How to peel hard boiled eggs

I learned recently that the fresher the egg, the harder it is to peel, though steaming them in a pressure cooker makes even the freshest eggs very easy to peel.

Ice bath right after the heat makes them easy to peel, whether fresh or otherwise. #ancientchinesesecrethuh


That’s one of quite a few tricks I tried that didn’t help much with really fresh eggs.

Here’s a set of rules from the nice people at Buzzfeed (feel free to move this to the Home Cooking Board)…


robert, I’ve heard of the PC technique but don’t know about it. Could you elaborate please?

I’ve used a technique for years and I swear it’s from Julia Child but I’v never verified that. Start the eggs in cold tap water and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat for 17 (???) minutes. Put into ice water and crack them all around. Let set for five minutes. Peel, frequently putting under the water. Works for me but it sounds like hocus-pocus :slight_smile: And older eggs are definitely easier.

The vinegar trick is interesting. I know that if you soak hard-boiled eggs in vinegar for a day or so the shell will dissolve. I’m not sure why 14 minutes in a very dilute solution would make much difference.

I used the first recipe here:

Kenji López-Alt’s tests concluded that starting hot, cooking for 11 minutes, then putting in an ice bath gave the best results.

I don’t know where I heard it but putting a pinhole in the rounder end, prior to cooking, seems too help as well.

Kenji thinks that’s not necessary if you use an ice bath.

Jaques Pepin uses the pin hole.

Kenji Alt-Lopez at Serious Eats debunked the hypothesis that pressure cooking eggs make them easier to peel.

To each their own, but if I boiled my eggs for 14 minutes, no one in my family would touch those chalky, gray-green monsters.

Which is why tea eggs blow my mind. They are still so crazy delicious after being cooked to hell and back.

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Oh, that’s the part of the rules I fudge also: I boil my eggs for less time.

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But. Um. Yeah. Perhaps you have a good tea egg recipe you’d like to share . . .

My experience usually matches his, but not in this case.

Since I’ve switched to steaming eggs I’ve had no problems peeling them.


I did that for years using one of these:

Image result for egg piercer

Got rid of it about the same time as the garlic press.

I gotta try this with my steamer oven. The duck eggs I use for everything are impossible to peel.

I’m envious that you have a steam oven. My old boss had one. She loved it for polenta and risotto. Also, I asked one of the chefs at Campanile how they made such tender scrambled eggs. She told me that the secret weapon was the steam oven.

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Wow! Must try making scrambled eggs that way! There are so few recipes I can find online for steamer ovens. None, really. I gotta try the eggs, though. I was just at a Korean BBQ place that had delicious steamed eggs!

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You don’t need a steam oven to hard-boil eggs, just a regular steamer insert.

A steam oven wouldn’t make any difference for polenta cooked the way I learned from Paula Wolfert.