Taste of Home
Everyone has that one 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 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 (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 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. 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 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 create perfectly hard boiled eggs.
Test Kitchen tip: Older eggs peel easier. If your eggs are reaching their use-by date, they’re just perfect for hard boiling. Psst! There’s a simple trick to telling how to tell how old your eggs are.
Method 1: Get Cracking
Instead of picking away at your egg under cold 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 cool mosaic before you even begin to peel. 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.
Method 2: Shake it Up
This method is super-fun! 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, the egg shell should be falling off.
Method 3: Use a Spoon
Taste of Home
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.
That’s all it takes for pain-free peeling! Now you’re ready for lunch!
Check out these egg recipes.
I love cooking for my husband and this is the first dish of the year that we enjoy out in our back yard. I often include fresh peas and cherry tomatoes, halved. —Amy McDonough, Carlton, Oregon
We always have avocados on hand, so it's easy to make this quick breakfast toast for my husband and me. It's really tasty! —Kallee Krong-Mccreery, Escondido, California
I love this recipe—it's not your typical breakfast, but it has all the right elements: easy, healthy and fast. Turn your favorite omelet ingredients into a morning salad! —Pauline Custer, Duluth, Minnesota
This is a really simple, tasty breakfast. It has been a mainstay for our mornings together as a family.—Jo Ferguson, Arnold, Missouri
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
On a whim, I stuffed eggs into potato shells as a way to use up leftover baked potatoes. It’s the brunch dish people ask for the most. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
When I bring this delicious egg dish to the table, I always get oohs and aahs! It looks impressive but is quite easy to prepare.—Gilda Lester, Millsboro, Delaware
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
Hash browns make a fabulous crust for these individual egg quiches. They look fancy but are actually easy to make. They've been a hit at holiday brunches and other special occasions.—Kate Meyer, Brentwood, Tennessee
I've been cooking this strata for years, and my family just can't get enough! The fresh basil gives this healthy brunch dish an added flavor boost. —Jean L. Ecos, Hartland, Wisconsin.
My meatless version of Korean bibimbap is tasty, pretty and easy to tweak for different spice levels. —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut
My husband grew up in southern California and loves chorizo. We use the spicy sausage in these wraps that our children call “Daddy's Eggs.”—April Nissen, Yankton, South Dakota
More and more people in my workplace are becoming vegetarians. When we cook or eat together, the focus is on fresh produce. This salad combines some of our favorite ingredients in one dish...and with the hard-boiled eggs and kidney beans, it delivers enough protein to satisfy those who are skeptical of vegetarian fare. —Elizabeth Kelley, Chicago, Illinois
A curry kick gives this egg salad big appeal. We love it when the weather gets warm. —Joyce McDowell, West Union, Ohio
A line forms quickly behind this quiche-like torte at family gatherings. The wedges are easy to eat as finger food, plus it's delicious hot or cold. — Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
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 made this tasty casserole for a baby shower. It saved me: Preparing it ahead gave me more time to finish decorating for the party. —Melody Craft, Conroe, Texas
These easy corn cakes are super tender thanks to the creamed corn in the batter. Top them with poached eggs and fresh salsa, and you get one of my favorite breakfasts. —Jamie Jones, Madison, Georgia
My son and I love having a croque madame (a fried egg atop our grilled ham and cheese) for lunch. If eggs aren't your favorite, you can make the sandwich without it (which makes it a croque monsieur). —Carolyn Turner, Reno, Nevada
This recipe is quick and easy, and helps use the eggs from our chickens. It works for breakfast, lunch or dinner, especially served with some flour tortillas and fruit or salad. Guests can top them however they like. —Sandra Leonard, Peculiar, Missouri
The beauty of my Mexican strata is that you can change it depending on the veggies you have on hand. I make mine most often with corn and pico de gallo. —Lisa Huff, Wilton, Connecticut
I love breakfast pizza, but not all the fat and calories that go along with it. My lighter version gives you a big energy boost whether you eat it at brunch, dinner or somewhere in between. —Vicki Meyers, Castalia, Ohio
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.
I like to spend as much time as I can with my guests when they stay with me for the holidays, so I rely on make-ahead recipes to help make that happen. Because most overnight brunch casseroles are so similar, I came up with a breakfast bruschetta for a fun change of pace. —Judi Berman-Yamada, Portland, Oregon
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
We have a bed and breakfast in Gettysburg where I serve creative dishes like these poached eggs with polenta, our twist on eggs Benedict.—Paulette Lee, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
When we need a quick meal to share, we turn Cobb salad into a sandwich masterpiece. Sometimes I swap out the bread for tortillas and make wraps instead. —Kimberly Grusendorf, Medina, Ohio
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
With plenty of veggies and a creamy egg-cheese filling, this tasty quiche gets great reviews every time I make it! —Lilith Fury-Thompson, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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
I came across this unique grilled combo when I was digging in my mom's recipe box. The crisp bacon, hard-cooked eggs and crunchy green onions make these cozy sandwiches look impressive when company drops by for lunch. Best of all, they're a snap to assemble. —Ann Fuemmeler, Glasgow, Missouri
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 love this frittata because the combination of fresh flavors makes it special. It's the perfect sunny south Florida breakfast.—Wolfgang Hanau, West Palm Beach, Florida
We always eat ham, eggs and bread on camping trips, and we often have extras. Combine them and you’ve got scrambled egg bread. We first made this on a visit to Mount Shasta. —Shirley Mondeau, Rohnert Park, California
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
Whenever I entertain guests, this zippy pizza is a definite crowd-pleaser. It also makes a great late-night snack for any time of the year! —Janelle Lee, Appleton, Wisconsin
My husband wanted bacon and eggs; I wanted a BLT. We settled our standoff with an irresistible sandwich we've had many times since. —Patti Darwin, Lubbock, Texas
Shakshuka is a dish of poached eggs with tomatoes, peppers and cumin. I learned it while traveling through Southeast Asia, and it's been my favorite way to eat eggs since. —Ezra Weeks, Calgary, Alberta
Topped with ham, roast beef, bacon and other fixings, this hearty salad has an excellent blend of flavors. A from-scratch vinaigrette adds the refreshing final touch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
My daughter Sara loves spicy Buffalo chicken and deviled eggs, so I combined the two. Make and chill a day ahead so the flavors mingle. —Robin Spires, Tampa, Florida
Basil and bacon make best summer buds in this smoky-sweet pasta. I pair it with a simple spring mix salad with balsamic dressing and a glass of good Chardonnay or cold iced tea. —Cathy Dudderar, Lexington, Kentucky
With herbs from the garden to use, I created a quiche with basil, parsley and dill along with feta, Swiss, Gruyere and mozzarella. Goat cheese is also yummy. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
I like to use a second slow cooker to keep the tortillas warm and pliable when I serve these hearty burritos. Just place a clean wet cloth in the bottom, then cover it with foil and add your tortillas.—Beth Osburn, Levelland, Texas
Salad for breakfast? Absolutely. You can prep everything except the dressing and chill it overnight. In the morning, dress the salad and poach the eggs. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
For a festive Mexican breakfast, we do chorizo and huevos rancheros. Add refried beans and cheddar, and serve everything in bowls made of tortillas. —Paul Williams, Fort Mohave, Arizona
My four young children are experts eating with their hands. These “brunchskins” with veggies make easy finger food they love to handle. —Mindy Campbell, Rapid City, Michigan
For me, the combination of sweet and savory along with easy preparation make this Italian-inspired strata a winning dish for home cooks everywhere! It can be served for breakfast, brunch, or as a late afternoon meal.—Naylet LaRochelle, Miami, Florida
This is a great kid-friendly recipe that takes only 20 minutes to prepare and cook.—Sharon Haswell, Cheshire, Massachusetts
My neighbor shared more zucchini from his garden than I knew what to do with. He loved this recipe—it's great for brunch or a special breakfast. —Darcy Kennedy, Hendersonvlle, North Carolina
Adobo sauce adds so much extra flavor that you won't even miss the smaller amounts of butter and egg yolks in this smoky hash. Here's a tip: Add a splash of white vinegar to the poaching water right before you drop in the eggs. It helps keep them from separating as they cook. —Brooke Keller, Lexington, Kentucky
This recipe came from a "what's in the fridge?" moment, and it's so good. It makes two tarts for brunch or appetizers. —Jacquelyn Benson, South Berwick, Maine
This is a fun way to enjoy holiday leftovers as if presenting them for the first time. Serve for brunch, with champagne and cranberry juice. —Brittany Allyn, Mesa, Arizona
When it comes to trying new recipes, I'm always up for the challenge, and crepe cups have turned out to be one of my favorite things to serve while entertaining. They're a nice change for breakfast on those holiday mornings when family is gathered around. —Sheryl Riley, Unionville, Missouri
After we spent the night at our friends’ house in Arizona, we awoke to the tantalizing aroma of an egg soufflé. It brings back great memories. —Pat Coyne, Las Vegas, Nevada
My tostadas feature the ingredients of a classic Denver omelet: ham, cheddar and green pepper. I also make a zesty Mexican version with chorizo and pepper jack and a Reuben with corned beef and Swiss. —Joi Sinclair, Atchison, Kansas