The Water Hack That Makes Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs Easier Than Ever

When it comes to the actual cooking, hard-boiled eggs don't take much effort to make. All you have to do is boil water in a pot, add eggs, and make sure to turn the stove off when the yolks are cooked to your liking. Peeling them once they're done cooking is where things can get tricky.

Once cooked, eggs become difficult to peel because the whites and the albumen — the thin film that surrounds the white — get stuck together. If you're not careful enough, a chunk of the white could easily come off when you try to remove the shell.

You may have heard of shocking the eggs in cold water, or adding vinegar to the pot to make the shell more brittle, but there's actually another water hack that makes it easier to peel eggs. Simply fill a glass with water, add the hard-boiled egg, and shake it around. When you take the egg out, it will be covered in tiny little cracks, making it easy to slide off in practically one piece.

Tips for properly executing this hack

If you accidentally use too much water or shake the glass too vigorously, you may end up with a face full of water in addition to your perfectly deshelled eggs. Luckily all it takes to prevent this from happening is to use a jar instead. Secure the lid on tight, shake it for about 15 seconds, and you'll have the same results without risk of spillage.

Though this hack shouldn't take you too much extra time if you only have a couple of hard-boiled eggs to peel, it's not exactly the most convenient option if you made the entire carton, since glasses and jars are usually only big enough to handle one egg at a time. If you're working with a big batch, what you can do instead is use a small pot. Fill it with water as you would if you were using a jar or glass, add the eggs, and hold the lid over the pot as you shake.

Why this hack works so well

It's easy to think of this hack as an unnecessarily chaotic way to peel eggs, but the truth is it works better than the traditional method, the reason being that there's water involved. As you shake the eggs and break down the shells, some of the water makes its way in between the whites and the shells. The albumen becomes extra slippery, ultimately making the egg easier to peel. 

If you're a little hesitant to shake your eggs around and glass or jar, you can use Gordon Ramsay's approach. It works using the same principle of letting water seep in between the whites and shell, though as you might expect, he takes on a gentler (perhaps more professional) approach. Instead of using a glass or jar, Ramsay uses the same pot he cooked the eggs in, refilling it with fresh water. As he demonstrated in a video posted to his YouTube channel, he starts by cracking the eggs against the side of the water-filled pot, effectively accomplishing the same thing that shaking does. After the shells are cracked and enough water has seeped underneath them, he is then able to peel the eggs with noticeable ease. It's certainly less dramatic — and we'd argue less satisfying — than shaking your hard-boiled eggs around in a jar, but it will get the job done too.