How To Make The Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs – Easy Recipe

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How To Make The Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe

How To Make The Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs That You Can Actually Peel

I know Easter is a couple of weeks away but you need to buy your eggs now if you are going to hard boil them. For years I tried every method known to hard boil my eggs and have them peel easily. Nothing worked. Then I found out the secret.

The kids and I lived in the country for a while with our own chickens (That was a hoot. We were all afraid to touch them!). Anyway we did manage to pull the eggs out from under the hens and one of the first things I did was hard boil some.

What a mess. I couldn’t get the shells off to save my life. After several weeks of hard boiled egg disasters I was talking to an older woman and telling her my egg woes when she said “The fresher the egg is, the harder it is to peel.” Sure enough, she was right.

Over the years I have tested this theory by boiling a pan of eggs; half fresh and half a little older.  Each time I do it half of them will peel and the other half won’t, no matter what method I use – starting them in cold water, rinsing them right away in cold water, bringing them to a boil and setting off the burner,adding vinegar and on and on. The older eggs would always peel like a breeze and the the new ones were a mess. So make your life easier on Easter morning and buy your eggs now.



From: Terri

Hello! Love your site. I have a tip for making hard boiled eggs. After your eggs have come to a boil, wait five minutes. Then turn the burner off and put a lid on it. In 20 minutes, you will have perfectly boiled eggs. Works every time!


  1. says

    if you can find them use brown eggs when you want boiled eggs for breakfast or for hard boiling.
    I know there is no nutritional advantage but when your eyes get older you can see if you have gotten all the shell off.
    Nothing worse than a piece of egg shell in your teeth or a childs mouth. It takes some of the fun out of them.

    • Deb says

      grandma, what a great tip! I realized when I read it that I just hardboiled brown eggs and it was so easy to get all the shell off – I just didn’t realize why! Guess it’s brown eggs for me from now on!

  2. says

    I’m not a farm girl but I did learn this one from a farm boy (my husband worked on one). We’ve always found that after the kids played with the eggs and they’ve sat out for a day or two that we didn’t want to peel them anyway because we wouldn’t eat them after being out. We tried refrigerating them but the die comes off so we just invest a couple of dollars in a dozen eggs to die and throw them away after they’ve played for awhile. The rest of the eggs are plastic filled. (for which we recycle each year and add new things)

  3. Alicia Webster says

    I did not know this–thanks for letting me know. For years, I thought that I must be the most inept woman on the planet because I could not manage to peel an egg without destroying it. Now I can die in peace. yea!

  4. Jennifer says

    My mother in law has passed on a little secret that makes it alot easier to peel boiled eggs. When you put your eggs in the water to boil, sprinkle a lot of salt in the water (About 1/4 of a box of salt). The peelings will come right off! Good Luck!

  5. nancie says

    I don’t know that I agree with the old egg theory. We lived in Ethiopia and the eggs from the states were 5 months or more old….They would not peel without a pock-marked mess. You had to cook 2 doz or more to get a dozen for deviled eggs. Since then I’ve learned to add a tablespoon or so of salt when starting the eggs. This destroys the membrane holding the shell and liquid together. I cook for 5 minutes, then let sit in covered hot water for 15 min. This prevents the yolks from darkening. If I plan to use them right away, I will shake the eggs in the pan when I pour off the hot water and add cold water (two times. Be sure and pour off the hot water in 15 min and rinse and let sit in cold water.

  6. rose says

    i just read on the internet that if you rinse ur eggs in cold water and then let them set you should be able to peel them without making a real mess …
    not sure if this will work … but its worth a try… also, what the others said too… adding salt…

    but you are right jill … this is the best time to buy eggs bc they are so cheap now…

    thanks for posting this 😀 …
    ps i would be leery of putting my hand under the hens too… hehehe :D..

    • Deb says

      We always cooled our eggs with cold running water and about three changes of water, and it really does help, unless your eggs are really fresh. I had to stop buying fresh local eggs because even with the cold water trick they were a mess to peel.

  7. rose says

    and speaking of hens/chickens… my hubby was sharing a video yesterday about some woman in washington state who decided to take up almost or most of her yard and make it sustainable living (growing her own crops, using rain water, having chickens) … well those hens were soooo beautiful… they were so sweet and eating out of her hand… my friend had chickens and they were never like those…
    and the potatoes! … 1 potatoe could easily feed 3 people… thats how big they were…
    hubby said they are like little documentaries… and he will be sending me the links, which i will share with all of you…
    “how much food can i grow on my property?” was the name of this … on you tube or google it (on the videos) … but he will send the links for me …

    oh and jill, do you remember the story about me making homemade soap? well, i showed my daughter your video (thank goodness you made one!) and she said to me “mom they used fels napa soap, which is smaller than the zoot soap you use and they only used a part of it… you used the whole bar! mom no wonder the garbage men were so upset at you! … and dont forget about all the bubbles coming up in all of the drains!”…
    jill, fels napa is only 5.5 oz where zoot is 14.5 oz! … hehehehehe 😀 😀 … no wonder i had all that trouble…
    i told my daughter that i would be making the soap again but using ur method! … she informed me that she will be there to make sure i measure correctly … heheheee… we had such a good laugh over that too…
    it really was a sight to see with all those bubbles… and my hubby yelling “my septic!”…
    and him yelling “rose! you trying to save a few pennies is killing my septic”… hehehehe :D…

    i do want to try to make the soap again but my daughter is right … we will do this together…

    thanks for posting that video jill and tawra… it does help alot! … 😀

  8. Vicki says

    If you will put a tablespoon of baking soda in your water when you boil your eggs, the shells will peel right off. And I use fresh yard eggs all the time.

  9. says

    I always had a problem getting the shells off eggs and then I read to let the eggs come to a boil, AFTER they come to a boil, cover them and put them on another burner for 10 to 15 minutes…I genenerlly then sit for 15 mins. Then pour the hot water off, add cold water with several ice cubes and then remove the shell. The secret is do not let them sit for a long period of time. Also I tap the egg against my sink and gently squeeze the egg until the entire shell appears soft and then remove. This works for me.

  10. rose says

    the other nite i was at walmart and in the dairy section they had a huge selection for the eggs and those rolled cookies from pillsbury and of course butter… and on top of the case was all the boxes to do the coloring of the eggs…
    i saw this and i immediately thought of this post/blog…
    the lady who was restocking the eggs said they couldnt keep the eggs on the shelf… i agreed and said i think that the walmart has the best prices for htis holiday (i normally look in the ads and compare the prices)… she agreed and said lots of the customers were saying hte same thing…

  11. Rachell says

    We have hens & solved our “hard to peel” problem with some help from a friend in NC whose husband worked in the poultry division of the school of agriculture at UNC Charlotte. Definitely too fresh is the whole problem & has to do with the evaporation of liquid through the semi-permeabl shell. Easy fix:She said to let them set out for one week – but I just don’t have the room for a weeks worth of eggs on my countertop.

    So after trying to peel boiled eggs at one day & two days old, finally at three days they peeled like ‘store bought’.

    Each day we collect, wash & sanitize our eggs. I let them sit out at room temperature for three days. They are organized by using plastic bins with clothespins which are labeled in a day in/day out fashion.

    I have always started my eggs in unsalted, cold water over med heat. Once at a rolling boil I set a timer for 5 min. After boiling 5 min, remove from heat pour off hot water, add cold water & peel immdediately.
    Hope this helps anyone with hens.

  12. jani says

    Were you Embassy here in Ethiopia? Very interesting that you used 5 month old eggs! I just use local eggs and usually have a terrible time peeling them. :) Oh, well, perhaps I’ll try some of these suggestions.

  13. Kristakay1 says

    You can leave eggs out on the counter for three days??? I thought they had to be refrigerated all the time.

    • says

      Yes you can leave fresh eggs out for even 2-3 weeks and they will be fine. You don’t have to worry trying to figure out if an egg is spoiled or not either. If they smell awful like a “rotten egg” then you know you can’t eat them because they are spoiled but other wise they are fine to eat.

  14. Joan says

    Unless you want to use them for Easter eggs…this is what I do for easy peeling eggs everytime. After they have boiled rinse and fill pot with cold water..then I crack each egg a few times all over egg. Return to water and let soak for awhile. Once the water gets in between the shell and membrane they will peel easily…patience!

  15. Paulette Fulmer says

    I am 62 and still learning every single day! Here are the steps to nearly perfect hard boiled eggs:

    Place eggs in a pan and cover with cold water with a splash of vinegar.

    Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Boil for about 7 minutes; then cover and turn off the heat.

    After about 20 minutes, drain the water from the eggs and replace the lid. Getting a firm hold on the pot and lid, shake the pan up and down to crack the eggs.

    Cover with cold water and let them sit till the water is able to seep under the shells.

    Then (SURPRISE!) peel the shells from the eggs. If they were properly cracked, the shells will peel right off beautifully….great for deviled eggs…Good Luck…Happy Easter!

  16. says

    I have found the most incredible “The BEST” series of cookbooks from the Illustrated Cooks series that takes one single recipe and tests it to perfection, maybe making it 25 different times before their testers agree it’s “The BEST!”
    THEY say (and it worked for me) that “The Best” way to cook and peel hard boiled eggs is to put the eggs into cold water, bring to a boil, remove from heat and cover leaving for FIVE minutes, then straining and adding the eggs to ICE water.
    Once they’ve cooled (leave for 10 minutes) then you must start at the air sack (largest end) of the egg, crack the egg all over very thoroughly and THEN peel to perfection!
    It worked AMAZINGLY well with fresh eggs!

  17. christine says

    My mom has chickens – has the same problem with fresh eggs not peeling. She’ll buy a dozen from the store, and use the hardboiled fresh yolks for deviled egg filling in the hardboiled store whites and the fresh whites for tuna salad.

    • says

      I had the same problem Christine. I took all the methods – boil for so many minutes, put in cold water etc. but each time I did them I did it with 1/2 old and 1/2 new and the new ones were always harder.

  18. Mari says

    No, eggs don’t have to be refridgerated at all….I buy my eggs from the local farm shop in trays at a time. Sometimes I buy two trays, that’s 60 eggs. I usually keep them in a basket and they are absolutely fine. I’ve never had a bad egg keeping them like that. One thing I will say though – don’t keep them anywhere near anything with a strong smell, such as paraffin, because the shells are porous and will absorb the scent and you’ll never get rid of it!!

    As for boiling eggs, I find I get the perfect boiled egg by putting my eggs in a pan and filling with cold water. Sometimes I put a dash of vinegar in – that stops the whites spreading if the shell happens to crack. Then I bring the eggs to the boil, and then I turn them down to a simmer. At the same time I put the bread in the toaster….when the toast pops up, my eggs are ready! Works every time!!!

    Then, if I want to make them hard boiled and peel them, I just give them a couple more minutes in the simmering water, then plunge them into cold water and leave them for about 5 – 10 mins, then they peel super easy! :)

    • Louise says

      You can prevent the shells from cracking by poking a small hole in the rounder end of the egg with a pin. Works every time – no cracked shells.

  19. Lene' says

    After cooling eggs in ice water, I crack them all over on the side of my sink, then take a regular sized spoon and slip it under a crack on the big end, continue on around, the shells come off easily. we have hens too and have had good luck with this idea which i picked up from a newspaper article.

  20. Pam says

    I saw Martha Stewart use a sharp knife to cut through the (the long way if you’re making deviled eggs) hard-boiled egg, shell and everything. Then you take a spoon and scoop the egg out. Works with old and fresh eggs alike. I’ve tried it and I am amazed every time at how easy it is.

  21. Diane says

    For EGGS, a day on the counter (at room temp.) is equal to a week in the refrigerator. So if you want “older” eggs for hard-boiling that will peel easily, just put on the counter for a day (or two). I’ve been doing this for 50+ years and it works every time. Just remember, if an egg floats, it is probably “bad”.

  22. shelaran says

    Whenever i make hard boiled eggs i add a splash of olive oil to the water as it boils, then i set the pot in the sink and run cold water into it for a couple of minutes. Always seems to work for me. Also on the garden post….check out aquaponics.

  23. Dotty says

    It was so interesting reading all of these comments on how to, or how not to, hardboil eggs that peel easily. So I’ll add my two cents! First, I’va tried all of these suggestions and the one hint that I’ve used for years that actually works on eggs of all ages is adding about a tablespoon of vinegar to enough cold water to cover the eggs. Then bring to a full boil, take off of the heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Immediately pour off the hot water and run under very cold water until eggs are cool enough to handle. Crack evenly all over. Peel from the large end under cold running water. Voila! Perfectly peeled eggs. The whole process takes about 30 to 35 minutes.

  24. Julia says

    Just found this video on my FB feed and thought it was really interesting. Haven’t tried it but it will sure be fun trying it after I get my Easter eggs all boiled and colored. By the way, saw someone who had colored the peeled eggs and made their deviled eggs as colored deviled eggs for Easter. Another fun idea I may try since I’m planning to make quite a few eggs. Anyway, here’s the URL for the video showing a fun and cool way to peel hard boiled eggs.

  25. Janice says

    I have tried every method in the books or on the Internet to get nice looking hard boiled eggs out of fresh eggs. The only method I have found that works with fresh is to steam them. I use a Chinese bamboo steamer and steam over boiling water for about 20 minutes. Then I put the eggs in ice cold water. Only have a problem with eggs from one of my chicken. She lays a kind of weird eggs with a softer shell and it will stick to the egg in places.

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