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Oct 3, 2010 11:09 AM

Tips for peeling hard boiled eggs?

I am a member of a CSA and so we get all our eggs through that, fresh from the farm. I've read that fresh eggs are harder to peel when hard-boiled, but I've never in my life experienced eggs as difficult to peel as these. No matter how delicate I try to be, I end up peeling off whole chunks of the egg white. I looked up a bunch of tips online but so far nothing has worked: I've tried the trick of cracking the egg on either side and rolling out with your palm, I've tried letting the egg cool completely, and I've tried microwaving the eggs for 30 seconds. I've also tried putting a dash of vinegar in the water while the eggs were cooking. None have solved this problem. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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  1. Let them age about 2 weeks.

    1 Reply
    1. When I have to peela bunch of eggs I doo it under a bit of running water or keep a bowlof water handy for dunking. Shells slide off more easily.

      Haven't encountered REALLY hard shells yet, though.

      Good luck.

      1. When I am lucky enough to get local eggs from a friend or neighbor I keep them out on the counter or in a bowl on the dining table. The room temp is perfectly fine for storing eggs and they do age a bit quicker, resulting in hard-boiled eggs that are easier to peel.
        One note: I do wash each egg with soap and water and a sponge before putting them in a bowl.
        I think this totally skivves some people out, but I am perfectly comfortable with it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rabaja

          Don't wash eggs that will be kept at room temperature. Unwashed eggs have a natural coating that makes them less permeable to air, so they can stay at room temp. Washing removes that protective layer.

          1. re: greygarious

            Hmmm, so do you wash them as you use them?
            Most of the farms where I live that sell fresh eggs wash them before putting them out for sale (I know this only because I worked with a couple last Summer). Although some I get at the farmers market up here are clearly unwashed...I use them fairly quickly, does that matter?

            1. re: rabaja

              Large egg production facilities wash their eggs but they are then kept refrigerated.
              Smaller farms that wash are hopefully not leaving them at room temperature for days on end. They probably assume buyers will be turned off by streaks or feathers, and will refrigerate them at home, but if they don't recommend refrigeration, they should. . Personally, I don't wash them unless I am using them raw. If I crack an egg and promptly cook or bake with it, I don't think there's time for any problematic levels of bacteria to develop.

        2. There was a tip sent in by a reader to Cook's Illustrated a number of years back that I have found to be the easiest method. After you take the eggs off the heat and have cooled them down in cold water still in the pot, you drain the water and bounce the eggs against the bottom of the pot so they crack the shell all around the eggs. Now refill the pot of eggs with cold water and place in the refrigerator for about an hour. Take the eggs out of the water and the shells slide right peeling at all.