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May 27, 2011 08:28 AM

Shelling hard boiled eggs?

Why are some hard boiled eggs easier to shell then others?

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  1. Air space. The story I've always heard is that slightly older eggs are easier to shell because there's more air space inside.

    1. The air space is at the pointy end and lets you get that membrane off easily if you start there. And peeling them under water or a lightly running faucet makes it much easier.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nanzi

        Both of the above are true. Unless you have a packing date on your egg carton - a week old or better is what you want - the best way to estimate is to immerse the eggs in water (which you were going to do anyway, right?). If they sit solidly on the bottom they're too fresh to peel worth a hoot. If one end rises a bit so the egg's at about a 30ยบ angle they're about right for boiling/peeling. If they stand up on end or start to float completely, they're bad - throw'em out!

      2. just a tip I learned on Chowhound recently:
        try steaming your eggs instead of immersing them in water . . . I was skeptical, but the last four batches have come out as the easiest peeling eggs I have ever made. I am grateful for this info since I make them fairly often. I have varied the steaming time from 10 - 15 minutes. Somewhere in the middle seems just right depending on the size of the eggs and whether or not they are room temp or just out of the fridge (with a plunge into cold water after cooking time has elapsed).

        1. In a semi-silly vein, you know you can dispense with shelling completely, right?

          I know this from a misspent moment on a TV infomercial for the "Egger", a set of plastic, floating, egg-shaped snap-together cups, into which you pour your egg before boiling. Supposedly, you unsnap the halves, and a perfectly shelled, hard-boiled egg falls out.

          Maybe I can store them in my Octodog...

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Thank you so much.

              I bet those aren't even 10% of the threads on this topic.