Why is peeling a boiled egg so HARD???

eggs fresh from the farm

This morning my 8 year old son asked me for hard boiled eggs for breakfast. Nothing fancy, just a few whole eggs topped with salt and pepper. I went to the CIA, so this request should have seemed like a walk in the park, right? Let me start by telling you about the eggs. My husband works by a small farm which is tucked into the sprawl of suburbia. They sell wonderfully fresh organic eggs, which have yolks the color of marigolds and taste wonderful. My kids have been to the farm and have chased the chickens that lay the eggs they eat. They now want to raise chickens in our yard. But I digress from my egg peeling dilemma. By the time the eggs made it to the table, half of the whites were spiraling down the garbage disposal. I presented the remainder to my son and he said “these look like zombie heads!” He was thrilled with my presentation and ate them like an 8 year old savage eating zombie heads. This was not the effect I was going for.

So I did a little research on the web and found this hard boiled egg article on the Kitchn. It has some simple information and tips for successful peeling without the zombie presentation and the alien-green ring around your yolk. In the end it is clear the only thing that truly matters is you use older eggs, about 10 days old. So, the fresh eggs from the farm where they scoop them up from under the chickens while we wait, are great for cooking and baking, but HARD to peel. Buy two dozen and save one for 10 days if you want perfect hard boiled eggs. I personally can never wait!

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10 thoughts to “Why is peeling a boiled egg so HARD???”

  1. Zoe,

    I found this out the hard way too, actually. I’ve finally gotten the hang of hard boiled eggs after many, many tries. The thing about using older eggs is that age creates an air pocket that makes peeling easier.

    Love your site and look forward to making my first batch of master recipe!

    Laura B.

  2. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for helping solve the mystery. I know it is true that old eggs are easier to peel but I didn’t know why that was!

    Thanks, Zoë

  3. Zoe,

    I’m reading your archives and have to comment on this…Heloise, years ago, taught me how to do fresh eggs and it’s no problem if you do them her way! Put your eggs in cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Cut burner off, put lid on and set timer for 20 minutes. When it goes off, take pot to sink and pour off hot water. Then, shake them around and around in the pot and the peels will begin to fall off. Keep shaking and finally all will be peeled and only then can you pull them out and rinse and let sit in cold water.

    This is in trade for all you’re teaching me.

    Easy peasy,

    Pat

  4. I peel eggs using a teaspoon and it works really well. Simply smash the top of the egg a little, with the spoon and then slide the spoon under the shell and push the shell away from the egg 🙂

    A very nice blog you have here, by the way!! 🙂

  5. We live on a farm and have our own fresh eggs. I discovered a way for easy peeling of fresh eggs by trial and error. After boiling rinse immediately with cold water and throw a large amount of ice on top of eggs (as quickly as possible)….if you have an icemaker the whole container full works well. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Works great.

  6. Here’s another hard-cooking method, which sounds wierd but results in easy-peeling eggs:
    Put eggs in HOT tap water in a bowl. Put pot of water on to boil. When water boils, slip eggs into water and boil for 10 minutes. Let sit off the heat for 10 minutes, then run cold tap water over for another 10 minutes. There’s an occasional exploded egg, but the rest peel easy! I need to check this out on some fresh eggs – I have heard that you only need to wait a week til you can hard-cook fresh eggs.

    Thanks for all you do – and a fun blog!

  7. with peeling eggs i’ve found its got nothing to do with age 😛 Boil the eggs and then afterwards submerged them in cold water for half of a min to a min, makes peeling a lot more easier… not rocket science.

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