By: Marina Delio
Eggs are one of nature’s most versatile foods. They’re packed with protein, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, people shy away from boiling eggs because — let’s face it — peeling them can be such a pain. With our 4 tricks, shells will slip right off.
1. Use Baking Soda to Simulate Aging
Most of the time, cooks want the freshest eggs possible. Boiled eggs are an exception to this rule. As eggs age they become more alkaline, which makes the white pull away from the shell, creating an air pocket that makes them easier to peel.
Instructions: Keep eggs in the refrigerator for a week before boiling. If you can’t wait a week, you can mimic the aging effect by alkalizing your water. To do this, add a heaping teaspoonful of baking soda to the water as you boil your eggs and the shells will be easier to peel.
2. Be Mindful of Temperature
We have all experienced the frustration of eggs cracking and whites seeping out into boiling water. This is preventable. Extreme temperature change is what causes cracking.
Just like when ice water is poured into a hot mug right out of the dishwasher, a cold egg dropped into boiling water has a high likelihood of cracking.
Instructions: Rather than boiling water and then dropping your eggs in, put them in the pot pre-boil. This way, they’ll slowly heat up right along with the water.
Tip: Try allowing eggs to come to room temperature for one hour before placing into boiling water to help with cracking.
3. Add a Touch of Vinegar
The vinegar works in two ways: It causes any egg white that would escape through cracks to quickly coagulate, keeping it close to the shell, and it slightly breaks down the shell, making it easier to peel.
Instructions: Add 1/4 cup of vinegar to a medium sized pot of water for boiling eggs to help with the shells peel right off.
4. Peel Under Cold Water
The cold water will cause the cooked egg to contract and pull away from the shell, making it easier to peel. The water will help gently nudge the shell away.
Instructions: Transfer your boiled eggs to a bowl of ice water while they’re still hot. Then, peel still-warm eggs under cold running water.
There’s no need to lose any egg whites while fussing with shells that just won’t come off. Make perfectly easy-to-peel boiled eggs every time with this simple recipe.
Perfectly Boiled Eggs Recipe
Serving size: 6 eggs
Prep time: 1 minute
Cook time: about 10 minutes
6 large eggs
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1. Fill a medium pot with water and baking soda and gently lower the eggs into the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat
2. Start timing once the water begins to simmer
3. Simmer eggs for 3 minutes for soft-boiled, 5 minutes for medium-boiled, and 8 minutes for hard-boiled
4. Remove from heat and carefully transfer the eggs to a bowl filled with ice water. When eggs have cooled enough to handle, crack on the counter and peel under cold running water
Tip: Use peeled eggs right away and always keep boiled eggs cold, as they spoil quickly. Unpeeled, boiled eggs can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Marina Delio is the author of the Yummy Mummy Kitchen blog and cookbook. She lives in Santa Barbara with husband, two little girls, cat and egg laying chickens. Marina loves cooking, gardening, photography, and living a healthy lifestyle with her family.