How to easily peel a hard-boiled egg

Purchases you make through our links may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.

Hard-boiling an egg is one of the simplest cooking techniques you can master. People have been boiling eggs since around 5000 B.C., coinciding with the invention of pottery. They were extremely popular in Ancient Rome, where they were served by the wealthy as an appetizer, and continue to be a go-to snack today. Of course, mastering the perfect hard-boiled egg is only half the battle. Peeling off the shell can be an exercise in patience and frustration. But it doesn’t have to be, as there are many tips and tricks on how to peel a hard-boiled egg quickly that will save you a lot of hassle. So here's our guide to no-stress egg peeling.

Follow along with the video to learn how to peel your hard-boiled eggs easily.

How to peel a hard-boiled egg easily

  1. Add baking soda to boiling water before adding your eggs. Baking soda changes the alkaline levels in the water, helping the egg white separate from the shell.

  2. Eggs are easier to peel if they’re completely cooled after boiling. Add them to a bowl of iced water for 5 minutes before peeling. This will also result in more tender egg whites and that perfect yolk.

  3. Gently tap each egg on a hard surface to form small cracks all around the egg’s shell before you peel. This will help kickstart the shell’s separation process from the egg white. DO NOT roll the egg on the counter with your palm. This could smash the inside, causing it to fall apart.

  4. If you want to be even more efficient and gently jumpstart the separation process on multiple eggs at one time, add 1-2 inches of water to the bottom of a pot. Set the eggs in the water carefully without overlapping. Place the lid on the pot and give the pot a gentle rattle. This will gently crack the shells of all of your eggs at once without compromising the inside of the egg.

  5. During the peeling process, dipping the eggs in a bowl of water can not only help speed up the peeling process but also rinse shell fragments off of your egg.

How to peel a hard-boiled egg with a spoon

This is a fun trick to peel an egg with ease, but it may take a little practice. To peel an egg with a spoon, follow these easy steps:

  1. After cooling your egg in an ice bath, find the hollow spot at the large end of the egg and gently tap it with the round side of your spoon to form small cracks and begin the separation process.

  2. Peel the large end of the egg under the thing membrane with your fingers just enough to make room for your spoon to get in there and do the rest of the work.

  3. With the concave side of the spoon facing the egg and the rounded side facing your shell, slide the spoon under and around the eggshell, applying a small amount of pressure and separating the shell from the egg.

More problems, solved

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to peel hard-boiled eggs: 5 easy steps