How to Open a Hard-Boiled Egg

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Hard-boiled eggs should be cooled immediately and then cracked on a hard surface.
Hard-boiled eggs should be cooled immediately and then cracked on a hard surface. (Image: Soft-boiled eggs image by lefebvre_jonathan from Fotolia.com)

Removing the shells from hard-boiled eggs can be a frustrating task if you do not boil and prepare them correctly. Fresh eggs will not peel as easily as those that sit in the refrigerator for four or five days. Hard-boiled eggs should be cooled immediately to peel easier and preserve the yolks' color.

Place the hard-boiled egg in ice water to keep the yolks bright yellow.

Allow the eggs to chill for three to four minutes. Once the eggs cool completely, remove them from the ice water.

Tap the end of the egg on a hard surface, such as a kitchen counter or the back of a spoon. Rotate the egg and crack the other side. You can also lay the egg flat on a counter top and roll it until the shell cracks.

Squeeze the middle of the egg gently. Lift and remove the eggshell.

Tips & Warnings

  • Unpeeled hard-boiled eggs can be kept in a refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Add egg shells to a compost bin instead of throwing them away.
  • Refrigerate hard-boiled eggs if you do not plan to consume them within two to three hours.

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