3 Methods for Perfect, Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs - Perfect Egg
Recipe At-A-Glance
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Kitchen Tips20-45 minutes
Hard Boiled Eggs are the perfect snack - they are portable, delicious, and packed full of healthy fat, protein, and just the right amount of calories to keep hunger at bay. Here are three ways to make perfect Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs that come out right every time.

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Hard boiled eggs (or as they are called in our house, HBEs) are one of my favorite foods on the planet. They are portable, delicious, and packed full of healthy fat, protein, and just the right amount of calories to keep hunger at bay. They are just perfect when sprinkled with a little bit of flaky sea salt and a crack of fresh black pepper. Drool.

Another factor that make HBEs my go-to snack: we always have fresh eggs available thanks to our flock of 10 hens. When the fridge is bare, there are always eggs to count on! I make up about a dozen hard-boiled eggs per week, stick them within easy grasp in my fridge, and snack on them all week long.

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

I get asked all the time how to make perfect hard boiled eggs, and after years of actually boiling them (you know, because the name literally tells you to boil them), I started experimenting with other methods and now have three fool-proof non-boiling methods that result in perfectly cooked, easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs every single time. Boiling, of course, works. But getting the timing and temperature right is tricky—I much prefer one of the other methods below.

Before I dig into the three methods, I want to talk through some frequently asked hard boiled egg questions. You’re going to rock HBEs after this post, I promise!

How do I make sure my eggs are easy-to-peel?

There is nothing quite as satisfying as an easy-to-peel hard boiled egg, and nothing quite as frustrating as one that is hard-to-peel. All three of the methods I list below make for pretty darn easy-to-peel eggs, but if you want to 100% make sure your peel just sliiidddeeesss offf, the key is to use older and cold eggs.

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs - Peeling

The older the eggs are when they are cooked, the easier they are to peel. As the egg ages, the membrane that connects the egg to the shell actually begins to shrink, and it makes the egg easier to peel later. I try to use eggs that are at least 7-10 days old—that’s the sweet spot.

Using cold eggs also helps—the shock of going from being a cold egg into the hot cooking method seems to instantly shrink the membrane and make it easier to peel.

That being said, I’ve literally taken a warm egg out of the nesting box, popped it into my Instant Pot, and had the peel slide right off. If you can’t get ahold of older eggs, use the Instant Pot method below. Easy-to-peel eggs every time, regardless of age.

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs - Complete

When you are ready to peel your eggs, it’s as simple as cracking the shell on a hard surface and then using the side of your thumb to pry away the shell from the egg. Sometimes I do this under running water (it seems to help separate the shell from the egg), but more often than not, it doesn’t need the extra help from the water.

How do I prevent the dreaded green yolks?

Ever curious what makes the yolks in your hard boiled eggs have a green ring (or sometimes even be entirely green)? It’s overcooking! This is an easy fix. All you need to do is prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl with ice water. Once your cooking time on your eggs is up (regardless of the method you use), immediately plunge the eggs into the ice bath to halt cooking. Let them float in their polar plunge for a good 10-15 minutes. Peel and you’ll see no green yolk!

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs - Finished

How long will hard-boiled eggs store in the fridge?

Peeled hard-boiled eggs have a much shorter shelf life than unpeeled eggs. You can get by with 5-7 days in the fridge for eggs-in-their-shells. If you want to pre-peel them, I’d store them in an airtight container, and then make sure to use them within 3-4 days.

Is there anything I can do with the peels?

Don’t throw those peels in the trash! At the very least, toss them into your compost bin—they’ll add great nutrients to your compost. You can also grind them up and make your own calcium supplement, turn them into sidewalk chalk, or use them to start seeds. This is a great post with all kinds of information about how to use the shells.

What recipes can I make with hard boiled eggs?

Well, if you can manage not to just wolf them down as they are, there are a few awesome thinks you can do. You can make deviled eggs, of course! I have a recipe for Hummus Deviled Eggs and Bacon Sriracha Deviled Eggs. You can also mix up chopped hard boiled eggs with a little mayo and mustard and make a killer egg salad. Hard boiled eggs are also great on top of salads! They even work in Mason jar salads.

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs - Mason Jar Salad

Alright, so now are you ready to actually dig into the methods I recommend? I’m putting them in my personal order of good, better, best—although you might have better luck with a different method than I do, so I highly recommend experimenting with all three to find your perfect way of making hard boiled eggs.

At the bottom of the post, you’ll find a single printable recipe with all three methods, plus a short video that walks you through how to do all methods. Alright, let’s dig in.

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs - Oven-Baked

Baking eggs in the oven is a great way to do a lot of eggs without much effort at all. The instructions are as simple as this:

  1. Place cold eggs in a muffin tin (so they don’t roll around).
  2. Bake in 325° oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Plunge eggs into ice bath to halt cooking.

Done like dinner. Since it’s so simple, you’d think this would be my favorite method, wouldn’t you? Well, it has a couple of hang-ups. First of all, oven temperatures can vary greatly—I know my oven runs a touch hot—so 325° might be perfect for me, but you might need 350° or even 375°. It takes some trial and error to get it right.

Secondly, ovens rarely heat evenly, which means that unless you are on top of making sure to turn your pan every few minutes, some of your eggs might cook at different times—meaning some might be overcooked (blech, green yolks), while others might still be soft-boiled. I’ve never been able to get a fully perfect batch in the oven.

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs - Steamed

My next method is steaming your eggs—and this is the method I always recommend for folks who don’t have access to an Instant Pot. Steaming is a close cousin to boiling the eggs, but something about steaming makes the peels so much easier to take off—and it’s much easier to control the temperature. For this method you:

  1. Fit a steamer basket (this is the one I have) over an inch of simmering water in a saucepan.
  2. Place cold eggs into the steamer basket (only add them after the water is already steaming—we’re looking for heat shock here, it’s what makes the eggs easier to peel).
  3. Cover and steam for 10 minutes.
  4. Plunge eggs into ice bath to halt cooking.

My only hangup with this method is that I’m terrible about remembering to polar plunge the eggs right at the 10 minute mark—I always forget to set a timer. It’s pretty easy to overcook them if you’re forgetful like me!

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs - Instant Pot

My favorite method is, far-and-away, in the Instant Pot (this is the model I have—and love). It’s sorcery manages to create perfect, easy-to-peel eggs no matter how old they are or what temperature they are. And it makes them fast. Way faster than any of the other methods. Making hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot is as fool-proof as it gets. Here’s how:

  1. Place 1 cup of water in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Insert steamer basket.
  2. Fill with as many eggs as desired (this is another benefit of this method, you can do a ton of eggs at once). Seal lid.
  3. Use the manual setting (or “egg” setting if your Instant Pot has one) and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, immediately manually depressurize the Instant Pot.
  4. Plunge eggs into ice bath to halt cooking.

Every Sunday, my Instant Pot makes a batch of hard boiled eggs, a roasted chicken, a batch of applesauce, and a batch of 24-hour yogurt (which ferments overnight until the next day). The Instant Pot has made my weekly meal prep so much faster and easier!

Alright, I hope this has helped you find your perfect hard boiled egg method (and answered any burning questions you had). Enjoy your eggs!

 

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs - Perfect Egg

3 Methods for Perfect, Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Yield: 6 eggs
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Hard Boiled Eggs are the perfect snack - they are portable, delicious, and packed full of healthy fat, protein, and just the right amount of calories to keep hunger at bay. Here are three ways to make perfect Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs that come out right every time.

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • Water
  • 6 Cold Eggs (from the fridge)

Instructions

Oven Directions

  1. Prepare an ice bath by filling a medium-size mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Set aside. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Place eggs in a muffin tin, to keep from rolling around. Bake the eggs for 30 minutes.
  3. When the cooking time is up, immediately plunge the eggs into an ice bath to stop cooking. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before peeling.

Steaming Directions

  1. Prepare an ice bath by filling a medium-size mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Set aside.
  2. Fill a medium-size saucepan with an inch of water. Fit with a steamer basket. Bring to a simmer over high heat.
  3. Add the eggs into the steamer basket, cover the pot, and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. When cooking time is up, remove the eggs with a spoon and immediately plunge into ice bath to stop cooking. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before peeling.

Instant Pot Directions

  1. Prepare an ice bath by filling a medium-size mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Set aside.
  2. Fill the basin of your Instant Pot with one inch of water. Place the steamer insert in the pot, and then gently place the desired number of eggs on top of the steamer insert
  3. Close the Instant Pot lid, and set the steam release to seal. Using the manual setting, set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for five minutes.
  4. When the five minutes is up, vent the steam manually. Then unlatch the lid, remove the eggs with a spoon, and immediately plunge into ice bath to stop cooking. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before peeling.

 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 egg
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.
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