the secret to easy-to-peel boiled eggs

the secret to easy peel boiled eggs salmon kedgeree

Ever struggled with the supposedly simple kitchen task of boiling and peeling an egg?

A few weeks ago I was at my brother’s lovely new house in the country and had been inspired to make a salmon kedgeree for dinner. Which meant boiling up and peeling a few eggs. I didn’t really think much of it, although it had been a very long time since I’d boiled an egg.

But when I came to the peeling part, I found it very perplexing. I banged each egg on the sink to crack the shells and while some peeled effortlessly, almost in one piece, others were seriously stubborn. These ended up pockmarked where some bits of the white had been peeled away with the shell. Poor eggs.

So when my brother asked me the secret to peeling boiled eggs, I had to share my frustration with him. It was time to do some research.

the research results

Ages ago I’d seen a blog post by Tim Ferris where he ‘blew’ the egg out of its shell. So there was one option.

And Harold McGee had some good advice. Apparently super fresh eggs are difficult to peel because the pH of the white is low which causes it to adhere to the shell membrane more tightly. Two solutions here – use older eggs or add a little bicarb soda to the cooking water to increase the pH.

If you’re having a problem with off centre yolks or flat bottom whites (something I saw in my very old eggs) this is just a result of aging – who knew eggs had so much in common with people. The only solution is to use fresh eggs.

Stephanie Alexander’s preference is to place the eggs in cold water then slowly bring to a simmer to prevent cracking. She then boils for 8 minutes, drains and cools under running water. Stephanie recommend tapping the eggs to break the membrane for easy peeling.

my own experimentation results

So I’ve been having egg sandwiches for lunch all this week – the lengths I got to for stonesoup – and I’ve learned a few things about boiling and peeling eggs.

Tim Ferris must have some mighty big lungs. Try as I might, I couldn’t get a single egg to pop cleanly out of the shell like he does. But I did find that the blowing helped separate the membrane from the white and made it a little easier for hand peeling.

I tried eggs of different ages. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my hands on any straight from the chicken coop so didn’t have access to super fresh eggs. I didn’t notice any real difference between fresher and older eggs. The only really challenging egg I came across was very very old – like a few months. So I think there is a limit.

I did find that the bicarb soda made both the younger and older eggs marginally easier to peel so am going to stick with that tip from now on.

I’ve been a convert of the old add-the-eggs-to-cold-water trick for a while. And I can’t remember the last time I had an egg crack and white leak out. Highly recommend this.

the secret to easy peel boiled eggs the secret to easy-to-peel boiled eggs

how to boil and peel an egg

1. Place eggs (at room temperature) in a saucepan large enough so they can be well covered with water.
2. Cover with cold water and add 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
3. Bring to a gentle simmer
4. Cook at the gentle simmer for 8 minutes
5. Drain and transfer to a bowl filled with cold water. Allow to cool.
6. Bang each end on a hard surface to crack.
7. Remove a little circle of shell from each end
8. Put your mouth to one hole and blow really hard
9. If the egg hasn’t popped out, use your fingers to gently separate the shell and membrane from the egg itself.
10. Admire your handiwork and possibly give the egg a little rinse if someone else is going to eat it.

salmon kedgeree

simple salmon kedgeree
serves 4

Inspired by the dynamic pioneer of Australian cooking, Margaret Fulton.

Kedgeree is a traditional British dish usually made with smoked haddock and served for breakfast. But I prefer this milder version with canned salmon as a simple dinner.

This is one of those fish dishes that isn’t actually fishy at all. The curry powder seems to almost mask the salmon flavour and leaves you with a lovely gentle spiciness – without being overtly curry-like. We’re talking simple comfort food.

I used brown rice for the photo because I like it’s nuttiness and fiber bonus but any type of rice would work well here.

large knob butter
3T olive oil
2 brown onions, peeled & diced
3 ribs celery, finely diced
3C cooked rice (450g or 1lb)
3-4t mild curry powder (I used Keens)
1 large can salmon (400g or 14oz)
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked, optional
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled & halved lengthwise

Melt butter in a large frying pan. Add oil, onion and celery. Cover and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft but not browned.

Stir though rice, curry powder and salmon. Taste, season and allow to warm through.

Remove from the heat and stir through parley if using. Top with eggs.

salmon kedgeree

_______________________________________________________________

Very excited to announce that I have a guest post on Zen Habits at the moment – How to Master the Art of Mindful Eating – check it out for a killer 5 ingredients | 10 minutes recipe for super simple broccoli with chickpeas & tahini sauce.

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{ 115 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam March 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm

found you on Zen Habits

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jules March 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm

hi sam
thanks for dropping by & taking the time to say hello

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Laura M March 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm

I’ve never heard of that before! Thanks for the post. I will pass this along to my partner as he doesn’t get along well with peeling boiled eggs.

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Blu486 March 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Here’s a way that generally works for me – when it comes to the peeling part. Let the eggs cool in a pan of water. When time to peel, tap them and break the shell all over the entire egg. Then while holding under the tap with cold water running, semi-gently roll the egg between your palms. This allows the water to enter where the membrane is broken and the rolling helps separate the egg from the membrane. You’ll be able to feel the difference once the shell is free. Then peel – usually comes off in one, messy piece!

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Lorena March 25, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Not sure if this makes a big difference but seems to work for me: I immediately tip the eggs (quite roughly – so the shells crack) into cold water. Not only does this halt the cooking process but does seems to help the egg let go of the shell.

It’s been exciting watching you transition into full time blogger/writer etc, and I’m loving the 5 ingredients | 10 minutes recipes.

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Mark @ Cafe Campana March 25, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Very nice, I have never heard of blowing a cooked egg out of its shell but it sounds nifty.

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another outspoken female March 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I’m a huge kedgeree fan It always seems to be on the menu in cafes in NZ. I think it’s the kiwi passion for smoked fish. I’ve made versions of kedgeree with canned red salmon, a vego one with smoked tofu but I am faithful to my homeland with my love of smoked fish. Smoked trout is fine as you don’t need to cook it first, just flake through at the end. I like fresh coriander instead of parsley as well. Though I suspect the best ones are where there is extra butter and a decent amount of salt stirred through at the end.

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Tracy Willans March 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm

You can also start the eggs cold bring them to the boil then turn the power off and pop a lid on and leave the eggs for the same amount of time you normally would. So for hard boiled I leave them for 10 mins. Saves electricity.

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Erin March 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Great post, Jules. I’m going to try it with the canned wood-smoked salmon.

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tigerfish March 25, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Lovely photos. I usually immerse the boiled eggs in cold water before I peel them. Oh, and I heard the white membrane inside that hard-boiled egg – can be used as a nose mask to remove black-heads! I have not tried it though. :P

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Laur March 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Cold water does the trick for me too. I can’t even remember the last time I had to struggle with the peeling.

What I wanted to say though is this. I grew up in the country side, and we always had fresh eggs for breakfast. My grandmother, however, would always let eggs stand for one day – she said that having them too fresh is not good for you. I just thought I’d share – and if anyone knows the reason, I’d love to hear it.

Oh yes, I’m new around here. Hi. Lovely blog, by the way :)

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mcpixelchick March 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Thank you Jules!

I found you through Zen Habits. Food is one area of my life I need inspiration and simplicity.

So I’m really delighted to have found your work.

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Alison March 25, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Hey! I’m another newbie who came by from Zen Habits; I think I have a new blog-crush! And this looks like tonight’s dinner… Yum, and thanks! :)

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Judy March 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm

From someone who has chickens and fresh eggs daily, I can support the theory that the fresher the egg, the harder it is to peel. It is true that the membrane does adhere to the egg white much more when the eggs are fresh. I had not heard of the bicarb soda theory-will try that today. When we want to hard-boil eggs, I usually buy eggs from the store!

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Rick Roberts March 25, 2010 at 10:51 pm

I never “boil” my eggs. I cover with cold water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover, and set timer for 15 minutes. Perfect eggs every time.

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Monoko March 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm

I just saw Jacque Pépin do a segment on his show about hardboiled eggs last night. He recommended peeling under water as well. I find that starting to peel at the “fat” end where the big air bubble is can help a bit too.

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Jacqueline March 26, 2010 at 12:02 am

Great news about the baking soda- it makes good sense and I will try it as well. I also found you through Zen habits and love the look of the brocolli chickpea recipe- will definitely give it a go with a little brown rice pilaf on the side!

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Mandee Jo March 26, 2010 at 1:55 am

Fresh out of the chicken eggs are very hard to peel. If I need pretty looking whole egg whites I have to buy store eggs or set some aside in the fridge ahead of time.

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Jennifer March 26, 2010 at 2:43 am

Found you through ZenHabits as well and am absolutely LOVING your blog!

Something I picked up from the Food Network one time for boiling eggs…bring your pot of eggs to an immediate boil (set burner on high), then let simmer. Once you’ve boiled the eggs, drain the hot water and give them a COLD water bath. Peeling has been so much easier for me ever since.

The blowing method kind of grosses me out. I don’t want to eat someone’s egg salad if I knew the person who made it breathed on every stinking egg. I guess it’s just a mental thing with me.

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Nathalie March 26, 2010 at 3:39 am

Hi :)
I’m a new reader of your blog (stumbled upon) and i love it!
a big hello from Luxembourg, Europe

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Trish March 26, 2010 at 3:51 am

Just wanna to say I recently stumbled on this blog and I’m totally hooked. I’m a student who lives alone and I often cook just for me, and using the best ingredients you can as simply as possible just makes sense. Thank you!!

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Moushka March 26, 2010 at 4:42 am

Another new devotee who surfed in from Leo’s blog. Love your philosophy of eating well, which echoes my own. Am in the process of changing my heating habits to promote healthy weight loss and am enjoying your lovely, simple recipes, even if I can’t try them out quite yet. Will give the bicarb soda idea a try. Thank you.

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e l k March 26, 2010 at 6:16 am

stunning photos . simple food …

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Julie March 26, 2010 at 6:32 am

great blog, jules. like Blu486, i’ve never had a problem with peeling hard boiled eggs, after cooling them slightly, then cracking the shell all over, peeling it off under cold running water. you don’t even need the baking soda in the water that way (:

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Amy Knutson March 26, 2010 at 7:00 am

My ex-mother-in-law gave me a great tip, which works almost all of the time (doesn’t work if I’m not paying attention and don’t get the timing right): Bring eggs to hard boil, then immediately turn the heat off, cover the pot, and let sit on the stove for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes is up, immediately rinse in cold water and let them sit in cold water until they cool. Refrigerate.

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C. A. March 26, 2010 at 7:05 am

Hi Jules! I apply the blowing technique only if I’m boiling an egg for myself. I agree th Jennifer that the blowing method creates a disturbing mental image.
By the way, to prevent and an egg from cracking and the white from leaking out during the boiling process, the best thing you can do is to add a few drops of vinegar in the water before it gets too hot. Even if the shell cracks, the vinegar will seal it.

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herhimnbryn March 26, 2010 at 7:22 am

Many years ago (over 40), my Dad showed me how to peel a boiled egg and his way has never failed. Knock the boiled egg on the side of the pan, find a teaspoon with a rounded end to the handle. Slip the rounded end of the spoon handle under the shell and the membrane and peel….always works!

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Hanz Gueco March 26, 2010 at 9:16 am

According to Herve This(pronounced toss) book ‘Molecular Gastronomy’ the secret to a perfertly center egg yolk is to continually move the egg once cooking. He discover that the yolk will float to the surface upon cooking.

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Kath Lockett March 26, 2010 at 9:24 am

I’ve just come back from a run and haven’t had breakfast yet and your kedgeree looks absolutely delicious!

The other way to crack an eggshell is to fill it with chocolate – see here:
http://gonechocco.com/?p=1767

And I think that I might be lucky enough to meet you in Sydney next week at the Lindt Lovers event??

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Nikki March 26, 2010 at 10:29 am

That recipe sounds amazing – I’ve never tried that before and now will absolutely have to!

This is my new favourite food blog. I have just recently resigned from my job to focus on my home business. And since I aim to spend as much time as humanly possible on my business, and I also adore cooking and food, using your recipes will be a wonderful way to ‘have it all’.

Thank you :)

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Chris O'Byrne March 26, 2010 at 10:31 am

I’m glad to see no one mentioned my trick. I use a pushpin and poke a hole in the broad end of the egg before boiling. The shells don’t crack and and the eggs peel like a dream!

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Mark Scarbrough March 26, 2010 at 10:45 am

Great egg tip–but I’ve always been chicken to try it (as it were). Now if someone can just figure out an easy way to peel a soft-boiled egg!

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Terri March 26, 2010 at 11:20 am

I enjoy both Zen Habits and Stone Soup blogs. Both support my quest for a simple life. Keep up the good work!

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Jeni March 26, 2010 at 11:24 am

I use a tip from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”–punch a tiny hole in one end of the egg (I use a push pin/thumb tack) and cool in a bowl of ice water.

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jennifer March 26, 2010 at 2:34 pm

My namesake said it all for me – I’m a bit of a hygiene freak in the kitchen and imagine passing on/being inflicted with every imaginable horrible contagious disease if too many people decided this was the way to go!!!

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noobcook March 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm

found u thru zen habits. love your minimalist approach and beautiful photography. Thx for the tips for peeling eggs, it will come in handy =)

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jules March 26, 2010 at 6:46 pm

thanks for all the comments everyone – and welcome zen habits readers

I can understand where some people have hygiene concerns with the blowing method. It’s up to you really

And for those who punch a hole – according to Harold McGee studies have shown that it doesn’t make much difference which is why I didn’t try it. And to be honest I’m a little over eggsposed at the moment – so I think I’ll be waiting a while before I continue my own investigations.

kath – unfortunately I’m out of town next week so we won’t get to meet. have fun.

herhimnbryn – thanks for the ‘spooning’ method tip – I will add it to my list to try -

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pamkenn March 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm

found you through Zen Habits and I’m delighted as simple living and good eating are two of my passions. Lately I have been using my vegetable steamer to steam eggs for about 8-10 minutes. Then I empty the pan and place the steamer with eggs back in to run cold water over them – once the pan has cooled and the water stays cool I usually leave them in the cold water a while. Timing is not my strength and I do live someplace where water usage is not an issue

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Scelza March 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Nice article. I use the same cold water-to-boil for 8 minutes, then a cold dip to cool. I take my eggs out, crack and roll (gently) on the counter top, which makes peeling quite easy.

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Melissa Schmalenberger March 27, 2010 at 3:50 am

Hi, found you on Zen Habits as I am trying to learn to do things the easier way! As a lawyer turned professional organizer some habits I find are harder to get rid of then others! Thanks for the great blog and I am now a follower!

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Andrew Ford March 27, 2010 at 10:59 am

Hey…made the Broccolli con Chickpeas from ZH and turned out pretty good, but sauce turned into a soup instead of a sauce. (I did use yogurt instead of the fancy stuff) Any edits for your Argentine friends without fancy health food stores?

af

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Conor @ HoldtheBeef March 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm

surely the problem with peeling a hard boiled egg is as old as the chicken or the egg question? :)

lately the only time I’ve been boiling eggs is when I do it in advance to make my ‘party eggs’ for something, and I’ve been refrigerating them unpeeled overnight. I’ve noticed this makes peeling them the next day easier, though of course this may just be a happy coincidence.

Interesting to read everyone’s hints following on from your research. Seems we all have our own little techniques!

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Kim M March 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Used to have to boil and peel hundreds of eggs a week in a restaurant. Start the eggs in cold water with a bit of vinegar. Bring to a boil. When done immediately pour off hot water and fill pot with cold ice water. Just enough col water to cover and add ice, lots. Allow to cool until ice has melted and the eggs are cold. Grab the egg smack each end to break and roll the egg across the counter with you hand to shatter the shell on the egg. The egg shell will now easily peel off without sticking.
I do this now at home without thinking and have had more than one friend ask me how I learned to do this. Egg after egg peels easily.

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Johanna GGG March 28, 2010 at 2:11 am

useful post – I don’t like eggs but am starting to cook them for my little baby girl so I am thinking about how to do them – I did used to love helping my mum in the kitchen and rolling them over the corrugated sink. My mum has recently got some chooks in her backyard so if I get the chance I will do some experimenting with boiling those eggs and those from the supermarket – interesting stuff!

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nazarina March 28, 2010 at 3:41 am

Beautiful pictures indeed and very useful tips. Last year, I boiled the eggs in advance and stuck them in the refrigerator. I too boil them in vinegar. This year, I shall give that bicarbonate of soda a try, Thanks!

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Jessica March 28, 2010 at 6:12 am

I found you on Zen Habits and I really like your blog. As for eggs, I guess I have always used the cold water trick and works for me. I may try this new way in the future. Love the recipe!

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Kenneth Sundby March 28, 2010 at 6:38 am

There is actually an extremely easy (and truly minimalistic) way to do this. Leave the eggs out for 15 minutes or so. Apart from the other added benefits of this (more of the stuff that’s good for your body stays intact), it makes the peeling process extremely easy after boiling.

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another fan of easy recipes March 28, 2010 at 10:54 am

Hi, found you in the Google results for cooking fish with a fan-forced oven :-)

Love the minimalist approach – it’s been exactly what I’m looking for! Like to eat home-cooked food, but prefer recipes to be super simple and healthy. Busy, single professional and all that :-)

Oh, and a tip I’ve been taught since childhood for peeling boiled eggs: after they’ve been cooked, place in a bowl of cold water to make them cool enough to touch, and then roll them around your hands or on the table for a minute or so.

The rolling action gently separates the egg from the walls of the shell. After that, crack the egg shell and peel it off – should come off without taking chunks of the egg with it!

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Dina March 28, 2010 at 3:24 pm

that’s a great tip! I’ll be sure to try it the next time I boil some eggs!

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birgit March 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm

since i found you on zenhabits i use your blog for inspirations
i love your broccoli with chickenpeas
i love your fotos and recipes because i love minimalism since i read zenhabits
very much love in this post giggle
kind regards from the middle of germany birgit

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Aime March 29, 2010 at 10:49 am

great thread! and can’t wait to boil boil boil some eggs! I found you too from ZH — thanks!

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Madura March 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm

My eggshells have been sticking lately and I’m glad to know why. Now that I think about it, we’ve switched permanently to those Omega eggs, so maybe they’re fresher. I know there’s a scale: grade AA being freshest, then A, then B, but I’ve never really checked mine out. Will try the bicarb as salt doesn’t seem to work either.

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Laura March 31, 2010 at 11:01 am

I have found that if I add about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the cold water with the eggs before they come to a boil, they seem to peel cleanly. Also, I peel them under running cold water if they want to be stubborn.

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easy home cooked meals April 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Everyone will know that the egg has something different in it but can’t place it

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Brigette June 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Note: this tip is only going to be any good to you if you’re going to cut your eggs into halves (or more)…

I was talking about this post with my +60yo Dad, who (as my Mum is totally sick of cooking after 40 years!) has taken over all kitchen duties since retirement. Very romantic!

He told me that he struggles to peel eggs. Both my Dad and my sister keep chooks, so I regularly get free eggs from Dad (super fresh, sometimes same day) and my sister (older, usually a week or three). My sister’s are harder to peel as she doesn’t feed them as much shell grit as my Dad, so the shells are thinner.

Dad confided that he has given up on peeling a whole egg, as he feels he leaves a lot of it behind! His trick is to cut the egg in half with a knife (with a firm whack to make it a clean cut) and then cleanly scoop the egg out of the shell with a pointed teaspoon. Works a treat, and he was so proud to pass on a tip. Not bad for a self-taught man!

PS: Jules, I just love your recipes. Think my favourite (to date) is the red lentil and preserved lemon soup. It is so, so good! I get so many compliments… which of course I duly attribute to your recipe!

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Egg Head June 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm

“Put your mouth to one hole and blow really hard”? I would have rolled over the floor laughing on this had I just not seen the same thing in the video at

http://www.bitrebels.com/geek/the-fastest-way-to-peel-a-hard-boiled-egg/

where some guy did exactly the same.

I had trouble with peeling eggs and finally found an appliance that takes all the guess work on the time to cook, the water to pour, the temperature to control etc. I liked it so much that I created a website on it called peeleggs.com.

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Kim February 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm

The trick to boiling an egg that is easy to peel is to bring a pot of water to boil before adding the eggs. Gently place the eggs into the boiling water with a large spoon. Bring the water back to a boil. As soon as the water begins to boil again, turn the burner off, cover the eggs with a lid and let them sit for 12-15 min.

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Daniel April 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Hi there,

I have been eating lots and lots of boiled eggs recently, as an attempt to consume more protein, so I have come across my fair share of “moon” (cos that’s what their surfaces look like after I’m done peeling..) eggs.

If you get the cooking/boiling of the eggs right, it’s very easy to peel them by blowing into them, using no more force than you would starting to blow a balloon; I just cooked and peeled 4 eggs this way:

Put the eggs in warm water (it may not have to be, but that’s what I had just then) on a stove that’s on max, and bring it to a boil. You’ll have to make sure the shells don’t crack, as it depends on your stove/water level etc etc.

Turn it down by half, and let it simmer for a minute or 2.

I believe the trick is to not over cook the eggs, as the whites turn to mush and expand to stick to the membrane/shell; I love my yolks a bit runny anyway (so I can mix it into lentils) so this suits me fine :)

After the eggs have been cooked:

I pour all the water into the sink, then cover the eggs in cold water, letting it soak up the heat, then pour that water out, and cover the eggs again in cold water, making sure the eggs are cool enough to stop warming the water up. My hypothesis is the rapid cooling causes the egg to shrink within the shell, and somehow making it easier to detach from the membrane.

Then it’s just a matter of cracking both ends, peeling off enough of the big end to enable the egg to “punch out” of the shell, and enough on the small end for you to blow air in. Cup the small end of the egg when blowing to direct all the air into the small hole, and voila!

All the best.

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jules April 15, 2011 at 5:49 am

hey daniel
thanks for sharing your considerable egg expertise!
I’m going to have to test out your overcooking theory – so far I’ve been convinced that it’s a freshness thing but you might be onto something.

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Tam May 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I know this is a really old post, but I only just discovered your site and wanted to share my method for peeling eggs with ease… it’s so simple, it doesn’t matter what you put in the water, or the order of cold water hot water cold water… all you have to do is take the boiled egg, and lightly tap it on the kitchen bench all over, so that the entire shell is cracked in small sections (it should look like crackle glaze), then starting from the end where the gap was between egg and shell, peel the shell off with the membrane – the membrane holds the crackled shell enough that I can usually peel the whole lot in one go :)

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Andrew June 8, 2011 at 2:24 am

There’s an easier way. It works with super fresh eggs, even straight from the henhouse.

Boil the water first, then add the eggs (gently).

That’s all it takes. They peel cleanly and effortlessly. Even my 2-year-old can peel them after that.

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Nova June 11, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I learned a trick when I was in highschool culinary class. If you let the eggs cool after boiling them, crack the shells all around. Then, gently (but quickly) roll the egg around in your hands. This will help separate the membrane, and it will take off nearly the whole shell quickly. I’ve done it this way for years, and while it may look strange, I’ve converted many other people to doing this as well.

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susan george July 6, 2011 at 8:17 am

thanks for the advice im having trouble with bowld egg

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Mari September 12, 2011 at 8:34 am

My aunty taught me how to peel eggs years ago and it rarely fails – once the egg is cool, roll it under your hand on a hard surface so it crackles all over and then simply peel the shell off. Works a charm!

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Shani December 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Hi, I learnt this from my mother in law a few years back. Regardless of how the egg is boiled, having cooled the egg enough to hold, crack egg and insert a teaspoon under the shell to lift lift it away from the egg white. Sometimes the shell comes off in one piece.

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Lisa December 30, 2011 at 4:19 pm

There is a easier way. I was surprised that I did not see it on the site. After the eggs are boiled just right out of the pan just crack the eggs and then put them back in cold water. Wait a minute then peel. So easy and quick!

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Wendy June 18, 2012 at 5:36 am

This worked perfectly for me. Thanks, Lisa.

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helen December 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm

works a treat lisa. I tried a few of the other ways mentioned above. didn’t work. yours worked well. simple and easy

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Leslie January 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm

This blowing out method is all well and good if it’s just for you but I don’t know…I sure as heck wouldn’t want someone serving me something they’ve “spit” on, you know?

I just bring to a boil, turn it off, put a lid on it. Sit for 20 mins (this is for the yolks to be yellow). Then I drain them tap both ends and then roll them on their sides back and forth. You have this web of cracks that will just peel off almost all at once.

*shrug*

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Sandra January 10, 2012 at 12:26 am

I boil my eggs starting with the cold water. When they have boiled, I drain the hot water off of them and fill the pan with very cold water. Crack the eggs and put them back in the pan while still running very cold water over them. Let sit in cold water just a minute and the shells will slide off nearly. Very seldom do I ever have any trouble and I have done this with farm fresh and store bought eggs both as I was raised on a farm. As for the gentleman that cuts them in half, so did my grandmother and they always had a bit of shell in them! Hope this helps!

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Amanda January 11, 2012 at 2:18 am

My mother has always poked a pin whole in the egg before boiling.

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Joanie January 13, 2012 at 7:41 am

I do that for my own eggs, but wouldn’t that be a little unsanitary to blow on other people’s eggs?

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Jenni Elyse January 13, 2012 at 9:57 am

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007M2BN0?tag=microwcookinforo

This is my secret to peeling eggs perfectly every single time, new or old. Once you figure out the time with your microwave (ours is 6 minutes in the microwave at 15 minutes just sitting afterward), then you’ll always have easy-to-peel eggs. Love it!

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Ted January 16, 2012 at 6:25 am

After working on this problem for years (Yes cracking eggs is one of my hobbies…) I have discovered the best way to peel an eggs regardless of how it is cooked, age etc.

Ok, first you tap the egg with a spoon all the way around in the middle of the egg breaking up a strip in the center, but leaving the eggshell completely intact on the ends. You gently peel the middle part (below the membrane) which on that small area will come off without damaging the white. when you have fully peeled the entire middle the two end shells will easily slip off as whole pieces leaving your hardboiled egg fully intact. Very fast an efficient.

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Michelle January 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I found one day by pure accident that when I put the eggs in a measuring cup that had veg. oil in it. I poured cold water over the eggs and cracked them under the oily water they peeled beautifully. My eggs are very fresh because my chickens lay them every morning for me. So peeling was very difficult before I started this.

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Sandy January 25, 2012 at 5:41 am

We used to keep chickens for the fresh eggs and another hint I came across besides using older eggs was to take a needle and poke a hole in the end of the large end of the egg before cooking. It usually worked pretty good for me.

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Jim January 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm

tried using the top of a turkey baster instead of blowing…I think it should work, but I had only one yolk pop out, never the whole egg

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Robin February 3, 2012 at 11:53 am

I was taught, just like a couple others have mentioned, to poke a hole in the rounded end of the egg before setting it into the water. (I use an ice pick.) You will see bubbles coming out often – that shows that the water is getting in and lining the inside of the shell. I do set them into boiling water, but not religiously. We then cook 10 minutes. Ours always peel great.

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Hans Graf February 8, 2012 at 2:32 am

I boil them in VERY salty water. The hypertonic solution draws fluid out of the eggs, intensifying the flavor, and drawing the white away from the shell.

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Sara February 21, 2012 at 5:34 am

Someone about had a similar suggestion but the easiest way actually has to do with your peeling skills:

1. Tap on both ends.
2. With the egg laying horizontally, using the palm of your hand, press and roll the egg. This will create tiny cracks all over the shell.
3. From the flat end with the air pocket (where the sack usually is), remove the peel.

No messing with salt, baking soda, vinegar, or cold water.

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susan February 21, 2012 at 11:01 am

a great way to perfect hardboiled eggs? place eggs in cold water and place over high heat until water boils. turn off the stove, put the lid on the pot and set the timer to 12 minutes. this also uses a lot less energy to do the same job. win-win!

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Richard February 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I think Lisa has a great idea–let a little water get under the shell. I have a dozen hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator, still in their unbroken shells. I put one cold from the refrigerator in a 2-cup hard plastic storage container with about an inch of water. I put the lid on and shook it until the egg was crazed all around. I peeled it without waiting and had only a couple of places where a little bit of white stuck to the shell. I think waiting a minute would have made all the difference.

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Anne February 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm

To get centered yolks, spin the eggs on their “sides” before boiling. Especially good for eggs that have been sitting a long while. While the white will change consistency over time, the yolk remains intact. Spinning will move the yolk to the center. I do love deviled eggs! Thanks for the blog

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Courtney March 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm

If your not in a hurry…
Put eggs in cold water
bring to a boil
turn off heat and cover for 15 minutes
Run luke warm water until you can touch
roll on the counter to get the middle to crack
peels apart in 2 pieces

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Lynn Brown March 11, 2012 at 5:42 am

I have chickens and very fresh eggs- Here is how to make hard boiled eggs so they won’t stick

Bring you water to a boil and carefully add eggs to water with a slotted spoon or something similar

Boil for 20 minutes.
Gently remove eggs from water and place in a bowl filled with ice and cold water to chill completely. Let sit for another 15 minutes or so then remove, dry and store in your fridge.

Putting the eggs in the cold water causes the egg to shrink slight and pull back from the shell making it easy to peel- Works every time.

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elise oras March 12, 2012 at 5:34 am

If you need to peel all your eggs at once (which I like to do) I use the “bumper egg” approach. You can literally peel a dozen eggs in about 2 minutes. http://www.elisesaidso.com/2012/03/how-to-make-perfect-hard-boiled-eggs.html

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C Kitson March 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I have found the answer. It goes against everything that everyone has told you since childhood up-but it works. Every time. Every egg. Easy peasy as my kids would say.

Bring a big pot of water to a full rolling boil, then, with tongs, carefully place your eggs into the water, one by one. One may make a popping noise and distressing egg-whites might come out a bit-especially if any had hairline cracks. It’s totally worth it. Boil away for 13 minutes. Remove from water.
At this point you can do what you wish. Cold water bath. Cold dry storage. Bring to room temp. Eat hot right away. Any way you want it it will be simple to peel.

I learned this trick about 5 years ago, and I am now the envy of the devil’s egg world. Or I would be, if there were such a thing :)

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Sandy March 21, 2012 at 11:52 am

My dear sister taught me to bring the eggs to room temperature..then place in cold water and bring to a boil. After cooking place in ice cold water and peel. This works even for fresh eggs.

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Megan March 23, 2012 at 2:34 pm

My grandma always poured the boiling water out and put cold water over to cool. Then when you are ready to peel tap on counter and roll 1/4 roll. Then either in your bowl of water or under running cold water peel. It should come off in almost one piece or a few big pieces but you will not damage your egg or have any little shells left on the outside.

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Alisa March 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm

You’re supposed to wait or day or so AFTER you boil them, then they’re super easy to peel =)

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Trixie March 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Here’s my secret to easy-to-peel, perfectly cooked, hard-boiled eggs. (Although, I admit I still do occasionally find a stubborn one)

Place eggs in pot and fill 1/2 way with cold to tepid water. Gently bring to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat immediately. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let them sit for 15 minutes. Then, remove the eggs from the hot water and set into an ice bath for 5 to 10 minutes to stop the cooking (this is why the yolks turn greenish – overcooking), and you’re ready to peel and eat. I think I’m going to try adding the soda with my next batch though, just to make sure I catch that stubborn one that pops up here and there. Thanks for the tips.

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Mary May 3, 2012 at 7:18 am

I always boil my eggs and when they are done I pour the hot water off and run cold water in the pan, crack the eggs and put them back in the cold water and let 5 or so minutes and even with fresh eggs I have no problem peeling them.

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Mary Lou Vaskus June 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I buy eggs 1 week before hard boiling, this does help. I use x-lg eggs.
I place room temperature eggs in pot of cold water 1″ above eggs, add salt, when water comes to full boil turn off, put lid on and let sit for 15-20 min., then drain and put eggs in a bowl of ice water, let sit for about 5-10 min.
Works great!

P.S. Rachael Ray, after draining hot water, keeps eggs in pot then bounces them around until they are all cracked. I tried this once but I think I over bounced them, I will try this again being more gentle. : )

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jules June 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Thanks for sharing Mary Lou :)

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Amy June 4, 2012 at 10:10 am

I had this problem just today! My friend suggested peeling the eggs under a steam of cold water, and it worked like a charm!

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jules June 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Great Amy!

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Kittymama June 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm

This is a marvelous list of different ways to handle all the little problems like peeling, yolk centering for deviled or stuffed eggs, etc. In the U.S.A., most people expect their boiled eggs to be very hard, and they don’t even mind the gray or green ring around the yolk — the ones in your kedgeree photos would be considered undercooked. (A soft egg is a different dish altogether.)

I boil eggs most often when they’re going to be decorated for Easter. If they’re kept cool and clean through all the festivities, they can be eaten later, so my preference is for the shells to be intact until then. I find that changing the water temperature very gradually (both heating up at the beginning and then in cooling them afterward) helps them not crack before I intend them to. I use a lot of salt, and I can tell when someone else has “donated” boiled eggs to our party because they are often more difficult to peel.

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Joan July 12, 2012 at 3:52 am

I just read an article on putting your eggs in a muffin tin and baking for 30 minutes in a 325 degree oven, sounds like a plan! Just hope it works!

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jules July 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

wow Joan
never thought to bake whole eggs.. could be interesting
Let us know how you get on!
Jx

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Bex August 29, 2012 at 3:57 am

If you bake your eggs instead of boiling them they peel better. Put eggs in muffin tins. Bake at 325 F for 30 mins. Put cooked eggs in a bowl of cold water for a few mins. before peeling them. Not one ding or gouge this way. Perfect eggs. I’ve done it once as I just learned this on Pinterest the other day!

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jules September 15, 2012 at 3:32 am

Interesting idea Bex!
Will have to give it a go

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Krista Scalise August 30, 2012 at 5:49 am

So I totally got the blowing trick to work :) So cool!

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Rodney November 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Dished this up tonight for fussy Irish man, added some left over cabbage from the colcannon i cooked earlier in week and some spinach. Poured us a glass of Chardonnay and got a big kiss for my efforts. Jules u know how to make men happy.

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jules November 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm

So glad your efforts we well rewarded Rodney!

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Shy November 29, 2012 at 1:06 am

Easiest way to peel an egg:
Drain water from pot as soon as you pull it off of the stove.
Keep eggs in pot and gently pop them around the pot so they crack a little bit all over.
Let cold water run in pot as you peel each egg under the stream of water.
It works!!!

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nessa January 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

The secret to peeling a perfect egg is the egg temperature. You have to peel it when it is still warm. This keeps the membrane from socking down against the egg white and thus a perfect egg. It is simple science. Go to you-tube and watch what happens when a empty 50 gal container is heated and then has ice put on it. Same thing happens to an egg!

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Kelly January 30, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Try this foolproof method of cooking the eggs… I learned this from my dear mother in law..
Put your eggs in cool water in a pan, bring to a boil,
Ermine from heat and place a kid on the pan. Let them sit 10 minutes. Run cool water over them and drain… Put the lid back on the pot and shake them up to crack the shells all over… Then peel.
They NEVER overcook! :-)

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