How to peel an egg

You’ve boiled an egg and you are looking forward to tucking in; all that’s left is to peel it! Sometimes, getting the shell off can be a little tedious if all you end up doing is pulling off tiny bits of shell or even chunks of the egg itself!

Well, those days are behind you as long as you follow these simple tips on how to peel an egg in just a few seconds! Broadly, there are three things to keep in mind…

The age of the egg

The age of your egg affects the way you cook them (for instance, poached eggs turn out better with fresh eggs) and this also applies when it comes to peeling them easily. A general rule of thumb is that you’re going to be better off boiling eggs that are a little older (whilst keeping an eye on the best-before date of course) so that you have less trouble getting the shell off afterwards.

This is because eggs that are still fresh (just a few days old) still stick to the shell more, with the membrane becoming less attached as time goes by. If you only have access to very fresh eggs (lucky you!) you might want to leave them  for a day or two before boiling.

Keep cool!

How to peel an egg

After you’ve hard-boiled your eggs, they are still going to be quite hot! To make peeling easier, submerge them in cold water for a little while to bring down the temperature.  This will also help avoid the formation of a grey line around the yolk.  The egg itself will warm the water it’s in, so change it out once or twice to keep it cool.

The reason why this works is that the boiled egg will contract slightly in cool water, which makes it less likely to stick to the shell.

Get the technique down

You might usually tap the egg somewhere with a spoon to get a crack and work your way down from there. Whilst this will give you a place to start, you may well find yourself picking off tiny bits instead of larger, more manageable pieces.

What you’re going to want to do is tap both the bottom and tops of the egg so that both have cracks. This ensures that some of the pressure from inside the egg is released from the middle which should make things easier.

Choosing to peel from the bottom of the egg is the best way to carry on as there is a small air pocket between the shell on the egg itself. Starting at this end begin to peel the egg using the side of your thumb, easily removing both the egg and the thin membrane.