The Secret to Easy to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Growing up we had eggs on our table constantly, from big English fry ups on the weekends to cold salad plates my Mum almost always included eggs. One would think that I’d be a STAR at boiling and peeling my own hard boiled eggs but I must admit that I’ve failed in this area for most of my life.

Way back when I was a hip 20-something gal I found myself craving an egg salad sandwich. I pulled out my one pot, added in the water and salt and let it boil on high for about 10 minutes. What resulted was not a lovely boiled-egg as I had hoped, I ended up phoning my Father whose laughter could be heard for miles.


As a married woman I was determined to master this and thankfully my husband’s grandma gifted me a little appliance which made it simple. It was shaped like a chicken and clucked when the eggs were done! It was adorable and produced perfectly cooked eggs every time!

For a long time I had the pleasure of serving up these eggs, peeling was simple….until it kicked the bucket and I realized it was time for me to grow up and make my very own boiled eggs. I Googled the steps and was convinced I had the knack, until batch after batch came out with super tight membranes which made them un-peelable.

What the heck is the key to making the perfect easy-to-peel boiled egg?

Exasperated I did what I know best, I asked someone in the know. Turing to my cousin who happens to be a chef (and a Brit who loves to mock me) I bared my soul, knowing that he would laugh at my inability to master a basic kitchen skill. In typical style he did take the Mickey out of me for a bit but then gave me the key….the SECRET!!

The Secret to Easy-to-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Easy to peel hard boiled eggs

It’s very simple really, place your eggs into your pot and fill with water until it’s approximately 2 inches above the eggs. Add in 1 tablespoon of vinegar for every 6 eggs, do NOT add salt as this seals up natural cracks and makes the membrane under the shell difficult to peel.

Now place the pot on the stove and turn the burner onto high. Once the water boils you’ll need to start a timer, for white eggs it’s 7 minutes and for brown eggs it’s 9 minutes.

Once they’ve reached the required time remove the pot from the burner, drain the hot water and put the eggs under cold tap water.

easy to peel hard boiled eggs

The membrane pulls off easily

easy to peel hard boiled eggs open

Perfect hard boiled eggs

Peel and enjoy!

hardboiled eggs



  1. says

    Hey Cousin,

    How did I take the Mickey out of you? Your name is not Mickey. šŸ˜‰
    Cooking eggs can be very easy or a pain in the bullocks. The most important thing is to use fresh eggs. The older they are the longer they will need to cook thus leading to over cooked, grey yolks that will make any dish you are using the eggs for taste almost as bad as Bunt popcorn.

    • says

      Actually, tdhe right way is to use older eggs, which have started to shrink froom the shell. They advise you to buy Easter eggs a week or ten days before you intend to cook them for this reason.

  2. says

    I love the sounds of that chicken, cute way to make breakfast fun! I have honestly stopped making boiled eggs because of the amount of the egg being wasted, I am definitely going to be sharing this tip with others :)

    • Peggy says

      I agree. Fresh eggs are very hard to peel. I usually keep them refrigerated for 5 days or so, then add vinegar to the water. Let the water come to a full boil, turn off the heat, and let sit for 20 minutes. Run under cold water. Once they have cooled they peel easily.

  3. Ray says

    I still don’t know why the chicken egg cooker you have would’ve made perfect peeling eggs? It was just water you put in there, right?

  4. bunny says

    I was told to make sure after they boil to have a pan of ice water ready and very cold….put eggs in immediately to SHOCK them and the membrane shrinks to make it easier to peel

    • MaryAnne says

      That’s the way I do boiled eggs. Don’t overcook – then plunge them into ice water and if you really want to get obsessive about it drop them back into the hot water before peeling. I remember that the ice water shrinks the membrane, I just don’t remember why the last hot water bath. I agree really fresh eggs membranes won’t shrink!

  5. ~a Anthony says

    Fresh Eggs are virtually impossible to peel after hard boiling (by whatever methode) even if you plunge them into an Ice Bath! Use Eggs that are a week or two Old… such an egg when submerged in water will not lay at the bottom of the pan but will float at an angle… if the egg floats completely off the bottom of the pan it may be spoiled…

  6. John Reed says

    Thanks! I have no problem though. I use a spoon and simply pry the egg out of it’s shell while it’s still hot. No cold water. Also, I have to allow large to extra large eggs to sit in a pan for 12 minutes after reaching a boil to fuller hard boil them, yet not allow the sulphur smell. Thanks and God Bless you!

  7. Jean says

    I’ve heard this before and tried it. The eggs tasted like vinegar. Nasty. Made me gag and had to throw all the eggs away.

  8. Sandy says

    Learned from my Grandma 65years ago how to boil eggs. The vinegar is a must! best to use eggs week or so old. Bring to a boil. Take off burner and let set 15min. covered. Run cold water over for several minutes, peel. Taught my grandson so it can be passed on.

  9. patti says

    My mom always put the eggs is water to cover and boiled them 8 minutes, put them straight in ice cold water and then peeled. Works really well but every now and then you get a egg that is just to stubborn to peel. I have tried many ways for perfect eggs but find moms way works best

  10. patti says

    I do want to try this just to see how well it works. I have tried vinegar before but not this way. I have tried salt, putting a toothpick in the pot to prevent cracking. I have my eggs at room temp before putting them on to boil. Many different ways. Thank you

  11. Kathy says

    Patti, You are right on. Older eggs peel much easier. After boiling for 8 minutes, plunge them in ice water. After they have cooled, the shell will slide right off.

  12. Coleen says

    I also have been told to VERY SLIGHTLY crack the egg before boiling. I got this tip from an old Amish lady. I haven’t tried it yet, but she swears it works. If you’re using them for salads it wouldn’t matter if a little leaked out of the crack, but it might effect the looks of the egg for something like deviled eggs.

  13. Shelley says

    After boiling, set in cold water a few minutes, wipe off and the put i. The freezer for 5-7 minutes, peelers easily then…no vinegar needed…..

  14. says

    I always use white eggs when doing my deviled eggs !! put them in cold water above the eggs and boil for 8 to 10 minutes take and run the cold water into pan in sink till water gets cold ..Let them set a bit..They always peel great,almost in 2 pieces…I seem to have a hard time with brown eggs :( little tiny bits and pieces and part of eggs with it…

  15. says

    I agree, older eggs peel much easier than fresh. I have never tried the vinegar trick but will. I usually put my eggs into just enough cold water to cover, add 1 tsp salt, bring to a boil and turn off. Let them sit for eggs-actly 13 minutes, then run under cold water. Not only do they peel easily, there is no ugly green ring around the yolk using this method.

  16. Ann Gehrlein says

    Always use older eggs, they are easier to peel after being boiled. I have never heard about putting vinegar in the water, but I have heard of… and tried shaking some baking soda in the water, that worked for me too.

  17. Rita says

    I always prick my eggs with a push pin to keep them from cracking, so I’m not sure vinegar would work for me. I only use the push pin for this purpose and always wash it.


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