When the shell sticks to the egg white instead of peeling off cleanly, the most likely problem is that the egg is too fresh. “For hard-boiled eggs, deviled eggs, egg salad, and the like, buy them about 10 days in advance, or ferret out the ones with the earliest ‘sell by’ date,” says Veggo. “Nothing worse than planning deviled eggs for a casual event, and they turn out with an exterior that resembles the topography of Afghanistan.”

johnb has had good results from steaming, instead of boiling, eggs. “I have tried it once so far with fairly fresh eggs and it did seem to help quite a good deal. Still, either way, older ones are going to peel better than fresh ones.”

“I also discovered that starting from the pointed end when removing the peel works better,” says janniecooks. “Everything else I had read directed one to start peeling at the broad end where the air pocket is located, which is supposed to make peeling easier. I found that if the eggs were fresh the membrane clung so tightly to the white that I couldn’t remove it without mauling the whites.”

“Hold a teaspoon loosely in one hand and lightly tap the egg all over with the back of the spoon to create a fine network of cracks,” jannie recommends. “Peel the eggs under water, starting at the small, pointed end, and keeping the egg under water the whole time you are peeling it. The shell should come off in a spiral.”

Discuss: How do you hard-boil an egg??

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