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The Secret to Easy-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Do you ever find yourself cracked up because your hard boiled eggs won’t peel properly? We’ve all been there. But once you learn the secret to easy-peel hard boiled eggs, you’ll never have to fret about egg shells sticking where they no longer belong again.

In fact, the only thing you’ll be cracking up about is Uncle Fred’s bad jokes as he digs into your perfectly peeled, hard boiled eggs. Let’s get started!

What Are Hard Boiled Eggs? 

Eggs are excellent sources of protein, but when you’d rather not deal with trying to make that perfect sunny-side-up egg, why not hard boil them instead?

Cooking them with their shells results in a firm, dry egg, and no runny yolk. After you cook and peel them, you can eat hard boiled eggs as a quick snack or in recipes like egg salad or deviled eggs. 

How Long Should Eggs Boil?

The key to the perfect hard boiled egg is the boil time. While some may never agree on the time, we’ve found that 13 minutes might be the magic number. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Find a pot deep enough for the water to cover all the eggs. Gently lower your eggs. A wire basket works well to prevent cracking them. Lower the heat to a simmer, and let them cook for 13 minutes. Be sure to set the timer. Overcooking won’t do much harm, but the yolks will be very dry.

While the boil time is an integral part of creating that perfect hard boiled egg, it’s not flawless until you remove the shell and enjoy the goodness within.

Pro Tip: It might not be the egg you want, but it is the egg you need. Here’s How to (Correctly) Use a Big Green Egg.

Eggs in pot with water pouring in to hard boil
The perfect hard boiled egg cooking time will vary depending on your taste preferences and stove top.

Why Does My Hard-Boiled Egg Stick to the Shell?

Before we give away our secret for an easy-peel egg, you might be curious about why the shell sticks to the egg in the first place. The answer is the timing. However, it’s not about the boil time but age.

While fresh eggs may sound like the best, when hard boiling eggs, you want them to be a little older. When you buy eggs at the store, buy two cartons. Use one for cooked eggs like over-easy or scrambled, and save the next for a week later. When they are a week old, they are perfect for this process.

Fresh eggs have a very low pH level, so they’re less acidic. This causes the innards of the egg to stick to the shell membrane.

As the egg ages, the egg becomes more acidic, allowing the shell to absorb more air. This process causes the innards to shrink a bit. There is now more space between the shell and the egg white. So, when you use an older egg, your chances of struggling with eggshells that refuse to leave the hard boiled egg are much less.

How Do You Get Cooked Eggs to Peel Easily? 

You’ve started with week-old eggs. Why not help this process? Peeling hard boiled eggs easily is straightforward. When the water isn’t hot when you lower the eggs, removing the peel is more challenging.

On the other hand, putting the eggs in the pot when the water is hot makes removing the shell more manageable.

Use salt and vinegar during the boil, then dip them in an ice bath to peel your hard boiled eggs with ease.

Hard boiled eggs being peeled
Boil your eggs with salt and vinegar to make peeling your eggs easy.

Are Boiled Eggs Easier to Peel Hot or Cold? 

There are many methods for boiling eggs, and everyone seems to have their own opinion on the best way to do it. One question that often comes up is whether it’s better to peel these eggs when they’re hot or cold. 

There are benefits to both approaches. Peeling hard boiled eggs when they’re hot can help to prevent browning and make the process a little quicker. However, cold eggs are often easier to peel without damaging the egg. So ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.

If you want your cooked eggs to be quick and easy to peel, give them a quick dip in cold water before you start peeling. Otherwise, feel free to peel them while they’re still hot.

Does Vinegar Help Eggs Peel Easier? 

While you can peel hard boiled eggs when they are hot or cold, adding a simple ingredient like vinegar can turn a tricky task into a simple one.

Vinegar isn’t the only thing that you should add to the boil. Salt works wonders, too. Add a tablespoon of salt and vinegar to the water before you cook the eggs. Neither will affect the flavor, but they will aid in the peeling process.

The vinegar softens the shell, and the salt solidifies the egg within. They work together brilliantly to make your work much more manageable. 

Hard boiled egg peeled and sliced in half
Hard boiled eggs are an easy and delicious snack to make.

Do You Put Eggs in Cold Water After Cooking? 

Now that we’ve given you a few secrets to making peeling hard boiled eggs a bit easier, let’s provide one more. If you’re making eggs, you’ll want to put them in a cold water bath after cooking. This will help stop the cooking process, so your eggs don’t overcook. 

Additionally, this can help to make peeling the eggs easier. The cold water will cause the eggshells to contract slightly, making them less likely to stick to the egg whites. After cooking, place the eggs in iced or cold water for ten minutes. Your perfectly hard-boiled eggs are now ready for the perfect snack or meal.

Pro Tip: Always have a delicious meal no matter where you roam. Let your inner chef shine with one of these 5 Best Campfire Cooking Kits.

Are Hard Boiled Eggs the Best? 

Hard boiled eggs go well with salt, in deviled eggs, or egg salad. Whatever you create with these eggs, you’ll have a protein-rich, nutritious meal or snack.

The process will be a breeze with the above tips and tricks. Now that you know the secret to easy-peel hard boiled eggs, we’re sure that you’ll agree when we say that they’re the best.

What is your favorite recipe with hard boiled eggs? Share your cooking tips in the comments!

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