How to Boil Eggs for Easy Peeling

by Mama Chocolate on April 9, 2012

Getting an egg to peel easily and cleanly has been an issue for me most of my life.

Growing up with farm-fresh eggs all the time, and now having my own on our farm, we have more than the usual trouble. It would seem that the fresher your eggs are, the more difficult they are to peel.

Hardly fair, in my opinion…

So you name it, I’ve tried just about every “easy-peel” method there is. I’ve scoured the internet for tips and run across some pretty bizarre things that are working for people, including blowing the boiled egg right out of its shell.

That seemed to work for a lot of the people commenting, but no matter how hard I tried, (I was desperate, okay?) I never once got this method to succeed. Either my lungs aren’t up to the task, or our chickens just lay eggs with super-tough shells that aren’t letting go of that egg no matter what,  so even this “fail-proof” method was a flop for me.

Not to mention the fact it’s not the most sanitary method if you’re making up a batch of deviled eggs for your church potluck… *nasty*

I sorta gave up on my quest for the perfect cooking method until I recently ran across a tip that said to try steaming your eggs for easy peeling, and that this worked especially well for super-fresh eggs, those notoriously difficult little buggers.

Good news! It worked! I have been doing this regularly now, (with the 326 eggs I have in my fridge right now from our over-achieving Rhode Island Red hens,) and it continues to work every time!

I still end up with an egg or two out of the batch that cracks during the cooking process most times, but unless you’re planning on dyeing them, this isn’t really a problem, especially since they’re not submerged in water.

How to Steam a Hard-Boiled Egg

    • fill a large pot or saucepan with about 2 inches of water, just enough to touch the bottom of your steamer basket

 

    • lay 6-10 eggs gently into the steamer basket (or use how ever many will fit!)

 

    • turn the heat on to high, and once the water is at a boil, place a lid over the pot and set a timer for 8-10 minutes, depending on how hard you like your eggs cooked

 

    • pull them out immediately and place in a bowl of ice water for at least 5 minutes

 

      • peel and use for decorating eggs, deviled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, chef’s salad…anything you love to use a beautifully peeled boiled egg for!

 

Do you have a fail-proof boiling and peeling method for eggs? I’d love to hear about it!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Rexane April 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I put the eggs in , put water about one inch above the eggs, add a little vinegar to the water, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and put the lid on, let them sit in the water about 20 min, they peel pretty easy after that.

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Lisa April 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm

I have struggled with peeling eggs for my whole life as well! I am looking forward to trying these tips.

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Wonderwoman April 18, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I’ve seen this tip before…glad to hear that it works. Had not heard about the ‘blowing’ method. I will have to think twice now before eating anything with eggs at church functions or anywhere else for that matter – lol!

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Dawn April 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm

I will definitely be trying this. I boiled eggs today and was fussing while trying to peel them. It always makes me wonder how old the grocery store eggs are since they peel so easily.
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Trisha April 27, 2012 at 11:10 am

Dawn, typical grocery store eggs can be up to 3 months old. The average is about 2 months by the time they get processed since they are cleaned, sized, and then washed in chlorine bleach among other wonderful things. I’ll keep my hens, thank you!
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Cathy Sumler April 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I struggled like the rest. I recently saw an article about cooking the eggs in the oven. I put the eggs in a muffin pan (The article I read said you could put them right on the oven rack. Unfortunately, my rack was just a little bit too big for my eggs. I didn’t want to take a chance, so muffin pan they went into.) I would have to say that this method was so easy and it peeled the eggs beautifully. It also said that for eggs to peel nicely, the eggs should be “old” eggs. I know what you are thinking, old eggs I didn’t know what that meant either. According to Mr. Alton Brown, old eggs are if they are at least a week old. I can’t remember how you determine that, but I had “old” eggs, so I guess I was okay. They peeled without any problems. Of course, he said the eggs make creamier eggs too. I “baked” my eggs at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. I took my out of the oven at 25 minutes. I did put them in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. They were great. Another good thing, the cleanup was easy. I will try the steaming too. anything to get nice peeled eggs!!!

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Whitney Jordan August 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I recently saw the muffin pan trick on Pinterest and tried it last week. The eggs peeled easily! I did still put them in the ice bath for a while before peeling.
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Kelly April 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I read to boil the water first, then gently place the eggs into the boiling water. I use my pasta scooper to set them into the water. This has worked for me, but I’m going to try steaming too-if I can find my steamer basket!
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Trisha April 27, 2012 at 11:08 am

To avoid the cracked eggs, try letting them warm up to room temperature before putting them in the pot to boil. Take them out an hour before you want to cook them and sit them on the counter to bring the temp up. Once I started doing this, I have found that our fresh eggs don’t crack any more.
I can’t wait to try the steaming method! Some hens seem to lay eggs that are more tough to peel than others. Right now we have some doozies.
We don’t know what to do with all our eggs so we take them to the local food pantry when we get too many. The local people in need of food love getting fresh eggs, they aren’t wasted, and I don’t have to fight with people who think fresh eggs should only cost $1 a dozen because we don’t have to pay to put them in a store!!
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Dani July 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I’m always looking for ways to improve this tedious task, and during the summer, I’m looking for ways that heat my house the least. On that note, I have found several things that work well, again, with the presumption that only old eggs will peel well (1+ week). Room temp eggs, room temp water, 1 inch over the tops of the eggs (any “floaters” are too old and should be discarded!), and some baking soda. I’ve tried vinegar. I’ve tried oil. I’ve tried nothing. Baking soda is so far the most consistently successful method for me. The other thing I do, to avoid the yolks turning all dark and green on the outer edge is to bring the water to a boil as quickly as possible without boiling it so hard the eggs jostle around and crack. I then cover, and turn the heat OFF, and set the timer for 15 minutes. Now, granted, I’m cooking in glass pans (or the occasional enameled cast iron), on an electric stove, so there is lots of residual heat. After the elapsed time, I’ll drop the eggs into an ice bath (please do NOT add ice or even cold water to a hot glass pan, nor to hot cast iron!) with a slotted spoon, and whether I peel them immediately, or put them into the fridge and peel later, my success rate has been much higher. Bonus: doesn’t heat up the oven, and the burner is only on for about 5 minutes. I am at altitude, and the eggs turn out fine every time. In fact, one time I forgot them for about 30 minutes, and the yolks were still all lovely with no green!

Now, I’m going to have to try steaming them, and I like that it doesn’t take as long to cook them. I will definitely try that the next time I’m in a hurry (wait, isn’t that always?)

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