HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


"Peeling" a hard boiled egg w/out peeling

I don't agree w/ the hard boiling technique mentioned but this looks like a great way to get the peel off the eggg:


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. sorry but someone blowing into my hard boiled egg is not going to happen. big eeeeeewww

    6 Replies
    1. re: bw2082

      you mean their fingers all over them is better?

      1. re: thew

        well yes. presumably hands are washed and don't involve bodily fluids.

      2. re: bw2082

        Yikes, bw2082, you must not adhere to George Carlin's method of keeping your immune system in tiptop shape: simply pick food up and eat/use it when it falls onto the floor. Gives your immune system a real workout!


        1. re: bw2082

          You could always peel your own that way.

        2. Now that is fantastic. An actually NEW idea!

          bw & thew, its a technique for home cooks. How many people eat hard cooked eggs in a restaurant?

          14 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            This reminds me of.....
            "You know you don't have to act with me, Sam. You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Sam? You just put your lips together and... blow. "

            Would I use this technique when preparing eggs for guests? Probably not. But I must say, it's innovative. I've only blown raw eggs.

            1. re: Gio

              Gads, we have the same scenes etched in our minds? Now, in terms of eggs, I've only blown raw ones as well. I was cooking too many other things tonight to do any, but you can bet that tomorrow will have me shooting hard eggs out of their shells at my daughter, Dana Zsofia. She will laugh her a&& off!

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Yeah, but when you blow raw eggs, it's usually because you want the shell for some sort of art project.

            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Not that new, Sam. I've been doing it with raw eggs since I was a little kid. Did it with cooked eggs at least thirty years ago, but I was making egg salad, and you know how your jaws ache after you blow up too many baloons? Yeah. Like that! But if you got Dizzy Gallespie on the team, I'll bet you could have enough hard boiled eggs to make egg salad for an army in no time flat...! '-)

              1. re: Caroline1

                C1, I had never, ever seen that technique nor had dreamed it possible. Love it. Tomorrow: blowing hard cooked eggs at my daughter. Oh, and what end do you blow? Small or large? Guessing small.

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Sam, I hope I'm not interrupting your knitting, but this is not a manly method. If it serves to entertain Dana Zsofia, all's forgiven...:)

                  1. re: Veggo

                    There is nothing as gratifying as having your daughter develop a sense of ironic/moronic/sophomoric humor, an appreciation of spicy food, a lack of fear of bugs and worms, and a sense of self.

                      1. re: Hue

                        Hue, you will get by with your 7:39 reply to my 7:35, 18 posts below (at the moment) which will get zapped! Taint fair!

                  2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Yup. The small end. But don't forget a generous blow to the large end! The membrane around the egg acts like a balloon, then the large end pops and out it flies! But it's not as easy as blowing raw eggs. If you're a trumpet player, you're good to go for the day!

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      Oh, this is all such a fun read!

                      I have to see if my lungs (former opera singer and underwater swimmer) are up to the test. All in the interest of science. I'm not worried about looking foolish!

                  3. re: Caroline1

                    when I was a kid, at easter we would blow raw eggs, pour liquid jello in and wrap in foil to gel. when you cracked them open you got jello eggs (which kids like better)

                    1. re: budlit

                      Cool! I may have to buy Jello just to try this.

                      1. re: budlit

                        Oooh, Easter! One of the things I love to do with hard boiled eggs at Easter time is to crack the shell as if to peel, but not fine craze, kind of larger grain. Then put the cooked egg in Easter egg dye, let them sit about fifteen minutes, THEN peel them. They have this gorgeous crackled color finish to them. I've used them in a clear gel mold, but I've also cut them in half, devilled the yolks, then stuck them back together and used them as a component of a "salad composee" in a sort of nest arrangement: Lettuce cup, one larger or several smaller eggs, maybe a few yellow cherry tomatoes or asparagus tips. Works great as a first course, and it's pretty. Kind of like brocade eggs.

                    1. Would this technique work with quail eggs? If it does, I am *so* going to make quail-egg scotch eggs!


                      11 Replies
                      1. re: AnneInMpls

                        I think it would be hard, because the quail eggs are so small I would think it would be hard to force sufficient air through. On the other hand, the business of putting the eggs in ice water immediately after cooking really does help with peeling. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but it makes the membrane stick to the shell rather than the egg.

                        1. re: jlafler

                          anyone tested the baking soda thing, too?

                          1. re: Morganna

                            I found the baking soda instruction slightly confusing. Does one put it into the cooking water or the cold water soak? If just the soak, that's not a very long time for it to have any effect on the egg.

                            1. re: Nyleve

                              I was thinking the cooking water :) I usually put salt in the cooking water, that helps keep eggs that crack from pouring out completely into the water, so I'll just try baking soda. I'm gonna boil a wodge of eggs tonight so I'll report back on how it works for me :)

                              1. re: Morganna

                                A wodge of eggs, an exaltation of larks...

                              2. re: Nyleve

                                Nyleve, the written instructions per Ferris say to cool the eggs after boiling in cold water with ice and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Ferris says that this reduces "adherence" -- ostensibly of the membrane to the egg.

                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                  I'm skeptical. But that's not unusual for me.

                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                    The thing is, you really don't need the baking soda; ice cold water does the trick by itself.

                                    Okay, here's my theory: the rapid cooling condenses any water vapor between the membrane and the shell (there must be some in there), making it stick together (think wet bathing suit). Because the egg cools from the outside, this happens to the membrane/shell before it has a chance to happen to the membrane/egg. If I'm right, the most effective thing would be to plunge the eggs into ice water for a limited time (say, 20 seconds), then remove them.

                                    1. re: jlafler

                                      There are two tricks to optimum peeling.

                                      Ice-cold water method:
                                      An immediate plunge into ice water causes the peels to be shucked
                                      like a charm. (Method: Cover eggs with cold water, bring to boil and turn off heat, cover and steep for 18 minutes, then plunge into ice cold water.)

                                      The reason this works is a relative shrinkage thing: The shell, membrane and solidified egg white all shrink when exposed to cold but the solidified egg white shrinks the most of the three. It tightens measurably and pulls away from the membrane, creating an air space and separation between it and the shell/membrane, thus easier shuckage.

                                      Baking Soda method in cold water for fresh eggs:
                                      But the baking soda in the ice water is a good trick for FRESH eggs when those are used to make hard-boiled eggs. Fresh eggs are more acidic than eggs a few days old and that causes the egg white to stick to the membrane, according to Harold McGee. Adding baking soda to the cold water decreases the acidity, so the egg white doesn't stick to the membrane, so easier shuckage that way also.

                          2. This is totally, absolutely, without a doubt....


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Veggo

                              Hey if it works for Sam, go for it. And if that's the case, many bars in the US will be swapping hard boiled eggs for peanuts.

                              Can anybody say "Cool Hand Luke."

                              1. re: jfood

                                jfood, once again our respective business schools' doctrine at of U. of Chicago and Wharton are in congruence.
                                A successful business plan does NOT include Sam blowing eggs..:)

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  Boy, you really love to leave doors open, don't you? Good thing I'm a lady... Some of the time, anyway. '-)

                                  If I haven't passed, you up, I'm sure I've at least tied you on deletions this week. :-(

                            2. I'm easily amused, I think its funny! Don't think I'd do it for actual cooking but sure would be fun to entertain my sons with!

                              1. Much better video of the same technique here -- "Blow and Catch":

                                1. This is fantastic! I'm definitely going to do this the next time I make hard boiled eggs.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: JasmineG

                                    I did this with eggs this morning, and it was totally fun, though it didn't work perfectly. I didn't put baking soda in the water, so that may have been one variable, and I was using pretty small farmer's market eggs, so that may have made it harder. I ended up on one egg with a bunch of the white stuck to the shell (once I blew the egg out), but the other one was a lot better. I'll try this again with some larger and less fresh eggs and see what happens.

                                  2. Would this work as well with soft-boiled eggs? Or would the blowing force cause the more fragile white to break apart? I guess I will have to experiment over the sink.

                                    14 Replies
                                    1. re: toutefrite

                                      Let us know if it works. First off, it will probably depend on how soft the egg is. A four minute egg will probably have more chance of survival than a three minute egg. But who knows? I would expect the egg white to split because of uneven interiorr pressure from the soft yolk being "squished", but we'll never know for sure until somebody tries it. Good luck!

                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                        yes, the four minute egg was a failure. There were gelatinous gobs of egg white and viscous yolk all over. Perhaps my lungs are just too powerful given that I am such an athlete (total sarcasm).

                                        1. re: toutefrite

                                          hmmmm Thanks for trying! Sorry it didn't work. But if you're ever overwhelmed by the compulsion to give it another shot, so to speak, I was thinking about it this morning and wondering if perhaps it would work if you crackeled the shell on the large end about half way up. Seems to me that that would allow the sac the egg is contained in to rupture with a much greater pathway to let the whole egg throug. But hey, don't try it untless you enjoy a diet of soft boiled eggs!

                                          I've been racking my brain trying to remember how it's done, but there is a French dish (and I can't remember what it is either!) in which the whole but very soft egg is served atop something, but the egg is still perfectly preserved in it's shell form. It's NOT a poached egg. I think it's just soft boiled, then peeled like a hard boiled egg. I think for it to work by blowing the egg, the egg would have to be pretty well aged.

                                          You're a good one for going to all the trouble, then reporting back! Thank you! :-)

                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                            For that, you break the egg into plastic wrap draped into a cup, twist the wrap shut, and poach. Take the egg out when it is a bit more than poached and unwrap--you get a ball of not poached, not soft-boiled, not hard cooked.

                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                              LOL! I'll bet you can get an egg with some funny crannies and creases in it's exerior with that method! Sam, you're soooo creative! Blown any hard boiled eggs lately?

                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                C1, not my creativity--that is, I think, a fairly established way of doing eggs since the dawn of plastic wrap in France. I was going to blow those hard eggs at Dana Zsofia yesterday or today, but we had some logistical problems--had to go buy and haul a large roll of barbed wire up to the finca.

                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                  Then that explains my ignorance. I've been rather ticked at the French ever since they embraced cuisine minceur, lo these many years ago. They hadn't heard the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Still, French or not, it has a lot of fun possibilities for using eggs as an edible art form. Use one of those hand-held heat sealers intended to reseal bags of potato chips to make a little octopus shaped bag to cook an egg in. Look, Ma, white tentacles and an orange head! Or use a rubber glove to sous vide scrambled eggs, serve it on a waffle and call it, "Let's give breakfast a hand." Lots of possibilities! '-)

                                                  Here's hoping the barbed wire is to keep animals out, and not guerillas!

                                            2. re: Caroline1

                                              Steak tartare is served that way, with an egg like you're describing, as well as Salade Lyonnaise, one of my favorites.

                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                Bingo! Steak tartare! That wonderful dish from yesteryear, before the government said it had to be served at 140F. <sigh> Gourmets are the victims of Federal germ warfare!

                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                  Hmm...I find it rather often, and the the salade lyonnaise is rather common here in the Bay Area. Never enough lardons for me, though.

                                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                                    I was kidding, ML, though I tend not to order steak tartar in restaurants, prefering to make my own at home. Restaurant chefs tend to try to get a little too creative by putting their own "mark" on a dish, often leaving out the very ingredients I savor the most. I'm from The Little Red Hen school of cooking.

                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                      I suspected you were kidding, but there are many -- many -- who not only frown upon the raw egg in ST, but the rather extreme carnivore aspect of it.

                                                      I prefer to make ST myself as well, grinding the meat at home (have even done it in a food processor) or asking a butcher to do it before my eyes. However, there happens to be a lovely French bistro near me that does ST quite well, with the raw/coddled egg sitting in its half shell poised perfectly on top of the mound of tartare. No gratuitous embellishment, no improvisation for improvisation's sake.

                                                      Care to expound on The Little Red Hen School of Cooking? Is that making everything from scratch? Sounds like a great title for an article, even a comedic essay (I know you write.)

                                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                                        "The Little Red Hen School of Cooking" is my version of if you won't help me make it, you don't get to help me eat it.

                                                        But that is truly a joke because I really hate having anyone insist they help me cook. I am absolutely a charter member of the "Too Many Cooks Spoil School." And I do love feeding people! I am one of those poor souls who can gain a pound or two just smelling the bakery, so I'm a strong subscriber to the idea that if I fatten everyone else up, I'll blend right in. '-)

                                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                                          Oh! And about the steak tartare... The master chef who taught me to cook when I lived in Turkey used to have caniption fits over ground meat! Insisted she mince hamburger by hand using two razor sharp knives, and that every tiny piece have clean cut edges. She said grinding mashes the meat and it won't be as flavorful or juicy or have the "proper" texture. And she was absolutley right. But oh my god, what a lot of work! She would mince meat by the kilo, I would mince it by the ounce. But it really is better. So if you've never had it minced by hand, and find yourself in the mood for doing things the hard way, make yourself a quarter pounder! If you're generous enough to make it for two, well, bless your heart! It must be love.

                                        2. OK, I did this today with four eggs. HB eggs cooled in ice water. I had to peel off about a 3/4-inch circle on each end of the egg to make it work -- and when the egg came out, it came out perfectly clean.

                                          I did think by the time I picked off that big a piece of shell off each egg end that in a few extra seconds I could have shelled the whole egg...but no matter, I had to try to blowing method. Works great. Will have to see how little of the shell I can pick off and still have perfect blow-peeled eggs. .

                                          No mouth germ worries: The HB eggs were for my own personal consumption.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: maria lorraine

                                            Nice to hear a report of positive results.

                                            Maria, how old were the eggs?

                                            I've got a deviled egg event forthcoming, and have a few dozen aging in the fridge.

                                            3/4 inch sounds intuitively right. I'm considering a modification of the method: cradle a melon baller on the egg's pole as I tap to break, so as to transfer the energy into cutting a more easily peeled circle of shell.

                                            Did you bother with the alkaline wash?

                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                              Eggs are older than a week, probably 10 days, no alkaline/baking soda wish. Came out clean as a whistle. You have to blow hard, and direct your breath in a focused "beam." But it works well. Now I want to try to see just how tiny a piece of shell I have to remove to get the same great results. If a melon baller works for you, fine. I don't think that will better than plain old fingers, though, because you have to have the dexterity to pick up a piece of shell.

                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                Nice! I keep trying to follow the thread and hoping somebody commenting had actually actually tried this technique. Thanks for the report.

                                                Edit: Apologies to JasmineG and toutefrite - I just read through everything again and realized you tried this too ; )

                                            2. re: maria lorraine

                                              I tried it, too, and thought the same thing--that it would be faster for me to peel the eggs than to peel the rings around the top. It was also harder to blow than I expected. I'll have my husband who's played trumpet do it next time. The kids had fun with it, though. One more thing, though, if the yolk is near the end to blows out, the whites shred.

                                            3. This is wonderful. Now I can use my air compressor in the kitchen for more than cleaning out the coils on the bottom of my refrigerator. Pickled eggs here we come.

                                              1. I'm definitely going to try this. Must be fun. How far do you reckon one of those puppies could fly?

                                                While typing this I had a brain movement. There is a possible way to eliminate mouth contamination.

                                                Does anyone recall the science experiment in which a boiled egg is sucked through the mouth of a milk bottle? No-one said that the egg had to be completely peeled.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: DockPotato

                                                  I thought I wasn't blowing hard enough (OK, I can hear the laughs now), so I blew even harder and that thing went flying -- at least a foot straight out.

                                                  Different scientific principle with the egg going into the milk bottle after a piece of paper is burned inside the milk bottle -- that's from the creation of a vacuum.

                                                2. Okay, I had to try this method over the weekend.... Totally did not work for me. Maybe I didn't peel a large enough circle at each end of the egg. Maybe I wasn't blowing hard enough. Maybe I gave up trying too quickly because my husband walked by and asked me what the hell I was doing...

                                                  1. http://www.eggstractor.net/

                                                    My friend got me this as a gag birthday gift. Much more sanitary than blowing, I'd say