How to Remove Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs

July 16, 2010
How to Remove Shells
From Hard Boiled Eggs


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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4 Questions

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.

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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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 390 Posts
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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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 16, 2010

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.

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June 15, 2009

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

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