How to Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs

This is how to peel hard-boiled eggs with no mess!

Everyone has a kitchen task they hate. Maybe it’s cutting onions (so many tears) or peeling beets (pink stains everywhere). For me, it’s peeling hard-boiled eggs. I hate removing the shell because no matter how hard I try, I never can get the perfect peel. That means my deviled eggs never look as flawless as I want.

Lucky for me, our Test Kitchen has a method for how to peel hard-boiled eggs with picture-perfect results. That means no more ugly eggs and no more frustration! And I can cross this task off my list of most-dreaded.

(Psst! We’ve got this fun egg peeler to make your life easier, too.)

The Best Way to Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs

You may have heard of a few methods claiming to be the best way to peel hard-boiled eggs. Shaking them in a Mason jar or cup, using a spoon, running them under cold water, etc. But what’s really the best way to peel hard-boiled eggs?

I asked prep kitchen manager Catherine Ward what method she uses to peel eggs for Taste of Home. She says, “We use the ‘get cracking’ method. We want the egg to peel without any divots or blemishes.”

Also, check our easy techniques for how to boil eggs which will make you an eggs expert in no time.

How to Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs


Step 1: Roll the hard-boiled egg

Person using their hand to carefully roll their hard boiled egg against a countertopTMB Studio

Instead of picking away at your egg under cold water, roll the hard-boiled egg back and forth on a hard surface until the shell is completely cracked. It should look like a cool mosaic before you even begin to peel.

Step 2: Peel the shell

Person showing how to peel a hard boiled eggTMB Studio

Once totally cracked, start peeling from the large end of the egg—it will help separate the thin skin (membrane) from the egg’s surface. To make things even easier, peel under cold running water.

Store any leftovers in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them. Just make sure you know how long hard-boiled eggs last in the fridge so you use them before they go bad.

How to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs Easy to Peel

Peeled and halved hard boiled eggs laid out on a cutting boardTMB Studio

Use old eggs

Although it might seem counterintuitive, using older eggs makes all the difference once they’re ready to peel. The closer the egg is to its “Use By” date, the more likely the shells won’t stick to the egg white as you crack them. This is how to tell how old your eggs really are.

Start the eggs in cool water

If you decide to make hard-boiled eggs on the stove, put them in the water at the same time that you put the pot on the stove so they gradually rise in temperature with the water. If you drop the eggs into boiling water, they might crack. Find more mistakes you might be making with eggs.

Don’t over-boil

Doing this will create a green ring around the edge of your yolk that isn’t pretty—especially when you want picture-perfect yolks for recipes like Scotch eggs. Keep a close eye on your timer for the best results!

Shock the eggs in ice water

Another easy way to peel hard-boiled eggs is by immediately placing them in ice water once they’re done cooking. This’ll cause the egg to contract away from the shell, making the peeling process a little easier. Just remember to let the eggs sit in the water for 2-3 minutes until they’re cooled down enough to handle.

Recipes That Use Hard-Boiled Eggs
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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.