wikiHow to Peel a Soft Boiled Egg

Four Methods:Tapping with a SpoonWhacking with a KnifeCutting with a Scissor-Style Egg Topper/CutterCutting with a Spring-Loaded Egg Topper

Removing the shell from a soft boiled egg can be tricky and messy. The first step is to open the egg, which can be done with a spoon, knife, or egg cutting instrument. Secondly, use a spoon to peel the egg and separate it from the shell. Using a kitchen instrument like a spoon or egg topper makes the process cleaner and simpler.

Method 1
Tapping with a Spoon

  1. 1
    Tap the top of the egg lightly with an egg spoon or regular kitchen spoon. Some people prefer the wide end of the egg, while others argue that it's easier to open the narrow end. When using a spoon or knife, the egg can be opened from either end.[1]
  2. 2
    Tap several times around the circumference of the egg until the top cracks. The purpose is to weaken the entire top part of the shell, not just one spot. The top should crack all the way around the circumference.
  3. 3
    Lift the shell off with the spoon or your fingers. The shell will be loosened, but not entirely broken. You may need to push the spoon under the loosened shell before lifting it off.

Method 2
Whacking with a Knife

  1. 1
    Hit the top side of the egg with a butter knife, using one quick, hard stroke. This is more successful if you hit the narrow end instead of the wide end of the egg, since the knife is more likely to go all the way through. Make sure to use a butter knife rather than a sharp knife, as you could cut yourself otherwise.
  2. 2
    Hit the other side of the egg if the shell has not entirely loosened. Use a light stroke this time. The knife should cut through the shell, separating the top part entirely from the egg.
  3. 3
    Lift the shell off with the knife or your fingers. The knife method is more similar to cutting the shell, as opposed to using a spoon to crack it. Make sure to keep the egg steady as you lift the shell off.

Method 3
Cutting with a Scissor-Style Egg Topper/Cutter

  1. 1
    Place the loop of the egg topper around the narrow end of the egg. This kind of egg cutter has scissor-like handles, but ends in a loop. The loop resembles a circle.[2] It's important to place it around the narrow end of the egg instead of the wide, as it will cut into the egg rather than the shell if you use it on the wide end.
  2. 2
    Squeeze the handles together to cut the shell. Twist the loop (round part) of the topper slightly around the egg as you do so. Metal teeth will slide out from the loop, and twisting the loop around the egg helps the blades cut the shell cleanly. Or, you can hold the topper steady, and twist the egg slightly in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction as you squeeze the blades. [3] Either method will help to cut the shell all the way through.
  3. 3
    Lift the instrument off the egg. The topper cuts off approximately the top 1/2 inch of the egg. At this point, the shell may naturally come off with the instrument, or it may remain on the egg. If it remains on the egg, simply use a spoon or your fingers to lift it off.

Method 4
Cutting with a Spring-Loaded Egg Topper

  1. 1
    Place the bowl of the topper over the end of the egg. Spring-loaded toppers resemble metal plungers. [4] You can place it over the narrow or wide end of the egg, depending on its size. The bowl must fit over the end.
  2. 2
    Pull the handle smoothly up, then release it. It's spring-loaded, so will naturally snap back downward once you release it. The lever cuts a circle around the top of the egg. Lift the topper away.
  3. 3
    Lift the topper and remove the shell. The top part of the shell will remain on the egg, but it will be completely loose. The topper cuts cleanly all the way through it. Remove it with a spoon or your fingers.
  4. 4
    Slip a kitchen spoon into the opening, down in between the egg and the shell. You can also use an egg spoon if you have one available. The curve of the spoon should naturally follow the curve of the egg. Push it gently downward and then horizontally. [5]
  5. 5
    Slide the spoon slowly all the way around the circumference of the egg. This loosens the body of the egg away from the surrounding shell. Be gentle so as not to break the egg itself. The spoon may cause several large cracks in the shell as you do this, which is fine.
  6. 6
    Slip the egg out of the shell and onto a plate. Try not to further crack the shell into small pieces as you do so, because particles may attach to the egg. Because it's soft boiled, the egg may run sightly at this point, so transfer it quickly.


  • Placing the egg in cold water for two minutes after boiling makes it easier to peel and ensures you don't burn yourself on the hot shell.
  • A grapefruit spoon, while not as common in a kitchen, works just as well as an egg spoon and even better than a kitchen spoon. The serrated edge helps separate the egg from the inside of the shell without breaking it.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft boiled egg
  • Spoon
  • Any of the other objects suggested

Article Info

Categories: Egg Basics | Peeling Food