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How to Remove Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

Category Eggs
There are a number of popular and less known methods for successfully removing the shells from hard boiled eggs without having them stick. This is a guide about removing shells from hard boiled eggs.


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July 16, 20100 found this helpful


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

By Lana from Des Plaines, IL


Older Eggs Peel Easier

I like to smack them all over (against the countertop) so that the eggshell is cracked all over it. Then I peel under running water.

Here is the tricky part. The fresher the eggs, the harder they are to peel! Older eggs have started to dry the least little bit, and sort of shrink away from the inside of the shell enough that peeling is a breeze.

If you know ahead of time when you will need them, buy your eggs a week or two ahead and leave them in your fridge until you need them--then boil them. If you're just boiling one or two for a meal, use the oldest eggs in your fridge.

By Jill

Easy Peeling

When cooking the eggs, put them in cold water to start, with the cold water Just barely over the eggs, then JUST bring them to boil.

After coming to a full boil, quickly put a tight-fitting cover on the pan and take the pan of eggs off of the burner and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. (No longer!)


After that pour out all hot water and cover eggs with running cold water till all the eggs are cold.

To easily peel open egg shells, simply bonk only the tip of the egg on the counter-top and the rest of the shell will usually come off in one piece.

If you have time to cool the eggs in the fridge for several hours they will peel even easier!

By Cyinda

20 and 20

I boil mine for about 20 minutes, then let set for another 20 minutes in the water to cool. Then drain most of the water and start shaking the eggs in the pan, this will evenly crack the shell. You can either peel them or store covered in water in the fridge with the shell on (the membrane won't dry out), and they peel easily as you need them.

By dakota

Farm Fresh Eggs

I use farm fresh eggs and always had this problem. I asked the farmer how he boiled his eggs. I was told to leave any, farm fresh or store-bought, eggs out of the refrigerator the night before boiling them. I cannot remember his explanation why this works.

I have done this for many years without any problems. I take the eggs out of the carton, put them in the pot without a lid and keep on the stove overnight.

Once I am ready to cook them, I add cold water and a splash of white vinegar. Adding white vinegar to the water prevents the eggs from spreading in case they happen to crack while cooking.

Bring to a boil without a lid; simmer for about one minute. Cover; remove from burner. Allow to sit undisturbed for 20 minutes. I use large or extra large eggs.

Once the time is up, drain hot water and quickly add cold water. Dump water out and add more cold water. Let set a few minutes. Drain; shake pan a bit and peel.

The time the eggs stay in the pot after boiling may vary according to the size of the egg. If an egg has a greenish tinge around the egg yolk, it has been overcooked. Everyone has their own preference on how they their eggs cooked.


By it'


Well, as everyone else has stated on here that the older the eggs are the easier they will peel. My shortcut is to add 1cup of regular white vinegar to the water you boil them in. Boil as usual, the vinegar softens the shells and they will almost just slip off! After learning this tip from a tv cooking show, I never boil my eggs any other way! Hope this helps.

By Jesiferca

Use a Spoon

I crack the eggshell all over then carefully run a spoon between the shell and the egg. Usually comes off in one big piece. And the others are right. The older the egg, the easier it is to peel.

By Dena Roberts

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 2 found this helpful
February 22, 2011

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


February 22, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used to do it the hard way too, until I found the absolute easiest way.

  1. Poke a pinhole through the narrow end of the egg shell, just through the outer shell. For just a few eggs use a knife tip, if you have lots to do, a small screw from inside a drawer sticking out the side wall of the drawer about 1/16" works well. That prevents the egg from cracking during boiling and sucks cold water in when cooling.
  2. Boil the eggs for 3-4 minutes and let them sit covered for 3-4 minutes. That accomplishes the same as a 5-6 minute boil at half the electricity cost.
  3. Gently tip the hot water out and replace with cold running water.
  4. Remove a penny size piece of shell from the small end, and a quarter size piece from the big end.

  5. Hold the egg gently but firmly in one hand and blow hard and suddenly into the small end. Catch the egg with the other hand. Don't blow gently building up pressure, but a fast puff like a cough.
It looks like a magic trick but works 99 times out of 100 on the first try.

Have FUN!

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I crack the shell all over by tapping it of table or counter. Then poke hole in wide end and start peeling.

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I always do the first smack on the big end of the egg, then peel with a little water running. The water gets between the egg and the membrane, making it easier to peel.

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I put the eggs in a bowl of ice water, wait a couple of minutes, then take on egg at a time, run it over hot water, and the shell comes right off!

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February 24, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

A friend of mine swear that if you run the pot under cold water right after they are cooked, and rattle the eggs around in the pan a lot, the shells will peel off so easily! Of course you can't do that when you are coloring the eggs, but it works for just regular egg salad, etc.

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February 16, 20100 found this helpful

My request is: 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. I cooked them, but they were very hard to peel. This was even after being in placed the cold water and then in cold water again.

Unfortunately my son found some egg shells in the egg salad. He was not happy. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you in advance.

By patty hafford from Canandaigua, NY


Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

Use older eggs, not fresh ones right from the store. Also put a tablespoon of vinegar in the water when you boil them. Once they are done, take the pan to the sink and run them under cold water to cool them quickly.

Once they are cooled take an egg and gently hit it down on a flat surface on it's side. Then roll it putting gentle pressure with your hand until all sides are crackled. Pinch a section of the broken shell and it should all peel off very easily. The more cracks the easier it is. (06/16/2009)

By Susan

Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

I always put some vegetable oil in the water when I'm boiling them and they peel off super easy every time. (06/17/2009)

By Kathy

Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

Try a couple of teaspoons of vinegar in the water you boil the eggs in. (06/17/2009)

By Osa Redding

Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

I agree "not" fresh eggs. When eggs are done drain off water-shake the pan all around till eggs have lots of cracks in them-peel under cold water. Works for me. (06/17/2009)

By joanie massey

Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

Not fresh eggs, rinse immediately in cold water, cover eggs with cold water again and cover with ice cubes, let set for 15 minutes. Always put salt in pan before cooking.

Ginger (06/17/2009)

By ginger

Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

One additional hint: before cooking eggs, pierce broader end with a very clean needle or some such. Don't go deeper than not quite 1/4 inch, and if it is hard to pierce the shell, press needle tightly to desired spot and then rotate while applying pressure and it will gradually go deep enough.

Prepare pierced eggs as others have advised including thorough cooling immediately. The small hole allows small amount liquid to lubricate inside of shell, but does not change texture or taste of eggs. You may have to remove that skin that sometimes forms, but the shells slide right off after you crack shells all over.

In line with this hint, I find it convenient to keep a certain needle cleaned and ready to use by poking it through a paper napkin or some such and tucking it in a small plastic bag which I then place inside of egg carton, there is more than enough room for it. (06/17/2009)

By Lisa Lawrence

Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

The suggestions on using older eggs are correct. The reason for that is that the egg will, ever so slightly, dry and shrink within the shell (not badly, mind you). This way, the shell will not cling so to the egg. I do this all the time. I will keep eggs in my fridge for even a couple weeks after the "sell by" date. Sometimes, you can even get eggs at a marked down price if the sell by date is approaching and the store needs to get them rotated out. Then, you will have beautifully peeled eggs and a bargain to boot.

The cooking process I use is to bring eggs to a boil, turn heat off and cover pot. Let sit on stove unit for 1 hour. Drain water. Put lid on the pot and shake eggs to crack. Pour cold water and let the eggs sit for a few minutes. My eggs peel perfectly every time, only because of the older egg part.

I wish you success on your next batch. (06/17/2009)

By Tina

Removing Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

I put 3 or 4 eggs and salt in the water, bring it to a boil, and let cook for approximately 11 minutes. Then I get a container ready with ice and very cold water and put it in the sink. When done, the eggs are put into the cold ice water and I put a small ice pack on top and let sit until cold.

Sometimes after they've cooled off I dry them off and put them in the fridge. When I'm ready to make the egg salad I roll them on the counter to crack the shell all over and then peel, starting with the larger end.

Maybe your son could try making his own egg salad and see how well he does. (06/19/2009)

By Maryeileen

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June 15, 20090 found this helpful

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,


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

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 ann mcdougall

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

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

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)

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.

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 Debbie Dzurilla

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

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

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

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