Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

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.

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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!

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    Years ago when I cooked a lot, I read a tip for preventing eggs from cracking while being boiled. The method was simple; punch a hole in one end of the eggs with a pin before dropping them into the water. This method works very well.

    I did learn that often a small amount of egg white would ooze out through the hole and cook there, still attached to the egg. I found this could be prevented by using the smallest pin possible. I use a tiny silk pin, no more oozing white.

    Along the way, I stopped using this method because I place the eggs in cold water, and heat it to boiling very slowly. So, cracked eggs were not a problem.

    Recently, I've been developing a recipe for spinach salad with chopped boiled eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, Ranch dressing and, sometimes chopped black olives. I have the recipe just about the way I want it.

    Anyway, I've been using a lot of fresh, boiled eggs, lately. They have been very difficult to peel, even when using some of the best tips on ThriftyFun. The last time I boiled a dozen eggs, I was in a hurry, so I pierced each egg with a silk pin before boiling.

    Unbelievable. Not only did none of the eggs crack, every one peeled more easily than ever before! I tried this method with hot boiled eggs and also with boiled eggs that had been refrigerated. Worked great both times.

    I don't know how the hole makes for easier peeling, but it certainly does. Try it.

    Note: I always peel my eggs under running water. Once water gets between the shell membrane and the egg, the shell slides off easily, sometimes in as little as three or four large pieces.

    Peeling Boiled Eggs
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      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

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      Peeling Eggs

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      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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      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)

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      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.

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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!

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      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

      AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

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      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.

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

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      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.

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      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...

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      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.

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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. It didn't slip off. The egg had chips all over it from trying to remove the shell. What did I do wrong? How do I peel the rest of them without pitting the outside of the egg?

      By Shirley from KY


      Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

      If your eggs are very fresh, it will be hard to peel. If I am planning on making egg salad or deviled eggs, I buy eggs and let them sit in my fridge at least a week. (07/17/2010)

      By Ginnywest

      Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

      After 50 years of cooking for my husband and my family, I learned how to boil eggs so the shells will come off easily. Learned this from my daughter-in-law. She makes beautiful delicious deviled eggs.

      Cover eggs with water. Add a little salt to water. Do not put a cover on the pot. Bring water to a boil, cut heat down to medium and cook for 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour off water and add cold water and let eggs cool some. Peel under water while still a little warm.

      I have put boiled eggs in the refrigerator and peeled them later and they were still easy to peel. I don't know if it's how they are cooked or peeling them under water that makes the shells come off easily. (07/20/2010)

      By Hate Litter

      Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

      The older the eggs the easier they are to peel. I usually have an extra carton on hand that I wait to boil at or soon after the sell by date. (07/20/2010)

      By Deeli

      Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

      I read this somewhere a few years ago and it really works. After boiling eggs, drain them and let them cool enough to handle. Put several back in the pot at a time and shake the pot back and forth vigorously. The shells will crack and then begin to come off on their own. At this point you can easily remove the shells. (07/20/2010)

      By Bebe52

      Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

      I leave the eggs in cool water. Then after 20 minutes or so, I crack the eggs while still in the cool water and the shells peel right off. (07/20/2010)

      By dimemist

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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


      Peeling Egg Shells

      Put salt in the water that you use to boil your eggs and it will make it easier to peel the shells off without ruining the egg.

      By Nicole (07/18/2005)

      By ThriftyFun

      Peeling Egg Shells

      As soon as the eggs are done put them in cold water with ice to keep the water cold. Crack the egg shells all around as soon as you are able to handle them and put back in the cold water to soak. After they are completely cooled the egg shells will slide off. The "newer" the eggs, the harder to peel, so older eggs work better. Cracking the egg shells early also allows the gas inside to escape faster and stops the yolks from turning green. (07/18/2005)

      By gardencraft

      Peeling Egg Shells

      After the eggs are cooked, I place the pot in the sink and run cold water in it. I take the eggs out one at a time and peel them under cold running water, placing them in the bowl once finished. Every once in a while I will get hold of one that gives me trouble, but mostly the peel comes right off. (07/18/2005)

      By danig1000

      Peeling Egg Shells

      I have always been told the fresher the egg, the harder to peel.I try to use eggs from the 1st carton purchased. It seems to work. (07/18/2005)

      By Kathy

      Peeling Egg Shells

      A friend recently gave me this tip and even though it sounds a little strange at first, it works really well. Use a sharp knife to cut the boiled egg in half and then use a teaspoon to scoop out the egg from the shell. Perfect egg halves every time. (07/19/2005)

      By Starfritz

      Peeling Egg Shells

      Drain the water from the eggs, leaving the eggs in the saucepan. Then shake the pan violently from side to side for a few seconds and the eggshells will be cracked all over. Let them cool for a minute, then peel as normal. If eggs are still too hot, the shell will stick to the white. (08/18/2005)

      By Cathy

      Peeling Egg Shells

      I agree with Kathy, the fresher the egg, the more difficult it will be to peel. You end up dumping half of the egg white into the bin! try and hard boil eggs that are at least a few days old and they will peel much easier (09/11/2005)

      By Triona

      Peeling Egg Shells

      When eggs are cooked ,cool in cold water and use a large spoon to crack shells under the water i find they peel very easy that way . (07/19/2007)

      By Lila-Ann

      Peeling Egg Shells

      I looked at this site just as I had peeled the first of a dozen eggs for deviled eggs -- with great difficulty. None of the tips appealed to me much, however, I think I might have hit upon something that helps. Try keeping the eggs in water from the time you boil them until you peel them. My husband tells me that eggshells are moisture permeable. So perhaps it's letting them sit dry that makes peeling them more difficult. I ran water into my bowl off eggs, and I swear they got easier (more moisturized?) as I went along. (12/31/2007)

      By Pat

      Peeling Egg Shells

      Just got done using the method of cutting the egg with a sharp knife, shell in all, in half and using a spoon to remove the egg from the shell after cooling them in cool water. It worked perfectly. Thanx for that tip. I'll never peel another egg again! (04/16/2008)

      By tanesha

      Peeling Egg Shells

      I have tried salt in the water, and for me it never helped. What helped for me is to let them boil for about 20 minutes. Pour off the hot water, and let cold water run over them until cool enough to handle. Crack each end on the counter and then roll on the counter until cracked all over. Start at the large end and peel. The shells always slip off and leave a perfect egg. Rinse shell fragments from egg, and you are done! (08/13/2008)

      By Bob

      Peeling Egg Shells

      My husband and I like to eat hard boiled eggs, so we boil and refrigerate to eat as desired. So cracking them all at once is not what we need. What we do after boiling is to drain the eggs and set the pan with the eggs in the sink and pour cold water over them to cool them. With the cooling water and eggs still in the pan, pour as much ice in to cool the eggs and let sit until they melt. Refrigerate and peel under water when ready to eat. Works every time. I think that cooling them quickly helps to separate the egg from the shell for easy peeling. (08/14/2008)

      By Debbie

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

      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.

      CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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