If there’s one thing we can agree on as a collective human race, it’s that peeling hard boiled eggs isn’t always a flawless process. Whether you’re whipping up deviled eggs for a crowd or just want a picture-perfect peel for the ‘gram, there are few things more frustrating than going through the hard-boiling process only to end up with an egg that looks like it’s been through the ringer.
From viral TikTok hacks to age-old remedies, here are a few tried-and-true tips for getting a perfect hard-boiled egg:
1. Baking Soda
According to our friends at Delish, adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your boiling pot of water will help the shell peel off seamlessly. Why? The alkaline in the baking soda will help your egg whites loosen up from the shell, making it easier to peel. And don’t fret— the baking soda will not alter the taste of the egg whatsoever.
2. Ice Bath
No matter what method you use for boiling your eggs, the post-boil ice bath is a step you should never skip. Fill up a large bowl with ice and cold water. Tip: Put way more ice in there than you think you need! The hot eggs will melt the ice fairly quick. When your eggs are done boiling, carefully place them in the bowl of ice water and let them sit for a few minutes. The shock of the cold water will allow the egg whites to contract from the shell, which will make them easier to peel. It also will stop the eggs from cooking so you don’t end up with an overdone final product.
3. TikTok Crack Hack
Shoutout to TIkTok University for this handy hack! Okay, so it probably wasn’t invented by TikTokers— but it did gain recent popularity after going viral. The technique is simple: Before you place your eggs in a boiling pot of water, gently tap them on your counter or bowl to make a small fracture in the shell, just small enough that no whites spill out. From there, you boil as usual. Once your eggs are done cooking, fill a lidded container half full with cold water, place the eggs (one at a time!) inside, and secure the lid tightly—or, just use your hand to cover the top if your container is small enough. Then, shake it like a Polaroid picture— literally. The shell will star to peel itself away from the white, leaving you with minimal work and a perfectly peeled hard-boiled egg.
4. Use Older Eggs
No, we’re not talking expired eggs. But, rather than using your freshly purchased carton of Happy Eggs, use eggs that have been in your fridge for about a week or two. Why? As eggs get older, they gradually will lose some moisture through the pores of the shell. When this happens, the egg itself will shrink in size, which pulls the membrane with it. And, for even more Bill Nye the Science Guy lingo: as eggs age, their pH changes, too. When an egg is uber-fresh, all of its layers are firm and tight, which is why chunks of the white may pop off as you peel.