How to make easy-peel hard-boiled eggs? The secret is using old eggs. The closer they are to their "use by" date, the easier it will be to peel them.
I really like eggs. They are so delicious and satiating! I like them for breakfast, but I also enjoy them for lunch or for meatless dinner. I enjoy them poached, fried, scrambled... and I also love soft-boiled eggs. Truly, I don't think I ever tried an egg recipe that I didn't like. 🍳
So as you can imagine, I make hard-boiled eggs often because they make a very convenient snack. The problem? Peeling them is one of those theoretically easy tasks that can easily go wrong. And when it does, you're left with ugly, deformed eggs, big chunks of the whites coming off as you try to peel them.
What makes them so difficult to peel?
They have an outer shell and an inner thin membrane. When the thin membrane sticks to the egg, that's when it becomes difficult to peel.
So our goal is to find a cooking method where the thin membrane would adhere to the outer shell, so that when we peel the shell, the membrane would easily peel off too.
The Internet is filled with methods and tips for making this task easier. Over the years, I've tried many of these methods. And although I still end up with the occasional misshapen eggs, for the most part, I have found the method that works best for me. And today, I am sharing it with you!
How to make hard-boiled eggs easier to peel?
It took me a while to learn how to do that. Now that I've finally mastered the technique, I have three tips for you:
1. Use old eggs. Not so old that they're past their "use by" date. But the closer it is to that date, the easier it will be to peel the cooked eggs. So I make sure to use the freshest eggs when frying and poaching, saving the older ones for boiling.
2. Boil your water first. Then lower the eggs into the water. This helps loosen up the thin membrane that tends to stick to the eggs, making them impossible to peel. Yes, a couple of eggs will crack if you place them into hot water. But this method is so effective, that I think it's worth it. I just use the cracked eggs to make delicious egg salad.
3. Cool the eggs immediately after they are done cooking. Do this by pouring out the hot water and filling the pot with running cold water.
Should you add vinegar to the water?
I've tried adding vinegar to the cooking water. I also tried adding salt. None of these methods made any difference. Vinegar does help poached eggs keep their shape. But I don't think it's effective at making hard-boiled eggs easier to peel.
Give it a try!
I've been using this method for a few years now, and it almost never fails. The only issues I have are when we go through so many eggs, that I am forced to use very fresh eggs.
What to do with hard-boiled eggs
They are, obviously, excellent just as they are for a snack, and that's how I usually enjoy them. But here are a few more ideas:
- Make them into a creamy egg salad.
- Use them to make egg-stuffed meatloaf or baked Scotch eggs.
- Slice them and use them in a cobb salad.
- Fry them in butter. Yes, it's delicious!
- Make deviled eggs. This is probably my favorite recipe to make with them. Essy and delicious!
- Have them for breakfast on thick, buttered slices of almond flour bread.
- Use them to make chopped liver.
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Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs
- 12 large eggs, not fresh
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the eggs from the fridge.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water.
- Bring back to a boil, allow the eggs to boil for 1 minute, then turn the heat off, remove the pot from the heat, cover the pot and set your timer for 10 to 12 minutes. 10 minutes for yolks that are still slightly soft in the center, 11 minutes for fully cooked yolks, and 12 minutes for well cooked, dry yolks (best for deviled eggs).
- Drain the hot water from the pot, and fill it with running cold water. Allow the cold water to run over the eggs for 2 minutes.
- Gently crack the eggs and peel them under cold running water. Season, if you wish, with salt and pepper.