How To Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

For the first time in several years, someone told me a trick for peeling hard-boiled eggs that I hadn’t heard before. So of course I had to try it.


I’ve heard all of them: add vinegar to the water … add salt to the water … boil covered / uncovered … peel under (running) water … cool before peeling … peel while hot … cool first, but plunge them into hot water before peeling … only boil old (2 weeks or more) eggs.

Most of these tips are things you do to the egg while cooking, or after, except the last one. And that’s the one that seems to work. As eggs sit in your fridge, they start to dry out. That means some of the liquid volume inside the shell is replaced by air. So when they’re cooked, the shell doesn’t fit so tight, and you can slip it right off.

This new tip I just got is different from all the others, in that you do it before cooking. Poke a hole in the big end of the egg. I suspect this works by allowing air into the egg as it cools, letting the cooked egg shrink away from the shell.

The only thing I had with a sharp enough point, and a handle that I could really get a grip on, was this corn sticker.

Hold the egg in the palm of your hand, and the sticker in the other.

Poke it in just enough to crack the shell, but trying not to pierce the membrane inside.

You can see that the piece of shell I poked out is still there in the edge of the hole.

Arrange in a single layer, cover with water, bring to a boil. It’s a little hard to see, but trust me that there is a stream of bubbles coming out of the egg in the center of this picture.

Once the water comes to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Once the eggs cooled, you can see that the bit of shell in the hole has been sucked into the egg.

And they all peeled completely clean with almost no effort.

How about that. It actually worked.