Two Tricks For Making Easy-To-Peel, Foolproof Boiled Eggs

Two Tricks For Making Easy-To-Peel, Foolproof Boiled Eggs

It’s not that hard to boil an egg, but things can (and often do) go wrong along the way. Kitchen Konfidence offers solutions to two of the biggest challenges about making boiled eggs: timing the water boiling exactly and getting peels off easily (without losing chunks of the egg).

Brandon Matzek’s first tip is to poke the flatter end of the egg with a small, sterilised pin. This, he says, make them easier to peel. The Science of Cooking site explains what might be at play here and a few other benefits you might get from the pin prick:

Some people use a pin to make a small hole in the shell at the large end of the egg before they put the egg in the water. At the large end of each egg is a small air space. When you hard cook an egg, this air heats up, expands, and escapes through pores in the shell — but not before the egg white sets. This leaves the egg with a flattened end. Pricking the egg provides a quick escape route for the air, which gives you an egg with a smoothly rounded end. If you prick an egg, watch for a jet of air shooting from the hole as the egg cooks.

Scientists disagree on the other possible benefits of pricking an egg. Some say that piercing the eggshell with a pin lets water leak between the shell and the egg’s internal membrane, making for an egg that’s easier to peel. Others claim that providing a quick way out for expanding gases makes the egg less likely to crack as it cooks, which may be particularly important for older eggs with larger air sacs. Still others say that poking a hole in the shell weakens it, making cracks more likely.

Brandon’s second tip is genius for those of us who sometimes lose track of time when boiling eggs. He uses a probe thermometer that alerts him when the eggs are right about to boil:

Put the saucepan over a medium-high flame, and place the tip of a probe thermometer into the water. Water boils at 212°F, so set your thermometer to sound the alarm at 209°F. I like to give myself a little time get to the kitchen, and prepare for the next step. As soon as the water starts to boil, set a timer for 1 minute. The moment that minute is up, take the saucepan off the heat, cover, and let sit for 8 to 10 minutes. Timing will depend on the type of pan you use. I’d recommend 8 minutes the first time you try this. If the yolks are still a little squishy, try 9 minutes on your next batch.

Using a probe thermometer to boil eggs may seem a bit over-the-top, but it completely eliminates challenges #1 and #3 above. You will never over-cook an egg again.

For hard-boiled egg lovers, that’s music to our ears.

For more egg boiling tips and tricks, see the full post on Kitchen Konfidence.

Foolproof Hard-Boiled Eggs [Kitchen Konfidence]


  • All I do is crack each egg all over with the back of a spoon then start removing the shell from the end with the air sac. Sure, the shell is all broken up into small pieces, but I’ve never gouged out large parts of the egg white. They usually turn out perfectly peeled.

  • Tried the pricking hole method, unfortunately still not able to peel the shell without taking out bits of eggwhite in the process

  • i Just boil them like normal and transfer striaght awy to a bowl of ice/water. Makes them super easy to peel

  • A common question I hear as a dietitian (second only to “Where do you get your protein?” of course) is “What’s wrong with eggs?”

    Where to begin? Let’s start with the obvious egg facts. Eggs have zero dietary fiber, and about 70 percent of their calories are from fat—a big portion of which is saturated. They are also loaded with cholesterol—about 213 milligrams for an average-sized egg. For reference, people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or high cholesterol should consume fewer than 200 milligrams of cholesterol each day. (Uh oh.) And, humans have no biological need to consume any cholesterol at all; we make more than enough in our own bodies.

    Why so much fat and cholesterol in such a tiny package? Think about it: eggs hold every piece of the puzzle needed to produce a new life. Within that shell lies the capacity to make feathers, eyes, a beak, a brain, a heart, and so on. It takes a lot of stuff to make such a complex being.

    In addition to these excessive (for humans) natural components of an egg, other human-health hazards exist. Because eggshells are fragile and porous, and conditions on egg farms are crowded, eggs are the perfect host for salmonella—the leading cause of food poisoning in the U.S.

    Those are some facts and figures. But how do eggs affect real people in real life? Luckily, researchers have conducted good studies to help answer that question.


    In a 1992 analysis of dietary habits, people who consumed just 1.5 eggs per week had nearly five times the risk for colon cancer, compared with those who consumed hardly any (fewer than 11 per year), according to the International Journal of Cancer. The World Health Organization analyzed data from 34 countries in 2003 and found that eating eggs is associated with death from colon and rectal cancers. And a 2011 study funded by the National Institutes of Health showed that eating eggs is linked to developing prostate cancer. By consuming 2.5 eggs per week, men increased their risk for a deadly form of prostate cancer by 81 percent, compared with men who consumed less than half an egg per week. Finally, even moderate egg consumption tripled the risk of developing bladder cancer, according to a 2005 study published in International Urology and Nephrology.


    A review of fourteen studies published earlier this year in the journal Atherosclerosis showed that people who consumed the most eggs increased their risk for diabetes by 68 percent, compared with those who ate the fewest.

    In a 2008 publication for the Physicians’ Health Study I, which included more than 21,000 participants, researchers found that those who consumed seven or more eggs per week had an almost 25 percent increased risk of death compared to those with the lowest egg consumption. The risk of death for participants with diabetes who ate seven or more eggs per week was twice as high as for those who consumed the least amount of eggs.

    Egg consumption also increases the risk of gestational diabetes, according to two 2011 studies referenced in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Women who consumed the most eggs had a 77 percent increased risk of diabetes in one study and a 165 percent increased risk in the other, compared with those who consumed the least.

    Heart Disease

    Researchers published a blanket warning in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, informing readers that ceasing egg consumption after a heart attack would be “a necessary act, but late.” In the previously mentioned 14-study review, researchers found that people who consumed the most eggs increased their risk for cardiovascular disease by 19 percent, and if those people already had diabetes, the risk for developing heart disease jumped to 83 percent with increased egg consumption.

    New research published this year has shown that a byproduct of choline, a component that is particularly high in eggs, increases one’s risk for a heart attack, stroke, and death.

    Animal Protein

    Inevitably, this discussion also leads to another question: “Even egg whites?” Yes, even egg whites are trouble. The reason most people purport to eat egg whites is also the reason they should be wary — egg whites are a very concentrated source of animal protein (remember, the raw material for all those yet-to-be-developed body parts?). Because most Westerners get far more protein than they need, adding a concentrated source of it to the diet can increase the risk for kidney disease, kidney stones, and some types of cancer.

    By avoiding eggs and consuming more plant-based foods, you will not only decrease your intake of cholesterol, saturated fat, and animal protein, but also increase your intake of protective fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Be smart! Skip the eggs and enjoy better health!

  • Thankyou for sharing this important info. Can you make it common knowledge but will you be hunted down by the egg police?

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!