with you so you can successfully hard boil a farm fresh egg.

Egg Science: Blame the Membrane

To figure out why fresh eggs are harder to peel, I needed to understand a bit of chicken science: The white (called the albumen) in a fresh egg is slightly alkaline. As the egg ages, the white becomes more alkaline as the dissolved carbon dioxide (a weak acid) it contains dissipates. The more alkaline the white, the easier it is to peel when cooked.

Most home cooks assume that when an egg is difficult to peel, it is because the shell is sticking to the egg white. But it’s the membrane between the shell and the white that is really the problem. So, when an egg is very fresh, the proteins in the white bond to the membrane instead of to one another, and the membrane becomes cemented to the white and impossible to peel away leaving an unappealingly pitted exterior —an especially unacceptable result when you need flawless eggs for deviled eggs or garnishing a salad.

As eggs grow older, the eggshell’s protective coat slowly wears off, the egg becomes porous, absorbs more air, and releases some of its carbon dioxide. This makes the albumen more acidic, causing it to stick to the inner membrane less. The egg white also shrinks slightly, so the air space between the eggshell and the membrane grows larger, resulting in boiled eggs that are easier to peel.

How to Boil an Egg – Let Me Count the Ways

There are many opinions on the “perfect” and “foolproof” hardboiled egg methods so I decided to compare five methods using all the same criteria.


I used six eggs designated as “large” for each method (all obtained from our wonderful farms at the various farmers markets around the city) and used only eggs that were fresh from their chickens within 48 hours: delicious and fresh but also an egg-peeler’s worst nightmare! The eggs had not yet seen the inside of a refrigerator, so they still had their protective coating, and hence were all cooked starting at room temperature. After cooking the eggs each way, I peeled them all immediately after cooling them in a five-minute ice bath.

I graded each method from A to F: If most of the eggs cooked a certain way peeled easily, the method got an A. If the shell clung stubbornly to most of the eggs, forcing me to tear the whites, it received a lesser grade.

    : Grade C-
  1. Boiling in already-boiling water: Grade C
  2. Steaming in a pressure cooker (aka Instapot): Grade B+
  3. Steaming over boiling water: Grade A-
  4. Starting them in room temperature water and slowly bring to a simmer: Grade A

Methods 1 and 2 produced eggs that were challenging to peel. Additionally, the eggs baked in the oven sported green rings around their yolks and many of the eggs cooked in already boiling water cracked. The pressure-cooked eggs were nicely cooked with Method 3 earning a B+ (however, not everyone has a pressure cooker). Method 4, steaming the eggs, produced mostly easy to peel eggs (however some of the yolks tended to cook lopsided versus centered with this method), so it earned an A-.

But Method 5 was the winner, earning a solid A because their shells easily slipped off to reveal perfectly smooth whites! Yes, I may have done a happy dance in the kitchen. Maybe…

Out of sheer curiosity I also tested a few other cooking methods that many people swear by:

  • Letting the eggs age first (I conformed to the obvious solution which seems to defeat point of eating a farm fresh egg. But my 2-3 week old farm eggs were STILL hard to peel!)
  • Boiling them with vinegar (this didn’t work for me…)
  • Boiling them with salt (this didn’t work either)
  • Using a pin to prick the shells before boiling (I must be too heavy-handed to pull this one off)
  • Boiling them with baking soda (this increases the pH…it sorta worked)
  • Microwaving them (Just don’t!)

I’m not sure I would call Method 5 “foolproof”, but it worked great for me and now I can easily hard boil and peel my farm fresh eggs each week and savor the nutritional delicious-ness that they are.

Watch the video: 3 tipy na loupání vajec. Chytře na.. (May 2022).


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