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Perfect Hardboiled Eggs


There are lots of methods for making hardboiled eggs, but I’ve always found good luck with this one. Some readers on Facebook asked for tips on peeling the eggs once they’re cooked, and here were some of the most common replies:

  • Don’t use eggs you just purchased. Keep them for a few days before you boil them. As the egg gets older, the white shrinks a bit and makes it easier to peel.
  • Add salt to the cooking water.
  • Soak in ice water after they’re done.

What are your tried and true methods for easily peeling hard boiled eggs? Let us know in the comments below!

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34 Responses

  1. Fresh eggs really are impossible to peel! If mine are pretty fresh, I try to let them sit at room temperature for a bit before cooking them…that seems to help a lot!

      1. Hi Simon…I’m living here in the UK for a few months and eggs are never refrigerated here…not even in the grocery store. I’m not sure exactly how long Michele had in mind but even for an hour or two they should be fine to stay out.

    1. Hello! I used to have that same problem until I found out that you are not supposed to put fresh eggs in the fridge! That solved all my problems 😀

      1. Here in the US, it’s still recommended that eggs purchased from the market be refrigerated long term as they’ve had their natural coating washed off.

  2. I have blogged about this previously, but I will mention it here. This is the BEST way to make hard-boiled eggs. even very fresh eggs will peel easily and you won’t have the unattractive green layer between the yolk and the white of the egg.

    To Hard Boil Eggs

    1. Bring a 3 quart saucepan half-full of water to a boil. 2. Using a push pin, poke a tiny hole in the large end of each egg. 3. With a slotted spoon, place all of the eggs in the boiling water. 4. When the water begins to boil again, set your timer for 10 minutes, and reduce the heat so the water is simmering. 5. While the eggs are cooking, prepare a bowl of ice water. 6. When the eggs are done, immediately transfer them to the ice water. Let them sit in there for a few minutes. 7. Drain and peel when you are ready!

  3. Here in Colorado, the altitude messes with cooking anything. The ONLY way (and I’ve tried every way, literally) to get good hard cooked eggs is with a pressure cooker. 1 cup of water, use a rack to keep the eggs out of the water, then layer them up. 6 minutes on low pressure (using an electric pressure cooker), use the quick release method and immerse in ice water until cool. The shells almost slide off, with no waste of the whites and no green in the yolks.

    1. Hey Patti! Ah yes…high altitude cooking is a different beast. I’ve seen folks do them in the pressure cooker but I’ve never gotten the guts to try it out myself in mine. You’ve inspired me to give it a shot!

  4. After boiling, submerge in ice water. When just cool enough to handle (should take just a few seconds) crack around the outside of each egg, leaving three shell still mostly attached. This allows the cold water to penetrate the shell. Wait until completely cold and peel. Voila! The shell comes right off.

  5. The easiest method I use is to put them in my rice cooker for 20 minutes, dunk I nice water and they come out perfect 🙂 The baking soda trick sounds interesting!

  6. I punch a hole on the large end with a push pin. Submerge in cold water and bring to a boil. Add a bunch of salt and turn to simmer for 10 minutes. I rinse in cold water until I can just handle them and crack all of them at once on the edge of the sink. When they are all heavily cracked I start to peel and the shells just fall off. I found that letting the heat escape by cracking them all at once makes a HUGE difference.

  7. I always use a bit of baking soda in the water while boiling my eggs. It reduces the adhesiveness and you can literally peel off the shell on both ends and blow the egg out of the shell. Thanks Tim Ferriss!

  8. My tried and true method is to submerge the eggs into a pot of water and set to boil. Once the pot of water has reached a rolling boil, I turn off the heat and let everything sit in the hot pot for 7 minutes. After things have settled for 7 minutes, I drop the eggs into an ice bath for 3-5 minutes. Eggs turn out perfectly–not over-boiled and easy to peel. Boiling eggs can’t be easier! 🙂

  9. This is how I cook eggs, but please stop calling them “hard-boiled.” They aren’t boiled. They aren’t supposed to be. They’re hard-cooked. Thanks!

    1. What’s the difference between boiled and cooked? I thought they were synonyms (I’m not a native english speaker). What would a (hard)boiled egg be?

      1. Same same for many people though hard cooked is different than soft boiled. Hard cooked would be a solid yolk.

  10. Also, btw, the pinprick method has been tested in test kitchens. Result: greater likelihood of eggs cracking than if no pinprick. Why create extra work?

    It is true that it’s best not to use fresh eggs as they’ll be harder to peel. I usually add salt and/or white vinegar to the water, but now I will try the baking soda idea. Thanks.

    1. I actually did an experiment the other day to test salt and baking soda in the water. I did three groups: plain water, salt in the water and baking soda in the water. The baking soda made the shell thinner, but it got really flaky and wasn’t easier to peel. The salt and plain water were about the same. Guess the jury’s still out!

      1. Yeah, I’ve tried the baking soda trick a couple of times…never seemed to have luck with it either.

  11. I also use “the perfect method” which is excellent for cooking the eggs but doesn’t always help with the peeling and since I like to make devilled eggs this is important. I have tried various combinations of salt, baking soda and/or vinegar in the water. Sometimes the vinegar worked really well and sometime the baking soda was the trick – but sometime it wasn’t. So…..this may sound a little crazy but I now add a little salt, a little baking soda and a little vinegar all together. I also lift each egg out of the cold water, crack it then put it back in the water while I peel the others. Overkill? Maybe – but now my eggs are easy to peel and they look great!

    1. To a devilled egg fan, I don’t think there’s any such thing as overkill to get the perfectly peeling egg!

  12. Every time I make eggs, they are impossible to peel.

    Then a girlfriend gave me her method. Boil water, add eggs with a ladle so they don’t break. Cook for 12 minutes. Pour the hot water out and run cold water over the eggs. Works like a charm every time – perfectly cooked and super easy to peel.

Steph Gaudreau

Hi, I'm Steph Gaudreau (CISSN, NASM-CPT)!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


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