Want to test your patience? Try peeling a hard-boiled egg. Here's how things usually go: After a firm tap with a spoon, the shell shatters, leaving you to pick off each little shard, and removing most of the egg white in the process. You're left with a sad, ragged-looking salad topper-and probably a crushed spirit.
Well here's how to avoid that entire infuriating process. For starters, use an older egg. Old eggs are easier to peel than fresh ones, according to the USDA. That's because there is an air cell between the egg and the inside of the shell, and that cell increases in size the longer an egg is stored. As the air cell gets bigger, the egg gets smaller, contracting and pulling away from the shell. Ultimately, this makes the egg easier to peel.
But this isn't the only egg-spert hack out there. Here are 5 popular tricks promising a quick and easy hard-boiled egg peeling. We even tested out a few to see for ourselves!
1. The Baking Soda Method
Several sites suggest adding baking soda to the eggs' cooking water. Apparently, raising the eggs' pH level (with an alkaline substance like baking soda) makes them easier to peel. Using this technique, you'll add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to 1 quart water and then follow your typical recipe (bring to a rolling boil, then cover, remove from heat, let stand 10 minutes, and drain). From there, you can start to pick and peel. But this time around, the peel should come off in large pieces, making the process that much easier.
2. The Rolling Method
This Reddit recommended hack is pretty simple. Just use your hand to roll the egg back and forth until small cracks begin to appear. You'll know when to stop if your egg resembles a mosaic. When that happens, start peeling from the larger end of the egg. And if you want to make it easier on yourself, make sure to peel the egg while running it under cold water. Follow these directions to the tee and you should have a naked egg in no time.
3. The Swirl Method
This method is like a game of bumper cars. You cook the eggs as usual, return them to the pot with a few inches of cold water, and then move the pot in a circular motion, swirling the eggs and water around, eventually forcing the eggs to collide with one another. The resulting cracks on the shells should make them a cinch to peel.
The verdict: This method was a mess. Make sure you use a pot with tall sides or work over the sink, otherwise you'll splash water everywhere. It took a lot of vigorous swirling to get the eggshells to crack, and when they finally did, the peels didn't come off as easily as promised, leaving the eggs looking pretty messy. Silver lining: This was a great arm workout. (If hard-boiled eggs aren't your thing, try the poaching method).
4. The Lung Power Method
Here's how it's supposed to work: First, crack the shell at the very top and bottom of the egg, then peel off about a quarter-sized hole on each end. Next, place your mouth over the hole on the top of the egg, and blow with all your might. The egg should slip away from the shell and into your waiting hand, according to several tutorials.
Warning, the blowing may leave you feeling lightheaded and if not done correctly, empty handed. Who knows how they make it look so easy?!
5. The Glass of Water Method
The original YouTube video demonstrating this method has more than 21 million views. Here's why. You put your cooked egg into a small glass with a little bit of water. Cover the top of the glass with your hand, and then, over the sink, shake it like crazy. The eggshell will take on dozens of tiny cracks and then the shell slips right off.
The verdict: The rumors are true: This trick works like magic. Five seconds of shaking yielded a shell so fractured that it came off with hardly any effort-and the egg beneath was smooth and perfect.
6. The Spooning Method
Another Reddit recommendation, the spooning method is one of the trickier techniques. Start by hitting the egg on a hard surface to create a substantial crack. Then grab a spoon and wedge it between the shell and the egg-careful not to dig to too deep. While the spoon is still in there, rotate the egg until the shell is completely separated. And voilá, you should have a perfectly peeled hard-boiled egg.
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