Country Lore: Peeling Eggs

What's the best way to easily peel hard-boiled eggs? MOTHER EARTH NEWS has answers.

| August/September 2005

I’ve enjoyed the benefits of free-range eggs over store-bought ones, but when I recently tried to make deviled eggs, the free-range eggs did not peel nicely. I have heard that some naturally raised meats need adjustments to the cooking time depending on the cooking method. Is the same true for eggs?

Suzanne Johnstone
Silex, Missouri

Eggs that are seven to 10 days old will peel easier after boiling than fresh eggs. To avoid the green ring that sometimes forms around the boiled yolk, do not overcook the eggs. Bring the eggs and water to a boil, then turn off the heat and let the eggs sit about 12 minutes in the hot water.

Don Schrider of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy offers this tip from his Amish/Mennonite neighbors: Boil the eggs as above, drain the water from the pan, put the lid back on and give the pan a few shakes as if you were making popcorn (forward and back, as well as a little up and down). Next, add cold water to cover the eggs, let sit for one or two minutes, drain and peel. At this point, they should peel easily. — Mother 

glenda gonser
4/17/2012 9:49:52 PM

fresh eggs can be boiled and peeled using Don's method. but restaurants use a teaspoon to get under the egg and between it and the shell. works quite well. I have a very thin spoon that I use and its amazing how well it works. thanks for your info.

steve kemp
6/22/2011 7:45:05 PM

Don and his Amish/Mennonite neighbors are correct, not only does the cracking of the eggs and cold water make peeling the eggs easier, the cold water draws the sulfur (the green ring) out of the eggs, even if you do overcook them.

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