HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


How to peel 240 hard boiled deviled eggs

Why are they so hard to peel? Any tricks? I have been cooking for a long time but this always makes me crazy! Like I learned in school a long time ago eggs in pot, cold water, bring to a boil, turn off let stand 10 minutes covered and shock then peel!

easy right????NOT!!! shells always stick!
ok help me out!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. I use a similar approach to hard-boiling the eggs, but after I remove the pot from the stove, I pour off the boiling water and immediately dump in lots of ice cubes and some cold water. Generally the shells come off quite easily after that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karen K

        That's how I do it and they're still not that easy to peel. If I'm in a hurry, I've taken to putting the eggs in the ice water bath and then peeling beneath running water. It helps force off the shell and any bits I've missed.

      2. You need older eggs. If they are too fresh they are the dickens to peel neatly. Eggs that are about 2 weeks old are fairly ideal. If you don't have the time to wait leaving them out on the counter for about 24 hours that will age them about the same as refrigerating for 1 week.

        I put the eggs in the pot cover with cold water and adda splash of vinegar. The vinegar will keep the white in a cracked egg from spreading all over. I bring them to a boil, give them a stir cover, turn the heat to the very lowest setting (i have a simmer burner, if you don't you might want to try a flame tamer) leave them alone 15 minutes (lg eggs). Then drain. Put the lid back on shake the pan vigorously to crack the eggs all over and cover with a lot of ice and water. When comfortable to handle peel. Works for me unless the eggs are really fresh. I got some from a local farmer a few weeks ago They must have been layed thagt morning. Even after 2 weeks I had a hard time peeling them so i gave up and made scrambled eggs.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Candy

          Candy's right -- there are many reasons to love fresh eggs, but ease of peeling isn't one of them. I always buy local eggs from free range chickens, unless I'm making deviled eggs. Then I go the the supermarket and delve deep to find the oldest ones. this makes a huge difference.

        2. What you really need is that device from Bridget Jones diary, "have it oeuf. "
          (an egg peeler, for those who haven't seen the movie.) :)

          1. There's a retired fellow in my town who enjoys preparing deviled eggs in quantity for barbecues and other food events. His secret, I've been told by a mutual acquaintance, is to leave the eggs at room temperature for two days before cooking. Haven't tried it myself yet.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mpalmer6c

              That's a handy tip, will try it! I use locally farmed eggs and they are a b!tch to peel, probably because they're too fresh for hbing.

              1. re: mpalmer6c

                Yeah, that would about 2 weeks of aging. Sometimes with truly fresh eggs even that is not enough.

                1. re: mpalmer6c

                  Just tried this today to make my "Joe Jost's Pickled Eggs" and it works! I let them sit out for two days at room temp and then cooked them. Amazing. Instead of aging the eggs, I'll be doing this from now on.

                2. Before I boil eggs, I take a needle and poke a hole in the top (the more narrow end), when finished plunge in cold water and then peel. I cannot remember where I read about the needle trick but it seems to work just make sure you peel before they get too cold.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: paulgardner

                    funny, I always poke the hole in the larger end. But I think that's more to prevent them from cracking during cooking.

                  2. After I boil eggs I leave them in the pan and run cold water over them for at least ten minutes. (If Mike's around he insists on coming and turning the water down, which makes me crazy.) That usually makes them easier to peel, although I have a batch now and then that really end up mangled. Luckily when that happens I'm usually making egg salad so their appearance doesn't matter as much.

                    1. I think that getting any kids in your household to peel their hearts out is the best way to do 240 eggs.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: WCchopper

                        Yes, ideally one has several children several years in advance. It was in my mother's cookbook, and I know she was not alone. Cookbooks today omit such necessary information.

                        As we said in our family, the point of children is the available labor pool...

                      2. This is not really a solution but I saw a product at Sam's Club the other day.....6 dozen hard boiled eggs already peeled. Never bought them, but if you were desperate...?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sweetie

                          Almost enough for 1.5 Cool Hand Lukes!

                        2. The vinegar has worked well since I started adding that, but that I think someone said was for the whites. I also read on here to put the box of eggs upside down before cooking as it centers the yoke - esp good for deviled eggs, I have started doing this, but haven't really compared it to the old way so not sure if it makes a difference...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: geminigirl

                            It's easy, one word, SALT. Add a lot of salt to the water. Eggs in heavily salted water, bring to a boil. Boil softly for 15 mins, drain, fill pan with ice water and let sit a few minutes before peeling. Voila!

                          2. I remember seeing this video on super fast way to peel eggs although I haven't tried it. Did a search on youtube, so here you go:


                            5 Replies
                            1. re: fdb

                              PLEASE, someone report back and tell us if this works! LOL!!!

                                1. re: oaklandfoodie

                                  I just tried this and it works suprisingly well ! Peel away the shell from the wide end, then a smallish portion (you need a good seal between your mouth and the egg) from the narrow end, and-- blow! It truly is fast. Sanitary?

                                  1. re: blue room

                                    Just don't accidentally inhale.

                                    That would be a bad thing.

                                2. re: fdb

                                  Call me germaphobic, but I think this way is a bit more sanitary:

                                3. The vinegar trick should help and I also find they peel so much better when ice cold! Also as PP mentioned don't use super fresh eggs.

                                  1. After the eggs are cooked, crack them and soak in cold water for 15 or so minutes. The water gets between the shell and the egg and makes peeling much easier.

                                    Also, as others have noted, older eggs are much easier to peel than fresh ones.

                                    1. I saw Jamie Oliver do this. Just crack the shell on the side and roll it on its side all across a flat surface until the whole egg is cracked then peel away.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: digkv

                                        My mother used to use this method a thousand years ago, so of course I did too until I let cold water run over the cooked eggs as I peeled away the shell. Works a treat.

                                      2. Use eggs 2 weeks old or older AND leave them out to completely come to room temperature AND pierce the rounder end , but not thru to the membrane (this allows the sulphur gas out of the egg which will stop you getting a grey ring around the yolk) AND add a splash of vinegar (which will stop the white leaking out if you have inadvertently pierced the internal membrane).

                                        Place eggs in cold water, bring to boil (If you want your yolks centred, then stir the pan full of eggs until the come to the boil )

                                        Boil for 7-10 mins and then immediately drain off boiling water and refresh with cold (ice if you like).

                                        Wait until the eggs are cool enough to handle and crack them by running along a flat surface with the palm of your hand and peeling.

                                        The whole thing depends on the age of your eggs, tho.. if they're too fresh, no amount of stuffing around will make them easy to peel.

                                        1. It's what many have said... the older the egg the easier the peeling.

                                          1. I used to get too frustrated with peeling to make deviled eggs, even though they are one of my absolute favorite foods. Then my stepfather told me the world's simplest trick: 1.) bang the egg down on the counter to crack it a bit. 2.) roll it back and forth to further crack the shell. 3.) THE REAL SECRET: remove the tip (wherever the air pocket is), then slide a teaspoon between the shell and egg and lift. the spoon glides underneath and you can remove the whole shell in just one or two swathes. Incredibly satisfying!

                                            1. another one of those things that I never gave much thought about, but reading posts and watching the videos that recommend simmering for 10-15 minutes reminded me that those are the type of boiled eggs that I used to choke on because of the dryness of the yolk. In fact, I've had this negative feeling (and fear) about egg yolks for most of my life.

                                              Somewhere I learned to bring the eggs to a boil, turn it off, put the lid on and forget about it. When the water has turned luke warm from sitting, I dump the water out, kind of knead the eggs against each other so that the shells crack all over. Then each the shells usually come off in 2 pieces attached to the membrane. A quick rinse under cold water to make sure there are no little bits of shell that that's it. The egg whites are tender, not too soft though, and the egg yolk, fully cooked, but not over cooked, very rich tasting and goes down quite easily.

                                              These are eggs from Farmer's Market, by the way.