Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs

Peeling hard-boiled more bad eggs!

Few kitchen tasks make a person feel more inferior than the often bewildering process of peeling hard-boiled eggs.

Here are some save-the-day (or at least save-the-egg) tips for a clean, easy peel (almost) every time:

Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs: The Prep

Boil the eggs properly. To learn how, read How to Boil an Egg: Making Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs. There are other recipes which have you boiling for even less time, which is fine, but do not boil longer!

Do not use fresh eggs. If you are using supermarket eggs, don’t worry about it.  They’re not fresh.  If you have your own chickens and ultra-fresh eggs, store the eggs for a couple weeks before boiling.

Plunge the eggs into ice water to cool as soon as you’re done making them. You may need to add more ice as the water warms up. The ice causes the egg itself to contract, thus separating the egg from the membrane and shell…but you knew that, because you totally paid attention in science class, didn’t you?

Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs: The Process

There are two main successful approaches to peeling hard-boiled eggs:

Peeling hard-boiled eggsCrack the larger end with the air bubble in it where the membrane is most separated from the egg. Get in under the membrane and start sliding the shell off with your fingers.


Peeling hard-boiled eggsCrack both ends. Then roll the egg between your palm and a hard surface until the entire shell is cracked. (Gently! You’re a 100+ pound human being.  It’s just a wee little egg.) Slide the shell off.


Peeling hard-boiled eggs

Peeling hard-boiled eggs







There is a third approach, but I hesitate to mention it.  Okay, fine, here it is.

Peeling hard-boiled eggsRandomly crack the egg and pick little bits of shell off while muttering your egg-peeling frustrations under your breath…but you already know that approach, which is why you’re here reading about peeling hard-boiled eggs.

Give the egg a quick rinse and your beautiful masterpiece is ready to…smash into egg salad.

What are your best tips for peeling hard-boiled eggs?

Thanks to reader Theresa for submitting this question. If you have a question you would like The Simple Homemaker to answer, submit it through my contact page. I would love to hear from you!