One of the Great Questions of our time is: how do I hard cook and egg so I don’t end up cursing while I remove the shell. I canvased a few friends and they all had strong opinions on how to accomplish this but they also had different opinions. The answer to the Great Question was not any closer.

The almighty Google led me to the knowledge repository that is the Internet. What's Cooking America has an article on boiling eggs which suggests the procedure of 3 to 5 day old eggs, at room temperature, placed in cold water to cover, bring just to a rapid boil, remove from heat and cover for 17 to 20 minutes, then replace water with ice water for 10 minutes before putting the eggs in the frig. This is close to the procedure most of my friends gave but I know from experience (and especially the mangled egg I ate this morning) that this procedure is not the whole story.

WikiHow gives several techniques for hard boiling an egg (standard, Pin Hole, Vinegar, Electric Kettle) but they also suggest adding lots of salt to the boiling water to make peeling easier. I've heard this tip also but I haven't tried it yet.

This YouTube video suggests placing an egg in simmering water for 10 minutes then holding the hot egg in a spoon under cold water for 10 seconds. The egg is then rolled to crack the whole shell and then peeled under running water. The comments on the video attests to the wonderfulness of this technique. I have not tried this yet but it would take a little organization when doing a dozen eggs.

Dvo Home Cook'n (tag line "Recipes for a Stronger Family") article Perpetually Perfect and Peelable Hard-Boiled Eggs gives roughly the same process as What's Cooking America but suggests that it's getting the cooling water ice cold that is the trick for peelable eggs. Another thing to try.'s page on boiling eggs doesn't suggest anything different than the basic procedure above but they seem to suggest that putting the eggs in ice water to cool is not to make them peelable but to make sure you don't get that green color in the white from the yoke.

At Answerbag the question Why are hard-boiled eggs hard to peel? got several suggestions: use older eggs, put in ice water after oiling and put vinegar in the water while boiling.

The Food Network recommends using eggs that are a week to 10 days old because "researchers" say this effects the PH of the eggs which affects peeling. Then they go on to say that putting them in an ice bath after boiling makes peeling easier. They can't make up their mind -- researchers or ice. instructs for Easily Peeled Hard Boiled Eggs to add room temperature eggs to boiling water and boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Then drain the water from the pot, but the lid on the pot then shake the eggs inside the pot to crack all the shells. Remove the lid and flush with cold tap water and, viola, easily peeled eggs.

Simply Recipes' How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs gives the basic boiling technique and also suggests adding salt to the boiling water to make the eggs easy to peel.

If you have a hard to peel egg, What's Cooking America suggests peeling it under running water starting at the large (air pocket) end. This is a technique I've used often. A totally different scheme is suggested by wikiHow which says to put the hard boiled egg in the microwave for 20 seconds. I haven't tried that one.

And any comments on peeling eggs would not be complete without the YouTube video showing the blow technique. Of course it's YouTube so there are lots of them.

Well, after much searching, there is no answer to the Great Question. You'd think after millennia of cooking eggs, the perfect technique would be known. I will report back after I have tried salt and ice and aged eggs.


dickey45 ( 2008-02-17 06:48:22 +0000 ): Having been on the atkins diet, I've done my share of hard boiled eggs. I simply take cold eggs out of the fridge, put them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Take them out and put them back in the fridge. They are relatively easy to peel after being cooled.