How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs That Are Easy to Peel

How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs That Are Easy to Peel

When you Google ‘perfect hard-boiled eggs’ approximately 24 million hits come up. It seems everyone out there has their own tricks and secrets when it comes to hard-boiled eggs and they swear their way is the best way.

But still, we’ve all been there before. Following a ‘no-fail’ method we found on the internet and getting hard-boiled eggs that come out too soft, too hard, too hard to peel or somehow turn into a complete inedible disaster.

But wait. Why do we care so much about perfect hard-boiled eggs here at That Clean Life?

Eggs are nutrition powerhouses. Talk about protein, healthy fats and important nutrients like Vitamin A, D, B12, and iron in each bite! Hard-boiling your eggs not only makes them an easy snack or breakfast to take on the go, but it also makes them so versatile and ready to be used in a variety of ways.

I went on a mission to try the most popular hard-boiled egg and peeling methods on the internet to determine what method truly works so that you can make perfect hard-boiled eggs every single time. So let's get into it, shall we?

But first, what is a "perfect" hard-boiled egg?

Above anything else, a perfect hard-boiled egg is one that peels easily leaving a smooth, blemish-free, egg white surface. In other words, no pock-marks, tears or pieces of egg white missing here!

Perfect hard-boiled eggs also have a fully cooked yolk with an even consistency throughout, without any discoloration around the edge.

The Hard-Boiled Egg Experiment

In total, I tested five different methods of hard-boiling eggs:

  • Oven-Baked Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Steamed Hard-Boiled Eggs
  • Boiled Hard-Boiled Eggs from Cold
  • Boiled Hard-Boiled Eggs from Hot

I also tested out four different methods of peeling hard-boiled eggs:

  • Tap-tap-tap and peel
  • Roll and peel
  • Shake-shake-shake and peel
  • Underwater peel

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs That Are Easy to Peel - Anotated

Oven-Baked Hard-Boiled Eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF (165ºC) and place eggs in the muffin cups of a muffin pan.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove eggs from muffin pan to an ice bath until cooled.

Was this method of hard-boiling eggs easy? Not only did this method take the longest (average suggested cooking time in a moderate oven was 30 minutes!), the yolks came out quite discolored with a dark ring around the outside. The whites also felt exceptionally rubbery and had burn marks where they were in contact with the pan.

Were the eggs easy to peel? Most of the eggs peeled perfectly, but some were more difficult than others.

Would I use the oven-baked method again? No.

Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs

  1. Add 1.5 cups of water to the Instant Pot. Place the rack in the bottom and set the eggs on the rack. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to seal.
  2. Turn the pressure to high and set the timer 5 minutes.
  3. Naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes before manually releasing the rest of the pressure.
  4. Transfer eggs to an ice bath until cool.

Was this method of hard-boiling eggs easy? Hard-boiling eggs in the Instant Pot was no quicker than boiling or steaming methods. Sure, cook time was only 5 minutes but when you factor in the time for the Instant Pot to build pressure and then to release the pressure, it definitely wasn’t "instant". Also, some of the egg yolks (not all) had a slight dark discoloration around the edge.

Were the eggs easy to peel? Yes.

Would I use this method again? Maybe.

Steamed Hard-Boiled Eggs

  1. Add a couple inches of water to a pot with a steamer basket and a lid. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Place eggs in the steamer basket and return the lid. Let the eggs steam for 12 minutes.
  3. Transfer eggs to an ice bath until cool.

Was this method of hard-boiling eggs easy? I'd never heard of steaming eggs before, but it is definitely a new favorite! The yolks came out perfectly cooked and yellow. The eggs were noticeably more wet than others when I was peeling them, but not a deal-breaker.

Were the eggs easy to peel? Yes.

Would I use this method again? Yes!

Boiled Hard-Boiled Eggs From Cold & Hot

From Cold

  1. Add cold water to a pot and place eggs into the pot.
  2. Over medium-high heat, bring the eggs to a gentle boil. Place the lid on the pot. Turn the heat off but keep the pot on the hot burner. Let stand for 12 minutes.
  3. Transfer the eggs to an ice bath until cool.

From Hot

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. Using a spoon or tongs, gently set the eggs into the boiling water. Place a lid on the pot. Turn the heat off but keep the pot on the hot burner. Let stand for 12 minutes.
  3. Transfer eggs to an ice bath until cool.

Was this method of hard-boiling eggs easy? This was the quickest and easiest method for hard-boiling eggs. There wasn’t much difference between adding the eggs to cold water or to hot water. I did have to be a little more gentle peeling the shell away from the cold start eggs, but the quality of the egg yolk was perfect either way when cooked for at least 12 minutes.

Were the eggs easy to peel? Yes.

Would I use this method again? Yes!

The Winning Method for Hard-Boiling Eggs

It's a tie for first place between steaming and boiling. Coming in second is Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs.

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs That Are Easy to Peel Every Time - Perfect Egg

The Best Way to Peel a Hard-Boiled Egg

Now that we've talked about the actual hard-boiling of the eggs, let's talk about the best ways to peel them. For this, I tested four methods:

Tap-Tap-Tap & Peel

Tap the egg on the countertop (or another hard surface) many times on all sides of the egg and then peel off the shell fragments.

This is my go-to method to peel an egg. The Tap-Tap-Tap method results in an unblemished and smooth hard-boiled egg. For best results, ensure the egg is completely cool.

Roll & Peel

Give the hard-boiled egg a firm tap on the countertop. Then, with some pressure, roll the egg away from you. The internet says that with this method, the eggshell should break away from the egg in two pieces.

I found that this is by far the cleanest way to peel an egg. No tiny pieces of eggshell all over the kitchen! It is also the quickest peeling method if you get your technique down.

Shake-Shake-Shake & Peel

Add the hard-boiled eggs to a container with a lid. Add water to the container and seal the lid tightly. Shake the container to break the shell away from the egg.

This was my least favorite method for peeling eggs, yet probably the most viral method on the internet. I just couldn’t figure it out. Either my shaking was too vigorous (resulting in scrambled hard-boiled eggs all over my container) or not vigorous enough where I still had to peel the egg by hand with help from the Tap-Tap-Tap method.

I won't be using this method to peel my hard boiled eggs again.

The Underwater Peel

Start by tapping the eggs on a hard surface on all sides and then peel away the fragments underwater.

This method is just as effective as the Tap-Tap-Tap and really great for very stubborn to peel eggs.

The Winning Method for Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs

It's a tie for first again between the Tap-Tap-Tap & Peel method and the Roll & Peel method. Coming in a close second is the Underwater Peel.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs That Peel Easily Recipe Example

Other Tips and Tricks for Perfect Eggs Every Time

Use Older Eggs

If you’re a hard-boiled egg fanatic, plan ahead and buy an extra dozen eggs. Let them hang out in the fridge for a week or two before hard-boiling them. Usually, fresh is best. But when it comes to hard-boiled eggs, older eggs tend to peel and cook much better.

Peel Them Cold

The one thing that made a noticeable difference in the ease of peeling hard-boiled eggs was refrigerator time. Let your hard-boiled eggs hang in the fridge after cooking for at least 24 to 48 hours before you attempt to peel them. I found that hard-boiled eggs that were cooled only to room temperature were more difficult to peel and nearly impossible to get perfect every time.

The Ice Bath

Dunking hot eggs into cold water helps to stop the cooking process and can also help pull the eggshell membrane away from the egg white, making it much easier to peel. But even with the ice bath, I would still recommend 24-hour refrigeration for the easiest peel. I'll say it again, the colder the egg the easier it is to peel!

Salted Water

Salted water keeps the eggs from bouncing around in the boiling water. It also prevents them from cracking and breaking open in the water.

Storing Hard-Boiled Eggs

Peeled hard-boiled eggs last two to three days in the fridge and unpeeled eggs last up to a week.

Now What To Do With All Those Hard Boiled Eggs?

Hard-boiled eggs are such a great thing to prep at the beginning of the week. After you've cooked the perfect hard-boiled eggs, log in to That Clean Life and search for ‘eggs’ to find awesome hard-boiled egg recipes to add to your client’s meal plan.

Easy to Make Hard Boiled Eggs That Peel Perfectly Every Time - Egg Recipe Filter

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