How to Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs So the Shell Doesnt Stick

So you can remove the shell without ruining the egg..

Hard-Boiled Eggs, the Shell

As an Associate Food Editor, Bridget Hallinan primarily focuses on home cooking content for Food & Wine.com. She writes and edits recipe content, interviews chefs for helpful tips and tricks, and works on franchises such as our cookbook roundups and taste tests.

Hard-boiled eggs are notoriously frustrating to peel. If you dont cleanly separate the skin that sits between the shell and the egg white, you can get stuck peeling off painstakingly small sections, resulting in a crater-covered egg and sticky fingers (not to mention the unpleasant smell).

While we cant promise anything about the smell, we recently enlisted Judy Gold — comedian, podcast host, author, and self-proclaimed hard-boiled egg fan — to try out a few internet tricks for our series Can They Hack It? and see if any made the process a little less painful. One uses a spoon, another water, and the third involves using your mouth, much to her (and our) bewilderment.

The mouth technique is up first. You start by peeling off a small bit of the shell, grabbing the egg tightly in your hand, and blowing on it forcefully to remove the rest of the exterior. Gold is skeptical about it from the start, and rightly so, as the hack still doesnt work after several tries. "Who wants an egg with all my saliva all over it?" she asks.

The next hack calls for water and a drinking glass. You put the egg in the cup, fill it with water, and then place your hand over the opening, shaking vigorously until the shell comes right off. Gold watches the video twice in disbelief and says she "finds it ridiculous," but gives it a shot anyway. After two attempts, it actually does work — the peel comes off seamlessly and Gold says shes sold. (She is also completely covered in water.)

Last up is the spoon technique, which F&W Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple has also tried with successful results. You tap the egg on a hard surface, remove only a small portion of the shell on the bottom, and then use a spoon to slide off the rest. Gold is impressed by how fast the technique seems in the video she watches, and once she tries it, she finds its "not bad" and very meditative. Bonus points for not getting soaked in water, either.

TLDR: The spoon hack and the water glass hack are probably your best bet the next time youre tasked with peeling eggs. Once theyre ready to use, we have several recipes you can play around with, from deviled egg toast to curried-egg tea sandwiches.

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