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Jun 27, 2008 06:31 AM

Deviled eggs- getting the shells off?

Everytime I make deviled eggs something different happens when I remove the shells. Sometimes the shells come off easily, and others it's a total struggle resulting in egg white layers coming off with the shell- ending up with a misshapen egg white for presentation. What am I doing wrong?
I have read that 'older' eggs do better because more air gets in between the membrane and the egg shell, so I've often tried to 'age' them for a couple weeks in the fridge, but this morning, even that didn't work!!! ARGH! They look awful- maybe if I turn the lights down low no one will notice!

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  1. I find that if you plunge the eggs in ice water at the end hard boiling the shells peel much easier and cleaner

    2 Replies
    1. re: mmalmad

      This is what I do - but I also crack the shells a little and let them sit in the cold water for a few minutes.

      1. re: cackalackie

        me too, cold water and crack immediately and let them sit in cold water. Always peels easy.

    2. Cool the eggs immediately in ice water when they are done cooking. If you let them cool slowly, they will stick.
      I've been told that if you dunk the cold eggs in very hot water for a few seconds just before you try to peel them, that the shell should loosen up a little (expands from the heat), although I don't know if that is true.

      1 Reply
      1. re: aryqalyn

        The method that works for me is when they are done cooking drain the water right away, pop a lid on the pan and shake vigoriously breaking all the shells while the eggs are still hot. When they are cool enough to handle, but best when they are still warm peel away....really works for me.

        1. re: todao

          I am confused by the instructions:

          "Tips on Cooking Boiled Eggs

          Place eggs in cold water. Wait until water has come to the boil and then time it with your watch .Then turn off the flame and let the pot sit with the cover on."

          From this, I believe that I should put the eggs in cold water in a pan, put the pan over heat, and when the water comes to a boil in the pan, start timing to obtain the desired egg consistency. But what about turning off the flame and letting the pot sit? Why am I doing this? For how long is the pot supposed to sit? Perhaps the instructions should read "Or turn off the flame and let sit with the cover on"?

          1. re: Marsha

            While their phrasing could be better, it's the technique I use, almost always with perfect results. By "time it with your watch" they mean "note the time on your watch." In other words:

            1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water.
            2. Bring the water to boil over high heat.
            3. As soon as the water begins boiling vigorously, remove the pan from the heat, cover it and start your timer or note the time on your clock/watch. For large eggs, allow 12 minutes for a hard-cooked but still moist yolk.
            4. When the time is up, run cold water into the pan or drop the eggs into ice water.

            1. re: carswell

              Aha! Thank you; that's much clearer.

            2. re: Marsha

              This is how I boil eggs. Then, I let them sit in the pot for 15 minutes then run through ice water, and crack. They're always done perfectly.

          2. I don't know if there is a 100% reliable method, but here's one that works for me. First off, I try to always keep at least a dozen eggs in the refrigerator that have been on hand for at least a week or two. Older eggs peel better. But older eggs also tend to let the yok go off center while boiling, so before boiling older eggs, I bring them to room temperature, then immerse them in fairly warm water for about three mnutes. This stimulates the white to firm up a bit and gets the yolks back to center. Then I put them in a pan of boiling water and boil for around ten minutes, give or take. Depends on the size of the eggs and how hard I want the yolk. I don't particularly like a green outer yolk. Then drain and fill the pan with ice and cold water. Allow to sit until cool

            In cracking the egg to peel, I give a good whomp to the large end first, then to the small end, then I roll the egg between the palms of my hands until the entire shell is in little pieces. Sometimes just the rolling rolls the shell off. Sometimes I have to peel. But when I treat eggs this way, I can't remember ever having a shell stick to the egg and mangle things...

            Oh, and if you're into crafts, save the hard boiled egg shells and decoupage them onto any surface. I do small boxes, finish the inside with special papers, then give them as trinket boxes If you have lots of time on your hands, you can even use the variations in shell colors to create pictures out of the shells. And enjoy an egg salad sandwich while you're working! '-)

            2 Replies
            1. re: Caroline1

              Caroline, only someone with your vast talents, would come up with something to do with egg shells. I just might have to try that one!

              1. re: Caroline1

                wow caroline1, that's a throwback to a very popular sleep away camp craft project. We would swipe shoe polish over the egg shells and wood surface to create a weathered effect. Wooden cigar boxes made the best trinket cases.
                Thanks for the memory!

              2. I always had this problem when making deviled eggs. Then, after reading a number of posts here about solving this problem, this Easter I used a combo of them, and all of the shells slipped right off. This is what I did:

                I wanted to buy the eggs a week in advance so they would be older (since shells come off old eggs easier) but I ended up only getting them a few days in advance. So I left them out of the fridge the night before (with the eggs turned sort of sideways, this helped center the yolk). Then, I boiled them as I normally do, and as they sat in the hot water, I filled a bowl in the sink with ice water. When I took each egg out, I tapped it quickly on the counter at the tip to make one crack, and dropped each one in the water (this apparently helps water slip in between the egg and the shell to make them easier to peel). After about ten minutes of sitting in the water, I pulled them out and peeled them, and it was a snap.