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.

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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

April 29, 20110 found this helpful

I've also had this problem, it always seems like the longer I let them cool down the better luck I have. But I wonder if it has to do with how long you cook them?

Anyone out there know what's happening?

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April 29, 20110 found this helpful

I don't know what is happening here, other than when we hard boil eggs that are laid on the same day, the shell sticks to the white. However, as yours must be at least a week old, this surely can't be the case.

When we have quails eggs, instead of just tapping the egg and trying to peel them, we roll them gently all over on a flat surface, to 'craze' the surface, rather than peeling off a big chunk of shell. This might help.

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April 30, 20110 found this helpful

I find that they peel better if you peel them under cold running water.

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May 2, 20110 found this helpful

I've had this same problem. How old were the eggs?

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May 2, 20110 found this helpful

I put the eggs in a pot, cover with cold water, then put the pot on a burner and bring the water to a boil. As soon as that happens, I MOVE the pot from the burner, put a lid on the pot, then let it sit for 18 minutes. Once that time is up, I take the pot of eggs to the sink, pour cold water over the eggs until the water in the pot is cooled. I then transfer the eggs to a bowl and refrigerate them for a couple of hours. They are then ready to eat as is or to decorate. Works like a charm every time! Good luck!

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When I am ready to peel a hard boiled egg, I crack the shell all over then start to peel from the wide end. There is usually an air space there to get started. Shell can't stick if not enough of it to stick. I like my egg to be cooled but not necessarily cold.

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Anonymous Flag
May 2, 20110 found this helpful

I use eggs that are about a month past sell date for hard boiling and pierce the large end with a sterile needle or sterile egg piercer before placing them in a large heavy duty pan to boil. Once they are done I drain out the hot water and put ice and really cold water in the pan. Once cooled and ice melted I drain again and swish those little babies around in the pan really hard to crack them. Then I put cold water in the pan again and peel them under the water. I don't know if the final two steps will be helpful for eggs that were dyed a day or so before cracking them but the piercing is definitely quite helpful.

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May 2, 20110 found this helpful

I found this method on the site Chickens in the Road, before I had trouble removing the shells from boiled eggs. We have chickens so I have used this method the same day the eggs were layed with no problems removing the shells.

Bring the water to boil. Add a dash of salt. Add eggs with a slotted spoon. Boil for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Add cold tap water (I put in about 4 to 5 ice cubes) Let cool until able to handle. Crack and the shells will slide off.

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May 2, 20110 found this helpful

Thanks to everyone who posted feedback. They were brand new from the store, so who knows how old they were but probably a week. I will have to try another batch and report back :)

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December 5, 20110 found this helpful

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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