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How to Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs

by
author image W D Adkins
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, W D Adkins has been writing professionally since 2008. He writes about business, personal finance and careers. Adkins holds master's degrees in history and sociology from Georgia State University. He became a member of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.
How to Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs
Brown eggs on a marble counter. Photo Credit Janet Rhodes/iStock/Getty Images

Trying to peel an egg when the shell doesn’t want to come off can be frustrating. The result can ruin the appearance of a dish or you end up wasting much of the egg. The solution to peeling hard-boiled eggs that won’t peel right is prevention. Preparing the eggs properly will allow you to peel them quickly and easily. It helps to start with eggs that are a few days old. Eggs change chemically over time and the albumen, or egg white, is less likely to stick to the shell in an older egg.

Step 1

Place a layer of eggs in the bottom of a pan and cover with cool water. Add a tablespoon of baking soda. The baking soda helps to make the egg less acid. This has the same effect as using an older egg in that the albumen is not as likely to adhere to the shell.

Step 2

Heat the water to between 170 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not bring the eggs to a full boil. For hard boiled eggs, cook medium eggs for 12 minutes. Large eggs need about 17 minutes and extra large eggs take about 19 minutes.

Step 3

Remove the eggs from the heat source and allow t cool completely. For best results, place the eggs in cold water so that they will cool quickly and stop cooking inside. Alternatively, you can simply place the eggs in the refrigerator until they are cold.

Step 4

Crack the egg all the way around. Exactly how you do this is a matter of personal preference. You can tap the egg on the edge of a sink at several points; squeeze the egg in your hand or strike the shell with a spoon. The important thing is to hit the shell gently so you don’t smash the egg.

Step 5

Slide the eggshell off of the egg in several large pieces. If it is a little sticky, peel the “skin” of the egg off – the shell will come off with the skin. The skin is a thin membrane located just inside the shell. Peeling is easier if you hold the egg under cool running water that will wash away the debris of the shell.

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