I have a difficult time peeling the shell off a hard-boiled egg by hand without damaging the egg. Peeling the egg also irritating and takes longer than I'd like.

I have tried rolling the egg, so the shell cracks and then peeling, but getting the last bits of with my nails often damages it.

Can somebody provide advice as to how I can more quickly peel the shell of a hard-boiled egg without damaging the egg?

  • 2
    @JoachinJoseph My first question would be are these freshly laid eggs? I know it sounds like an odd question but I have a good reason for asking.
    – L.B.
    Dec 11, 2014 at 1:35
  • 1
    I just tried both the methods in the answers, and these are my results: textuploader.com/oeid
    – Tim
    Dec 14, 2014 at 18:30
  • It is very sad that we cant come up with a scientific or culinary reason as to why sometimes our eggs peel easily and sometimes they dont. This is a science issue and no one offers a scientific solution. Ive seen and heard the most ridiculous reasons, but none of them are real. The funniest is perhaps that fresher eggs are harder to peel, once cooked. That is just so wrong. I was raised on a farm and we gathered eggs and cooked and peeled them fine. Mar 24, 2018 at 16:45

15 Answers 15


The best trick I've come across is to put the egg(s) in some water in a closed container and shake it around. The water prevents the eggs from getting completely destroyed but the banging around knocks the shell right off.

This works with plastic containers as well as a pot or bowl with a plate as a lid.

  • 3
    I just tried this method, and these are my results: textuploader.com/oeid
    – Tim
    Dec 14, 2014 at 18:32
  • Every week, our group gets together for a Sunday morning breakfast and eggs are on the menu. The eggs (2 doz) are cooked at once in a slow cooker overnight. I am usually the one who prepares the bowl of eggs for the group. I find this technique works best if the eggs are positioned to cook with air sac at the top, pointed end down. Using my mouth to prepare food for others doesn't work for me. I saw the technique on a Japanese game show and it works as demonstrated and as Zach has documented here.
    – Stan
    Aug 22, 2019 at 13:11

Salt! Toss about a tablespoon of salt in the water used for boiling the eggs. The shells will peel really easy while leaving the insides pristine.

A few taps around the egg and the shell usually just comes off in a single piece like removing a garment leaving the interior unscathed. Works for me with about 95% eggs. (Very rarely I have seen an egg's interior that still sticks to the shell even with this. Must be those tuff ones we hear about!)

  • 1
    Just tested and approved. Though I did not notice a real improvement in the size of shell pieces, it didn't stick to the egg at all. Definitely much easier to peel ! May 27, 2016 at 7:13
  • I've also heard 0.5 teaspoon of baking soda.
    – NH.
    Feb 26, 2019 at 17:13

Well, my foolproof method is somewhat a party-trick of sorts. It involves propelling the egg out of its shell...

First, you crack the egg at the top and the bottom, and on both sides you gently peel a circle of shell off the egg with a diameter of about 1cm. On the bottom this is easy, on the top... be gentle...

After this is done, put the egg in your closed hand with the exposed top to your mouth and blow hard (make sure you keep hold of the egg).

The video below explains it in visuals, though the bottom hole is a lot bigger:

How to Blow a Boiled Egg out of It's Shell

  • 2
    I just tried this method, and these are my results: textuploader.com/oeid
    – Tim
    Dec 14, 2014 at 18:29
  • Yeah, the process needs some mastering... But as you see, it works =) Dec 17, 2014 at 8:17
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    I shudder to think of somebody doing this and then serving the eggs.
    – emragins
    Feb 20, 2015 at 21:04
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    @Tim you blew the egg out... with chewing gum in your mouth? Sep 1, 2015 at 5:50
  • @DanHenderson Nah :P
    – Tim
    Sep 1, 2015 at 9:32

I've found a brilliant trick in a Japanese cookbook (Japanese Soul Cooking): Before boiling the eggs, make a tiny hole on the bottom using a needle. While cooking the air in the egg will come out and the water will separate the skin from the egg.

They then peel in a few secs.

  • I need to try this! Sep 12, 2015 at 0:30
  • I always prick my eggs with an egg needle and I have never noticed this. The hole helps against breaking of the egg shells when they are being boiled, not in taking the shell of later.
    – Willeke
    Jan 30, 2021 at 18:31

Once the egg is boiled enough, pour a lot of cold water over it (about 30 seconds under the tap stream would do). Then grab the egg and gently smash it with a teaspoon all over around until it looks reasonably beaten up. Now place it on a flat surface and press gently with your opened palm; move your hand back and forth to roll the egg on the surface to crack the shell even more(about 10 seconds is enough). Now start peeling - I made the egg peel in one continuous piece using this method.

Good luck!


When I need to peel freshly boiled egg, but still want the egg to be warm, I do the following:

  • Run cold water over the egg(s) to cool the exterior of the egg, and to make it slip inside
  • Using a knife (or the edge of the table) crack it on the side
  • Peel the egg, taking care to include the inner 'skin' when peeling, which helps getting every piece of shell of the egg

In short, giving the egg a shock of cold water, makes the peeling much easier, whilst the egg still is warm inside.


You have to boil it correctly first - otherwise the egg will stick to the shell.

Lower the egg(s) directly into boiling water instead of putting the eggs in while the water is still warming up.

This loosens the shell and lets you peel by hand afterwards - no problem.


The freshest eggs are the hardest to peel, but when I got my 2 pet chickens I learned how to peel even soft boiled eggs that are fresh out of the chicken. Since it isn't necessary to refrigerate newly laid eggs, I can drop them directly into boiling water without them breaking and experimented with the timing until I found that 4 1/2 minutes was the perfect length of time for the way I like them. Have a bowl of ICE water ready and immediately drop them in it for just a few seconds. Gently tap the egg all over and it peels easily. It takes only a few seconds in the ice water and the egg will still be hot enough inside that you may need to hold it with a towel to peel it. Best eggs ever!

  • This is similar to dwilbank's answer a few years ago. The trick is to put them into boiling water directly to cook them. Good tip.
    – Stan
    Sep 12, 2020 at 4:32

I have found eggs easier to peel when

  • the starting crack is made in the smaller end of the egg
  • the egg is cooled/rinsed in cold water

I know the original question was about hard-boiled eggs. Now, I don't eat hard-boiled eggs, but I do often eat soft-boiled eggs. I don't have any proof that my method works for hard, but it definitely does for soft.

Others have mentioned rinsing with cold water. I take this a small step further and prepare a bowl of ice water. Then, you just need to dunk an egg in the ice bath and roll it around for a couple seconds before peeling it. The idea is to take advantage of the different rates of shrinkage experienced by the shell and the inside egg upon getting hit with the ice water. The effect is basically instant, so there is no point in keeping the egg in the ice bath any longer than a couple seconds.

Hope this trick helps for the hard-boiled variety!

  • 1
    Sorry, I didn't see Linda's answer when I wrote mine. To add something new to the conversation, I'll mention that I've gotten the best results for soft-boiled eggs by cooking them in a pressure cooker on the lowest setting for exactly 1 min. You need very little water (fill cooker up about 1/2 cm high with water). This saves a good amount of time not only in cooking time, but the time you need to wait for the water to boil.
    – Allen Kim
    Sep 15, 2019 at 13:15

Add 1/2 tsp of baking soda in the water and the shell will peel right off. Works everytime.


You can try using egglettes. You crack an egg into a silicone oval container and boil the egg like that. Then, all you would need to do is squeeze the boiled egg out of the container and enjoy! I've been using these for a while now, and they work very well. No problems so far. The only peeve is the final product doesn't exactly look like a full oval, but what matters is how it tastes though, right?

You can get some here. https://www.getegglettes.com/

Worth every penny...


The best way to remove the shell from a hardboiled egg is to crack the shells of the entire egg. The shells should be shattered then start peeling off the shells carefully. The shattered shells will allow it to peel easily.


If you have leftover eggs, keep them in the water (put it in a bowl and refrigerate, and it will be easier to peel). If they are fresh, put them under cold water. If you need them to be warm, I would honestly suggest cold water, and then microwaving, as weird as that sounds.

  • That answer has already been given
    – Chenmunka
    Jan 11, 2021 at 18:10

Yes the easy way to peel an egg it's with the tip of ur thumb crack the egg and gentenly with the thumb peel the skin it would come out easy

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