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How to shell a fresh, hard-boiled egg

Easy way to shell a hard-boiled eggI always thought hard-boiled eggs were easy to shell because I was raised on storebought.  These eggs have been sitting around for up to a month, so the air pocket inside the egg has enlarged, helping the shell slide off.  In stark contrast, your farm-fresh eggs have next to no air pocket, and peeling them is a recipe for frustration!

I've tried all of the tricks, and finally found one that works.  First, the one that didn't work --- boil your eggs, pour off the hot water, refill the pot with cold water, knock the eggs against the side of the pot until they're full of tiny cracks, and then put them in the fridge for a couple of hours.  I tried this a few times and still lost masses of white that stayed attached to the shell.

What does work?  Hard-boil your eggs, then cool them without any fancy cracking.  Whack the eggs against the rim of the bowl and break them in half, then scoop out the insides as if you were pulling out the meat of a soft-boiled egg.  (Shown above.)  This clearly won't give you beautiful deviled eggs, but will expedite your egg salad operation and cut down on swearing considerably.  Check out my favorite egg salad recipe and put your newfound skills to use!

(Thanks to my mom for acting as a hand model for this photo!  I rewarded her with a mass of egg salad.)

Looking for other ways to make your chicken operation easier?  Check out our homemade chicken waterer that never spills or fills with poop.

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I've had great success putting tons of salt in the water. I've never measured, but you might start with two to three tablespoons and add or deduct from there. With that method, they are usually fairly easy to peel by hand.
Comment by Mimsie Monday afternoon, May 31st, 2010
I'm always looking for new ways to shell fresh hard-boiled eggs. I'll have to give that one a shot --- thank you!
Comment by anna terribly early Wednesday morning, June 2nd, 2010

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