Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

Two brown eggs, one peeled part way, on white background.

Hard boiled eggs are a delicious protein rich snack and an ingredient in many recipes. However, sometimes rather than a cleanly peeled egg you are left with a mess of ragged egg white stuck to the shell. This is a guide about peeling hard boiled eggs.


Solutions: Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

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Tip: Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

Peeling Hard Boiled EggsWhen peeling hardboiled eggs, roll eggs on center divider of sink under cold running water. Squeezing the egg with your hands. The shell will peel off easily and the membrane holds the shell almost whole.

By Great Granny Vi from Moorpark, CA

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Tip: Peel Hard-boiled Eggs Quickly

I always struggle to peel the shells off my hard-boiled eggs. I've tried so many tips. I recently saw a video of someone trying this trick. I thought it was a hoax but tried it any way. It works!

Here's what you do: Once you have boiled your eggs, take a smallish jar that an egg can fit into. (Alternatively, I also saw one guy use a drinking glass and put his hand over the top). Add about an inch of water. Plop in the egg. Put the lid on. Shake your jar about 20 times, pretty hard. You may want to do this over the sink, in case the jar leaks water. Take off the lid and the peel will be barely hanging on. Just slip it off. It doesn't even take any of the egg white with it. My eggs were perfect for Deviled Eggs.

Peel Hard-boiled Eggs QuicklyPeel Hard-boiled Eggs QuicklyA hard boiled egg being peeled.Peel Hard-boiled Eggs Quickly

    Source: I can't find the video I saw. Sorry!

    By Becky Miles [81]

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    Tip: Peel Several Eggs at Once

    Instead of spending several minutes peeling each boiled egg, just cut them in half with a sharp knife and scoop out the egg with a spoon. This is so much faster when you plan on cutting them up anyway.

    By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

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    Tip: Peeling Egg Shells

    Peeling boiled eggs is my least favorite chore in the kitchen. I don't like to get the egg shells under my nails. A friend taught me a neat trick several years ago. He didn't have any nails to lift the shells. I suppose this is a tip for both women and men!

    1. Drain the boiling water from the pot of eggs.

    2. Refill the pot with cold tap water.

    3. Allow the eggs to cool until they are easy to handle.

    4. Use the back side of a teaspoon to firmly tap the entire egg until all sides have been thoroughly cracked. Peeling Eggs

    5. Find a spot on the eggs shell that will allow you to slip the edge of the spoon under it.

    6. Slide the edge of the spoon under the egg shell so that the spoon cups the white of the egg. Peeling Eggs

    7. Push the spoon with a scooping motion. Peeling Eggs

    8. The egg shell should lift away from the egg in large pieces attached to the thin membrane that lines the inside of the egg as you move the spoon.

    9. Finally, you have a nice smooth egg. Peeling Eggs

    By esptechy from Louisiana

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    Tip: Use Ice Cubes To Cool Hard Boiled Eggs

    When boiling hard boiled eggs, try this. After boiling is completed, pour off boiling water and fill with cold water. Fill pan with ice cubes and let set 15 minutes. The shells will slip right off, no mess, no fuss. The ice cubes are a life saver and a time saver.

    By Chudleigh from Amberg, Wisconsin

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    Tip: Food Strainer for Cleaning Up Hard Boiled Eggs

    My husband loves hard boiled eggs for a quick, healthier, more than normal snack. With time, I've tried other tips I've read about concerning hard boiled eggs and would like to share my recent discovery.

    I now place our food strainer in the sink before I peel the hard boiled eggs under water. When I'm done, I just empty the strainer into the trash can and then rinse the strainer. It took less than a minute to clean up the peeled shells from a dozen eggs.

    Once peeled, I lay some paper towels in the bottom of some Rubbermaid containers, place in the refrigerator, and the eggs stay good for over a week.

    By CaroleeRose from Madison, AL

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    Tip: Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

    For quick and easy clean up when peeling hard boiled egg, lay a piece of cling wrap on the kitchen bench before you start to peel the eggs. Then when you have peeled the eggs, just throw the peel and wrap in the bin.

    By Melinda from Melbourne, Australia

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    Tip: Peel Hard Boiled Eggs Easier

    Start eggs in cold water with a couple of heaping teaspoons of salt. The salt sucks the calcium out of the shells and makes them easier to peel. You can also put them in ice water and roll them on the counter for easier removal.

    Source: a friend

    By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

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    Tip: Quick Trick for Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs

    After cooking, fill boiler with cold water for eggs to cool. Drain off all water. Hold lid on boiler and shake for a minute or two. Most eggshells will be off. Just rinse off the rest!

    By LucyAnn from Dublin, GA

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    Tip: Peeling Eggs


    • 4 eggs
    • 4 cups of water
    • 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
    • 1 Tbsp. salt


    Boil the eggs for 20 minutes, then pour off the hot water. Under cool running water, tap the egg to crack, and the shell will just slide off.

    By msprissysmom from Texoma

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    Tip: Easy Peel Boiled Eggs

    To make boiled eggs very easy to peel, add a teaspoon of table salt to your cold water. If you are boiling a lot of eggs for deviled eggs, I would use at least a Tbsp. of salt. Let boil and leave in water to cool a bit.

    As soon as the eggs are cool enough to handle, tap it all over against the counter making sure it is cracked very well. Pull up a section of shell and the entire shell will fall out. You will be left with a beautiful and smooth egg.

    My father was a cook in the service and always cooked on weekends. This is a tip I learned from him.

      By tricia minter [24]

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      Tip: Make Ice for Boiled Eggs

      If you keep big chunks of ice in reserve for when you hard boil eggs, you will not waste the small ice that the rest of the family uses. I boil eggs all the time, and it takes lots of ice to cool them down if you are using the little cubes. You can make ice in anything. You can use margarine bowls, Ziploc bags, etc.

      I put a dozen eggs in cold water, cover them, and bring them to a rolling boil, then remove from heat. They sit for thirty minutes and then after that I put a big bunch of ice in the water. Then they sit there for about 8 to 10 minutes until really cold.

        By Robyn [369]

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        Tip: Use Cold Water For Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

        Hard boiled eggs will peel easily if cracked and placed in cold water immediately after taking out of the hot water.

        By Janet E from Suring, WI

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        Tip: Removing A Boiled Egg From Its Shell Easily.

        I have found that removing the whole of a boiled egg is so much easier if one uses a cutlery knife instead of a teaspoon. The egg comes out cleanly with a knife, a teaspoon seems to leave bits behind.

        Helpful to know if decorating eggs or you want to remove them quickly, say for making egg mayonnaise or such.

          Source: My own idea.

          By Monique [105]

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          Tip: "No Peel" Hard Boiled Eggs

          I don't know if anybody has tried this already or sent this in. But here's a way to peel your "hard-boiled" eggs all at once. I don't think it works for "soft-boiled". I didn't want to try that, could be very messy.

          Anyhow, once you've hard-boiled the eggs in salted water; empty the hot water out of the saucepan, keeping the eggs inside. Add about an inch of cold water to the pot and, holding the lid on, give the pot a few shakes to crack up the egg shells inside. And POOF! Your eggs are peeled, or at least mine were when I tried it. LOL! Good luck to anyone who does this. It really works.

          Redskin in Brockville, Ontario, Canada

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          Tip: Use a Spoon to Peel Eggs

          An easy way I have found to peel hard boiled eggs, is with a teaspoon. Hard boil your eggs whatever way that works for you. I crack the shells then use the spoon to peel the eggs. The freshness of the eggs will determine how easy they peel. The fresher the egg, the harder to peel. I dip my spoon in water or spray Pam on the spoon if the eggs are harder to peel.

          By Sweetie from Green Cove Springs, FL

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          Tip: Peeling Hard-Cooked Eggs

          Tap the egg on the counter all over to crack the egg shell in several places. Rub the cracked egg between your hands to loosened the eggs shell. Then dip the egg in a bowl of ice cold water and begin peeling.

          By ThriftyFun

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          Tip: Easy to Peel Boiled Eggs

          Put eggs in 2 qt pan add water to cover over eggs and add dollop of vinegar. Get water boiling for 5-8 min and then turn off heat, cover pot and let sit for a while. Empty out hot water, let cold water wash through put ice cubes into cold water. The egg shells will peel off in a jiff.

          By Joni D

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          Here are questions related to Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs.

          Question: Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

          When I peel hard boiled eggs the shell comes away with some of the white and looks awful, how can I stop this happening? I have tried peeling in cold water and hot and rolling the egg first, but nothing seems to work. The shell just goes brittle and comes off in little bits.

          By ROZJUNE from UK

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          Best Answer

          By KristiHarris 2 02/17/2012

          1. Place eggs in pan and cover with water; add a generous teaspoon salt. Boil to your preference. I prefer well done so I gently boil about 8-10 minutes.

          2. Remove from heat, drain and run cold water over them until they cool.

          3. Roll gently to loosen all the shell and just peel away.

          *if you prefer, you can skip step 3 and just put in the fridge until you feel like peeling them later. :0)

          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

          Question: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          How do I peel a hard boiled egg without it sticking to the egg white, and taking it off with it? I have never been able to do this without ruining the eggs. Also, these are fresh eggs, not store bought, does that make a difference?

          By Dixie from Lubbock, TX

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          Most Recent Answer


          My Uncle taught me this trick years ago...add a couple tablespoons of salt ( I add about 3 tablespoons) to the water before boiling the eggs, then boil eggs as you always do with the added salt of course, then as soon as they are done,drain them,then in the same pan shake eggs around to crack the shells,add cold water & peel, I swear they will peel right off!

          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No

          Question: Why Didn't My Hard Boiled Eggs Peel Easily?

          We just made a big batch of deviled eggs from my leftover Easter eggs. When we were peeling them, a few of the eggs had the white stuck to the shell so badly that they cracked in big pieces right to the yolk. Other eggs were fine.

          I cooked 18 eggs in a stockpot, covered in water. I brought that to a boil then simmered for 15 minutes (directions from BHandG cookbook). I ran cold water into the pot, but I don't think I let it get all the way to cold, maybe more room temperature. We took the eggs from the sink directly to be dyed. I'm wondering if maybe the problem eggs didn't get cool fast enough.

          Thanks so much for any advice you might have for me. I generally make hardboiled eggs at Easter and maybe once in the summer, so I don't get a lot of practice.

          By Jessica from Hillsboro, OR

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          Most Recent Answer

          By Teresa A 3 10 12/05/2011

          I found steaming the eggs works better for peeling them. I place the eggs in the top of a steamer, cover, and when the water below comes to a boil I lower the heat and gently steam them for about 15 minutes. Have a large pan of ice cold water ready. After they cook I then take a wooden spoon and bang the eggs in the steamer to crack the shells then immediatelly toss them into the cold water. Then I continue to crack the shells under the water against the side of the pan. That allows water to get between the shell and egg. They are then very easy to peel.

          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes No


          Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

          Archive: Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

          In order to peel a hard boiled egg without it breaking. Roll it on the counter top so the shell cracks into small pieces. The shell will easily peel off leaving the hard boiled egg perfect. By Mary Freeman

          RE: Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

          If you sprinkle a small amount of salt in the water when boiling the eggs, the shells will come off very easily. (02/03/2005)

          By Sandy

          RE: Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

          My mom always added salt to the water that she boiled eggs in. She said that the salt helped to keep the egg yolk and white from escaping out of any cracks in the eggs. We (my parents) raised chickens for their eggs and of course we didn't sell the cracked eggs and so we got to eat them. Also the older the eggs the easier they are to peel when hardboiled. Fresh eggs are nearly impossible to peel cleanly. But nowadays, eggs in the store...how soon do they arrive at the store after being laid by the chicken? Just use the oldest eggs you have in your fridge. (02/06/2005)

          By valleyrimgirl

          Peeling Eggs

          New eggs are hard to peel after being boiled. I hold them a week and then boil them. They last several weeks so one week is not harmful. They peel without sticking. By Jill (02/10/2005)

          By ThriftyFun

          RE: Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

          I roll them on the countertop to crack the shell, and then run them under cool water to peel with ease. (02/15/2005)

          By Mama_05

          RE: Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

          They aren't always easy to peel just by rolling them on the counter top. I will try the old egg method, as well as the salt. (07/29/2006)

          By dibloafer

          Archive: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          Does anyone have any tips on removing the shells from a hard boiled egg? I just hard boiled 20+ eggs and while shelling them I ended up with a big mess. Thanks.

          Sue A,

          RE: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          It may be too late but the trick in getting shells to come off easily is to immediately put the hot eggs in cold water. Just keep running the cold water for a while, then the eggs shells will come off easily. Susan from ThriftyFun (10/14/2004)

          By ThriftyFun

          RE: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          If you drop eggs in sink and crack shells good then put back in pan and fill with cold water. Peel them with egg under cold running water. Works every time. (10/14/2004)

          By chadsooma

          RE: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          Also a great way to get the shell off is to crack the egg all around then place it on a hard surface and roll it with your palm back and forth. The egg shell should slip off without too much difficulty. (10/15/2004)

          By Beth

          RE: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          I know this one. First use something like a thumb tack (this is what I use) and hold the egg gently and push a hole into the large end of the egg. Bring your water to a slow boil and add some salt, don't let the water come to a rolling boil just a slow simmer type boil. Then lower the eggs into the water using a spoon, don't try and place them into the water using your hands only. Only cook the eggs for 10 minutes its very important not to over cook the eggs. Then carefully drain off the water. Shake the eggs around in the pan to start breaking the shells.

          Now place the pan under cold water and start removing the shell. Very important, you must start with the large end of the egg. The first time I tried this, I over cooked the eggs and the shells didn't come off too easily. I cooked the eggs longer because I was afraid that the center would not be fully cooked at 10 minutes. On my second attempt I only boiled the eggs for 10 minutes and all of my shells, 10 eggs, came off almost in one piece. Good luck and I hope this helps. (10/15/2004)

          By KCarlisle

          RE: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          Fresh eggs are much harder to peel than older eggs. Air has permeated the shell in older ones and the cooked insides won't stick as much. Hard cook the oldest eggs in your fridge for an easier time. (10/15/2004)

          RE: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          I have always done this and it works every time, all the time. Take a small spoon and hit the egg all over and it will crack everywhere, then turn the spoon around and slip the tip under a piece of the shell and slip it around the entire egg and the shell just falls off, rinse off if any shell, you're done and you usually won't pull any of the egg away if you are careful. Kay (10/17/2004)

          By Kay N.

          RE: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          I put a little salt and a little vinegar in the water when the boil the eggs. This keeps them from cracking and makes the shells slip off easily. (02/07/2006)

          By Debbie52

          RE: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          After boiling the eggs, empty all of the hot water and fill the pan with cold water. Add two bowls of ice and let the eggs sit in the ice water for ten minutes. (11/21/2007)

          By Jeannie

          RE: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          Did anyone say not to put the hot eggs immediately into cold water yet? (03/21/2008)

          By lol

          RE: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          Add a little vegetable oil to the pot while boiling the eggs. The shells absorbs just enough of the oil so that the shells slide right off. (03/18/2009)

          By Ariela

          Archive: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          Does anyone have an easy way to peel hard boiled eggs. I want to use them for egg salad, as an example. I recently got a couple dozen eggs for egg salad.


          Archive: Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

          Tips for peeling hard boiled eggs. When making deviled eggs for your holiday meals try this tip.


          Archive: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          What is the best way to get shells off of hard boiled eggs?


          Archive: Peeling Egg Shells

          Tips for removing egg shells from hard boiled eggs. Post your ideas.


          Archive: Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

          I boiled eggs yesterday and placed them in cold water, then drained them, and placed them in refrigerator. As usual, I rolled them on the counter cracking the sides to peel. It took forever to peel each egg.