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Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

After years of googling how to boil eggs, I finally wised up and learned the best way to make easy peel hard boiled eggs. This recipe for easy peel hard-boiled eggs breaks down the best way to boil eggs so they’re easy to peel every single time.

These are also the perfect tips and tricks to making the best boiled eggs if you’re getting ready to decorate eggs for Easter, or if you’re planning on preparing deviled eggs for an appetizer.

bowl with sliced hard boiled egg

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The Best Hard Boiled Eggs

When Madeline was little, around 2 years old, she was pretty fascinated with eggs. Perhaps bordering on obsession.

She was always asking to hold one when I had eggs out. And unfortunately, she didn’t seem to understand that one wrong move with a raw egg in her hands would crush it.

So I found myself making eggs a lot, but I’ve never been able to figure out the best way to boil eggs.

toddler holding hard boiled eggs

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Madeline never really gotten into eating them. She just wanted me to open the hard boiled eggs up and remove the white so she could find the “baby egg” (the yolk) inside.

I used to hate cooking hard boiled eggs, even though I enjoy eating them by themselves for a snack or chopped up on top of a salad. Why did I hate making them? Because I would either under or overcook the egg.

Perfectly Cooked Hard Boiled Eggs

Overcooked hard boiled eggs are just gross, in my opinion. Soft boiled eggs have never appealed to me. The same way I’ve never really liked over easy eggs. I have never been a fan of a runny yolk.

For whatever reason, eggs are just one of those foods that I’m particularly particular about. Rather, I like my eggs perfectly done. Not over cooked, not undercooked. Perhaps I’m like Goldilocks in that way. For me, my eggs have to be just right.

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On top of the doneness issues, the shells were hard to peel away without removing chunks of the white with it, and that was sort of a drag. I mean, how do you peel an egg without the shell sticking? It shouldn’t be that hard!

Thanks to Madeline’s obsession during her younger years, I finally figured out how to make easy peel hard boiled eggs.

I learned that this is just as much about the method as it is the question of how long to boil eggs, so I thought that I’d share my method (thanks to lots and lots of trial and error!).

How to Boil Eggs

Follow these simple instructions for easy peel hard boiled eggs. The following set of instructions have proven to be the best way to boil eggs perfectly every time.

  1. Put the egg(s) in a pot with cold water that completely covers the egg, plus a little extra water to spare. About an inch or so. The eggs should be in a single layer, so if you plan to boil a lot of eggs make sure your pot is large enough.
  2. Add one teaspoon of salt to the water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Let the egg boil for a minute or two.
  4. Turn the heat off, remove the pot from the burner and place it on an unheated burner or on the counter with a hot pad under it (so as not to damage your countertops) and cover it with a lid. 
  5. Let rest for 10-15 minutes. Letting the egg rest in the hot water cooks the egg evenly without overcooking.
  6. Remove the hard boiled eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, peel the egg.

The above is simply a quick summary of this tutorial. Check out the free printable card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

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white plate with hard boiled eggs

How Long to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

Wondering how long to boil eggs? How long you should cook hard boiled eggs depends on a few factors, especially the size of your egg (medium, large, or extra larger) as well as how done you like your egg.

Using this method with a large egg, I found that the perfect time for me was around 12-13 minutes for a perfectly done, cooked all the way through yolk.

However, if you like your egg yolk slightly less done then you may want to experiment with less time. I would recommend starting with 10 minutes and see what your egg looks like with that. A slightly softer yolk (like pictured below) might need only 5-6 minutes.

For a runny yolk hard boiled egg, you may need only to let the eggs sit in the hot water for as little as 3-4 minutes.

Since everyone has their own preferences, always recommend starting with cooking 1 egg to figure out your personal perfect cooking time for hard boiled eggs. That way you aren’t cooking a whole batch of hard boiled eggs and finding that you prefer them cooked differently.

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white background with brown eggs and a hard boiled egg

How to Easily Peel Boiled Eggs

Now that you’ve learned the best way to boil eggs so you’re left with easy peel hard boiled eggs, it’s time we discussed the best way to peel hard boiled eggs. Here’s what I’ve learned about peeling hard boiled eggs:

  1. Once cool, gently roll the hard boiled eggs on your countertop to create lots of small cracks.
  2. Then, peel the eggs under cold tap water.
  3. Once peeled, rinse and dry the eggs and set aside.

Some people like to use a metal spoon to slip between the shell and egg white to help remove the shell, but I find the above way easier.

How Long Are Boiled Eggs Good For?

Wondering how long can you keep hard boiled eggs? These easy peel hard boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator — peeled or unpeeled — for up to 1 week.

When storing pre-cooked hard boiled eggs, I recommend storing them in a sealed container or sealed zip top bag in the refrigerator. Cooked eggs, especially already peeled eggs, can cause odors in the refrigerator. Keeping them sealed helps keep your refrigerator smelling fresh.

If you do find yourself with some smells in your refrigerator, try these tips for deodorizing in your kitchen.

brown hard boiled eggs being peeled

Tips for Making the Best Hard Boiled Eggs

Everyone has their tips and tricks for making the best hard boiled eggs. Some might be old wives tales, and some actually work. These are my favorite tips and tricks for perfect hard boiled eggs.

Use Older Eggs When Making Hard Boiled Eggs

Have you ever wondered why is it hard to peel boiled eggs? Me too! The #1 reason is that white’s pH is low. The low pH causes it to stick to the shell membrane.

What can you do? The first thing you should do is plan ahead. That means, when you want to make hard boiled eggs you should begin by buying your eggs about a week in advance of when you’d like to prepare them is best.

If you purchase farm fresh eggs, you might want to consider more than a week in advance.

Cook Eggs in Cold Water

Don’t pre-boil the water when you are making hard boiled eggs. Boiling eggs starting in cold water allows the egg to gradually warm up and prevents over cooking.

Another benefit to starting with cold water when making hard boiled eggs is that the water’s gradual warming will help prevent cracks from forming in the shells when compared to adding eggs to a pot of water boiling rapidly.

By the time the water reaches a rolling boil, the egg will already be partially cooked and much more stable against cracks.

Salt the Water

Don’t want to remove chunks of the egg white with the shell when you are peeling it? Adding salt (and less fresh eggs) helps with easier peeling of your hard boiled eggs. Don’t ask me why, but adding the salt to the water definitely helps, so I always boil my eggs this way.

Other Hard Boiled Egg Tricks

I haven’t personally tried these tricks, but some people swear by them!

  • Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water.
  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water.
  • Use a needle to poke a hole in the bottom of the egg before cooking.
  • Crack the eggs all over after boiling, then put them in an ice bath.

I would love to hear any of your special tips for perfect hard boiled eggs, or hear about your experience if you try any of the about methods that I haven’t tried!

white bowl with peeled hard boiled eggs on a white wooden background

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Let the Hard Boiled Eggs Cool Before Peeling Them

Cool the eggs before peeling so they are easy to handle without burning your hands, and then make sure you peel them under cold water — this also helps make the peeling easier.

If I don’t need the boiled eggs right away, I like to transfer them to a colander to cool, but you can peel them quicker if you cool them in cold water. To speed the cooling process, you can add the hard boiled eggs to a bowl of cold water to cool.

Or, if you are making many eggs at once for use through the next several days you can place them in the refrigerator and peel the boiled eggs when you plan to use them.

More Easy Egg Recipes:

Check out some of these favorite recipes, or browse the recipe index archives for even more great recipe ideas:

eggs on a white background

Buffalo Chicken Cobb Salad is a delicious twist on the traditional cobb salad. This is a delicious recipe that uses these easy peel hard boiled eggs!

In this Chorizo and Eggs Scramble, scrambled eggs are combined with fresh spinach, cilantro, and spicy chorizo sausage.

These Southwest Breakfast Bowls are a great way to enjoy a protein-packed breakfast on busy weekday mornings.

I love making Baked Eggs with Sausage and Kale during the holidays! It makes for a hearty breakfast or brunch the whole family adores.

It doesn’t get better than this classic Quiche Lorraine Recipe. Homemade quiche is easier to make than you’d expect!

Don’t see what you’re looking for here? You can always head over to check out the recipe index to look for more recipes.

Is making hard boiled eggs tricky for you? What is your favorite tip?

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hard boiled eggs on a white plate

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Yield: 1 hard boiled egg
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes

This recipe for easy peel hard-boiled eggs breaks down the best way to boil eggs so they're easy to peel. Follow these simple instructions for hard boiled eggs that turn out perfectly every time.

Ingredients

  • Eggs
  • Water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Instructions

  1. Buy your eggs about a week in advance of when you’d like to prepare them.
  2. Put the egg(s) in a pot with cold water that completely covers the egg, plus a little extra water to spare. About an inch or so. 
  3. Add one teaspoon of salt to the water. 
  4. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Make sure it is a strong, rolling boil. Let the egg boil for a minute or two.
  5. Turn the heat off, remove the pot from the burner and place it on an unheated burner or on the counter with a hot pad under it (so as not to damage your countertops) and cover it with a lid. Let rest for 10-15 minutes. Letting the egg rest in the hot water cooks the egg evenly without overcooking.
  6. Using this method with a large egg, I found that the perfect time was 14 minutes. 
  7. Remove the hard boiled eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, peel the egg. 
  8. To speed the cooling process, you can add the hard boiled eggs to a bowl of cold water to cool. Peeling the hard boiled eggs under cold water helps make the peeling easier.

Notes

If you are making many eggs at once for use through the next several days you can place them in the refrigerator.  Cooked hard boiled eggs will last in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 1 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 72Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 186mgSodium 2195mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 6g

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JayJay

Tuesday 25th of February 2014

*** I find that the particular brand of brown organic eggs I purchase has thicker shells and that makes it easier to separate from the cooked egg.***

That is because the farm fresh eggs aren't fed the same feed, arsenic, antibiotics, etc. the other chickens are fed?? Just my theory.

Danielle

Thursday 28th of November 2013

I have always used a little vinegar in my water as it boils. It was a trick my friend Melissa showed me when we were cooks. They peel so easy with just a little bit of vinegar. I assume it works like the salt and increases the PH to a acidic water and so it makes the shell which is calcium break down and be more able to be peeled easier.

Cynthia

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

Thank you so much for this recipe. My husband loves pickled eggs. I usually buy the pickled eggs from Sam's Club. After we eat them, I boil three dozen eggs and put them in the same solution. My husband thinks my eggs are even better than the store bought eggs. The eggs are a great low calorie snack, especially when you don't want anything heavy. Thanks so much for this.

Wendy

Saturday 17th of August 2013

I tried this very technique of yours for boiling eggs without losing all the egg whites and it worked pretty good for me. I only had eggs that were 5 days old at the most (I have my own chickens and my son sells the eggs) and they peeled easily as long as I went slowly and peeled the egg bit by bit. When I tried to peel it in big chunks, that's when the egg whites would come off. Thank you for this and I wish you all the best! :)

-Wendy

adrienne

Sunday 21st of July 2013

Here's the trick. Put the eggs slowly into boiling water. If you put half the egg in for a second or two it will allow the shell to expand from the heat, and it won't crack in the water. Boil 12-15 mins. Drain water, add cold water and ice for 5-10 mins. Peel. To make the egg easy to peel it has to have heated then cooled, just like blanching a tomato makes the skin come off easy. You just have to be careful putting the egg in the boiling water, like I say, half way at first.

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