How to "Peel" Hard-Boiled Eggs Without Peeling

257 Comments

The baking soda is optional, but if you choose not to use it, be sure to move the eggs to cold water (use ice) immediately after boiling. Blow from the tip to the broader base for faster de-shelling.

My preferred eggs are Gold Circle Farms cage-free DHA Omega 3 eggs, which contain 150 mg of DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) per whole egg. If you want to increase lean muscle mass, consider eating the yolks for their DHA and arachidonic acid content…

Do you have any cooking hacks the world should know about?

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Tim Ferriss articles on Huffington Post

Posted on: July 2, 2008.

Please check out Tools of Titans, my new book, which shares the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers. It was distilled from more than 10,000 pages of notes, and everything has been vetted and tested in my own life in some fashion. The tips and tricks in Tools of Titans changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for sample chapters, full details, and a Foreword from Arnold Schwarzenegger!

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257 comments on “How to "Peel" Hard-Boiled Eggs Without Peeling

  1. I never really have a problem with peeling them anyway. All you do is crack the side of the egg on a slightly sharp edge, like the side of the pan. And roll it so it is cracked all around, the shell should come off in two halves.

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  2. Great trick. Here’s a slight revision to boiling slowly. It’s even slower to fix the egss, but they’re never rubbery.

    Take the eggs out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before fixing them, and put them in warm (not hot) water, well over the shells.

    Once they’ve warmed up, turn on the stove and let the eggs heat to boil, then put a lid on the kettle and set it off the heat. Let it sit for 22 minutes, then drain and replace the hot water with ice water.

    At least some of the shells will crack with the ice, and they’ll be ready to peel by Tim’s method or the traditional way.

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  3. I tried it and it did not work for me. I must not be as heavy winded as you. It did peel a lot easier. Oh well, I need to find someone that can blow harder than me!

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  4. re: Freddy’s eco-comments about boiling/ice when making eggs:

    Once the water has been boiled for the eggs it can be used cooled to water houseplants which is great! Additionally, since I live in a very cold province (today it is -28 degrees Celsius) the ice can be obtained from my own yard (snow). Any ice water from the fridge that melts can be put in my dog’s water bowl so nothing is wasted…

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  5. I don’t know if old threads are monitored, but here’s my egg-related kitchen hack.

    Scenario: I want to make fried-eggs for lots of people (more people than pans)

    Solution: Put the eggs in a large bowl of hot water; just hot from the tap, not hot enough to scald your hand.

    What happens: The first eggs that you cook will cook at normal speed (having not been heated by the water), but the last ones out will cook nearly instantaneously. The other advantage of doing this is that the top of the egg takes less time to solidify, so you can cook at a higher heat with less chance of burning the bottom of the egg before you flip.

    -t.

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  6. Nice trick!

    Won’t work on my eggs though… unless I let them sit in the fridge for a couple of weeks before boiling so they shrink in the shell a touch. Fresh eggs’ shells aren’t loose enough.

    Which comes to the reason for my comment. You’re recommending eggs that are better than standard, but not at all as good as they should be. That’s why I raise my own. 😉

    “Cage Free” and “Free Range” hens is almost completely meaningless. It just means they aren’t in battery cages. They’re still crammed into row buildings by the thousands, in the case of free-range, with some sort of access to the ‘outside’.

    The absolute pinnacle of super-nutritious egg is a pastured hen.

    Hens that aren’t just “allowed access to the outside”, they literally live outside with some sort of access to ‘inside’ to perch at night and lay eggs.

    Chickens are NOT vegetarians. So “all vegetarian grain-fed” is cruel in my book. They are omnivores that eat quite a bit of grass, along with as many bugs as they can find. Pasture-raising them is really the only way to accomplish this. The nutritional profile shows this is the best as well, as these eggs are vastly more healthy for you.

    As for mine, they’re pastured and are fed flax seed and coconut as well. Man, the eggs taste fantastic!

    Check with your local healthfood store for pasture raised eggs. But most likely, the only way to find them is a local farmer’s market. You might also find them on Craigslist in your area. They won’t be $1.80 a dozen, but who wants to eat that icky, cruel stuff anyway? 😉

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    • And sometimes the “access to the outdoors” label on eggs at the store can mean that a door is open, but the chickens never actually go outside because they weren’t allowed to as chicks and so they learned to stay indoors.

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  7. THAT’s awesome. That would be a great ttrick to do at parties to wow my buddies. cool! I just boiled some eggs and peeling them was a pain. The shell kept sticking to the freakin’ egg. So I came on here for advice. I’m going to try this trick after I brush my teeth lol it’s morning and I just woke up. This guy is is great!

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  8. Just in time! I’m in the mist of boiling eggs right this second. My boyfriend happened to remember this post, time to try it out!

    Thanks for the nifity tip. Lets see how it works for me.

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  9. I’m not sure if this has been mentioned, but from the words of the great Jamie Oliver – simply roll a hard boiled egg away from you on a flat surface.

    The egg will then peel right off along the cracked line you created.

    Alex

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  10. Hi there, Tim & Everyone,

    Just wanted to add my two cents worth regarding the truly FRESH eggs. It doesn’t work.

    I tried it. Just to see. Although I already knew our fresh (less than a day old) eggs were much harder to peel than store-bought, I figured I’d at least give it a shot. No dice.

    Although I am tempted to go out and buy a half-dozen store bought eggs just to try it because, more than anything else, it just looks like FUN 🙂

    A.T.

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  11. Just wanted to let everyone know that this trick works great (just remember to follow the directions).

    But if you are like me, and like your eggs just set in the middle, this technique doesn’t work 100% of the time.

    the best way to make hard boiled eggs (in my opinion) is to bring your eggs up to a boil (starting from cold water), then set your timer for 5 minutes. When your timer goes off promptly cool the eggs in ice water.

    They are more difficult to peel but the yolks are amazingly more tasty.

    But man is that trick great.

    JS

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  12. Tim and Amanda,
    I also just tried this with extremely fresh eggs – just a couple hours old and the trick didn’t work. Since we have fresh eggs every day, do you have any other tricks we can try to make them peel easier? I’ve tried cooking longer, shorter, ice baths, salt water, etc and nothing seem to work.

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    • Just set aside some eggs for hard-boiling and store those for a few weeks before boiling. Use your fresh eggs to make scrambled eggs or an omelet or something else.

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  13. Ha Ha. That’s funny. I have hard boiled eggs all the time. But my family has fried because they can’t stand peeling. I think they’d like to change their minds now!

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  14. I knew about moving the eggs to cold water after boiling… but then I just rolled them until all the shell crackled and came off easily…. this is much cooler.

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  15. Tim,
    could you try to give a discription of the pealing process that the video shows?
    For my screen-access program JAWS, all I see for that video is:
    “Flash Movie start.”
    “Flash Movie end.”
    It doesn’t show me anything useful. And because I cannot see the video itself, I would really benifit from a discription of the steps written out in some simpol form like:
    1. Blahblahblah.
    2. Blahblahblah.
    3. Blahblahblah.
    etc.
    Thank you so much, Tim!
    Regards, –Keith

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  16. Ok I have a cooking hack for you. I discovered this one myself.

    Ever overcooked some rice until it’s mushy and will mostly turn into goop when you strain it?

    Next time this happens, instead of straining it like normal get your pan and fill it as quick as possible with cold water. Very quickly give the water and rice a stir round a couple of times and then strain it as fast as possible. They key is to be quick so the rice stays hot enough to eat and remaining water will evaporate.

    Essentially you are using the cold water to wash away the really overcooked mushy parts of the rice and leave the bits that are just about edible behind. Not as good as cooking it properly but saves you have to throw it away and make another batch. This has saved my butt many times (I perpetually overcook rice for some reason).

    Viola!

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  17. I’m not sure if I got this trick right… you just crack both ends of the egg after it’s been hard boiled and then give a hefty puff in one end and it blasts the shell off?

    What I usually do is cover the eggs with water, put on the stove and bring to a boil. After it starts to boil you simply shut the burner off and let the eggs sit in just-boiled water for 10 minutes.

    After the 10 minutes is up, you gently dump the pan into a colander to get rid of the hot water, rinse with cold water and then fill the pot with cold water and put the eggs back in; this causes the hard boiled eggs inside their shells to shrink, creating a bit of space between the hard boiled egg and the shell.

    Then you can simply crack them and roll them on your table so the shells are fully cracked all around, and then when you start to peel the shell off, if you do it right, the entire shell comes off in one long strip, because it’s all stuck to the membrane under the shell.

    I’m gonna try this cuz I just hard boiled a dozen eggs because I gotta get back to lifting; I’ve already been running on my treadmill every day for at least an hour, gradually increasing the speed; yesterday I ran for an hour at 5.0 mph and burned over 750 calories.

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  18. I guess I did something wrong because I just tried it and nothing happened… well, my cheeks ache a bit…

    I just toss the egg against a hard surface for 3-4 times until it’s all cracked and I just pass my fingers over it and it virtually “peels” itself.

    Emilio

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  19. Hey Tim,

    Random fact here (if you don’t know already) but baking soda destroys nutrients if used in cooking!

    It does keep the colour in green veg but even a teeny bit gets rid all the beautiful vitamins! 🙂

    Like

  20. Hi Mark, Tim, Everyone

    I wish I read your post about the fresh eggs carefully, Mark…before I made a bet with my mom that I could really teach her something about peeling eggs.

    She told me there’s nothing in the world that can make a fresh egg easier to peel so I so “oh yeah, check this out”

    (and I practiced beforehand on some eggs in the fridge that were at least a few days from when they were laid- it worked like a charm!- Awesome)

    I tried on an egg that was laid only two or three days ago and alas. I blew and blew until the egg started splitting with the shell still attached.

    It ended with an egg with lots of chunks still stuck to the shell.

    alas; I had to admit she’s older and wiser and knows more than I do.

    At least I had a delicious, tasty, fresh egg to wash down my slice of humble pie.

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  21. Hey Tim:
    I just watched your video on how to peel a hard boiled egg without peeling and had to try it… (it didn’t seem to work as well as your’s did) my girls and I are debating now if we may have boiled them wrong…. the issue is, I put the baking soda in the water to boil the eggs and my kids think I was supposed to put the baking soda in when you cool them in the ice and water…. so please help us when was the soda supposed to be placed in the water?
    This is the coolest way to peel the eggs and we are so tired of cracked shells and little pieces of shell.

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  22. Well, didn’t work for me at all … almost passed out from blowing. lol … I’ll try adding the baking soda to the water next time.

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  23. 8 Minute Cake:
    My friend, Cassie, just posted this on Facebook. Definitely so much quicker!

    NEEDS:
    Cake Mix (any flavor)
    Tub of frosting (that compliments your cake)
    Oil
    Eggs
    Water
    Lg. microwave safe plastic bowl
    Large cookie sheet (with a brim- think sheet cake pan.)

    Step 1: make the cake according to the directions on the back of the box. Mix in the plastic bowl.
    Step 2: Empty the container of frosting directly into the middle of the cake batter

    Step 3: Put it in the microwave for 8 minutes.
    Step 4: Behold the glory of what comes out of the microwave….Mmmmm! Let it sit for about 2 mins.

    Step 4: Place the cookie sheet on top of the bowl and invert.
    (that means flip over)
    Step 5: Lift bowl. Careful- steam is HOT.

    Step 6: Marvel at the awesomeness, smell the incredible aroma, shove other guests out of the way and move in with intent to eat and destroy- fork in hand.
    She says “Our favorite flavor combination is Devils food cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Others have raved about the Lemon cake with Vanilla. It’s your cake. Party on.”

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  24. Well the Blowing method looks easy but… I am not so sure as far as Hygiene if that is the best to do if serving the eggs to your guest or other people.
    😦

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  25. Great trick Tim! Here is my cooking trick in exchange: I’ve seen that a lot of people take the 30 days diet and one of the things we’re allowed to eat is eggs (only one yolk).

    So here is how I cook my omlette to make it really tasty:

    1. People usually only beat the eggs until the thing becomes homogeneous, but if you beat it a little more, until the froth appears the omlette will be very puffy and tasty.

    2. When I fry the eggs I don’t use oil because I’m not allowed, but there’s a substitute for that – water with a bit of vinegar. Just remember to heat them a bit before pouring the scrambled eggs.

    Hope this is useful 🙂

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  26. HI Tim!
    I found your video about peeling hard boiled eggs. Love Deviled Eggs and can’t seem to peel them “nicely”! They always end up abused and sad making it difficult to serve 😦

    Looking forward to trying your method.

    Could you clear-up one little question:
    Do you add the 1tsp of Baking Soda to the boiling water or the ice bath??

    Thanks so much!
    ~Stacey

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  27. I thought this was surely a joke. I saw it on youtube…wonder why they deleted all comments and not taking any more.
    I tried it anyway. First time, forgot the baking soda. Second time, I added b s and it worked!
    Kinda messy with soft boiled eggs, unless the yolk’s just started to congeal I imagine.

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  28. For breakfast I always use to drink 2 raw eggs
    We have a little chickenfarm and always have some fresh ones 🙂

    I have some questions about the 4 hour body:

    Will it cover Tinnitus? I have been visiting many doctors but noone could reall help.

    a good method to gradually whiten teeth naturally ? 😀

    Thanks in advance.

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  29. Tim, in The 4 Hour Body you suggested adding salsa with hard boiled eggs. I just tried this and it’s good too: Adding Tom Yum soup paste (any Tom Yum paste will do I guess, I just used soup paste). I believe it can go with many things.

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  30. You know, I’ve tried this and it does work. However, I don’t think it’s too efficient. after all, just cracking the egg the traditional way is faster and simpler than all this “ritual”. I agree that it sucks to peel the egg slowly, but I still think that the classic way of doing it remains much more efficient. And it’s all about efficiency after all, isn’t it? 😀

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  31. Did not work for me… I tried 6 eggs, I didn’t have any baking soda though. Just felt like I was gonna pass out blowing on those darn eggs. Then I had to just peel them the best I could and a lot of the egg came off with the shell.

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  32. There are a ton of great cooking and food hacks on http://www.chowhound.com — they’re short videos called Chow tips. My favorite is how to store strawberries (my favorite food) — you place two damp towels around the strawberries, above and below, with the strawberries placed in one layer between the towels, not all piled up on to of one another. It is amazing how long the strawberries stay fresh that way.

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  33. one more: Mark Joyner swears that chewing your food 30 times before swallowing will net you more energy by digesting with enzymes produced in the mouth and stimulating those in the stomach — saving your body the energy it’d require to digest to that degree later on down the track. I think the theory is sound, but actually chewing something 30 times before swallowing is a challenge unless you take really big bites or it’s a tough piece of meat. However, there it is, all the same. I will say this, anytime I’m drinking a smoothie, I “chew” it in my mouth before swallowing in order to get those digestive enzymes going and it definitely makes a difference.

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  34. Hard boiled eggs that come out perfect every time… Place the raw eggs in a pan and cover with water completely. Bring to a roiling boil, cover with a lid tightly and remove from heat. Wait 20 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water to cool. Perfect every time, and never any green in the yolk. 🙂

    This is a neat trick, blowing the egg out of the shell, but I have to agree with many others that it’s not very sanitary. The baking soda trick is good to know, though; thanks, I will try it.

    aktree… fresh eggs won’t peel well no matter what… let them age 2 weeks then boil some and try it.

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  35. WoW! This is amazing. Ever since I found this blog post I have been doing this to peel my eggs. Started a new diet a couple weeks ago which encompases following the 4-hour-body book, and doing Isagenix. It has been working out well so far and I feel greater than ever. Part of both diets are to eat a lot of eggs, so this comes in handy.

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  36. Hi, I’ve been a fan for a while and have heard you reference this video but just got around to watching it and trying it. My kids LOVE this. I make a trumpet sound when I blow the egg out, probably because I hit it too hard when I crack it. But that seems to add to the entertainment value for my kids. Needless to say, I will never peel an egg the old fashioned way again.

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  37. I did this. Used the baking soda, ice…and not only did the eggs not blow out of their shells, but I have never had a harder time peeling hard boiled eggs in my life.

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    • This doesn’t work. Tim – enlighten us on some more detail….cook time, cool time, etc. I have tried this twice now with no luck.

      Like

  38. Nice job on the video… however, seeing eggs done this way is nothing new. As children, we all gathered around to watch daddy do the very same thing… no baking soda or ice bath for the eggs either. ;o)

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  39. I just finished peeling a dozen eggs the “old way” and now have a few little nicks on my fingers! I have been meaning to watch this every since it was posted. This was my last time doing it the original way… No more nicks for me! And I WOULD do it even if guests where coming over. I would just give the eggs a final rinse after peeling them.
    Thanks for sharing a tip that to some is not so important but to me, its life changing! 🙂 I am very much enjoying The Four Hour Body!

    Like

  40. Ok, so I tried blowing the egg out of the shell, and it worked fine. However, when you blow, it must make some kind of sound that only cats can hear, because I had two normally docile happy cats, running at me, screeching, with big puffy tails.

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  41. Doesn’t work well at all with Trader Joe’s cage free eggs. Too fresh maybe? Regardless of the peeling method used, the egg skin usually bonds to both the egg and the shell in many areas, and I end up with less-than-whole eggs, which is rather frustrating.

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  42. The 12 minute boil time /ice bath is a standard in the restaurant industry. Even with traditional peeling, the shells come off very easily. I will try adding baking soda next time, but I think I’ll pass on “blowing ’em out” for my guests! LOL

    Cool video! 😀

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  43. I like rolling the egg against the counter top and then peeling the shell off. Seems like more work, added steps… too many requirements… pH and Acid… blah blah…
    I’ll admit it’s a nice party trick if people are cool with your spit on their eggs. 🙂 😉

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  44. Yuck. I wonder how many germs are deposited on the egg by this method. It might be okay when cooking eggs for oneself, but is hardly suitable when making them for others to consume.

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  45. Didn’t work for me; used baking soda, cooled in ice-water bath. Do they need to be cooled for a minimum amount of time for this trick? Was hoping this would make the task of creating dozens of hard-boiled eggs at Passover much easier. Disappointed.

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  46. Shot that sucker right across the room and NAILED my dog right in the ear! (I also found out that my dog really likes hard boiled eggs…)

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  47. i dont eat eggs anymore dont need to my shake has all that and more its wonderful build lean muscle,gain weight or loose weight this is the way to go i have lost 23 lbs and 16 inches in 3 months i feel wonderful considering i was so close to going on disability i have fibromalgia but not anymore feel great and helps with chronic pain and diabetis and more

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  48. I love eggs, but I can not peel them, so I cook them other ways. After finding your blog, I can not teach my-self how to do it the right way. Bookmarked and thanks for this post.

    Like