No special tools, no gimmicks and no mess. We'll show you how to peel a hard-boiled egg quickly and easily.
Everyone has that one tedious kitchen task they hate. Maybe it’s cutting onions (so many tears) or unwrapping candies for a favorite cookie. For me, it’s peeling hard-boiled eggs. I always dread 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 (though I can recommend some delicious takes on the appetizer).
Lucky for me, our Test Kitchen has three easy methods for removing the shell with flawless results. That means no more ugly eggs and no more frustration! And I can cross this task off my list of most-dreaded. Let’s start at the very beginning: getting the perfect hard-boiled egg.
How to Cook (and Peel!) Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
To make eggs that are easier to peel, our Test Kitchen experts recommend not boiling your eggs at all. No, not even with a bit of vinegar or baking soda (our experts found these cooking hacks didn’t help at all). Instead, place eggs in a steamer basket inside a pot. Fill the pot with water up to the base of the basket. Heat your water, and once it begins to boil, set a timer for 14 minutes. When time is up, remove the eggs from the basket and plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This should yield perfectly hard boiled eggs.
Instead of picking away at your egg under cold tap water, try rolling a hard-boiled egg back and forth on a hard surface until the shell is completely cracked. It should look like a mosaic before you even begin to peel. Once totally cracked, start peeling from the large end of the egg—it will help separate the membrane from the egg’s surface. To make things even easier, peel under cold running water.
Method 2: Shake it Up
This method is less than traditional, but it gets results! To remove the shell, place a hard-boiled egg in a mason jar with about 1 inch of water inside. Make sure the jar is tightly sealed and start shaking.
As you shake, the egg will crack and the water will help loosen the shell. After a few seconds of jostling, the egg shell should be falling off.
Method 3: Use a Spoon
To start, give the egg a good crack on a hard surface. Then carefully insert a spoon between the shell and the egg and rotate until the shell is completely separated. The shell should peel off easily, with minimal mess.
My Italian mother-in-law taught me to make this omelet years ago—she would make it for breakfast, lunch or dinner and eat it on Italian bread. This is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover broccoli. —Mary Licata, Pembroke Pines, Florida
One of my favorite brunch dishes is eggs Benedict. While I adore the traditional version, I also have fun using other flavors. This is my Italian take using a semi-homemade creamy pesto sauce.—Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
My family loves bruschetta, so why not have it for breakfast? This gives us a healthy start to the morning, and takes very little effort. You get all the traditional flavors, and with egg added, it makes a great meal. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
I adapted this recipe from a dish I had in Napa Valley. I decided to add toasted bread crumbs as a garnish. The result was a breakfast option that everyone loves.—Jennifer Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California.
When I want a brunch recipe that has the crowd appeal of scrambled eggs but is a little more special, I turn to this dish. The Parmesan sauce is simple but rich and delicious.—Deb Williams, Peoria, Arizona
People go crazy when I bring this loaded crescent ring to parties. I can bake it at home and take it anywhere. Of course, everyone's happy when we have it for dinner, too! —Frances Blackwelder, Grand Junction, Colorado
I've made this recipe for my family every Christmas morning for 10 years—it's a food tradition that we look forward to every year. Part of what makes this dish special is the croissants that make the egg bake extra light and fluffy. —Susan Triplett, Citrus Heights, California
When I first began making this dish for breakfast I served it with fried eggs on top. Now I sometimes make it for supper and serve it without eggs. It’s great when I want a dish I can make quickly, with minimal cleanup.—Nancy Murphy, Mount Dora, Florida
My father loves to entertain, and these buttery egg delights are one of his favorite items to serve at brunch. The leftovers are perfect to reheat in the microwave on busy mornings, so Dad always stashes a few aside for me to take home once the party is over. —Amy Soto, Winfield, Kansas
I like omelets but don't always have time to stand by the stove. That's why I favor this oven-baked variety that I can quickly pop into the oven at a moment's notice. My family frequently requests this for Sunday brunch. They always empty the dish. —Ellen Bower, Taneytown, Maryland
My home's in the country, right next door to my sister and brother-in-law's. They and their two children all enjoy this dish each time I serve it as a special evening meal—although it can also be made for breakfast or lunch. —Susan Buttel, Plattsburgh, New York
This updated version of a classic appetizer uses only half the egg yolks of the original recipe and calls for soft bread crumbs to help firm up the filling. We replaced the mayo with fat-free mayonnaise and reduced-fat sour cream. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen