Easy to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs - NumsTheWord

Easy to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Update: We tested YOUR methods and now have a part 2!  Check it out here!

Have you ever had problems peeling hard boiled eggs?  Please say that you have, because I can’t be the only one who has had issues peeling eggs.  Every once in a rare moon I get a good batch, however, in general, it’s always a disaster.

So this time I decided to call upon the experts.  The moms, and pinterest.  Because, you know, everything you see and read on pinterest is true and moms always have tried and true methods. 

Before I tell you the real way to boil an egg, I must say that my 3 year old LOVED this experiment. Not because she likes eggs.  She doesn’t. And she’s not allowed to use the stove either. She did however LOVE coloring all the eggs I made.  Art project for her, food project for me! A win-win!

So the 4 methods I used were:

1. Boil for 15 minutes

2. Boil, remove for 15 minutes

3. Boil, remove for 15 minutes with pinhole

4. Bake @ 325°F for 30 minutes

Hard Boiled Test Pre Peeled Eggs
Hard Boiled Egg Test 1

Method 1:

I placed 4 eggs in a pot of cold water. Turned the heat to medium and brought it to a boil.  I then boiled the eggs for 15 minutes. I removed the pan from the heat and immediately placed eggs in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes.  The results were this:

Method 2:

I placed 4 eggs in a pot of cold water. Turned the heat to medium and brought it to a boil. I then removed pot from heat and let eggs sit for 15 minutes.  I removed the eggs from the pan and placed them in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes.  The results were this:

Easy to Peel Eggs Test 2
Easy to Peel Eggs Test 3

Method 3:

Using a push pin, I pricked a hole at the bottom of each of my 4 eggs (wider end).  I then placed eggs in a pot of cold water. Turned the heat to medium and brought it to a boil.  I then removed the pot from the heat and let the eggs sit for 15 minutes. I removed eggs from the pan and placed them in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. The results were this:

Method 4:

I placed 4 eggs in a muffin tin (1 egg per muffin cup). I preheat my oven to 325*F.  Once oven was preheated, I placed muffin tin with eggs into the oven for 30 minutes.  I then removed eggs from oven and placed in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. The results were this:

Easy to Peel Eggs Test #4

Here is what I ultimately discovered:

Note 1: Ice Water is needed (or super cold water) to help these eggs cool down quickly, not allowing them to continue to cook internally after boiling them.

Note 2: All methods produced great looking internal eggs. No funky green or smelly eggs. So really you can use any method if you don’t care what the outside looks like or if you have to butcher the egg to get it out of the peal.

Note 3: Method #3 was by far the best.  Easy to peel and perfect product.  When pricking each egg, firmly hold the egg in one hand and press the push pin in with the other.  You’ll have to give it a little force, but it will go through without cracking your entire egg.  I was ultimately worried that my innards would leak out. However out of the 15 eggs I made this way, only 1 grew a “bunny tail” (tiny bit leaked out) and it really wasn’t a big deal. 

Your pin prick hole should look like this (Ignore my super dry and ugly hands – we just moved to MN where it is still snowing and my hands are not in the best of shape because of it.):

Easy to Peel Eggs Pin Prick

Note 4: The oven method did produce easy to peel eggs – super easy to peel. However as you can see, those brown spots, are burn marks.  That’s where the eggs touched my pan during the baking process.  Every single egg was burned. And though the insides look great, the outsides do not.  Resulting in a method I would not use again.

Note 5: Eggs are easier to peel when they are at or close to room temperature.  SUPER COLD eggs straight from the fridge have proven to be more difficult to peel.

Note 6: The age of the egg means a lot. FRESH eggs are harder to peel.  Older eggs will produce easier to peel eggs from my experience.

So there you have it folks – 4 “tried and true” methods put to the ultimate test.  One (#3) coming out as the ultimate winner for me and the method I will be using in the future. 

I certainly hope this helps each of you as you try to discover the best Easy to Peel Hard Boiled Egg method.

**Please note: These eggs were cooked in MN on a gas range. Results may (I really have no idea) vary depending on altitude (maybe?!) and range (possibly?!).

61 thoughts on “Easy to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

  1. I have boiled eggs for a long time with pinhole. I start with boiling water add eggs and bring back to boil. Continue to boil for 8 minutes turn off heat. At this point you can remove eggs or leave them in the water until cool. They peel easily and I have never had to use the cold water.

    • Thanks for the tip Lisa! We are going to do a follow up post with everyone’s suggestions and will be featuring your method! I can’t wait to see the results!

  2. I put my eggs in pot of cold water; bring to boil. Remove from heat and put lid on pot, let stand 20 min. Drain, then kind of Shake the pot around to crack the eggs all over. Cover with cold water, add ice, let stand until ice melts. Then peel. Been working great! 🙂

    • Lynea, I have never heard or thought to crack the eggs while in the pot! We are going to do a follow up post with everyone’s suggestions and we will be featuring your method! I can’t wait to see the results!

    • Lynea,
      I do something similar to what you do; I boil my eggs for 15 minutes then drain them and put them in cold water for a few minutes. then I put one or two in a jar with a lid on and shake the jar around and the shell comes off the egg and if there are any little bit of shell left on, it’s easily removed. This is the method I have been using and love it.

    • Sheena, it was certainly a “Welcome to MN” snow storm! So glad that the sunshine came out today though! I was joking with my husband that we may have to “fly south for the winter” if it’s going to keep snowing through April! We’ll have to get together once I get all unpacked! I can’t wait to meet you!

    • Becky, you’ve never made hard boiled eggs?! I get that many don’t care for them (like my husband) but what about decorating them?! Then again, I guess if you are only making them to decorate it doesn’t matter if they are easy to peel. Well if you ever have a need for a recipe, you now have one! Stay tuned for a follow up with everyone’s suggestions!

  3. No you aren’t the only one to have had problems peeling eggs – thanks for the info! And I love that you got your 3 rear old involved!

    • Thanks Jen! I think this was one of her favorite posts because it involved art. Usually her favorites are cookies and cupcakes because she gets to decorate them, but she really loved getting to use markers this time! I’m so glad that I am not the only one who has dreaded boiling eggs!

  4. I discovered that steaming eggs instead of boiling them makes them peel soooo easily. I don’t know why it works so well. You follow all the steps- steam for 15 minutes, cool then peel.

  5. I’ve also heard that adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your water makes the eggs easy to peel. Have you tried this before. I have not but I plan to the next time I make deviled eggs.

  6. Just shared this post on my Google + and facebook page. Great tips and I will be using one of these methods for sure this Easter. I always have trouble with those darn eggs. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Dina! We are going to be doing a follow up piece with all the suggestions we get so before you cook up your eggs stay tuned for it. There just might be an even better method (however #3 did work great for me).

  7. I’m so happy I read this! My eggs always come out looking like number 1. It’s so annoying. I’ve pinned this as well. Thank you for this post. One of the most informative I’ve read all week!

    • Thanks Stephanie! I hope it works as well for you as it did me! Stay tuned for a follow up with a new set of egg tests from all the suggestions we’ve gotten!

    • Thanks Shauna! I was actually quite shocked that they burned. Not something the original post had mentioned. However, once I cut off the burned parts, the eggs themselves were tasty! Stay tuned as we’ve now gotten several new methods for cooking eggs and will be trying those in a follow up post!

        • Hi Katie! I’m happy to try the muffin tin method again! I did try it three times during our test with the same results. HOWEVER there are so many factors for the burnt eggs – it could be the material the pan was made out of, it could be the type of oven (gas convection). Next time I boil eggs (which will be coming up soon) I’ll try the oven method again but with a new pan and electric stove. I’m glad to hear your friend has great results with it. They were certainly easy to peel, just burnt for me. 🙂

          • I do my baked eggs according to Alton brown And put them straight on oven rack in cold oven, turn oven on to 325 and set timer for 30. Then to the ice bath. I’ve always gotten perfect eggs that way. I’m going to try the pinhole too! Always good to have a second good way to do things.

  8. With the cupcake pan method, are you putting water in with the eggs? I’ve done this method before (water filling half of each section with the egg in it) baking for about 20 minutes and have never gotten burned eggs before. I didn’t find it any easier to peel, but it was more convenient when I didn’t have time to watch a boiling pot before.

    • Jamie, the “recipe” that I found did not call for water in the pan, just dry. But it’s funny that you say that because my husband and I had that same thought. Wondering if water in the tins would prevent the burning. We will add this to our list of new trying methods! Thanks!

  9. I just tried the baked method, filled the cupcake tin about 1/2 way with water. Tiny brown spots on the shell, but not the egg. Kept it on the lower rack. Yea! I had no idea that could be done! Thanks

  10. I just did #3 and it worked great. Will always do my eggs this way now. Thanks so much for the research and passing it on to all of us.

  11. I have tried this and it has worked. Put a splash of vinegar in the water, so if they crack while boiling and the white leaks out it will quickly seal the crack. Thanks so much for the options. I’m anxious try them because we can’t have any occasion without deviled eggs

  12. I always put 1/2 teaspoon of salt in the water. Starting with cold water, bring to a boil then remove from heat and sit for fifteen minutes or until cool enough to handle. The shells always come right off if I peel them under cold running water.

  13. i have rarely ever had a problem with peeling eggs: i put cold tap water and eggs in pot and add salt. bring to boil, turn heat off, put lid on and leave it for 10-15 minutes, depending what i am using them for. then dump water out and rinse with cold water while still in the pot, for about 30 seconds, pour out water and add a little new cold water put lid back on and ‘swirl’ and bounce eggs up against walls of pot for about 15-30 seconds………then rinse with water. most of the peel comes right off with this method, and those that still have the shell on, they are cracked you just pick up and kind a squeeze and it comes right off. works everytime!! 🙂

  14. Bring to a boil turn off burner let sit 15 minutes. Pour off water. Crack the shells and let sit in cool water for 10 minutes. No ice is necessary. The shells will practically fall off. Cracking the shells allows the shell to release from the egg while sitting in cool water.

  15. HI
    I have been doing it this way for decades
    But you don’t need a straight pin
    Most kitchen shops have egg prickles
    And are under 3.00$
    So go to it ladies
    What I also do is immediately place them in cold water and then
    Crack the eggs all the way around and put it back in the cold water until the last egg is cracked and the the peel comes off in a snap

  16. fresher eggs are hard to peel what you do is bring the eggs to a boil turn off the burner let the eggs sit for 10 minutesdump the hot water out run some cold water over ittake an egg and hit one end of the egg on the counter turn it over hit the other in on the counter and then roll the egg across the counter While applying light pressure and then you can peel the egg under cool running water the reason this works is because eggs have an air sac in the ends of them and when you hit the egg on the end the air is forced around the membrane of the egg which causes the shell to come loose.

  17. Love your trials! Really interesting. But I have to say for me the steaming method worked best.
    I take my biggest pan and put the metal unfolded rack in the bottom with water ’til it’s almost coming to the holes. Bring to a boil (covered) & then add your eggs. Turn the heat down so it not as vigorous a boil and cover for 20 minutes.
    In the meantime, fill a bowl with ice water, to have ready.
    When the timer goes off, take off the heat, and I use a tongs to take each out and put in the ice bath.
    Older eggs will always peel easier, but I can even use the freshest eggs from our farmer’s market ~ and they peel perfectly every time!
    I had to find something that worked, ‘ cuz my husband has a “hard boiled” egg, every morning!
    Just another “test” for next time. Hope it works for you too!

    • Ok Dawn, I am going to try the steam method. I assure you if the shells are easy to peel, my husband will be even happier than he is already! I like that it works on fresh eggs. I have done the pinhole, baking soda, salt water, older eggs, etc. It was hit or miss and I dreaded peeling!


  18. I bring my eggs to a boil with about a teaspoon of baking soda with the lid on….boil for 1 full minute, remove from heat and let it sit for 15 minutes. Drain water and at cold water until easy to handle.

  19. If you have a tray that holds eggs, place them with the wide end (where the hole is) up and they won’t leak, but will fill the shell.

  20. I have also found that if you turn your carton of eggs upside down in the fridge overnight before you boil them the yolk rests in the center better so you don’t have thin whites. I also put drop of sirracha on the top of my deviled eggs and it gives it a punch!

  21. Put eggs in pot of water and add 1/3 cup of reg.salt.Let it boil on medium heat for 15 minutes then turn up heat for 10 min.more.Take off heat,drain hot water,fill with cold,let stand 30 min. and hey come out of shell so easy you can do it with one hand.

  22. Steaming eggs is the only way to fly (for me). To date I’ve done 6 dozen & every single one has peeled easily. Age of the eggs seems to make no difference.
    The setup is the same as if you were steaming veggies.Steamer basket, inch or so of water, load in the eggs (right from the fridge), cover & let them go for 15 minutes then an ice bath and easy peeling thereafter. IMHO even the yolks seem creamier. Have never gotten the green ring around the yolk either.
    I use eggs that are marked large.

  23. My boiled eggs come out perfect . I steam 6 eggs at a time for 13 minutes exactly , then add them to ice water for 15 minutes . Peeling is so easy .

    ONE AT A TIME, CAREFULLY PLACED OF COURSE. Use oven glove to remove
    in the end! I had spots like that once, too and it was because I left them in the oven
    too long. 30 minutes is too long when its PREHEATED. Try 20-25 and they come out without the spots! I prefer the oven rack to the muffin tin for results, too. A tablespoon
    works real well, when the shell is giving you trouble. Slide it under the the inside of shell after you get a bit off, it cups the egg, and you twist to release it. Hope this helps someone. The fatter end is the end I usually tap on counter to break into the egg before using the TABLEspoon.

  25. First of all : you ALWAYS pin your eggs before boiling them.
    2 – do not forget to put some vinager in the water
    3 – You boil them no more than 3 minutes and then leave them another 7 minutes in the hot water. Why ? Because then they will ALLWAYS be nicely yellow inside and have no dark/grey-black borders at all.
    4 – stream them under cold water – ice water is even better
    5 – try to get a hold of the membrane layer under the eggshelll and you will be able to remove the shell in a breeze.

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