How to Peel a Difficult Hard Boiled Egg

Sometimes hard-boiled are very hard to peel. If normal strategies as described in How to Peel an Egg, do not work, then you may need to resort to this strategy. This trick will make the shells come right off.


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    Put the hard-boiled egg in the microwave.
  2. Image titled Peel a Difficult Hard Boiled Egg Step 2 preview
    Microwave the egg for about 20 seconds. The slight microwave energy will cause the membrane under the shell to lift easily from the egg surface. (See Warnings below for discussion of timing.) Wait at least a full minute to remove the egg from the microwave.
  3. Image titled Peel a Difficult Hard Boiled Egg Step 3 preview
    Remove the egg and peel it. It should be easy.
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  • Don't crack the egg first before putting into the microwave.
  • To avoid the problem in the first place, use older eggs and let them come to room temperature overnight; then boil raw eggs in salty water. They will be very easy to peel if you do. If you are using an electric stove, bring the eggs to a boil then turn the stove off, leaving the pan on the stove. After 14 minutes, place the eggs into ice water.
  • Third way: If your hard-boiled egg is cold (refrigerated at 40 degrees F) and your tap water is hot (at 150 degrees F), place egg in a bowl (or container deep enough to submerge the egg) and run hot tap water to expand the shell. The shell will often crack itself from heat expansion. Whether it cracks or not, briefly chill the shell under running cold water to permit handling and easy peeling.
  • Second way: Crack the egg and then with your thumb and fingers go all around the egg cracking it all over. Then run quickly under water. Now you can easily peel off the shell!


  • Don't zap the egg for too long in the microwave!
  • Because the egg has multiple levels of density, the microwave method can be dangerous. The inside of the egg will heat up at different levels and at different rates, causing the potential for a small explosion if the outer layer (egg white) is broken. This could cause small fragments of eggshell to become airborne at high speed, posing the threat of eye injury. This can occur up to 20 seconds after the egg is removed from the microwave. YouTube has some great video posts, and apparently at least one child was seriously hurt from hot egg particles in the eye.

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Categories: Peeling Food