The Best Way To Make Easy-To-Peel Boiled Eggs: Give Them A Hot Start

The Best Way To Make Easy-To-Peel Boiled Eggs: Give Them A Hot Start

Don’t you hate it when you’re peeling a boiled egg and half of it breaks off with the shell? Serious Eats tested several egg-boiling methods to find the most foolproof method to avoid that catastrophe. The factor that made the biggest difference? The temperature you start cooking the eggs in.

There might not be a 100 per cent foolproof method, but if Serious Eats’ tests are an indication, this is the best thing you can do to shell eggs easily:

Lower your eggs straight from the fridge into already-boiling water, or place them in a steamer insert in a covered pot steaming at full blast on the stovetop. If boiling, lower the heat to the barest simmer. Cook the eggs for 11 minutes for hard or 6 minutes for soft. Serve. Or, if serving cold, shock them in ice water immediately. Let them chill in that water for at least 15 minutes, or better yet, in the fridge overnight. Peel under cool running water.

No baking, no pricking, no tricks, no gimmicks, that’s it.

This worked better than placing the eggs in cold water and bringing it to a boil, as well as trying to choose older eggs, pricking the shell, and, yes, cooking them in a pressure cooker. (I’m bummed about that, but controlled scientific experiments trump anecdotal evidence. I still enjoy making eggs in the pressure cooker and find them easier to peel compared to the oven-baking method.)

Of course, you can just shake the shells right off or cut through them instead of peeling, but the tested, truest method to get those dang shells off is to start with boiling water.

The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs [Serious Eats]


  • Putting them from the fridge into boiling water may be the solution for peeling, however the shells tend to crack. Best to put them in at room temp.

    • I reckon a tendency to cracking is probably OK if the whole point is to shell them without breaking half the white off.

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