Easy-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Today, I gave a hungry co-worker a hard-boiled egg; mentioning that I made it using a new recipe. “Hard-boiled eggs don’t have a recipe,” they laughed. While 5-years ago I would have agreed; I have marveled at the perfectness of each hard-boiled eggs that I have cooked for the past 5-years (following this recipe). Look closely at the photo below; how often do your eggs look like that? Before I began following that recipe, my answer was never.

Perfectly cooked and a notable difference in peeling

Perfectly cooked and a notable difference in peeling

While extremely simple to make, hard-boiled eggs have two perennial problems. First, there is the green coating surround the yolk, which comes from overcooking. While green eggs are perfectly harmless to eat; it smells a bit like sulfur and usually turns slimy after a day or two in the refrigerator. Why is it so easy to overcook your eggs? Because adding eggs to boiling water requires a different time depending upon how many eggs you cook. Each additional egg delays the moment when the water comes back up to a boil. Getting the timing right is key; an issue that Chis Kimball solved 5 years ago. (and continues to solve using today’s recipe).

The second problem with eggs are their sticky shells. Nearly six years ago I did a comparison of different methods for peeling hard-cooked eggs. The winning method is best, but still is perhaps 90% (at best). I usually found myself peeling eggs while they were still warm and storing them in a tightly sealed container. Chris Kimball has claimed to have solved the problem; “There’s no need to peel the eggs right away. They can be stored in their shells and peeled when needed.”

Issues:

  1. The timing is for large eggs that are cold from the refrigerator.
  2. The recipe uses a steamer basket. But if you don’t have one, Chris Kimball says that you can place the eggs directly into the 1″ of water; using a spoon or tongs.  The smaller amount of water will come back to a boil more quickly that a fuller pot; which will work on 6 or few eggs without altering the timing.
  3. If you are using a steamer basket, this recipe will work on any number of eggs that will fit into a single layer.
  4. The prior cooking technique I had been using for the past 5 years is given by Cook’s Country is here.

Rating: 4-1/2 stars.
Cost: 60-cents.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess? Low.
Start time 6:00 AM. Ready at 6:30 AM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe for is here. My descriptions of how I prepared it today are given below:

6 large eggs

  1. Add 1″ water to a medium-saucepan. Set over high burner and bring to a rolling boil; about 5 minutes.
  2. Carefully set eggs in steamer basket and move into saucepan with boiling water. Cover and reduce burner to medium-low; maintaining a boil; and cooking for 15 minutes.
  3. When eggs are almost done; combine 2-cups of ice cubes with 2-cups of told tap water into a medium bowl.
  4. When eggs are ready use tongs or slotted spoon to move eggs into the ice bath; allowing to stand for 10 minutes before peeling.
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10 Responses to Easy-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

  1. I should learn this! Looks simple yet we really need to know the correct way to do this 🙂 Especially in peeling process 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this 🙂

    Please visit and follow my blog (www.lazymomcooking.wordpress.com) or my Instagram (lazymom_cooking) for some recipe ideas 🙂

  2. Eggs says:

    I use about 1/4-1/2″ of water and no steamer basket. Less time waiting for the water to boil and no need to get out the steamer, and the results are the same for me. It’s a fantastic technique, I recommend it to everyone.

    • The only caveat the Chris Kimball gives, is not to exceed 6 eggs at a time if you put the eggs directly into the water without a steamer basket. Does the time need to be increased at all?

      • Eggs says:

        I’ve done up to 6 eggs, but no more than that — I wasn’t avoiding doing more, I just haven’t needed more than 6 at once. I haven’t noticed any changes from 1-6, so I think 7 or 8 would be fine as long as they’re all in one layer.

        Because my version uses less water, I think it takes less time to recover the temperature. I also use a small pot (not a pasta pot as pictured) so it doesn’t take long to fill with steam. Once I put the eggs in, I drop the flame until it just touches the bottom of the pan.

        It’s very interesting. I would have guessed the down-side of the eggs (partially immersed and touching the pot) would cook faster, but I’ve never been able to tell which side of an egg was up and which was down.

      • Eggs says:

        Oops, let me also add that mine don’t need to cook as long as his seem to . . . I pull mine at 6:30, but that’s soft-boiled with runny yolks. For hard-boiled, I would just keep the flame a smidge higher, or else start checking about 8:00.

        They peel very easily for me after just a minute or two in cold tap water (not ice water because I’m lazy).

        If you give it a shot, I’d be very interested if you posted your results! I am at sea level, by the way.

  3. Nancy Sutton says:

    Thanks! Am going to do this very soon… looking forward to easy pell eggs 🙂 And, by coincidence, I’d just read Carol Deppe’s instructions for cooking duck eggs (from ‘The Resilient Gardener’)…. very similar process 😉

  4. I’ve used this method 4 times now and my results are always fine as far as doneness goes but twice, with older eggs they did not peel so well, not terrible but not perfectly clean. With fresh eggs there has nt been any problem. Is this my imagination?

    • How long after cooking did you peel the eggs? I had a little trouble peeling after Easter when I bought a large flat of generic eggs. I am not sure how old the eggs were, but it’s possible that they weren’t fresh. Overall, this method seems to work better, but nothing seems to be 100% effective.

  5. I follow directions! 10 minutes in ice water. I did it again last night with fresh eggs and it worked perfectly.

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