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hard boiled eggs

I know this is kinda basic, but I seem to be doing something wrong when boiling my eggs. They are SO hard to peel, and I invariably lose alot of the white that sticks to the shell as I pull it off. They look ghastly.

My routine: add eggs to cold water, bring to boil, cover and let sit at least 10 minutes (no more than 15), rinse a few times with cold water, and put them in the fridge. When ready to eat, I spend 5 minutes trying to peel one, shells start flying, egg keeps gettting smaller...not pretty. What is the best way to hard cook eggs to eliminate this problem?

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  1. You need to peel them while they are still warm. Once they cool completely, they are impossible to de-shell.

    1. I bring them to a boil, cover and remove pot from heat for about 12 minutes and then give them an ice bath. I've read that how easy they are to peel are due to freshness but don't know how true that is; the fresher, the harder.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowser

        Follow the above directions from chowser, but peel them under a cold water rinse in the sink. The water will seperate the shell from the albumen (white).

      2. As strange as it sounds, your eggs were probably too fresh.

        Here's a recent thread on this:

        1. Oh wow - I am so embarassed that this was addressed so recently! I usually search before I post, but I figured this had to be so basic that it would not be covered.

          Indeed, the freshness must be the issue. We usually get our eggs from Wilson's where they sell within a day or two of collecting the eggs. I guess I'll have to age them for this purpose!

          thanks for all the advice

          2 Replies
          1. re: lisa13

            you can age them by leaving them out on the counter for a day or two...

          2. I cook mine by covering them with cold water & adding a little salt to the water. Boil for 12 min. Drain immed & cover with cold water until just cool enough to handle. Works for me!

            1. i do the same as finewine; keeping the coldest water running over them in a bowl until they are cold. then peel. no worries.

              1. One point no one mentioned, once they've cooled down a little, roll them between your hands or on the counter to crack the shells & loosen.

                1. If, after you boil them, you plunge them into cold water and then peel promptly, it makes them easier to peel because the the center contracts from the cold quicker than the shell can.

                  1. I use a recipe that calls for placing the eggs in ice water for 10 min, then back in the boiling water for one minute, then back in the ice bath for 3 mins. They seem easy enough to peel using this method.

                    1. I thought it was a freshness thing, but I found a new technique. I tend to like to make right before I eat because I never think to make par avance. So, I cover eggs with water, bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15 minutes. Take off of stove, let cold water run over them til cool enough to peel. Smack the egg against the side of the sink to ensure lots of crackage. Then, the key as I have found it to be, is the start at the less pointy/ more round end of the egg. Pinch the shell at that round end, so that the membrane between the shell and white breaks; as long as you get one point where the membrane is separated from the egg, you can use that starting point to peel the rest of the shell off, almost rubbing off the membrane rather than grabbing at random pieces of shell. I hope this makes sense-- it's made me far less angry when I choose hard-boiled eggs and egg salad :)

                      1. I have tried every method listed above. Fresh, old, hot, cold, and each works for about 80% of the eggs. Eggs are little children. Sometimes they cooperate and sometimes they don't.

                        I boil them them put them in cold water and peel while still warm. If I am serving the whole egg (Holiday time) or cutting in half I now make 125% of what I need and hope for the best. Good lookers go on the plate, pot holed ones go into the egg salad. Win-win.