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Nov 30, 2010 06:16 AM

Hard boiled eggs.... peeling issues

I am having trouble removing the shell from hard boiled eggs without loosing some of the white. I bring the eggs up to a boil remove from the heat and let sit for 15minutes. I'm in Denver and need the 15 minutes. I then shock them in ice water and try to peel... What am I doing wrong? How do you peel hard boil eggs without loosing any of the white and keeping it looking perfect? Jen

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  1. Are your eggs fresh from the hen? Age them for a week or more. Is this a common occurance with the eggs you buy? Age them for a week or more. Just ten minutes ago, I actually hard boiled and peeled four "older" supermaket eggs, gotta have some age on them, and they were difficult to peel. I cooked them the same way you do, although just for 12 minutes, shocked under cold running water, cracked by running them up the side of the sink (old chef trick), and still a problem peeling. I used to use salt in the water, but that doesn't do anything. Neither does the addition of vinegar. How you crack them makes no difference, either.

    Did you cover the pot after removing it from the heat? Not that that matters. I have probably cooked and peeled five thousand million eggs in my life and still occasionally get unpeelable ones.

    There have been/are many threads on this subject, here are a few, and you'll get lots of ideas for why and how to avoid the issue. The bottom line is that, beyond freshness, eggs are just sometimes difficult to peel:

    This thread discusses high altitude egg cookery:

    1. I try to peel them underwater (in the cold water that I shock them in, as soon as possible) and that usually works, but yeah...sometimes they're just difficult to peel. I guess it depends on the chicken? Heh.

      1. Boil then as you normally would and then drain off hot water, take pot handle in both hands and then rotate pot in a circle vigorously until all shells are cracked from hitting other eggs or pot sides. peel off shells and rinse now unshelled eggs to capture any strays.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Duppie

          I also drain the hot water then shake them around in the pan until the shells crack. But then I add very cool water and let them sit in that so the cold water can get between the egg and the shell to loosen it. I find this works very well.

          1. re: AmyH

            this is the method I did yesterday, sadly, it was a fail for this egg crackin lass :(

            1. re: iL Divo

              Sorry. I hope you can find another method that works better for you.

              1. re: iL Divo

                Have you tried the steaming method yet? I will never go back to simmering eggs in water ever again.

                1. re: John E.

                  John talk to me please about steaming.
                  is that method here on this page of questions regarding HB egg peeling?

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    I posted a link downthread, but here it is again.


                    Basically, you either use a collapsable steamer basket, or use a kettle with a pasta strainer insert (this is what I do). Put a couple of inches of water into a kettle, bring the water to a boil, add the eggs with the strainer or steamer, cover, and reduce the heat to medium to keep the water boiling/steaming. I then drop the strainer or steamer basket into a sink with ice water for 5 minutes. I usually then let them dry on a towel on the counter and tcouhen put them back into the egg carton and refrigerate them. Mark each egg with a Sharpie so you know they are cooked. Of course you don't need to do this if you are going to use them right away. They seem to peel just as easy cold as they are hot.

                    I have found that 13 minutes is the time to steam if the eggs come right out of the refrigerator using large eggs.

                  2. re: John E.

                    Yup, steaming is the way to go. I've done it in a pressure cooker. 5 min at pressure with 5 min natural cool down then cool off in water with equal success. Steaming is easier.

                2. re: AmyH

                  As soon as I drain, I start running cold tap water in til it overflows and has completely cooled the pan. Then I add ice cubes and gently crack the eggs all over while in the water. Leave for five minutes. Never a problem.

              2. Two tips I probably learned on these boards are to
                1- add a splash of vinegar to the boiling water before putting eggs in and
                2 -when eggs are done cooking place them straight into ice water for a minute or so
                The shell peels off easily each time.

                1 Reply
                1. re: EM23

                  The vinegar actually serves a separate purpose - if in the case of any slight cracks, it reacts with the protein to thicken the white and seal the "leak."

                2. Hi there,
                  Peel them under running, cool water. Then enjoy eating them :).