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 94 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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185 Comments

  1. Omgosh I have tried many different ways to get the perfect hard boiled eggs and let me tell you this way actually works. All 20 eggs perfect.5 stars

  2. Do you start the 12 minute boil countdown when you put the eggs in the water or when it starts boiling again?

  3. This is perfect easy peel way to use, I followed the exact time to boil and ice bath the eggs, it turned out amazing shape with no sticky shells, Love it, thanks Lisa for sharing5 stars

  4. It worked, eggs were easy to peel. Yokes didn’t turn green. Thank you, i don’t dread Deviled eggs5 stars

    1. Hi Linda – Sorry to hear your eggs cracked. If you inserted them slowly, my other thought is the brand of eggs, as I’ve found that sometimes that can make a difference. For some reason, certain brands seem to have thinner shells. Hopefully your next try turns out better!

  5. I’m excited to try this! Question before though: for the 12-14 min of cooking, do you cover and turn the heat off or continue boiling?

  6. The easy peel worked perfect for me the first time. Note to myself I was making deviled eggs and I am going to cook them only about 10 minutes because I got a little bit of the green on the 12 to 14 minute time and I don’t like that.5 stars

  7. This went mostly good. Out of a dozen eggs, I have 8 pretty good ones, 2 that are useable but some significant white peeled off with the eggshells, and 2 that for some reason almost all the white came off leaving a little white around the yolks.

    I did try to do a full dozen, because that’s how many I wanted and hoped to get.

    So my 1st question is;
    How best to prepare a whole dozen of these? Maybe use my largest 6 quart stainless steel dutch oven saucepan instead of my 3 quart one?

    My 2nd question is how long should I leave the eggs in the ice water? A plunge for a minute or 2 (or less?) or leave them in for 5 to 10 minutes? (Which is what I did, thinking they needed to cool more from being boiled.)

    I hope I can get the answers I need to do this far better. But at least I’m going to get 20 deviled eggs out of this batch, I’m happy for that!

    I think with my questions answered I can do far better next time!4 stars

  8. Absolute nightmare. Most of the eggs cracked immediately upon going into the boiling water and I was extra careful. This is one of the worst methods I’ve tried.

  9. This is my absolute favorite way to do hard boiled eggs. I have never been disappointed. I have fresh eggs from my chickens and it works great. Thank you Lisa!5 stars

  10. I use this method every time I make boiled eggs now. We have large jumbo size eggs and 10 mins simmering plus an ice bath makes them perfect. And the shell comes off so easily.5 stars

  11. OMG!
    I am 73 years old and always detested making deviled eggs, because the shell never releases and the eggs look like they have been in a war.
    But not this time. I followed your instructions, SUCCESS!5 stars

  12. Hi Lisa, I tried your hard boiled egg method and it worked like a charm. I’m very pleased, thank you!5 stars

  13. My dad is always complaining that he can’t peel his hardboiled eggs. I keep telling him to go to Downshiftology.com and watch Lisa’s video! Every time I make hardboiled eggs I open my laptop and watch your video as I do it, just to be sure I am doing it right. My eggs are always perfect! My favorite are the 8 minute eggs. For Thanksgiving this year I made your Deviled Eggs and the 14 minute eggs came out just how you said they would. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Oh wonderful! I’m so glad you found that video helpful. 8 minute eggs are wonderful! And I’m glad you enjoyed my deviled eggs recipe as well. :)

  14. I’ve never been able to make an absolute perfect hard boiled egg until I discovered this recipe. The most beautiful and perfect egg and it peels SO easily!!! I’m very excited about this, and so is my husband!5 stars

  15. I can finally peel eggs without tearing them apart!! Thank you so much for sharing this method of boiling and peeling eggs! 😊5 stars

  16. Hi, Lisa

    Which is the top and which is the bottom of the egg? Is the narrow end the top, or is it the bottom?

    Thank you,
    Cate

  17. I follow a process like yours, except instead of boiling eggs, I steam them. Fill a pot with hot water to just under the bottom of a steamer basket. Place the room temperature eggs in the basket. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. Cover the pot and time the eggs for 17-18 minutes — thick shelled brown eggs may need another minute. Lift out the steamer basket and plunge it into a bowl of ice water. The eggs come out perfectly every time without cracking while boiling. I’d love to take credit for this, but I bow to Martha Stewart. Thanks, Martha!

  18. I have never had success with the shell peeling off without taking half the white with it. #grateful for someone with the know how willing to share. Thank you!5 stars

  19. Just love your site- thank you! 

    For some reason I fail each time when boiling eggs. My no fail, go to is steaming.

    Bring your steamer water to boiling. Once boiling set your eggs in steamer basket, cover and cook for 17 min. Cold water rinse.  Perfect and easy to peel every time, brown or white eggs! 5 stars

  20. I’d love to give a 5 star rating but every single time I have used this recipe, following to a T, several eggs crack. Every single time. I’ve let the water settle as suggested in comments, etc. but they continue to crack. It’s frustrating because the ones that don’t crack DO peel beautifully. HELP! 3 stars

    1. Ah, bummer! Sometimes I’ve found the brand of eggs can play a role in that. I’d give it a try again with a different brand. :)

  21. Similar to this recipe, I have typically used a quick cook method that begins by placing eggs in a single layer and filling the pot with water that covers the eggs by one inch. I decided to try this recipe, but it begins by boiling the water THEN adding the eggs. If you follow this recipe, the eggs are easy to peel, BUT, the eggs MUST be at room temperature when using this recipe. Otherwise, the eggs will crack. I would suggest leaving the eggs out in the carton until they are at room temperature. Also, it is important to check time tables based on altitude. I will return to my trusted method of placing the eggs in cold water. bringing them to a boil for several minutes, then covering the pot, then taking the eggs off the heat and allowing them to sit in the pot for approximately 12-14 minutes. The eggs can then be removed and placed into an ice bath. I had high hopes, and I like trying new ideas, but this really didn’t work for me.

  22. Thank you! Thank you! I’m 73 and have tried every hard boiled egg recipe, but yours works!!! I was definitely dubious not starting them in cold water—they’ll surely crack. So I started with just three eggs. Came out perfect. Beginner’s luck I thought. Three more. Perfect! Okay, go for it–six more –perfect. So fun peeling the shell like you do when peeling an apple with a peeler. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Haha, yes, it’s definitely a tried and true way to make perfect hard-boiled eggs that are easy to peel! Happy you loved this method as well, Pam. :)

      1. If you’d like to serve them warm, just until they’re cool enough to handle and peel. If you’d like to serve them cold, you can let them chill for 5 minutes or so.

  23. Thank you for sharing this!  I make deviled eggs for family gatherings and have struggled to find a way for them to peel easily.  This is the only method I have found that worked perfectly!  I will no longer dread the boil and peel process of making hard boiled eggs.5 stars

  24. I followed the directions as noted and all my eggs cracked as I put them in the simmered water…super disappointing 

    1. Hi Angie – do make sure that the water is not simmering when you submerge the eggs. Turn off the heat, let the water settle, place the eggs in, then turn the heat back up. :)

  25. The first time I used this recipe my hard boiled eggs came out perfectly. Peeled easily and the yolks were done and no green/grey rim. Now I’m doing it again and I’m hoping for the same results. 5 stars

  26. The shells peeled so perfectly! I like to take the egg and shake in in a cup to loosen the shell. Such a great method! Thank you. 

  27. My kids love boiled eggs, but I do not love peeling them. Until I tried your directions. It was amazing! Peeled perfectly and boiled perfectly too.5 stars

  28. Used your instructions today. I was utterly shocked when my eggs peeled perfectly. I have been doing this wrong my entire adult life. I have always been so frustrated as I ripped my eggs while peeling the shells. But never again! Thanks so much!!5 stars