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How to cook and peel hard boiled eggs

Updated on February 19, 2017

Deviled eggs

Mandatory covered dish and picnic fare.
Mandatory covered dish and picnic fare. | Source

Eggs are easy

Even if you don't cook, keeping a dozen eggs in the refrigerator is a no brainer.

  • If there are hard boiled eggs in the fridge, a grab-and-go breakfast is always ready and waiting.
  • Meatless meals are a cinch - quiche, frittata, scrambled egg burritos and French toast.
  • Top a salad meal with hard boiled egg slices to boost the protein and vitamin D in a simple supper.
  • You will be the hit of the party. Deviled eggs are always a hit at a covered dish meal or picnic.
  • Civilization as we know it would end without eggs Benedict, souffles and egg salad.
  • Even if you can't boil water, you won't starve if there are eggs in your refrigerator.

Cool eggs to stop cooking

Avoid the green ring. Cook then cool the eggs until they are easy to handle.
Avoid the green ring. Cook then cool the eggs until they are easy to handle. | Source

Oven baked "hard boiled" eggs

Buy eggs 2 or 3 weeks ahead of time to prepare deviled eggs. Fresh eggs are very difficult to peel.

Place oven rack in center of oven. Set one egg in each muffin cup of a muffin tin. Turn oven to 325 degrees F. Bake eggs for 30 minutes. Plunge eggs into a bowl or sink of ice water to stop cooking and cool enough to peel.

This simple method keeps the eggs from over cooking and prevents the greenish ring on the outside of the yoke.

p.s. I buy Jumbo eggs and cook for 30 minutes, then turn off the oven and let the eggs continue to bake a the oven cools down for 10 or 15 minutes.

Tab gently all around

Start to peel at the bottom of the oval. (Opposite of the pointy end.)
Start to peel at the bottom of the oval. (Opposite of the pointy end.) | Source

How to peel hard boiled eggs

Buy eggs two or three weeks ahead of time. Older eggs are easier to peel. Follow the hard boiled or oven baked method.

Remove cooked eggs from heat and plunge into ice water. This stops the cooking process. As soon as eggs are cool enough to handle, gently crack the whole eggshell.

Starting at the widest end of the oval, carefully pull away the small pieces of crushed eggshell. Pay special attention to the membrane between the egg and the shell. Make sure that membrane is removed in the little area where you are peeling.

Carefully insert a teaspoon under the membrane. Work he spoon around the egg, separating the egg white and the membrane. Shell will pull away from the egg in large pieces.

Rinse to remove any little pieces of shell. Slice or cut in half using a sharp knife.

Why buy eggs?

When do you eat the most eggs?

See results

No boiling hard boiled eggs

Place eggs in a saucepan and add water to cover eggs by one inch. Cover, set heat on high, bring eggs to the boiling point.

Remove from heat. Let eggs sit in hot water for 12-15 minutes. Drain and serve warm. Or, put eggs into ice water to cool quickly. Once eggs are cool enough to handle, peel or refrigerate.

This method prevents the green ring which is unsightly but not harmful.

Some folks swear to adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water. If an egg cracks while cooking, the vinegar keeps egg whites from running out. Some folks say that adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water helps prevent cracking and makes the eggs easier to peel.

Begin at the bottom of the oval

Slide spoon between membrane and egg.
Slide spoon between membrane and egg. | Source

Slowly slide spoon around egg

The shell will fall off the egg as it is loosened by spoon.
The shell will fall off the egg as it is loosened by spoon. | Source

Eggs for geeks (science lesson)

Banish the greenish ring. This harmless but unsightly discoloration that sometimes forms around hard-boiled yolks results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It occurs when eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature.

  • Cocktail or dinner conversation facts

The United States produces almost 75 billion eggs a year.

To tell if an egg is raw or hard-boiled, spin it. Raw eggs wobble, cooked eggs spin.

The average earthling consumes 173 eggs a year.

Eggs as hors d’oeuvres. Sometimes called “stuffed eggs,” deviled eggs originally did not contain mayonnaise. The term “deviled” originally meant to make food spicy.

Fannie Farmer’s 1896 cookbook is one one the earliest referenced to deviled eggs made with mayonnaise. Today the mayo is frequently replaced with Greek yogurt, sour cream, commercial salad dressings and mixed into the yoke to make a filling for the hard cooked egg white halves.

Often deviled eggs are sprinkled with paprika, or a spicier pepper like cayenne, siracha, jalapeno pepper, hot mustard, horseradish. Adding that spice or, heat is what originally made eggs “deviled.”

National Deviled Egg Day which is November 2.


The online American Egg Board (AEB) has safety tips and recipes for a gluten-free diet, brunch, and quick hurry to work or school ideas. I like the fast and easy microwave eggs in a mug recipe, perfect for patio dining with my morning coffee.

Insert spoon between membrane and egg

Blend yokes with mustard and mayo

 Or simply cut eggs in half, top with salt and pepper. Serve on a classic Cobb salad.
Or simply cut eggs in half, top with salt and pepper. Serve on a classic Cobb salad. | Source

Make deviled eggs

The simple recipe is mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish. I use pickle juice instead of pickle relish to make the mixture smooth and creamy. Replace the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt and nobody will know unless you tell them.

My neighbor uses less mayo and more mustard. The church secretary as fun telling everybody she is bringing bacon and eggs to the potluck. It is her version of deviled eggs with bacon bits. “And just a drop of bacon fat.”

Replace the yoke filling or mix into the yokes, pimento cheese, deviled ham or guacamole.

The topping or garnish are your signature on this dish. The classic garnish is smokey paprika.Try smoked or seasoned salt.

You are not getting deviled eggs from me with out a dusting of Fines herbes (parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil) or whatever herbs are garden fresh.

For six deviled eggs, start with 2 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt); 2 teaspoons of mustard (or honey mustard, grainy, hot) and; 2 teaspoons of sweet or dill pickle relish. Taste. Season with salt and pepper.

Using a fork, mash yolks with mayonnaise and mustard. Add relish or pickle juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites.


Submit a Comment
  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    mary615, Thank you for your kind words. My muffin tin gets used a lot more often for cooking eggs than baking cupcakes. I am thankful for hubpages readers like you.

  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Carb Diva, I like deviled eggs because they are an easy "make ahead" dish. And there are never any leftovers. Everybody loves them.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    5 years ago from Washington State, USA

    Baking eggs in the shell? Who knew? This is a live-changer. My goodness Patsybell you are amazing. Thanks for sharing this really informative hub. Voted up!

  • Country-Sunshine profile image

    Country Sunshine 

    5 years ago from Texas

    I raise chickens, ducks and guineas, so there are plenty of eggs at my house! This is a great article on how to cook them, and I use the "bring to a boil, remove from burner and let sit for 20 minutes" method.

    Here's a tip that might help with your boiled eggs: The day before boiling, rotate the eggs in the carton so the pointy end is up. When packaged, the pointy ends are down, keeping the air sac at the top. This keeps the eggs fresh longer. By rotating, the yolk will move back to the center of the eggs, and the whites will be thicker around the yolk. It helps keep the white from tearing when you peel them.

    @OldRoses - If your eggs are floating, this means they are old. Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom, and the next 'less fresh' eggs will float at an angle.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    5 years ago from Florida

    Well, I just learned something new to me! I never heard of baking an egg like this! You just reminded me to buy extra eggs for our Thanksgiving dinner.

    I like the idea of using a spoon like you show, too.

    Voted UP, etc. and will share.

  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Jodah, I've been practicing this, using your method. I rarely get the shell off in one piece. I think my husband encouraged me to keep trying, just because he loves deviled eggs. Thank you for reading my hub. I appreciate you.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 

    5 years ago from Queensland Australia

    Hi Patsybell. I learnt from a tv chef to put eggs in cold water than bring to a boil. As soon as they begin to boil turn off the heat and place the lid on the saucepan. Leave to sit for 4 minutes for semi-soft or 6 minutes for hard boiled. Then replace with cold water and peel. To peel just crack the wider end of the egg down about 1/4 then slip a t spoon under the shell and slide it around the egg. Practically the whole shell will come off in one piece. This was a good hub though as I hadn't heard of these methods before.

  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    davenmidtown, I am honored that you read my hubs. The kind words of a good writer make all the difference. Thank you.

  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Frank Atanacio, I appreciate your kind words. Frank, isn't it amazing how diverse and educational HubPages can be?

  • Frank Atanacio profile image

    Frank Atanacio 

    5 years ago from Shelton

    thank you for making this easier than boiling an egg.. a useful hub my friend :)

  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Jackie Lynnley, I am happy you read the hub. I always value your opinion. Thank you. Well, eggs don't get much fresher than yours! How do I encourage folks to vote?

  • davenmidtown profile image

    David Stillwell 

    5 years ago from Sacramento, California

    Patsy: What a beautiful hub and on a topic that is one of my favorites. Your hubs are always a standard. They are well written and the topic is rich, deep and meaningful. Well done!

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 

    5 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Thanks, Patsy; I have five chickens laying now so I can use all the ideas I can get! I have never had eggs on a salad and I bet that would be so good! Believe it or not I even feed my chickens eggs! The love them; especially with the shell! That helps them have hard shells. Hm maybe we could think up a recipe with egg shells for our calcium? lol ^+

  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    5 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    MsDora It is always a pleasure to know you've read my humble hubs. Thank you. I appreciate your feedback.

    I am grateful my husband and the neighbor will taste test all the experiments. Wish your kids were here to try the different versions of deviled eggs.

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Weithers 

    5 years ago from The Caribbean

    I didn't expect to learn so much: (1) Fresh eggs are very difficult to peel. (2) To tell if an egg is raw or hard-boiled, spin it (3) use pickle juice instead of pickle relish. I'm preparing a quiz for my children. Thanks, Patsy!

  • OldRoses profile image

    Caren White 

    5 years ago

    Thanks for the great tips. Hard boiling eggs is m nemesis. One thing I have never been able to do is to get the water to cover the eggs. My eggs always float! I'll have to try baking them in the oven, maybe that will work better for me and I'll finally have perfect hard cooked eggs! Voted up.


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