There's nothing more frustrating than peeling a hard-boiled egg and losing half of the white to those stubbornly stuck shells. If you've ever wrestled with the peeling process only to find yourself with a batch of raggedy looking whites that just won't do for your deviled egg platter, these tips are for you.
Tips for peeling hard-boiled eggs
- Choose older eggs
- Steam your eggs
- Use an ice bath
- Peel under water
Why are fresh eggs so hard to peel?
The fresher the eggs, the harder they are to peel. This is because the egg white or “albumen” in a fresh egg has a relatively low pH level, making it acidic. When cooked, these fresh egg whites bond strongly to the inner shell's membrane. As an egg ages, the pH level rises and the inner membrane is less likely to bond to the albumen, so the shell peels off much easier. At Pete & Gerry's, we pride ourselves on the freshness of our eggs, which come right from our small family farms. If you've ever had trouble peeling our eggs, we highly recommend either letting our eggs age for a week or two in your fridge or using the steaming method.
How to steam eggs
- A metal heatproof colander
- A pot with a fitted lid large enough to hold your colander
- A medium bowl (for ice bath)
- Place eggs in your colander, then place the colander in the pot.
- Fill the pot with a couple inches of water. The water level should stay just below the base of the colander (not touching the eggs themselves).
- Place a well-fitted lid on your pot, and bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, start your timer and leave the lid on the pot to keep the steam from escaping (if it looks like you are going to run out of water, carefully add a little extra warm water to the pot as needed to make sure steam production doesn't cease).
- Let eggs steam for 12 minutes* before removing from the pot and placing in an ice bath (8-9 minutes for slightly jammy eggs).