How to Boil Hard-Boiled Eggs Without the Shell Sticking to the Egg

One of the more disappointing culinary mishaps is trying to peel boiled eggs for a delicious and beautiful display of deviled eggs or eggs Divan, only to discover that the eggshells are stubbornly sticking to the eggs. When you try to peel sticking shell remnants away from boiled eggs, you are often left with pockmarked eggs that are unsuitable for display. Choose the right eggs, boiling method and peeling process to ensure that your hard-boiled eggs come out smooth and delicious.

Things You'll Need

  • Eggs
  • Glass
  • Cold water
  • Saucepan

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Step 1

Eggs that are at least a couple of weeks old will be much easier to peel after they are boiled than fresh eggs. The longer an uncooked egg is stored, the larger the air cell between the membranes and the shell will be. If you are not sure how old your eggs are, gently drop one into a glass partly filled with cold water. If the egg is too fresh to boil, it will sink. If the large end of the egg rises, then the egg is older and should peel easily once it has been properly boiled. If the entire egg floats, it may be spoiled, and should be thrown away.

Step 2

Place the eggs in a saucepan that is large enough that the eggs aren't bumping against one another. Fill the pan with enough cold water to cover the eggs by at least one inch.

Step 3

Heat the water over high heat until it comes to a full boil. Remove pan from heat and cover. Let the eggs remain undisturbed in the hot water for 15 minutes.

Step 4

Gently pour off the hot water, being careful not to allow the eggs to fall out of the saucepan or smash into one another and crack. Run cold water over the boiled eggs or move the eggs into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Step 5

Gently tap one egg against a hard surface and carefully roll it to crack the shell on all sides. Gently peel the cracked shell from the boiled egg. Repeat this process with the other boiled eggs.


  • "The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook"; John Mack Carter, Ed.; 1980
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