Do you have trouble with shells sticking to your boiled eggs? Here's the fix

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You peel them? Wuss.


You cook them? Wuss.


I have a machine that steams eggs (weirdly useful) and it’s still a bitch to peel those puppies.


I’ve been working on exactly this problem recently. Alton Brown claims that steaming them inside a pressure cooker is the trick. Starting with older eggs supposedly helps as well, so I bought a carton for immediate use and a second carton for hard boiling in two weeks.

That two weeks is up on Friday. I’ll let y’all know how the hypothesis holds up. I’ll even try straight steam vs pressure cooker steaming for a side-by-side comparison.


Many years ago, I worked in a sandwich shop, and did morning prep. That included making two dozen eggs worth of egg salad every day. Pain. In. The. Butt.

Something that made it easier was taking the eggs off the boil and then plunging them into a huge bowl of ice water. Once the outsides have cooled a bit, but the insides are still warm, they are easier to peel. Of course, when making egg salad, if they are imperfect, it doesn’t really matter.

I might try steaming them, though, because I love egg salad (with fermented onions).


Just use older eggs, problem solved. I once let 32 eggs sit a week in the fridge, boiled them all, not one stuck.


Just peel them before you boil them.


I used to raise chickens and this was a real problem. The fresher the egg, the stickier the shell. The best method seemed to be to dunk a bunch in a pot of water, raise it to a boil and then shut off the heat and let them sit. After the water cooled back to room temp, most of the eggs peeled pretty easily. Still, if I needed a dozen “pretty” eggs for some reason (deviled eggs? extra filling was always useful), it was always best to boil up a few extras.

Fresh, free range eggs taste significantly better than anything I ever bought in the store (well, any eggs anyway).


Or you could buy those bags of peeled eggs they now sell at the store.


even better:


Boil the water first, then put the eggs in. You’ll need an appropriate utensil to lower them into the boiling water. Boil for about 10-12 minutes then drain the water off and rinse with cool water.


How can this be! How!!


Listen, this has all been figured out long ago by America’s Test Kitchen, the authority on almost everything to do with cooking. Seriously, they are the best. Here is my variation on their theme that never fails.

Set out however many eggs you want to boil. Put enough water in a pan to cover them all when they are in the water. Bring the water to a vigorous boil. Take the warming-up eggs and one by one with a slotted spoon swirl them into the pan - keep the water moving in a whirlpool motion as you add the eggs one by one. This helps center the yolks. Don’t let them clack on the bottom or they might pop a shell, which leaves you with a weirdo-egg. Keep it boiling, I set my timer for 11 minutes for a firm but not overcooked center. At 11 minutes turn off the heat, while the pan is cooling down slightly fill a large bowl with water and lots of ice. Drain off the egg pan water into the sink with cold running water then pour the eggs into the ice water. That’s it. Let them cool down fully then wipe them off and refrigerate. If you don’t wipe them off they will stick to the cardboard egg cartons.

Enjoy your easy to peel eggs. Immersion in already boiling water is the key, it locks the inner and outer membranes (yum) together, in nature these work together to glue the whole mess to the shell for growth cycle. Try not to think about it too hard. The ice water completes the trick, but Ice water alone isn;t enough. It’s the immersion in boiling that does it. You might occasionally have 1 egg out of 12 that pops or develops a hairline crack that oozes egg drop soup-style into the cooking water, it’s still good. Boil First!


I only cook my hard boiled eggs sous vide until both the yolks and the whites are firm.

Then shell the eggs as normal.

Next, remove and reserve the yolks, placing the whites in a food processor with a thinning agent and combine until they are a smooth, liquid consistency.

Pour the whites carefully into prepared egg shells with the top thirds cut off. (You can use the interiors for scrambled eggs!)

Chill for 1 hour.

In the meantime combine the yolks with a thinning agent in the same manner as the whites.

Remove the whites from your chilling cabinet and carefully pour a portion of the yolks into the centre of each.

Place in an oven at low heat until warmed through.

Replace the eggshell caps on top and serve!

The worlds best “soft boiled hard boiled eggs!”


What Colin said, long version below.

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First, you peel off the pork pie surrounding it…


Very fond of my steamed eggs, I am. Eggs go in, timer gets set for 25 minutes, and then the eggs get dunked in cold water. Comes out darn near perfect every time. I am only slightly concerned about how energy-inefficient this may be relative to boiling water.


…so the bear turtle wipes his ass with the rabbit chicken.