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How to Peel Soft-Boiled Eggs

by insanelygood
Soft Boiled Eggs on A Plate

Wondering how to peel soft-boiled eggs so that you don’t break the yolk?

Try these easy tips for making soft boiled eggs easier to peel so you can enjoy them anytime!

There’s nothing like having soft-boiled eggs for breakfast.

A perfectly soft-boiled egg has that custard-like white and irresistibly runny yolk is such sight to behold! 

The only problem is, those shells are tough to crack.

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you still end up breaking the yolk mid-peel, ending up with a goopy mess.

So, if you want nothing but egg-cellently boiled and peeled eggs, check out these simple techniques.

With these tips, you can easily peel off stubborn shells and enjoy your luscious soft-boiled eggs any time. 

Ready? Let’s get cracking, shall we?

How long does it take to boil an egg?

It might seem so easy, but because you can’t see what goes on inside, boiling eggs can be a little tricky.

It’s not like you can crack the egg open to check for doneness, so you will have to rely solely on time.

Here’s a guide to help you get boiled eggs just the way you want them:

  • 5 minutes: the white has set almost completely, but the yolk is nearly liquid
  • 6 minutes: the white is creamy and custard-like, and the yolk is runny
  • 7 minutes: the white is a little firmer, and the yolk is jammy

I always get beautiful soft-boiled eggs right between 6-7 minutes. That’s when the yolks are runny, but not too much that they are almost uncooked.

And the egg whites? Super creamy!

If you want a medium or hard-boiled egg, let it sit in the pot for:

  • 8 minutes: the white is still creamy but more solid, and the yolk is half-set
  • 10 minutes: the white is firm, and more than half of the yolk has set. 
  • 12 minutes: the white is firm and the yolk has fully set. It’s the perfect hard-boiled egg.

How to Make Soft-Boiled Eggs Easier to Peel

Tip #1: Drop the eggs in boiling water

Do not be tempted to add the eggs at the very beginning. Let your water come to a boil first before adding the eggs. Otherwise, they will be extremely difficult to peel.

Start by filling a pot or saucepan with enough water to submerge your eggs completely.

Once it boils, lower the eggs into the pot with a skimmer, strainer, or slotted spoon. Do this step gently, otherwise, the shells might crack!

Tip #2: Add salt and vinegar to the water

A pinch of salt and two tablespoons of vinegar will make those eggshells easier to remove. It doesn’t matter what kind of vinegar it is, either. Just add whatever one you have.

Aside from making the shells easier to peel, the salt will also help avoid egg white leaks in case you crack your eggs while boiling.

Salt helps the egg coagulate, which will prevent it from leaking out.

Tip #3: Plunge them in cold water

Once they are done boiling, immediately place the eggs in a bowl of ice water. Otherwise, timing the eggs as they cook will have been pointless.

Not only will the ice bath make the eggs easy to peel, but it will also stop the eggs from cooking further. 

Let the eggs sit in the water for 5 minutes before peeling.

Tip #4: Roll the eggs on a flat surface 

This tip goes hand-in-hand with tip #3. Roll the eggs on a flat surface to create mosaic-like cracks. Then place them back in the ice bath.

This technique will allow some of the water to seep through the shells, making them easier to peel off.

Tip #5: Shake the pot

After spending time in the ice bath, place the eggs in a pot, cover it with a lid, and jiggle aggressively.

Doing so will bang the eggs against each other and the sides of the pot, cracking the shells. This will make the eggs super effortless to peel.

I like peeling my eggs in running water, because it helps get rid of those tiny shell pieces still attached to the eggs.

Tip #6: Crack them with a spoon

Take a spoon and tap the top of the egg with it until it cracks.

Peel the upper half with your hands, and once you have a big enough opening, slip a spoon in between the shell and the egg. 

This will be easy since the spoon has a similar curve as the egg. Keep sliding the spoon around the egg until the rest of the shell has loosened.

Tips and Tricks

Do not boil your eggs straight out of the fridge. They will most likely crack when placed in boiling water.

Instead, take the eggs out of the fridge while you’re boiling your water.

Unpeeled soft-boiled eggs will keep well in the fridge for only two days, so be sure to consume them immediately.

Unpeeled hard-boiled eggs, on the other hand, can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days. 

How to Make and Peel Soft-Boiled Eggs

  1. Use a pot big enough to fit your eggs in a single layer. It should also be enough to submerge the eggs completely in water.
  2. Fill the pot with enough water to submerge the eggs by an inch. Stir in 2 tablespoons of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let the water come to a boil.
  3. Lower your eggs into the pot with a skimmer, strain, or slotted spoon.
  4. Time the eggs according to your desired doneness. Soft-boiled eggs will need between 6-7 minutes of cooking.
  5. While waiting, prepare an ice-water bath. The water and ice should be able to submerge the eggs completely.
  6. Once the time is up, remove the eggs from the pot and transfer them into the ice bath. Let them sit there for 5 minutes.
  7. Drain the water and place the eggs in a pot or bowl. Shake the container aggressively to crack the eggs. 
  8. Peel the eggs under running water. The water will help wash away the tiny specks of shells attached to the eggs.
How to Peel Soft Boiled Eggs

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