How to peel boiled eggs easier: 10 hacks to compare
Don’t you want to know how to peel hard-boiled eggs easier? Not making a mess, easy to peel the shell? You’ll learn how to do it easily.
Table of Contents
Why are hard-boiled eggs hard to peel?
Do you know how to peel boiled eggs easier? It seems not a big trick, but somehow many of us don’t know the easy way. I tried the 10 most popular hacks of how to peel boiled eggs easier to see which methods worked or not.
The main difficulty with peeling a boiled egg is the thin membrane that sticks to the egg. To peel the hard-boiled egg, one of two things needs to happen:
- Reduce the stickiness of the egg white
Eggs, especially the whites that contain more acid (lower pH), are packed with protein. When those proteins are exposed to heat, the proteins coagulate or turn from liquid to solid. It also makes boiled eggs difficult to peel by binding to the membrane and the shell.
- Raise the pH of your egg
Fresher eggs tend to have a lower pH, which is why the eggs from your local farmer’s market tend to be stickier than the ones from the grocery store.
How to peel boiled eggs easier
I’m talking about how to peel hard-boiled eggs when you cook them from scratch. Refrigerated hard-boiled eggs will not peel well. Peel them at room temperature.
1. Start hot & finish cold
1) Drop an egg into a pot of boiling water – instead of starting it in cold water:
- make it harder for them to stick to the shell
- helps cooking eggs faster
- keeps the egg whites from reaching too high a temperature
2) Boil eggs for 30 seconds with high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer over low heat, cover with a lid, and cook for another 10 minutes.
3) Put the cooked eggs into an ice-water bath (for 3 to 15 min):
- stops the cooking quickly
- prevents them from a further stickiness, regardless of their freshness
The verdict: It works mostly.
2. Adding salt & vinegar before cooking
Adding salt to the water because it:
- increases the temperature of boiling water: Adding salt raises the boiling point of the water slightly, though the time it takes to boil is the same. But, it does heat up faster and in the end boils at a higher temperature. This makes it easier to prevent overcooking the yolk.
- helps seal and cracks or leaks: If a crack develops in the egg, the salt will aid in coagulation.
- makes the egg easier to peel: A tiny bit of salt actually permeates the eggshell. It’s not enough for you to taste it, but it does help with peeling.
Adding vinegar to the water because softens the shells, which makes them easier to peel. You can use white vinegar (come from corn) or apple cider vinegar if you want paleo eggs. The important part is the acidity of the vinegar.
The verdict: It works, but not the easiest way.
3. Shaking in a plastic container
Put boiled eggs with a bit of water (less than ⅓ height of container) in a plastic container with a lid. Put the lid on and shake it vigorously. Water gets into the inside of the egg, which makes it easier to peel the shell. This method works best when the eggs are thoroughly cooled and cooked.
The verdict: It works well.
4. Shaking in a glass of water
Puts an egg in a glass, adds a little water, covers the glass with a hand, and then shakes for 15 seconds.
The verdict: It worked, but putting in the container is easier, more efficient (because this method can peel an egg one at a time), and less messy than this.
5. Peel underwater
Crack and peel the cooled egg under running water or directly in the ice water bath. The water seeps under the thin film and helps to peel the shell easier.
The verdict: It works but you waste a lot of running water.
6. Roll the egg on the counter
Drop the egg into boiling water and chill it in an ice bath. Then simply roll the egg on the counter with the palm of your hand creating cracks and peel the egg.
The verdict: Even if the boiling-and-cooling method worked on its own, rolling the egg first makes the process easier.
7. Using a spoon
Crack the eggs at the fat end and peel a tiny bit with your fingers. Slip a spoon under the shell so that the curve of the spoon follows the curve of the egg. Rotate the egg and move the spoon to release the shell.
The verdict: It works, but other methods are easier than this. It’s good if you peel only a few eggs.
8. Steam them
Steaming is gentler than boiling, which makes it harder for the egg whites to get too hot and become sticky. After boiling, put the cooked eggs into ice water for a few minutes to help them cool down.
The verdict: It works mostly.
9. Use older eggs
Older eggs have a higher pH than fresher ones, which makes them less sticky – in theory. Here is how to tell if an egg is good or not.
If you buy your eggs from the supermarket, they’re most likely old enough, as the USDA allows for 30 days at the factory and another 30 days for the sell-by date. Check the carton to see when the eggs were actually packed. Look for the 3 digit lot number, which will list a consecutive day of the year. So eggs packed on January 1 would say 001, eggs packed on February 1 would say 032, etc.
But if you buy them from the farmer’s market or directly from a farmer, ask when they were laid. In that case, you may want to let them sit for a week or two.
However, this is a bit questionable unlike the popularity of this hack: there’s no official definition of “old” egg. I tested with new and 3 weeks old ones, but I didn’t see many differences among them.
The verdict: Not effective.
10. Boil eggs with baking soda
Adding a sprinkle of baking soda (alkaline) to the cooking water will raise the pH of the water, which makes it easier to peel in theory.
However, the baking soda would need to pass through the eggshell and come in contact with the egg white before the proteins started to coagulate. In other words, you must prick tiny holes in the top and bottom of the egg.
The verdict: Not very effective.
How long to boil eggs
Be precise: Overcooked eggs are harder to peel. Use a timer and stick to it.
|1 minute||Very runny soft boiled eggs|
|2 minutes||Runny soft boiled eggs|
|3 minutes||Very gooey medium boiled eggs|
|4 minutes||Gooey medium boiled eggs|
|5 minutes||Just set medium boiled eggs|
|6 minutes||Medium-hard boiled eggs|
|7 minutes||Very creamy hard boiled eggs|
|8 minutes||Creamy hard boiled eggs|
|9 minutes||Firm hard boiled eggs|
|10 minutes||Very firm hard boiled eggs|
Why is the yolk green?
If your cooked yolks have taken on a greenish hue, that is the result of overcooking.
Egg health benefits
Eggs contain 13 essential vitamins and minerals: vitamin D, calcium, iron, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, biotin, pantothenic acid, iodine, zinc, selenium, molybdenum, and choline.
Choline, one of the most important nutrients in egg yolks, has been associated with a lower risk of liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders. Not surprisingly, eggs are pretty much the perfect food for a low carb diet.
High in healthy fat
Omega-3 (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids) are “essential fats” for our heart, brain, and eye health. Oily fish is one of the best-known sources and eggs contain similar types of omega-3s as those found in fish. It makes eggs useful for people who avoid or can’t eat fish.
High in quality protein
An egg contains 6 g of quality protein that contains all the 9 essential amino acids. The nutrients of the egg are found in the yolk, and the white contains the protein. Protein is not only good for building muscles but also great for weight loss by making you full longer.
Raise “good” cholesterol levels
Eggs help increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL can help reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, that can put heart health at risk. Meals high in saturated fats and trans-fats will increase levels of LDL cholesterol.
Conclusion: Tapper ware was the easiest of how to peel the boiled eggs. Try yourself and see which one you like!
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