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Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

Category 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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By 16 found this helpful
March 23, 2010

When 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.
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By Great Granny Vi from Moorpark, CA

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By 7 found this helpful
September 17, 2010

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.

  5. Find a spot on the eggs shell that will allow you to slip the edge of the spoon under it.
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  6. Slide the edge of the spoon under the egg shell so that the spoon cups the white of the egg.

  7. Push the spoon with a scooping motion.
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  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.

By esptechy from Louisiana

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March 31, 2015

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!

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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.

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

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By 4 found this helpful
June 6, 2011

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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December 7, 2015

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.

Peeling Boiled Eggs

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By 3 found this helpful
February 2, 2007

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

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April 19, 2012

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.

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March 16, 2017

Many times we have difficulty peeling hard-boiled eggs. Sure, sometimes they are easy to shell, but for some reason at other times, the shells splinter into a thousand pieces and stick to the white! Just by using a spoon, I have made the process of using a hard boiled egg incredibly easy.

A hard boiled egg inside a cup.

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By 5 found this helpful
April 28, 2010

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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By 3 found this helpful
March 1, 2006

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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February 4, 2013

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.

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By 4 found this helpful
October 17, 2011

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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June 5, 2012

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 16, 2009

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.

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August 18, 2012

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 7, 2009

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.

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March 30, 20050 found this helpful

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.

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By 1 found this helpful
July 6, 2017

This is guaranteed to work. After eggs are hard boiled, take a pint canning jar. Wide mouth works great, but regular will work as well. Put about 2 inches of water in the jar. Insert 1 egg at a time, add the lid and shake it vigorously. Take the egg out, shell and skin come off like magic. Continue with the rest of the eggs. No need to change the water unless you have a bunch or need to add water.

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By 1 found this helpful
January 29, 2013

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.

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June 27, 20170 found this helpful

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.

How to Remove Shells
From Hard Boiled Eggs

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By 0 found this helpful
June 19, 2013

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.

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December 3, 20050 found this helpful

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.

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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.

By 0 found this helpful
February 16, 2012

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

Answers

February 17, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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April 29, 2011

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

Answers

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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May 2, 20110 found this helpful

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
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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February 22, 20110 found this helpful

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

Answers:

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

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September 17, 20100 found this helpful

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

Answers:

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

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March 17, 20100 found this helpful

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs
When making deviled eggs for your holiday meals try this tip.

After boiling your eggs, drain them and put them in the refrigerator to cool (perhaps an hour or two).

1. Take one egg and tap on its end breaking into the shell, then tap it on the other end breaking into the shell.

2. Now roll the egg shell on its side, on your counter to smash the shell up completely.

3. Start by removing the shell at either end, making sure to get the inner membrane along with the shell itself.

4. AND now carefully pull the remaining egg shell off easily and completely.

No more hunt and pick trying to peel and boiled egg anymore. THE SECRET IS COOLING THEM then smashing the shells up completely.

I learned this trick working in a large truck stop in Iowa. "40 dozen (480) boiled eggs" had to be peeled to make egg salad for the truckers sandwiches.

Let's say, I had to master the art of peeling a boiled egg EGGACTLY..

Hope this helps you out too!

By Paula Jo Carr from Mebane, NC

Answers:

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

I add a little salt to the water. Then I like to do things quick. I just take a dull blade knife, (like a butter knife). Then hold the egg in my hand after boiled and run cold water over it to cool. Eye ball about the middle of the egg, and "wap" it with the dull edged, or butter knife. Take it all the way through with one blow, two halves lay in your hand, and I scoop them out of the shell easily with a spoon. the egg is perfect, and in half, and the whole thing takes about 1 second. I love breakfast. (12/14/2006)

By Glinda

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

If you just leave them in the pan you boiled them in after draining the water, give the pan a good shake to crack all the shells. Then fill the pan with cold water and add ice or ice packs to keep the water cold. After a half hour or so the shells will literally slip off. No need to roll them on the countertops and have bits of shells everywhere to clean up. (12/14/2006)

By gardencraft

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

The gals are right. Boil them, add a bit of salt to water, remove after 10 minutes or so, run them under cold water to cool and then shake them right in the pan. If you do it for a minute or two, they actually PEEL themselves! (12/16/2006)

By

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

PERFECT HARDBOILED EGGS!
"Perfect", because they practically peel themselves! This even works well with farm-fresh eggs. I've used this method for years.....works GREAT!!!!!!!!!

Gently place eggs in pan of cold water. Bring water to a boil, cover with lid, remove pan from fire (leave lid on pan), and let set 20 minutes. Drain water, add very cold water (may add ice cubes), let set for 2 or 3 minutes, then drain. Replace lid. While holding lid securely in place, carefully shake the pan of eggs until eggshells are cracked into very small pieces, and eggs are either out of the shells or easily removed from them. Rinse eggs clean of all shell pieces. Use boiled eggs as desired.

Note: This is a good way to boil eggs to paint for Easter, minus the shaking of the pan, of course. An added benefit is that the eggs will NOT have that ugly green ring around the outside of the yolk, leaving it much more appetizing, tasteful, and less gaseous.

Hope this helps,
Donna (12/16/2006)

By carnall

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

I also use this technique and it definitely works, however, an addional tip is to not to use real fresh eggs, I buy the eggs a week before I boil them, this thickens the membrane making them easier to peel. (12/22/2006)

By Teri

Salt works the best

My father always used about a tablespoon of salt in the boiling water. My wife never heard of it, but it works best of all.
(04/21/2007)

By Ed

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

That is a wonderful idea! It helped me a lot with thanksgiving dinner and I always have to make deviled eggs and it has always made me mad because I have never been able to find the secret!

Thank you soo much!

Brittany Shelton (11/21/2007)

By Brittany Shelton

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

Draining the hot water and immediately adding cold water and ice works the best. (11/21/2007)

By Vicka

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

Draining the hot water and immediately adding cold water and ice works, then peeling them under cold running water works the best. (11/21/2007)

By Vicka

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

Draining the hot water and immediately adding cold water and ice works, then peeling them under cold running water works the best. (11/21/2007)

By Vicka

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

P.S. Adding a little vinegar to the water before boiling prevents that white mess that sometimes sticks on the pan around the water line. (11/21/2007)

By Vicka

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

That does not work. If you have very fresh eggs. (07/06/2008)

By KP

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

I've always heard to run cold water over the eggs, then peel. I guess the trick is to get the eggs really cold first. Another tip for deviled eggs, if you want the yolk right in the middle of the egg, which, of course looks really nice when filling the egg afterward, is to stir the eggs while they boil, this will place the yolk in the middle while it cooks. (08/13/2008)

By Louise Snyder

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December 14, 20060 found this helpful

In order to peel a hard boiled egg without it breaking. Roll it on the counter top so the shell cracks into small pieces.

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In This Guide
Hard Boiled Eggs
Hard Boiled Eggs Tips and Tricks
Categories
Food and Recipes Food Tips EggsAugust 17, 2011
Guides
Hardboiled Eggs
Cooking Hard Boiled Eggs
Marking Hard Boiled Eggs
Marking Hard Boiled Eggs
How to Remove Shells
From Hard Boiled Eggs
How to Remove Shells From Hard Boiled Eggs
Partially peeled soft boiled egg with shell lying around it and yolk exposed
Peeling Soft Boiled Eggs
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