Hard boiled eggs are a versatile food that comes in handy for a variety of recipes. Making perfect hard boiled eggs every time is challenging unless you know all the tips and tricks.

One of the most frustrating things about making hard-boiled eggs at home is peeling them. After you cook and cool your eggs, you want that shell to come off easily, leaving a smooth egg white behind. When the eggshell peels off some of the egg whites, your deviled eggs come out looking rough!

Hard-boiled eggs by themselves may not be anyone’s favorite thing to eat (unless you’re bumping up your protein intake). But they are an excellent addition to appetizers, entrees, and even meatloaf (scotch eggs anyone?).

Instead of boiling extra eggs hoping for enough perfect hard boiled eggs for your recipe, let’s show you how you can get the perfect hard boiled eggs every time.

Old Eggs Vs. Fresh Eggs

hard boiled eggs
Eggs that don’t peel nicely are usually kept aside as leftovers instead of turned into beautiful recipes.

The first trick to making perfect hard boiled eggs is the age of your eggs. While it used to be an old wives’ tale that older eggs peeled easier than fresh eggs, there seems to be some truth to the myth.

Older eggs tend to peel easier because of several factors. As the eggs in your fridge age, air slowly gets into the shells through tiny pores or holes. As that air gets into the shell, it creates space between the egg’s membrane and the shell. This air pocket helps the shell peel away from the cooked egg more easily.

Food scientists also believe that the pH of the eggs change as they age in your fridge. As the eggs become less acidic, their shells release from the cooked eggs without taking away any of the cooked egg white.

The bottom line is that if you know ahead of time that you are going to be serving peeled eggs, lets your eggs sit in the fridge for 7-10 days before you boil them. 

A Formula for Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

  1. Start with an empty saucepan and add your uncooked eggs to the bottom of the saucepan. Be sure that your eggs are in one layer. You don’t want eggs on top of eggs. A single layer of eggs prevents your eggs from cracking as they bubble and shake during cooking. 
  2. Fill your pan with enough cold water to cover your eggs with at least 1-inch of water. 
  3. Set your pot on the stove and turn it on to high heat. You want to bring your eggs to a hard boil. Make sure you stay nearby. You don’t want the eggs at this hard boil stage for long. 
  4. As soon as your eggs start to boil, turn off and remove the pan from the burner. 
  5. Cover your saucepan and set a timer, letting the eggs sit in the hot water for 9-11 minutes. I tend to stop the timer at 9 minutes to ensure my eggs don’t overcook and develop a green sulfur ring around the yolk. 

For Ramen eggs or soft boiled eggs, let your eggs sit in hot water for only 5-6 minutes.

Ramen eggs have softer yolks and are often marinated in soy sauce.
  • Once your timer goes off, bring the pan of eggs and hot water to the sink and drain out as much hot water as possible. 
  • Set the pan in the sink and allow cold water to run over your eggs in the pan to cool them down. If you don’t like the idea of running cold water for a long time, you can stick the eggs in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and cool them down. 
  • Once cooled down, you can start the peeling process. 

How to Peel Boiled Eggs

Once cooked, you can let your eggs cool all the way down in the fridge, or you can start to peel them after cooling them in cold water or an ice bath.

  1. To peel your eggs, start by tapping both ends of your egg gently on a hard surface. 
  2. Tap the sides of the egg on a hard surface, or gently roll your egg on a hard surface to crack the sides of the egg. 
  3. Find the end of the egg, which has an air bubble or air pocket. Once you find this air pocket, that’s where you should start peeling away at your eggshell. 

Rolling your egg on a countertop will create micro-cracks in the eggshell without disrupting the interior membrane. You should be able to peel away the shell in large chunks by getting your fingernail under that membrane.

While there is no 100% foolproof method for peeling eggs, this is the easiest method we have found to make beautiful recipes using hard boiled eggs that are easy to peel!

Recipes Using Hard Boiled Eggs

What are some of your favorite ways to eat hard boiled eggs?

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