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Peeling a half boiled egg... Ready to lose my shit over here...

I'm trying to make scotch eggs, and I love my yolks runny. So it says to boil the eggs for 3 minutes instead of 6 (as I'll be deep frying and then baking after)... But I can't get the eggs peeled! They always split and fall apart while trying to get the shells off.

I tried 4 minutes, same thing. I tried buying better eggs (organic free range from costco) and while they're better, I'm still like 0 for 6.

Any tricks?

Video I'm trying to follow is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yILsjn...

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  1. Try using eggs which are less fresh. As eggs age, they lose some buoyancy, so can be tested by immersing them in water.

    2 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      No, they *gain* buoyancy because the air pocket increases with age.

      1. re: acgold7

        That's correct. I wrote it backwards. Thanks.

    2. The trick is to use older eggs, as they form a layer between the shell, I also use a splash of vinegar in the water.

      1. I've heard it helps to add baking soda to the water as well (but I wouldn't do that with vinegar, one of the other).

        When all else fails, have you considered getting some of those "Eggies"? They're an infomercial product that came out a few years ago. They're basically egg shaped plastic cups you crack the eggs into then poach them in the container.

        1. Steam them. 14 minutes for hard cooked eggs, less for what you are looking for... Maybe half that time, less than half?

          After steaming, plunge them into ice water and crack them together a little to break the shell, until cool. The shells will peel off easily because the membrane will have water under it, expand with the temperature change, and will slide off instead of stick.
          I do this with fresh eggs (right from my chickens) and they peel easily.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sedimental

            I also swear by the ice water right after cooking

          2. Go with a little vinegar in the water when you boil them. Definitely helps. Also peeling under running cold water can sometimes help.

            1. Salt - heavily salt the water prior too cooking.

              I got it this tip from my egg purveyor at the farmers market and it definitely works.

              Also, cool the eggs under cold water, until the shells are just cool enough to handle and peel ASAP.

              1. HA! no help but this title really made me laugh. Thank you.

                3 Replies
                1. re: carlee134

                  Oh me too. I keep giggling over the visual of someone trying to peel those eggs and freaking out at every fail.

                  OP - I hope you get a solution to your problem

                  1. re: carlee134

                    Me too, it gave me a good laugh but I also wanted to cry since I've had mixed luck with peeling eggs. There have been times when I dumped all my eggs into the trash and had to walk away.

                    I've found that standard grocery store issue eggs are a little easier to peel for some reason but I don't know there is any real proof to that except my muddled memory. I haven't ever attempted a soft boiled egg for fear I will not be able to get the shell off and I'll throw the entire egg against the wall.

                    1. re: pellegrino31

                      Oh I was right there with OP remembering two Easters ago when none of the eggs would peel, the whites clung to the shells like grim death.

                  2. Lately I've been putting a pin whole in the wider side and this seems to be helping....

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: geminigirl

                      This is Jacques Pepin's method for boiled eggs. It also does wonders for a sulfur free yolk.

                      1. re: hambone

                        Ah, yes, I was just reading Fast Food My Way! Thanks ,

                      1. It could be the size of the egg. I used to by large eggs and had so much trouble peeling them. Now I buy extra large or jumbo and it's better (not perfect though).

                        1. I do some minor catering and make a shitload of deviled eggs. IMO the most reliable is to use the oldest eggs that are still within their date.

                          1. Maybe my Costco eggs are old but I've steamed eggs for 4-5 min and then iced them down and they peeled fine. Yolks were runny and whites were well set.

                            I find steaming or pressure cooking results in easier peeling over boiling

                            1. As soon as you take the egg out of the boiling water, roll it over several times under your palm, ever so gently on the counter It will crack and you can peel it easily under cold running water. Good luck !

                              1. I have no idea how to help you, however I wouldn't feel too bad as the guy in the video obviously hasn't perfected his own peeling method either.

                                What I can say is WOW........where did you ever hear of this to begin with. That looks AWESOME and I can't believe I have never seen or heard of this before!!! Got news for you......I'm going to be trying this soon! Good luck PLEASE report back once you have succeeded.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                  Okay so I basically did it with 2 eggs where the whites had split but the yolk was intact.. They turned out just fine, even though they were a bit wobbly etc. I used some Jimmy Dean sausage I had in my freezer. I bet it would be better with different sausage, but it was really good as is. Lots of work for an egg, but whatever, it's cooking. :)

                                  1. re: SocksManly

                                    Oh congratulations! I like a man of action (and of good socks too), but let me ask you; "they came out just fine" meaning their appearance or taste or both!?!?! I'm really interested in the flavor....the battered and fried sausage has me drooling.

                                2. Hey Socks

                                  Let us know how it turns out.


                                  1. So you found your shit now?

                                    1. Two remedies for your problem pop to mind.

                                      First method: STEAM them to the degree of doneness that you want. Steamed eggs are almost always easy to peel.

                                      Second method: take the soft boiled eggs from the pan, allow them to dry themselves by evaporation. Place the soft cooked eggs in a ceramic bowl -- an Asian CERAMIC rice or soup bowl works well -- then hit the shell with a blow torch while rolling the egg continuously in the bowl for at least a minute or so. Well, maybe "hit" the egg is a bad choice of words. Hold the blow torch far enough away from the egg that the whole egg is enveloped in the heat. The logic is this: SOME problems with shells sticking comes from the shell getting waterlogged (as with washed eggs and such, and the shells can't dry out enough after cooking. The "torch trick" dries out the shell AND inner membrane attached to it. Voila! Your eggs are peelable! The blow torch method is almost failure proof, but hey, there are exceptions to every rule!

                                      Good luck.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                        My eight year old wants to make Scotch Eggs, this seems like an even more fun way to do it tomorrow for momma Hambone's breakfast.

                                        Half boil with a little vinegar, ice bath, flame the shell and peel. I'm thinking that should do it.

                                        I want to be able to only half cook the egg so that after "Scotch"ing it, the yolk is still runny.

                                        Fingers crossed...

                                      2. I use a pressure cooker to steam my eggs. Used to have problems peeling them. With the pressure cooker, they peel much much easier.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: LMAshton

                                          Pressure cooker or steaming has resulted in easy peels