How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs . . . Without Boiling!

I have a challenge for you today!

What would you say if I asked you to cook a pan full of eggs in their shell until they are hard-cooked and then PERFECTLY PEEL all of them with ONE HAND??? You would probably tell me I’m CRAZY, right?

Well, CALL ME CRAZY! This is totally what I did today!

Let me explain. I was going through some recent “Comments” on the website and this comment from Pia made on a post I did quite awhile ago about the “World’s Easiest Boiled Eggs” caught my eye.

Steaming eggs??? Wha???  I’d literally never heard of such a thing. Which of course made me HAVE to try it! Immediately!!

My timing wasn’t exactly the greatest however because I’d forgotten that I had an important phone call I had to take right in the middle of this process. Unfortunately, It wasn’t one of those phone calls where you can say, “I’m sorry, but I’m steaming some eggs right now…can I call you back?”  

Anyway, I’m in the middle of this business call and my timer for the eggs goes off! Ugh! What now? I was worried that if I just let them SIT I would somehow ruin the whole “experiment”.  So…..I proceeded to attempt to peel the eggs with ONE HAND while I continued with my phone conversation.. Guess what?  Yep….I peeled every single one of those eggs PERFECTLY!  WITH ONE HAND. True story.

I mean LOOK at these eggs! Have you ever seen more perfectly peeled eggs? Well, *I* haven’t. These are probably the prettiest eggs I’ve EVER peeled…and I was AMAZED at how easy it was. Seriously amazed.

steamed eggs

steamed eggs

steamed eggs

I have to give a shout-out to Michelle at What’s Cooking With Kids where I not only FOUND the “steaming method” but also got a great explanation about WHY this works! (I was one of those annoying children growing up who constantly badgered my mother with the question, “But WHY?”  I have to know WHY! I just do.)

Excerpt from “What’s Cooking With Kids” —

Why Steamed Eggs are Easier to Peel
Egg shells are permeable, which means that they are porous. Water molecules in the steam form are tiny enough to penetrate the shell. While they don’t disrupt the membrane, the heat from the steam is adequate enough to cook the egg inside. 

steamed eggs

This method is SO easy it hardly requires a “recipe”….but for those who really NEED/WANT a step-by-step….here goes:

Easy To Peel Hard-Cooked Eggs

adapted from What’s Cooking with Kids

  • Place steamer basket in bottom of your usual egg-boiling pot. (looking at these pictures made me realize…it’s time for some new cookware!)
  • Add water until it begins to barely come up through the bottom of the steamer. (You want enough water in the pan so that you can boil for 15 to 20 minutes.)
  • Add eggs to basket and cover the pan with a lid.
  • Bring water to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on how “hard” you want them.)
  • Allow the eggs to cool enough to be able to handle and then peel them. One-handed or two…it’s your call. :-)
  • EAT!  Or store in refrigerator until you are ready to eat.

steamed eggs

A couple more “hard-cooked eggs” tips I gathered as I was researching this method:

  • That grey ring you sometimes find around the yolk after cooking is IRON from the yolk and is an indicator that the egg is overcooked.
  • For perfect deviled eggs….the night before the eggs are to be cooked (approximately 12 hours), store your carton of eggs on its side in the refrigerator to center the yolks. Brilliant!
  •  An egg that is at room temperature at the start of the cooking process will require about 1 minute less cooking time than eggs taken directly from the refrigerator.

steamed eggs

Now that you know everything *I* know about hard-cooked eggs and THE easiest way to peel them, it’s your turn!  

I expect to hear back from those of you who accept “the challenge”! :-)


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  1. says

    I think your method sounds wonderful. I am always willing to try something new and different even though I have been boiling eggs for many years. Thanks, Jillee. You are amazing!

  2. says

    Thank you for this interesting post….my husband has always been the better ‘boiled egg person’ in our house, and it IS all about timing. Put eggs in pan of cold water, bring to a boil, immediately set timer for 10 minutes exactly [that’s where I mess up, I’m too impatient to hang around to wait for the bubbles] then run the eggs under cold water to stop the cooking process.
    However……peeling the eggs is another challenge all together. If the eggs are too fresh, they are hell on earth to peel, and the result is an unattractive, knobbly mess only fit to be chopped up for egg salad !! And I kind of have a wee problem when the eggs do peel well…..all I can think about then is….my eggs are STALE ! This thought quells my appetite immediately and I end up turning them into unrecognizable egg salad anyhow, haha.
    So I’m hoping that this steaming method also remedies this peeling dilemma ! I love to see the perfect slices of sunny yolks fanned out on a simple slice of toast. My family will be grateful too I’m sure….yeah, Mummy can make more than egg salad after all !

  3. says

    Hurray! I am so happy this method worked well for you :-) Boiling and cooking the eggs was never my problem – but peeling them was. Probably because we have chickens in the back yard, and fresh eggs are always harder to peel. Thanks for helping to spread the word!!

    • says

      Thank YOU Michelle….for sharing this gem!! I’m with you…cooking the eggs wasn’t the problem…it’s the PEELING!!!! I have never, EVER had eggs turned out so nicely! :-) Thanks again!

  4. Holly Roberts says

    My problem is not the cooking/boiling of the eggs, taste, or rings, I cannot get them to peel well at all. We have really yucky water here and am beginning to think maybe that is part of the problem.

    Anyway, any ideas of how to adjust this method for an electric steamer? I would love to make pretty deviled eggs again!

    • Donna Nollette says

      Put 1 tsp. of salt in the water before you boil……they will peel easy!

      • Jamie says

        The salt thing works! I also dump out the hot water as soon as they’re done and add cold water and some ice, once melted I repeat and let them set for about 10 minutes then peel if I need them right away or put them in the fridge for future use. I’ve never had a prob peeling my eggs.

    • ann fontanez says

      My method of peeling is to crack the shell all over, run under cool water and roll the egg between your hands (like you’re making a meatball). The cool water will seep under the membrane & the gentle pressure of rolling between your palms will ease the shell right off! New eggs, old eggs, works just the same.

  5. says

    If I pay attention to my eggs, I don’t have a problem! It’s the days that I put them on and then walk away to do something else and come back to find they have been boiling for who knows how long. It’s getting worse as I get older! Is there such a thing as age induced ADHD?

    This is an interesting alternative, may have to try it, as they can boil the whole time!!! My kind of cooking.


  6. Jennifer says

    I have seen all kinds of different things on pinterest about cooking perfect boiled eggs without boiling them and I’m perplexed…

    …is boiling eggs really hard? I have been doing it the same way for years and years, since I was in high school and my mom taught me how to do it. They come out perfect, no grey and just a little bit soft in the middle (which is how we like them) every time.

    I’m interested more in peeling easily, which I find is accomplished better with fresher eggs and if done immediately after cooking by cracking the shell all around (into tiny pieces) and then peeling it off in one or two pieces. But every now and then I get one in a bunch that turns to a crumbled mess with chunks of the white coming off attached to the shell and I scratch my head and wonder what on earth I did wrong. I’ve heard of things like putting baking soda in the water and the like but I have not tried them because most of the time, my method works perfectly.

    BTW, my method for boiling eggs:

    Put eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, cover pot, and set a timer for 10 minutes. Done!

    • Heidi says

      That is how Rachael Ray does it. But I could never the time you boil for and set for.

    • Linda Lou says

      you know all you have to do is bring them to a boil, then turn them off. no later than 5 minutes, your eggs are perfect. Makes it simple, cuz you can walk away and do them when ur ready. Think about soft boiled eggs. If you go any over 2.5 mins, they are hard.

    • C Mac says

      In your statement of fresh eggs I have to correct you. The fresher the egg the harder the peel. Try getting some from Gravel Gurdy’s box and try them. They are very difficult to peel. I usually wait a couple weeks or so before use.

      • Peggy says

        Yes I agree, that is always what my grandma said, if making boiled eggs and know in advance, get eggs a few weeks ahead of time. Fresh is always hard to peel.

      • WLH says

        We have 30 hens and always have fresh eggs and they are extremely hard to peel. I came across a tip on pinterest that has worked wonderfully. Use a push pin to pierce the large end of the egg – that is where the air pocket is – only push the pin in about halfway. Boil as usual. Peeling is much easier since I discovered this tip.

  7. Angela says

    I’ve always been a little ‘challenged’ with the boiled method and, have to say, I am so glad to have found the steamed method instead. Did exactly as instructed using 7 eggs. And, all came out beautifully! Not a single flaw whatsoever. So, a BIG thank you for helping me to finally master this technique!!

  8. Kristin says

    From the time I was just a little girl, my Mom taught me to hardboil eggs. It’s like second nature to me, and they always peel so easily and look perfect. But now that I’m grown, I’m amazed at the number of people that struggle with this. It’s just foreign to me. But this is definitely an interesting method of doing it. They can also be done in the microwave, the oven…and even some toasters!

  9. danielle says

    I’m weird. I LIKE the green overcooked eggs.
    I saw on interest baking whole eggs in a muffin tin (in their shells) to make hard cooked eggs. Might be useful if you’re making a whole bunch….

    • Desiree says

      I have baked the eggs right on the rack in the oven…think I saw it on pinterest. They were still very hard to peel. I just did this way and SO EASY to peel!!!! This is the only way I will make my hard boiled eggs.

    • Linda Lou says

      overcooked means your protein is damaged. I imagine you could get used to healthily cooked? ;)