What if I told you there was a way to cook hard-boiled eggs that made them so easy to peel that you could do it one-handed? If you feel a bit skeptical about this claim, you wouldn’t be the only one, because that’s exactly how I felt until I gave the method a try for myself!
I originally came across the idea a couple of years ago, when I was reading through comments on one of my older blog posts. I came across one from a reader named Pia who mentioned that she had recently tried steaming eggs instead of boiling them, and that the steamed eggs had been easier to peel by far.
Steamed eggs? I’d literally never heard of such a thing before reading Pia’s comment, which of course meant that I had to try it out immediately! :-)
Check out this hard-boiled egg hack in action in my video at the end of the post!
However, my timing wasn’t exactly ideal, because I forgot that I had an important phone call coming up until I was already in the midst of my egg steaming project! (And unfortunately, the call was sufficiently important that “I’m in the middle of steaming some eggs!” didn’t seem like it would hold up as an excuse to reschedule.)
But anyway, the timer for the eggs went off while I was on my important call, but I was worried about just letting them sit there until I was done. So I started attempting to peel the eggs with one hand while holding my phone in the other, and to my great surprise, I was able to peel them all single-handedly without any issues at all!
Not that I think everyone needs a solution that enables them to peel eggs with one hand, but it’s nice to know that you could if you wanted to, right? ;-) It also just goes to show how much of a difference this particular method makes in the “peel-ability” of hard-cooked eggs!
Here’s how it’s done, so that you can give it a try at home and experience the difference for yourself!
How To Steam Eggs To Make Them Easy To Peel
- Raw eggs
- Steamer basket
Place the steamer basket in the bottom of a pot, then add water until it starts to come up through the bottom of the steamer. (You’re aiming for just enough water that it can boil for 15 to 20 minutes without drying up on you.)
Place the eggs in the steamer basket and cover the pot with a lid.
Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
After steaming, remove the eggs from the pot and run them under cold water for several minutes to stop the cooking process. (You could also transfer them to a prepared ice bath to achieve the same result.)
Once the eggs are cool, just crack, peel, and enjoy! The shells should slide right off quickly and easily. (Why, you ask? See below for a brief explanation!)
If you don’t want to peel the eggs right away, you can store them in your refrigerator to keep them fresh for a few days.
Why Are Steamed Eggs Easier To Peel?
After I experienced just how easy it was to peel steamed eggs, I couldn’t help but wonder why and how it actually worked! So I did some research and eventually found the following explanation that helped satisfy my curiosity.
Because egg shells are permeable, the tiny water molecules trapped inside the steamy pot can penetrate the shell and cook the egg inside. The hot steam also causes the proteins in the egg whites to shrink, which makes the whites pull away from the membrane lining the shell.
Once the membrane has loosened its grip on the egg white, the egg becomes much easier to peel after it’s done cooking (not to mention a lot less frustrating for the one doing the peeling!) ;-)
What’s your preferred way to cook eggs in the shell?