How to Peel Boiled Eggs Perfectly Every Time.

How to Peel Boiled Eggs Perfectly Every Time

Ahh, the boiled egg. Its simplicity has been gracing many a table for literally thousands of years, likely evolving from roasted eggs to boiled eggs with the invention of pottering about 5000 B.C. Since then, boiled eggs have been enjoyed in a plethora of ways around the globe, in homes and taverns alike, and adorned as part of religious holidays and New Year traditions. Each of those ways requires the egg to be peeled, so today, we will chat about peeling eggs.

From soft-boiled to hard-boiled, stuffed, pickled, chopped, or coated, one thing every boiled egg has in common is a need to be peeled in order to be eaten, and peeling, can be tricky. Most who’ve tried to peel eggs have experienced stuck shells, broken whites, and a general maddening effort to separate peels from the egg whites. So, Purely Poultry to the rescue. We’ve gathered and written down egg-peeling tips on How to Peel Boiled Eggs Perfectly Every time!

#1. Aging the eggs a bit. 

While most people prefer fresh eggs over eggs purchased at a grocer, this is one place where older eggs work better. As eggs get older, their membrane starts to pull away from the shell. This makes older eggs easier to peel than fresh eggs. One way to get easy-peel hard-boiled eggs is to store eggs in your refrigerator for four to eight weeks before boiling, but who has that kind of time anymore? We want fresh, easy-to-peel eggs, and we want them now?! Am I right?

#2. Grandma told me…

There are lots of kitchen-witch tricks handed down from generations of grandmothers who seem to do it best. The best advice we’ve tested to date was to add a tablespoon of vinegar or baking soda (lemon juice or a bit of salt will work, too) to the boiling water. Any of these ideas added to the water really does make peeling easier. ** Note here, while it may be tempting after your first dozen pain-in-the-neck-peelers are now eggs salad and should have been deviled, we do NOT suggest adding all of these items at once. Just pick one and try to be patient. 

#3. They like it hot.

Ready to live on the edge? Good, because dropping your eggs (or setting them gently with a large spoon) into already boiling water is REALLY going to help that stubborn and delectable white separate from the shell once it’s cooked. I’m not going to tell you how long to leave your eggs to cook. That’s a very personal decision, and we don’t want to get involved with people’s life choices.. but I will say that my grandma taught me that 10 minutes is a PERFECT time. 

#4. Have you ever done the Polar Plunge?

The Polar Plunge is where a bunch of hot-blooded humans immerse themselves in icy water for the thrill .. and to raise money for Special Olympics. We’re kinda gonna do the same to these eggs, but with a little less fanfare. However, you do it as soon as your timer dings, get your freshly boiled eggs to icy-cold water for a cool-down. A bowl of ice water is popular. I place mine in a bowl under running cold water in the sink and allow it to run continuously for 5 full minutes. No matter how you choose to cool them down, there are two rules here. One, get them cool as fast as you can, and two, leave them alone while they cool. You’ve got better things to do for five minutes anyway.  

#5. Tap and Soak.

Now that your eggs are cool enough to handle tap each egg on a hard, flat surface just hard enough to crack the shell (I have a theory that it works best if you crack the end instead of the side, but I can’t prove it) and then set it back into the bowl of water as you work to gently crack the rest of the shells. The water will sneak in under the shell of the egg and start to loosen it while you’re busy. Once all of the eggs are cracked, go ahead and begin to peel!

#6. Give back.

Don’t forget to dry, smash or grind, and feed those shells back to the lovelies that gave them to you, to begin with. They are a rich source of calcium, and your chickens will kind of recycle them into new shells on upcoming eggs!

#7. Create your masterpiece.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Ashrita Furman peeled and ate 6 entire eggs in under one minute in New York in March of 2012. While I am still trying to figure out how he was able to enjoy and savor those delicious eggs that quickly, I haven’t even contemplated how I’ll learn to peel that quickly. Until then, I’ll just keep doing it my way, and we can all slice, dice, salt, or smash our ways to perfect culinary treats! Your eggs will be perfectly plump and smooth and arguably the tastiest part of your recipe. Send pics!

Before we go.. we found this amazing way to make the perfect egg in …wait for it… a Pressure Cooker! Yep, that’s right. The old instant pot stands out once again! Try it, and let us know how you do!

How to steam eggs in a pressure cooker:

If you have an instant pot or any other type of pressure cooker, follow this procedure for perfect-peel eggs.

1 In the bottom of the pot, place the steamer rack that came with your cooker.

2 Fill the pot with as many eggs as you would like to cook, staying below the maximum fill line if your cooker has one.

3 Add 1 or more cups of water. ( Check the manual for your cooker. You may have a larger capacity cooker which may require a minimum of 2 cups of water.

4 Lock the lid and close the vent. Set your pressure cooker on high pressure and cook for 5 minutes.

5 Once the timer goes off, allow the cooker to cool for 5 minutes before rotating the vent to release any additional steam. While the cooker is venting, get an ice bath ready by filling a large bowl with ice and topping it with cold water.

6 Remove the lid when safe to do so. Remove the eggs from the cooker to the ice bath. Like we read above, let them chill in the ice bath for 5 minutes before peeling or drying and storing them in the fridge in their shells.


Tip: Boiled eggs can be preserved in the refrigerator for 7 days.