Have you ever boiled eggs and discovered that they weren’t “pretty” once you peeled them? What about nicking off half the egg because you couldn’t get the shell off?
You can watch this 1 minute video on how to make easy to peel hard boiled eggs or read the step by step directions below.
Note: 13 minutes is for LARGE eggs. If you are using medium or fresh yard eggs, you might want to do 11 minutes.
Refrigerated hard boiled eggs will not peel well. Peel your eggs once they’ve cooled down to room temperature. These are the two most frustrating things about cooking hard-boiled eggs. The yolk isn’t pretty and the shell is difficult to get off. Now, before you decide to head over to the grocery to purchase those overpriced and convenient hard boiled eggs; check out how easy it is to get them perfect at home-every time. Before my husband met me (or so he says), he had no idea that hard-boiled eggs COULD be over-cooked.
That dark gray-green ring around the yellow center of an egg? He thought that was supposed to be there. The poor boy didn’t know that ugly ring was a sign of an over-cooked egg. Perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs aren’t difficult — and, when you do it right, not only do you have an exquisitely yellow center but you also have a hard boiled egg that is easy to peel. There are 3 things / tricks to keep in mind:
- Eggs must not be fresh (10+ days)
- Don’t let them boil forever, and
- After cooking, let the eggs rest in an ice-bath to “shock” them.
If you remember to do this, you’ll have perfect, beautiful eggs every single time for your child’s lunch, an after-school snack or your favorite recipes.
Word to the wise: super fresh eggs are going to be hard to peel regardless of what you do, so it’s best NOT to hard-boil eggs the same day they are purchased. The best eggs for boiling are at least a week to ten days old.
For best peeling results, wait to peel your eggs when they have cooled down to room temperature. Fully chilled eggs don’t peel as well. You can peel your eggs ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator.
- Cuisine: How to
- Large Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- Place your raw eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with at least 2 inches of cold water.
- Add 1 tablespoon of salt.
- Place the pan over high heat until it reaches a boil.
- Turn off heat, cover and let it sit for 13 minutes.
- After exactly 13 minutes, remove the eggs from the pan and place them in an ice-water bath and let them cool for five minutes.
- Carefully crack the eggs shells (making sure the majority of the shell is cracked).
- Gently begin removing the shells. The ice-water bath will “shock” the membrane in between the egg-white and the egg shell, loosening the shell and allowing you to peel it off in nearly one piece.
- As needed, you can dip the egg (as you are peeling it) in and out of the water to remove any slivers of shell.
- Serve immediately, use in a recipe or store in your refrigerator for three days.
The salt won’t affect the flavor of your eggs; it helps solidify the proteins within the egg, helping create an easier to peel egg! I have used both iodized (table) salt and Himalayan rock salt (the pink salt in my photo) and both have worked perfectly.Test one egg first, if for some reason it’s a bit undercooked, put eggs back and bring to boil, turn off heat.
You need to fully cover eggs with at least 2 inches of water for this to work. less water means that it will cool down quicker and your eggs won’t cook throughly.
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Cookbook author Michael Ruhlman offers two ways to hard cook eggs:
Place eggs in a saucepan filled with cold water, making sure that the eggs are covered by an inch of water.
Bring to boil.
Remove pan from the heat, cover with lid, and let sit for 15 minutes.
Remove eggs to bowl of ice water (half ice, half water) and let sit for at least 10 minutes or longer.
Stir occasionally to keep cold water circulating.
Pressure cooker method:
Place eggs inside steamer basket or a small colander or on a trivet inside a pressure cooker.
Add 1 cup water.
Lock the lid.
If your pressure cooker has settings, set it to low.
Put pressure cooker over high heat. (If using a pressure cooker without settings, heat over medium-high heat.)
Once the pressure button pops and the whistle caused by the steam under the valve reaches its maximum pitch, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 7 minutes.
Fill a bowl with ice water.
Once timer goes off, remove cooker from heat, remove valve to help vent steam and release pressure.
Remove lid from pot and place egg or eggs in ice water. (If the pot will not open, run cold water over the pot until the pressure button releases.)
Let eggs sit in the ice water for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times in the first few minutes of cooling.
Peel eggs and use immediately or store in their shells in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
From left, note the dark ring around the yolk in this overcooked hard-boiled egg, perfectly cooked egg and note the gooey yolk of the undercooked egg.
My Own Experimentation Results
So I’ve been having egg sandwiches for lunch all this week – the lengths I got to for stonesoup – and I’ve learned a few things about boiling and peeling eggs.
Tim Ferris must have some mighty big lungs. Try as I might, I couldn’t get a single egg to pop cleanly out of the shell like he does. But I did find that the blowing helped separate the membrane from the white and made it a little easier for hand peeling.
I tried eggs of different ages. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my hands on any straight from the chicken coop so didn’t have access to super fresh eggs. I didn’t notice any real difference between fresher and older eggs. The only really challenging egg I came across was very very old – like a few months. So I think there is a limit.
I did find that the bicarb soda made both the younger and older eggs marginally easier to peel so am going to stick with that tip from now on.
I’ve been a convert of the old add-the-eggs-to-cold-water trick for a while. And I can’t remember the last time I had an egg crack and white leak out. Highly recommend this.