Making the perfect boiled eggs that are easy to peel is truly a culinary mystery, one that I have tried and failed to perform accurately for years and years until I discovered this amazing method that makes hard boiled eggs easy to peel. Every. Single Time.
- 12 Eggs (Two weeks old and pastured)
- 1 t. Salt
- Large Pot (Like this. Big enough to fit all of the eggs and at least an inch of water)
- Choose Old Eggs: My brother David (who’s a culinary wizard) taught me that the trick to boiling eggs that will peel easily is to make sure that they are old. This is because as an egg ages, carbon dioxide (which is a weak acid) leaks out through the pores in the egg’s shell, making the egg white less acidic, and the more acidic the egg is, the harder it is to peel. We get our eggs fresh from a neighbor who raises pastured chickens, and I always set one or two dozen eggs aside to “age”. Fresh eggs need about two weeks to age, but one week will be better than nothing. If you get your eggs from the store, they will obviously not be as fresh and need less time to “age”.
- Cook Your Eggs: My dad (another culinary wizard in our family) taught me that the best way to cook your eggs is to place them in cold water, add a bit of salt (this helps to stop the whites from leaking if the shell cracks) and bring them to a boil for a just minute or two, then turn the burner off and let them sit for no longer than 13 minutes. Finally, dump the eggs into the sink to cool. You can even put them in a cold water bath to make sure they stop cooking.
- Peel Your Eggs: My mother-in-law taught me how to roll eggs to gently crush the shells so that they will peel easier. If you use this method, just watch out that you don’t push too hard and crack the actual egg.
- Check Your Eggs: Peel one egg and cut it in half to see if it’s cooked to your liking. If so, sprinkle with salt and enjoy! Or, if you’re in the mood for some deviled eggs, check out my delicious deviled egg recipe.
Now, even though you know that the secret to perfectly peeled hard boiled eggs is to use old eggs, you just know that there will come a time when you HAVE to have a hard boiled egg and you only have fresh eggs. So, here’s what you do. Boil your eggs as usual, roll them to get them cracked, and then soak them in a large pot water. As you’re peeling the eggs, you can keep dipping them back into the water to get the water to go under the shell and to help remove any little bits along the way. This will work on some of the eggs, but probably not all.
If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can roll the egg, put it in a shallow glass of water, put your hand over the top of the glass, and shake vigerously. See what I’m talking about here. But I’ve only found this to partially work, and I don’t really feel like any egg is worth this much trouble.