Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

By • January 16, 2014 • 55 Comments

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Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: How to peel your eggs perfectly, every time.

The Best Way to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

The best kitchen tips are passed along from friends, or parents, or -- if you work in an office with an always-bustling test kitchen -- from colleagues. 

And such is the case with eggs. We all learned to cook them from someone, somewhere; they're personal, universally-loved. But make no mistakes -- they can be finicky, and, when hard-boiled, a real trip to peel. 

Recently, one of our developers, Beatrice, saved us all in the kitchen with her trick for peeling boiled eggs, gleaned from the kitchen of Blue Hill where she was but a young stage. We felt wiser. Enlightened. Our deviled eggs were already getting better.

Here's the best way to peel a boiled egg, no blowing required.

The Best Way to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

The Trick
Cook your eggs however you like -- slightly older eggs will help your peeling efforts, but using them is not necessary -- and cool them down. Fill up a separate, clean bowl with room temperature water. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, submerge them, one at a time, and use the edge of the bowl to crack them. 

Once cracked, the water helps to gently separate both the membrane and the shell from the white, making your job easier, and the world a better place.

Now: continue to peel like a champ underneath the water. Make the most perfect-looking eggs; impress your friends. Just don't forget to pass this tip on. 

The Best Way to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

We want to know how you peel an egg! Tell us in the comments. 

Photos by James Ransom

Jump to Comments (55)

Tags: eggs, hard-boiled, peel an egg, how-to & diy

Comments (55)

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19 days ago Bet

I tried steaming them after reading about it here and on another food website that rhymes with Mysterious Beets, lol. Steam for 12 minutes and then put into ice water. It worked perfectly. Thanks for all the tips!

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about 1 month ago Shirley

smg
I found this on the computer and copied it down to save. I found it the other day and thought I would try it. Put the eggs in a pan and cover with tap water and
add 1 tsp. baking soda. I bring the eggs to a boil and remove from heat and
cover with a lid for 15 minutes. Pour the hot water off and let them sit in cool
tap water. Peel. they came out perfect.

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about 1 month ago willie4u

I draine the hot water from the pot. Then I use the back of a table spoon and crack all the eggs on all sides. I then run very COLD water in a bowl and put all the eggs in at the same time--make sure enough water is in the bowl to cover the eggs completely! Wait 20-30 mins to let the cold water separate the shells from the inner egg. Then you can almost always peel the shell away in one long peel! Works every time for me!!

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about 1 month ago Jerry

I also peel them under running water. The water pressure helps the shell release from the egg. I also I break the shell all over. It seems to help.

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about 1 month ago Mildred Lantz 73years old

I boil 2 dozen eggs at a time. Put eggs in a large pot of cold water, bring them to a rolling boil, turn the fire off, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid ,set the timer for 20 min. When timer rings pour off hot water, run cold water over eggs for a few min. pour off cold water, now shake the pot up & down till all the eggs are cracked ,cover the eggs with a little water, the shells just roll off. Also no green rings inside the egg.

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about 1 month ago Janice

I boil my eggs for 10-15 minutes depending how many I have. I place them in a bowl with cold water (you can add a few cubes of ice). Wait 10 minutes. Crack each egg on the ends and roll them on a cutting board (hard surface). Start peeling on the round end of egg. I usually pinch the shell and it comes right off in a strip.

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about 1 month ago samsung

by the way, starting with salted water is good as the salt permeates the eggshell and membrane to some extent making the eggs somewhat pre salted and pricking the large end makes them rounder... also be mindful never to overcook, usually 10 mins. is more than enough... when cooling do so in the same pot of salted water, first adding extra salt and stirring for a moment to disiolve and the adding crushed ice until you have cold water. do this in the sink or a basin as you will have some overflow with the melt and then allow eggs to sit until cold in the ice bath. then refridgerate until needed and they stay sterile in the shell until peeled. best peeled at cool room temperature for eating whole, peel cold for egg salad.

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about 1 month ago samsung

i learned by watching the movie "Angel Heart" and seeing Robert Deniro gently crush the shell by rolling it and then peeling back the shell in a strip around the egg... many friends impressed at the dinner table when served unpeeled hard-boiled eggs...

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about 1 month ago cherrylipgloss

I drain the hot water carefully out of the pot and immediately dispense crushed ice into the pot. Let sit for about ten minutes or until eggs are cold. Crack and peel easily.

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about 1 month ago marianne

After I boil my eggs, I put them in the freezer until the egg feels cool(about 30 minutes) and the shell slides right off with no problem. They do not get frozen in that length of time.

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about 1 month ago Jeanne P. Esposito

When the eggs are about boiled, I remove them one at a time with a slotted spoon and over the stainless steel sink with cold running water smack them on the hard on the side of the sink. I roll them, pressing until the shell is in many tiny pieces. The egg, still under running water, will usually separate from the membrane and there you have it ! Once in awhile there will be one stubborn egg that won't separate easily, but most will. Happy egg salad ! (one of my favorites)

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2 months ago Anita

Oh, sorry! You put the vinegar in the water in which you cook the eggs.

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2 months ago Anita

However you cook them, and however you peel them, the addition of a teaspoon or so of plain, white vinegar makes the peeling job even easier.

Stringio

2 months ago Frances Chute Quinn

i peel them under running water from the faucet...it works. kind of the same idea. i crack them all over first, then peel under the faucet.

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2 months ago Tom Hedges

Boil the water before putting the eggs in. That's all there is to it and it works every time. Shells often come off in two pieces.

Stringio

2 months ago Dave Andrews

boil our eggs...empty the hot water fill with cold water...the water will take on the moderated tempreture of the hot eggs...turn on luke warm water gently roll eggs between your palms under the tap water back and forth...the shells slide off almost in one piece

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3 months ago James Trenda

I think I saw this being done on Iron Chef America once (or maybe it was an episode of The Next Iron Chef). And I think the chef was Michael Chiarello. I've been doing it that way ever since. But I think the real key to peeling a hard-boiled egg is how it is cooked. I learned the pinhole trick from a friend who read Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything cookbook. For those unfamiliar with this technique, you simply get your water simmering first. Then carefully tap (I use the end of a butter knife) the blunt end of a thin needle until the pointed end pierces the shell. I leave the eggs in the carton for this. And you're supposed to pierce the broad end of the egg, so flip them over, if necessary. Then carefully lower the egg(s) into the simmering water. Cook for 12 minutes, uncovered. Then immediately plunge into a prepared ice bath for 5 minutes. Peel the eggs in the ice bath. I have the least amount of problems when following this technique.

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4 months ago PaulaE

My miracle method, found somewhere online: Boil water first, lower to a high simmer, slip eggs one by one into the water from a large spoon. Adjust to a low simmer, cover and cook for 11 minutes. Run cold water into the hot water for a bit, then drain most of the water out of the pan. Put the lid back on and shake vigorously. I mean REALLY vigorously. You'll find that most of the shells have come off almost completely. I then rinse each egg in running water to get the small bits of shell off. Works like a charm, and the yolks are sunny yellow.

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3 months ago James Trenda

Hmm...I've heard many different methods. "Shake vigorously...". This one is new to me. I might have to give that a try just out of plain curiosity.

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5 months ago James A. Morris

Eggs ARE personal. I prick the air bubble end with a thumbtack so as to have an egg shaped egg without the flat end. Then plunge them into boiling salted water returning to the boil and shutting off the fire and letting them sit for 15 minutes. Then I roll the eggs while still warm to crack the entire shell and peel them under a trickle of cold running water.

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3 months ago James Trenda

Salted water, eh? Interesting!

Mug

5 months ago Ileana Morales | a little saffron

I peel my eggs the same way! So much easier in a bowl of water. The shell comes off more easily and in bigger pieces.