Hard Boiled Eggs (Easy to Peel)

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Learn how to make hard boiled eggs that are easy to peel! Spoiler alert: it’s the sequence of steps that’s most important. And with the extra tips I’ve listed below, you’ll always have beautiful, perfect hard boiled eggs.

Hard boiled eggs on the counter.

Hard boiled eggs are a frequent ingredient in many meals. They can be cut in half for deviled eggs, diced into egg salad, placed on top of a cobb salad, or eaten on their own with a dash of salt and pepper. And when it comes to prepping, there’s nothing more satisfying than peeling the shell off with no sticking or divots.

But I know the struggle with hard boiled eggs as I’ve been there before. You’re peeling your eggs and chunks of egg white pull off with the skin, leaving you with ugly, pocketed eggs. It’s super disappointing. 

So I set out on a mission to test all the tutorials I could find online. And what I learned was that it’s actually no one trick, but rather a series of steps that makes hard boiled eggs easy to peel. 

How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Cutting to the chase, it’s a combination of how you cook the eggs, how you cool them, and how you crack the shell afterwards.

The first mistake most people make is starting with cold water to boil eggs. The key is to have a hot boiling start, time it correctly, then shock the eggs in an ice water bath. I describe this in more detail in my how to boil eggs post, but here’s the process.

A pot of hot water on the stove and an ice water bath.

Prep the Hot and Cold Water

Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Make sure there’s enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch. And while you’re waiting for it to boil, remove the eggs from the fridge (set them on the counter) and prep an ice water bath in a large bowl.

Place eggs into a pot of hot water.

Cook the Eggs Until They’re Hard Boiled

Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and use a skimmer to gently and slowly add the eggs into the water. Then, turn the heat back up to a boil. Set a timer and cook the eggs for 12 to 14 minutes. See my egg timer chart.

Hard boiled eggs in an ice water bath.

Put the Eggs in the Ice Water Bath

Once the eggs have cooked to your preferred time, use the skimmer to remove the eggs and immediately submerge them in the ice water bath to stop them from cooking. You’ll let the eggs sit here for about 5 to 10 minutes before peeling.

Slicing hard boiled eggs in half.

Tap, Roll, Then Peel the Eggs

To peel hard boiled eggs the easiest way possible, make sure to tap, roll, then peel:

  1. First, tap the egg on the bottom.
  2. Then, gently roll the egg on your countertop with the palm of your hand. Cracks will start to form and loosen the outer shell.
  3. Start peeling from the bottom first (always), as there’s a little air pocket and you’ll be able to get under the membrane. The shell should come off easily from there!
Hard boiled eggs on the counter.

How Long Can You Store Hard Boiled Eggs

You can store hard boiled eggs (with the shell on) for up to a week in the fridge. You can also store peeled eggs in the fridge for up to three days in a storage container without any issues.

Hard Boiled Egg Recipes

Congratulations, you’ve now made the perfect hard boiled egg! You can of course eat them plain with a sprinkle of salt and pepper for a snack. Or you can enjoy some of my favorite hard boiled egg recipes. Here are a few deviled egg recipes I love:

Hard Boiled Eggs Video

Want to see how I make hard boiled eggs in my own kitchen? Watch this quick video below!

More Ways to Cook Eggs

If you’re like me and love eggs, you’re in luck. I have a ton of delicious egg recipes on the website. Here are a few other methods to keep up your sleeve:

Hard boiled eggs on the counter.

Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

4.93 from 89 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 21 minutes
Servings: 6 eggs
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

Learn how to make hard-boiled eggs that are easy to peel – in a few simple steps! Watch the video above to see how I do it!

Video

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 to 6 large eggs

Instructions 

  • Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Ensure there’s enough water in the pot to cover the eggs by about an inch.
    Prepping water for hard boiled eggs
  • While you’re waiting for the water to boil, remove the eggs from the fridge (set them on the counter) and prepare ice water bath in a large bowl.
  • Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and use skimmer to gently and slowly add the eggs to the water. Then, turn the heat back up to a boil.
    Adding eggs into boiling water for hard boiled eggs
  • Set a timer and cook the eggs for 12 to 14 minutes.
  • Use the skimmer to remove the eggs and immediately submerge them in the ice water bath to stop them from cooking.
    Hard boiled eggs in ice water bath
  • To peel the eggs, you can either roll them on the countertop gently or tap the egg all around against the countertop to create cracks. Then, peel from the bottom to remove the shell.
    Sliced hard boiled eggs on a chopping board

Lisa’s Tips

  • I love this skimmer as it can easily add and remove multiple eggs at the same time.

Nutrition

Calories: 77.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.6g | Protein: 6.3g | Fat: 5.3g | Saturated Fat: 1.6g | Cholesterol: 186.5mg | Sodium: 62mg | Sugar: 0.6g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy to peel hard boiled eggs, Hard Boiled Eggs, How to Hard Boil Eggs, How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally published April 2020, but updated to include new information.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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174 Comments

  1. Hi I’m so very grateful for you for this recipe this is by far the best hard boiled eggs I’ve tried 
    Perfect every time 
    TYTYTY5 stars

  2. This is amazing!! I always wrestled with peeling hb eggs, and with this method, I had a dozen perfectly peeled in less than 10 min. The shells practically slid off 👍🏻

  3. This worked I’ve been doing it all wrong and the egg shell always stuck they peeled really easy5 stars

  4. There is nothing to say but that you are a genius. The seemingly simplest things are always the hardest! Thanks so much5 stars

  5. First time I been able to peel eggs with no problems. Eggs looked good yellew had no discolouration. Will use this always

  6. All i did was put the eggs in boiling water diredtly from the fridge and boiled them for 12-15 minutes….
    When finnished l dumped the hot water out of the pot and filled it with cold water tap….
    I left them sit in the cold water in the pot for about 15 minutes and kept the cold water tap running at a trickle and Bunzie baby!!!!!! They peeled without sticking,…….. r.i.p. amen..

  7. I tried this method this morning as I was craving boiled eggs, i honestly have not made boiled eggs in almost a year, because they never seem to come out right. Well Lisa once again you delivered, love, love your website. Thanks for taking the time to test the methods, and recipes.  The eggs came out perfectly, nothing was torn or left in the shells. Marvelous!5 stars

  8. Oh my goodness…. thank you so much for your post. My husband’s new post-work out snack is deviled eggs. Just peeling the eggs were quite labor intense and at the end they may have tasted o.k. but the were extremely ugly. By following your instructions, I had 12 beautifully peeled eggs in no time. I will no longer dread his request for “more eggs please”.5 stars

  9. Lisa,

    I had 60 hard boiled eggs to make for an event and I started out using my old method of putting the eggs in cold water. After the first dozen would not peel without taking out chunks of egg white, I researched alternatives and found your method. It worked spectacularly! Thank you for saving my hard boiled eggs and my day.

    Merrilee5 stars

  10. THANK YOU! I have always made hard cooked eggs according to Joy of Cooking (start with cold water, bring to boil then let simmer). They are always a mess to peel and frequently undercooked. With this method the shells practically fall off! You’re my new hero.5 stars

  11. Thank you!  I have tried many methods as well, and this is, by far, the best!  I boiled 14 eggs and every one peeled perfectly. 5 stars

  12. I have tried EVERYTHING regarding peeling eggs and nothing has been successful. This however worked. The eggs were unpeeled in seconds. No salt or vinegar needed in your water, no putting the eggs in before the water is boiled, no swirling the cooked eggs in the empty pot after boiling to pre-crack the shells. Just put the eggs in the water once boiled, cook to desired time, then plop in a 15 minute ice bath. SUCCESS!!

    PS I never have ice on hand so I put cold tap water in a bowl in the freezer while water was boiling and eggs were cooking. Then once eggs were done, straight to that bowl of water, back in the freezer for 15. After that, same process as above, taps the larger end of the egg to get the peeling started and those shells came right off!5 stars

    1. PSS – I made 6 eggs in case you were thinking my success was a one egg fluke.
      SIX PERFECTLY PEELED EGGS PEOPLE!!!5 stars

  13. Hi Lisa, I did all the steps and it was a bit easier to peel but somehow the eggs were still difficult to peel. Then I stumbled on accident over a solution: Add some butter to the water. I steam my asparagus always with water that has some butter added and after the asparagus was done I just decided to cook my eggs in that water, since, why not. To my surprise, the eggs peeled really easily. I thought it is a coincidence even though I even had eggs from 2 different brands. I have been testing this now out several times (its asparagus season here in Vienna, Austria, jej) and it has always worked. Drawback is that one has to add fairly a lot of butter, like half a cup or so on 1.5 litres of water. So I find it ideal after steaming some veggies with the butter water. Now that I can get my eggs to peel beautifully, I can finally do all your deviled eggs recipes that look so good!! Just wanted to share in case it helps someone else.5 stars

    1. Thanks for sharing your tip Celine! I haven’t tried this method before but will definitely give it a try next time.

  14. Today is the first time in my life that I made perfect hard boiled eggs! I made six and there is not a mark on any of them- they peeled perfectly! Thank you!5 stars

  15. Your easy to do hard boiled direction were outstanding!!  Best ever, after going thru a dozen or so other people instructions. You made me one happy man!!  Thanks!! 5 stars

  16. I have tried every “hint” without success. This really works!
    I live in the Midwest and have used Meijer and Egglands Best brand eggs.
    They both turned out PERFECT!
    Thank you so much for sharing.5 stars

  17. Thank you!  Finally a recipe that actually works and the eggs are perfectly cooked and easy to peel!  I have tried so many recipes…..5 stars

  18. I’ve been making eggs wrong for 40 years!  This is amazing, easy, and foolproof!!  I’m sharing with everyone I know.  Wow.  5 stars

  19. Since I don’t make  hard boiled eggs very often, I have come back to your recipe several times to remind myself of the instructions. The result is Perfect eggs every time! Thank you!5 stars

  20. I need some clarification, do I start the cook timer once the water comes back up to a boil, or once the eggs are in the water?

      1. After I added the eggs and turned the heat up and it didn’t come to a boil I finally got around to reading the “Tips” and realized that I crowded the pot with eggs. There was two layers, the pot was too small, it was a mess, lol. It still turned out PERFECT! But I ended up having them in the water for about 20 minutes total after turning up the temp because of the time it took them to get back up to a boil. Next time I’ll either use a larger pot, or fewer eggs…. or both! Thank you!5 stars

      2. The key here is to not crowd the eggs, which I’m glad you caught! But, happy to hear your eggs still turned out perfectly :)

  21. I followed the directions exactly as listed. The eggs were out for at least an hour and were room temperature. I turned the boiling water down to low. When it was no longer boiling I used a slotted spoon to gently lower the eggs into the water. 2 of the 6 “popped” then minute they hit the water. I have been doing the ice bath thing for a while but won’t be trying this method again.

    1. Hi Connie – sorry to hear that! Some people have mentioned that certain brands of eggs seem to have weaker shells. You might want to try this with a different brand of eggs next time. :)

  22. Hallelujah it WORKED! My eggs peeled perfectly. I love hard boiled eggs, eggs salad, deviled eggs and hardly ever make any of it. I tried so many different ways to cook them and I end up so mad when the process is over and I have ugly hard boiled eggs. Not to mention all of the egg white I end up tossing out with the shells. Thank you for all of your tips and taking the time to perfect these :)5 stars

  23. 14 minutes and OMG! I got through eight eggs without swearing once! The shell just fell off and the eggs were perfect. I will never go back to the old way.5 stars

  24. I’m getting ready and excited to try this method as peeling to make deviled eggs for parties has always been a nightmare. I often I end up chuckng or feeding to kids. Curious to know why or what is the purpose of bringing them to room temperature and then back to ice bath prior to boiling?

    1. Hi Tammy – you do that to help prevent the eggs from bouncing around and cracking when you first place them in the water. :)

    2. The ice bath is for after you have boiled the eggs :) Bring to room temperature, boil, then ice bath!

      You will never go back to any other recipe!

  25. I am a good cook, but the magic of the perfect hard boiled egg has always eluded me. I’ve tried numerous methods but nothing has worked for me until this method. I’ve passed it on and everyone raves about it. It’s a simple thing but really makes a difference. THANK YOU! Marlene Cooper5 stars

  26. I just made hard boiled eggs for my avocado toast and they turned out PERFECTLY! I did 14 minutes for the perfect hard boiled egg. Thanks Lisa!5 stars

  27. The easiest and most foolproof way of boiling eggs! Works every time and so easy to peel! Thanks Lisa 😍5 stars

  28. You have the best tips! A little off topic but can you prep soft boiled eggs for the week? How would you heat them up if you didn’t want them cold?5 stars

    1. Hi Kristin – Great question! You can re-heat them either running under hot water until it reaches your desired temperature. Or you can also heat them in a microwaveable safe bowl for about 1 minute.

      1. Thank you Lisa! I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of meal prep thanks to your YouTube channel!!!!5 stars

  29. Hi there Lisa! Great tips as always. Do you have any suggestions for storing boiled eggs once they are cooked?

  30. Hi. When making the hard boiled eggs, do you cook them in boiling water? I have always removed mine from heat after they begin to boil. I just want to make sure I am understand the instructions.

    Thank you

    1. Hi Sabrina – Technically yes, you will cook them in boiling water but at a gradual pace. Once your water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and use a skimmer to gently and slowly add the eggs into the water. Then, turn the heat back up to a boil to cook them.

  31. Thanks for the tips! Exactly what I was looking for. It’s all the simple things I tend to need tips for 😂😂5 stars

  32. I always have trouble peeling eggs, so this is perfect for how to get the smoothest egg white first go! Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. Hi Jeannette- It can definitely be a struggle sometimes, so these tips will hopefully do the trick!

  33. These definitely do like the most perfect hard boiled eggs! We’ve been eating them a lot recently, they’re the perfect snack with all of us at home.5 stars