How to Make Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

To get easy peel hard boiled eggs that don’t have rubbery egg whites, dry chalky yolks, dark green rings and are easy to peel, follow these simple techniques.

smooth peeled eggs

This stove-top cooking method will help avoid pitted, stubborn to peel hard cooked eggs. The only other method that will give you better results is using a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot. Click here for more about how pressure cooking eggs works.

boiled eggs smooth easy peeling
When peeling eggs do you end up with smooth or pitted eggs?

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled (Hard Cooked) Eggseasy to peel eggs

You’ll find that people make hard cooked eggs in all sorts of ways.  If you’re not fussy about taste, texture or color – any method will do.  However, if you want easy to peel eggs that don’t have rubbery egg whites, dry chalky yolks and dark green rings, try this method:

  • First, choose eggs that are at least 7-10 days old – the fresher the egg, the harder to peel. Fresh eggs are perfect for poaching or frying sunny side up.
  • Place eggs in a single layer in a pot.
  • Cover with water so there’s about 1/2 to 1 inch of water above the eggs. (While some people recommend adding salt or baking soda to the water, I’ve never found this to make a difference.)
  • Bring to a full rolling boil.
  • Once boiling, turn off the heat.
  • Put a lid on the pot and let rest for 14 minutes (the perfect time for solid but not over cooked yolks of large eggs).
  • Set a timer!
  • Immediately after the 14 minutes are up, run cold water over eggs and let sit in an ice/snow bath for 2-3 minutes.
shock eggs in ice water

Note: Technically, we should be calling the “Hard Cooked Eggs” instead of “Hard Boiled Eggs” since we’re not boiling the eggs.

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs – If you don’t have a Pressure Cooker

Do all of these steps!

  • After the eggs have cooled in ice water for a minute, gently crack the shell of each egg. Just enough to let a little water seep in.
  • Put the eggs back in the ice water for another 1 to 3 minutes so that the water can penetrate in between the shell and the egg white.
  • Take out an egg and gently crack the shell all around it – you don’t want to crack it so hard that the shell tears into the egg white.
  • Gently but firmly roll the egg on a counter using the palm of your hand. Don’t press super hard – you don’t want to squish the egg, you just want to make a thousand tiny cracks all around the egg. You should begin to feel the shell separating from the egg white. I find this step really, really helps.  Don’t skip it!
  • Peel the egg starting at the wide end where the air sac is. Use the thin membrane to peel back the tiny pieces of shell.
  • If more help is needed, peel the egg under running water so that the water runs between the shell membrane and the egg white.
rolling egg
Roll egg under palm of hand on hard surface, gently but firmly.
well cracked hard boiled egg
You should have thousands of tiny cracks.
egg shell separating
Start peeling at the wide end where the airsac is.
Peel an egg under running water for easier peeling
The water helps separate the shell from the white when peeling eggs.

Here’s a brief video showing how smooth this truly is.


You should have beautiful, smooth eggs, perfect for recipes like these Best Deviled Eggs Ever.

Smooth peeled egg

smooth eggs with shell

Now that you have beautifully peeled eggs, how will you serve them? Here are some recipes to consider.

Recipes for Using Your Beautiful Hard Cooked Eggs

deviled eggs

Deviled Eggs

Ham and Egg Muffins

ham and egg muffin

 Easy Pickled Eggs

pickled eggs

Lightened Up Dillicious Egg Salad

dillicious egg salad w

I’d love to know how this method worked for you and how you’re going to use you hard cooked eggs. As you can see from the comments below, people have had various degrees of success. All I can say is that this method consistently works for me but some eggs are more stubborn than others. Using eggs that are 7 days or older is definitely a critical factor. And for particularly stubborn old eggs, using water between the egg membrane and the egg white also works wonders.

So, let me know how things work for you.

 Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

Here are some more egg posts you’ll find on my website.

7 Tips for Perfect Poached Eggs

Top 10 Frequently Asked Egg Questions

How to Choose the Right Eggs: Standard, Free Run, Free Range, Organic, Omega3, Pastured 

Hard Cooked Eggs in the Oven: Not All their Cracked Up to Be

How to Freeze Eggs

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105 Comments

  1. Absolutely the best hard boiled eggs we have ever made. Followed the instructions exactly and it exactly worked. No shredded whites. No serous peeling. Simple easy peeling. Super good recipe! Thank you!

  2. After destroying a carton of eggs trying to peel them, I found your blog. I followed your steps & it made a world of difference! My eggs aren’t perfect, but I think it takes some practice to get the method juuuuust right. Thank you for posting!

    1. Glad it helped Kristy. And yes, I do think it takes a little practice, especially the rolling part – not too hard, not too gently. And you don’t think breaking the shell into a million tiny shards is a good thing, but if you peel from the airpocket and get under that little layer of skin, those tiny shards will all come off. Just keep at it!
      Getty

  3. I’ve tryed your way.I have tryed every way possible and if a egg doesn’t wont to peel right it won’t. Sorry

    1. Aw, shucks sorry you haven’t found an easy peel method that works for you. Keep trying and let us know if you find one that works for you!

  4. OK, so I’ve used this method and it works amazing! But my question: can you use the same method of peeling if after you shock the eggs in the ice bath can you put them in the fridge overnight then pick up where your left off and follow the peeling process when you are ready? Or would you recommend peeling them right away and storing them in a certain manner to keep them from getting rubbery and drying out until you’re ready to use them (say for deviled eggs)

    1. I store hard cooked eggs in the shell and peel them as I need them. They’re still easy to peel after using this cooking method.
      Hope that helps.

      Getty

  5. I learned to boil the water then put the egg in, turn it down to low and let it cook for 11 minutes so that’s what I do. Then I let it sit in ice water until it cools down. I’ve also used the rolling the egg on the counter method since I was a child and it’s always helped me. Along with soaking in water and running it under the water when peeling. I don’t always get the perfect peel but if I’m patient with it then I usually get it or get a mostly perfect one. Thanks for the tip about starting to peel at the wide end. It never occurred to me to start st the air pocket although it makes so much sense.

  6. This was genius! I boiled 12 eggs and 8/12 peeled off soooo easily and perfectly!
    The other 4 were still a little pitted, but still nothing like it used to be. They still looked like eggs!
    (I admit, I added a dash of baking soda… just for good luck!)
    Thanks for posting this!!! So incredibly wonderful!!

    1. Hi Cendy,
      Thanks for sharing your experience, I’m happy you found it useful. Some eggs are just a little more stubborn than others.

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  8. I tried this today and it worked beautifully! I’ve tried so many different methods and NONE of them worked. This one really did work! I’m super excited to have come across your blog. Thank you!

    1. Hurray, Elizabeth! I’m glad it worked for you and that you have a new egg boiling & peeling technique to use.

      I’m super excited you came across my blog too, and that you took the time to comment. Thanks!

      Getty

  9. You are a such a kind, and patient person for diligently responding to messages on this post for almost 3 years! I’ve never witnessed anything like this before. You’ve responded kindly to every unconstructive message thrown at you and with delight with every kind comment. You are just as good at teaching good character as you are at teaching how to cook eggs! I will always remember this and I am thrilled that there are kind people out there! Your kindness has definitely made an impression on me!

    1. What a lovely comment to read first thing this morning. Thank you. Never doubt that there are a lot of good and kind people in the world. I suspect you’re one of them!

      1. Thanks for a lovely message and your support, Alannah!

        Sounds like that egg cooker works really well. Something to consider for those who enjoy eggs regularly.

        Rolling on the counter does make a difference. Getting the right pressure so you crack the shell without cutting into the egg white does take a little practice, but well worth it.

        Thanks for stopping by and all the best,

        Getty

    1. You’re right, despite the name, you don’t want to actually boil your hard boiled eggs! That’s why in this method, you bring the water to a hard boil and then STOP, remove the pot from the element and let the eggs rest for 14 minutes. Steaming would be very similar to this.

    1. Hi Keondra,
      Start with a pot of cold water with the eggs then bring it up to a boil over high heat. Once you hit a hard boil (big bubbles breaking the surface of the water continually) turn the heat off and remove from the pot from the oven. Cover and let sit for 14 minutes.
      Hope this helps.

      All the best,

      Getty

  10. The age of the Eggs doesn’t matter, just “Steam” the Eggs, in a half inch of Water, which is a win win, save Energy and Water! 🙂

    When done, run cold Water on the Eggs, let them cool down, put a lid on, or transfer to a container with a lid, and gently shake… It takes 5 seconds to peel 10 Eggs that way, all flawless, unless you’ve been shaking too hard 🙂

    P.S in Japan that is actually a Sports event!

      1. Just cooked 5 eggs this way. First one was a disaster, barely able to peel it with lots of Knicks in it. With the rest I forgot to roll on the counter and they peeled easier. Not sure I’ll use the method again.

  11. Wow! Just cooked six hard boiled eggs like you said..best luck ever peeling.no more frustration sq.method worked like a dream..

  12. I try most things based on comments so after trying this I thought I would leave a comment! This was my first time making hard boiled eggs, and it worked amazing! It took me two eggs to get down the right pressure to rub the egg in the counter (i broke two in half lol) but thank you for this!

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, Megan! Glad it all worked out and that you now have the magic rolling touch.

  13. Just made a pot of (10) eggs. I never knew about or tried the “crack and continue the ice bath” step before. Doing that this time and taking Crystals comment about easy on the pressure while rolling them. Didn’t take the time to read the other comments… just the first 5 or 6, then the last ones…

    I’ll let you know how they come out when I get a chance later.

    Thanks

    Al

    1. Got the chance for a follow up reply…. worked fine… first one got a small crater, the other 9, once I peeled less forcibly (not like one shucks an ear corn, more like unwrapping a gift intent on saving the paper… ) they came out perfect, although one seemed to show a split in the white. In fact as I took the post second ice bath eggs out of their icy water pool and proceeded to roll them on a large dinner plate (remember I’m a guy and I think like one) as I rolled them on the plate some just split open like a too ripe tomato left a bit too long on the vine.

      I declare success for this old codger. Thanks Getty.

      P.S. want a challenge? Teach me how to mend socks and apply patches, emphasis on the socks, my big toe has escaped near every sock I own and this economy does not allow me to fritter away money on socks while mine still have a fine outer appearance, at least when wearing shoes and long pants. LOL

      Al

      1. Yes it does take a little finesse, no need for brute power. Glad you’re declaring success! Thanks for coming back and sharing your results!

        As for the socks – I’m no stranger to darning socks. Some I won’t bother, but my favorite wool socks I don’t mind darning. Need some thicker darning thread and then you use a weaving pattern sewing vertically from one side of the hole to the next, then you start sewing horizontally across the hole weaving over and under the vertical threads. And you’re well on your way! Good luck.

  14. Ok that didn’t work at all. The inner skin was stuck to the shell and now I have a mess to take to my Supper Club. My question for you is this: Do you have and electric stove or a gas burners? I’m thinking the gas cools down faster and they need to cook maybe a little longer.

    1. I use a natural gas range. Could it be elevation and boiling point differences? I’m pretty close to sea level here.

  15. A Farm Fresh Egg can still come out clean when peeled it needs to be boiled different. Bring water to a boil first. Once water is boiling add your fresh eggs. When water gets back to boil set timer for 11 min. Remove from heat and rinsev with cold water. Peels perfect every time!

    1. Micki, this is great info, thanks for the tip. Farm fresh eggs made easy to peel – whoo hoo!

      1. I have fresh eggs and will try this method. One question should eggs be room temp or straight from the fridge? Does it make a difference?

        1. Hi Jackie,
          Fresh eggs are tricky, the white and the peel separate with aging making it difficult to get a clean peel. But try it. Check out the comments from Micki and Ole, they had some suggestions for farm fresh eggs.

          As for temp of egg, mine come straight out of the fridge and into the pot. I’ve never tested this with room temp eggs.

          Good luck,
          Getty

  16. I do my (older) eggs the way you do – COLD water etc BUT I “prick” the shell before cooking. Cover, bring to boil, shut off heat & let stand till cooled. Never have any problems !! Pegi

  17. You have me a very HAPPY egg peeler!! THANK YOU so much!! I eat quite a few boiled eggs on salad during the week, easy to take to work. However, I was tired of losing a lot of the white which always stuck to the shell. Well no more of that! I just tried your method for the first time and I was amazed, mouth open amazed! I posted this page to my FB timeline, I just had to share the joy! 🙂 Best, Ani in NC

  18. Just made these this morning. They turned out great. Rolling the eggs before removing the shells makes all. the difference. Thank you

  19. Just made these. They turned out great. Rolling the eggs before removing shells, perfection

    1. Fresh eggs are pretty much impossible to peel nicely, at least I haven’t found a method that works consistently. They’ll still cook up nicely and be great for eating in dishes where smooth egg white isn’t a concern. Try serving them in egg cups where people can slice off the top and spoon out the egg from the shell. I think you’ll just get frustrated if you try peeling them for deviled eggs. Good luck and let us know if you come across a technique for fresh eggs.

      1. For years i had my own chickens mostly brown eggs. They are impossible to peel no matter how old they are. After I got rid of my chickens and used store eggs it was way better. I boil mine for twelve minute pour off the water immediately shake them against the pan to crack the shell them run cold water over them and began to peel them. If they are not too fresh they will peel.

        1. Hi Kathy, thanks for sharing your experience. Easy peel or not, farm fresh eggs are great!

  20. this way works perfect — not sure why some of the people cant quite figure it out ?/ only thing different that I do is ..after the 14 minutes…I put them in ice water until the ice melts …and repeat a few more times ..until they are totally cool … and I don’t crack the eggs before I put them back into the water .. same effect .. works great

  21. This method does work just takes a little practice! When I first began my eggs still looked pitted. I putting too much pressure on the eggs when trolling them on the counter. I applied less pressure and they came out great. Also, I prefer my eggs soft/medium so I only left them on the stove ten minutes. This method works great once you get the hang of it!

  22. Just tried this and followed the directions exactly. The eggs weren’t cooked all the way, so when I rolled it on the counter, it collapsed like it was raw. Guess I’ll just go back to the way my mom taught me. The whites may not look perfect, but at least they’re cooked all the way through.

      1. Maybe the room temperature plays a factor? If you leave the pot for 14 minutes in an airconditioned kitchen or in a hot humid kitchen somewhere in Asia, I think the result would be very different! 😉

  23. I use an inverted spoon to get under the shell and around the egg. I will add these steps to the process also especially when trying to make deviled eggs.

  24. My easy method for peeling boiled eggs is to place the egg in a wide mouth jar, add a little bit of water and put the lid on tightly. Shake vigorously for ten seconds or so, then dump the water. The shell usually falls right off, leaving a perfectly peeled egg! Works every time for me.

    1. Gosh Lucy, I don’t know what to say. Has anything else you tried worked better in the past? What will you try next? Sorry it didn’t work for you.

  25. To be honest…I’ve done this for 50 years. Delighted it works for you all the time, but for me, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Haven’t found any better way to do it though, so hang in there ladies with a problem…I think this method is as good as it gets. :o)

    1. Thanks for the comment Jane. You’re right, just like peeling an orange, some are easier than others.

  26. Well, that was a disaster. Does it matter what kind of eggs you use? Because I used brown eggs (two weeks old), but otherwise followed these instructions to the letter, and it just didn’t work at all. The skin between the shell and the white was just glued to the white, and the harder I tried to scrape it off, the more white I lost. The roll either didn’t make any cracks at all, or caused the egg to start to crack in half. Maybe I’m just not meant to have pretty eggs.

    1. Hmm, that’s not good. It shouldn’t matter what kind of eggs. You want a thousand or more small cracks all around the egg – rolling it on the counter should help with that – without actually splitting the egg. Start peeling at the air pocket so you have a place where there is some natural separation – let cold water run in between the egg and the membrane to help separate the separation.

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  28. Just wondering…if you are just making hard boiled eggs to eat, do you peel them right away? Or peel as you want to eat them?

    1. I will often make 4-6 hard cooked eggs and leave them in the fridge with peels on to snack on as desired for up to a week. You can also store them without the peel either wrapped in wet towel or in a bowl of water (change water daily) for up to a week.

      1. Added bonus: Cold eggs are easier to peel; but still use Getty’s steps for cooking and peeling. Getty’s method works almost every single time for me! There may be the occasional sticky little critter that just won’t let go but this method is a keeper for me!

        1. Hi Lory,
          Thanks for the feedback and the bonus tip! You’re right there’s an occasional stubborn egg out there, but this method works better than anything else I’ve tried.

      1. The type of pot you use is probably what’s making the difference. Aluminum pots are the worst! Use tephlon coated pots for best results.

          1. Yeah, the reaction is different with different materials. Not that it works in the traditional, “non stick” sense obviously! But the metal reaction to the shells is real! If I were a scientist I could explain why. lol

  29. this is exactly how I do my eggs and have for years. Works perfectly every time. 🙂
    If someone messes it up to because they didn’t follow procedure exactly.

    1. Thanks Melissa! It always works for me too. But you’re right, you’ve got to do all the steps. The rolling under the palm on the counter – what a difference!

    1. Hmm, sorry it didn’t work for you Jignesh. I just did this again last night and it worked beautifully, not sure why it wouldn’t work for you too.

        1. Maybe the eggs they used were too fresh. Sometimes you cannot know how many days old the eggs in the grocery are. That’s the only uncontrolled factor in this instruction. Not the blogger’s fault 😊

    2. I agree! I raise chicken’s for eggs,I can peel 1 day old eggs pretty easy,that’s a lot of steps,just saying.

  30. Looks easy enough. When you say turn the heat off, do you leave the pot on the burner or take it off? I’m thinking leave it on, but I want to make sure.
    Thanks!

    1. Good question Christie! The idea is to stop the boiling right away so that you don’t get green around the yolk and the egg doesn’t overcook. If your burner stays hot for a long time, I would take it off.

    1. Yes, go for it! You might as well do it right the first time and establish good egg cooking habits!

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