How to Peel Hard Boil Eggs?

We have a lot of eggs, a LOT of eggs. The last few weekends we have been hard boiling about a dozen so they could be made into egg salad or just eaten straight from the refrigerator. We have been having one problem with this, they are very hard to peel.

These eggs are fresh, less than 1 week old. After boiling the eggs we plunge them into a bowl of cold water and then move them to the refrigerator. When peeling time comes the shell sticks to the egg and a time consuming battle begins.

Does anyone know any tricks to make peeling fresh eggs easier?

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This entry was posted in eggs.

22 comments on “How to Peel Hard Boil Eggs?

  1. Rain says:

    I have fresh eggs also-and when I asked several people about this was sadly told-need older eggs-they peal better-well-gee-I have chickens cause I want farm fresh eggs!! It's always something!! I'm waiting replies to this also!!

  2. Mandy says:

    I heard on tv once that the week-old eggs will peel the best but.. who wants to leave that many eggs sit and collect for a week?? I don't have any tips but I'm hoping someone answers who does, cus I've been wondering this myself lol

  3. Okay, first make sure you are boiling them right. You must bring the eggs to a hard boil for a few minutes and then reduce to a simmer. You only need to cook them for 20, maybe 30 minutes. And this is MOST important, don't set them aside to cool. Immerse them in ice cold water immediately. This causes the eggs to shrink and peel itself away from the shell. Peel immediately. Most people over-cook eggs.For eggs that have been in the fridge, set them in a colander. Bring a pot of water to a simmering boil (or use really hot tap water). Pour them over the already cooked eggs for a full minute. Next, shock the eggs with ice cold water for another minute. They should peel more easily. The age of the eggs shouldn't matter but I could be wrong on this point. I've rarely had this fail. If it does, I sometimes repeat the second process. Please let me know if it works.

  4. the Goodwife says:

    I always put lots of salt in the water, then as soon as they are done boiling I drain the boiling water off, fill the pan with ice and fill it with cold water. After about 5 minutes you should be able to peel them without too much trouble. I also only boil eggs for 10 minutes.

  5. the Goodwife says:

    I did forget to mention that after draining the boiling water off and before adding the ice, I bounce the pan up and down to crack the eggs……then I add the ice and cold water….

  6. I use the method the Goodwife uses. It is touted as that is the way the Amish cook and peel their fresh eggs. Vinegar also helps in the boiling water.

  7. Zitrone says:

    So far this method hasn't failed me: Cover fresh eggs with cold water, put lid on, bring to rapid boil. Turn off heat source, let stand covered for 12-15 minutes. Pour off hot water, fill pot with very cold water, let sit for 30 minutes or so. Remove eggs from water, dry, and put them in frig right away. It works for me when I get fresh eggs from Critter Farm girl. Good luck.

  8. Wendy says:

    I just chip off the end of the egg shell, then slide a spoon in under the edge and work my way around the egg. I peel that chunk off and repeat.

  9. Naomi Banta says:

    I have heard that vinegar is the way to go.

  10. Grandpa says:

    I normally do what Stone Cottage Mama does, put them in cold water immediately after boiling. I boil them for only about five minutes though, may be not long enough to make them peel easily.Congrats for the Life's Good Award Chai Chai.

  11. Here is what works GREAT for me and our fresh eggs. Lightly tap the egg on the counter to slightly disrupt the shell. Then put them in cold water, boil for 30 minutes. Cool in cold water then peel.

  12. Niece says:

    Ok….have not tried this myself, but my fellow chicken keeper/country cook neighbor says to let the eggs set to room temp. before boiling and then after boiling plunge into ice cold water, she also adds vinegar!

  13. quiltaholic says:

    Here's the method I use for our fresh eggs. Works every time!Bring to a rolling boil 6 cups water, 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 tbsp salt. Put one dozen eggs in, one at a time, being careful not to drop them. Reduce heat to medium. Boil for 14 minutes. After 14 minutes, remove the eggs and place into ice water. Leave them in the ice water until completely cooled (about 15 minutes). Store in refrigerator.

  14. Chai Chai says:

    Wow, This has been one of the most informative comment sections ever. Who would have ever imagined that there were so many ways to boil eggs?Looks like I am going to have a lot of recipes to try out in the next few weeks.Thank you so much everyone for commenting!

  15. Use eggs that are room temp, about a week old. Put eggs in water in a pan on the stove, turn on eye, bring eggs to boil and turn down. Cook 10-15 min. Drain water. Immediately put eggs into a bowl/pot of cold water with ice cubes. Then, start cracking the eggs on the sink porcelain and drop back into the icy water. (crack them whereever you please) The eggs will be hot when you pick them up to crack, but the will be cool because of the ice cubes in the water. I don't let the eggs sit in the cold water but for a moment before I start the cracking of the shell. Then, leave them in the water for a bit. Start peeling from the large end where the air pocket is. It is already loose there. If you run the water into the area you are peeling, the running water helps to loosen the shell. This is the way I do it, and it works.Eggs from your own hens are still fresh a week later, far fresher than storebought eggs. When I got eggs from the store, especially at Easter, I would leave the eggs our for about two hours before boiling them so that they would be room temperature and to age them a bit. I have not always had hens, so I did buy eggs from the store until two years ago.

  16. This is so very interesting! I, too, have noticed that I have a hard time peeling hard boiled eggs, now that I have farm fresh eggs. Great tips! Thanks for asking the question!!~Lynn

  17. Chai Chai says:

    Lynn – Such a wealth of information, just pick one and give it a try.Practical Parsimony – Thank you for the detailed instruction and thank you for posting! I look forward to seeing you stop by again.

  18. This is great! So glad you asked this questions, Chai Chai.

  19. Karen says:

    Thanks for stopping by for a visit!I had heard that before cooking fresh eggs, you put a pin hole into the end where the air sac is. I did try it once and it seemed to work. I'm thinking though that cracking the eggs as soon as they are cooked and then putting them into the ice water will work the same way. I'm going to try that next time. I always pour the hot water off and run cold water from the tap over them for a bit until they cool.To cook them, I take my eggs out of the fridge, cover them in cold water, lid on, bring them to a boil, and then remove from the heat and let them sit for 20 minutes at least. If you forget about them for a while, no harm done as the water has cooled off enough at that point. Works best for me, as one who is always getting sidetracked from the task at hand:)

  20. Ollamha Anne says:

    I don't bother trying to peel them. I just cut them in half, and use a spoon to scoop out the innards. The only hazard to this method is it's too easy to put a spoonful in my mouth and start eating the egg instead of using it for whatever…

  21. Chai Chai says:

    Anne – That is a novel solution. Thank you for stopping by to comment, hope to see you again.

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