Secret’s Out: How to Hard-Boil Farm Fresh Eggs

I kid you not, it took me 38 years to learn this trick.

We’ve always enjoyed hard-boiled eggs. In tuna salad, on lettuce salads, as a snack, or even to pack as an easy breakfast when we’re traveling. I take deviled eggs (along with a dessert or French bread) to nearly every potluck meal we attend, because I never ever return with any.

We also enjoy farm fresh eggs, and are blessed with many sources for those. The problem is that farm fresh eggs do not make good hard boiled eggs. Actually, they do, but they don’t peel well. I’ll ruin several eggs just to get a dozen peeled.

Until now.

I used to put the eggs in the pan, covered them with water, slowly brought it to a boil, cooked them for a few minutes, turned the burner off leaving the covered pan on the burner, then cracked, cooled, and grumped my way through peeling the ugly, falling apart eggs. OR I would just say forget it and buy a dozen from the store specifically for hard boiling purposes. (How sad is it that we all know the store eggs are so old that they’ll pretty easily peel?)

Now I do this.

Peel Farm Fresh Eggs Easily

The older I get, the more I realize I don’t know! What fun kitchen tricks have you learned in recent months or years? What have you been doing “wrong?”

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  1. Someone told me that it was the fresh eggs that stick to the shells. Pretty much all the eggs I buy from the store give me trouble. Martha Stewart says it helps to crack & peel the wide end of the egg first, but sometimes that didn’t work either. My mother says to use a little vinegar when boiling to help eggs peel easier (don’t know how much a little is), but I’ve used about one Tablespoon. None of these tips works 100% of the time. Hopefully your tip will be the key to unlocking beautiful boiled eggs all the time for me. We loved boiled eggs for snacks too. I like to boil a dozen and have them ready for a quick breakfast with a piece of toast. Yum!

  2. Kelly Hess says:

    I had this same “ah ha” movement a couple of months ago. I ran into the same issues with store bought eggs and I was talking to my mother-in-law about it and she explained the same method to me about shaking the pan and addng ice! I learned something new at 36!

  3. My husband calls me “The Egg Whisperer” because I never tear an egg I’m peeling– I have either uncanny luck, a great method, or a little of both. 😉 (I will file away this method, however, because the rest of my family stinks at peeling eggs!!!)

  4. I recently saw a post going around on facebook, so I tried that because I always have issues with the shells too. Put your eggs in a muffin tin(so they won’t roll around) or you can line them up on the racks in your oven if you have a lot of eggs to boil. Bake in the oven @ 325 degrees for 30 min, then place in ice water for 10 min. I seriously think the whites taste creamier this way and they peel like a dream!

    • A friend swears by the egg baking method, too! This works so well for me I haven’t needed to try it (and my oven is often busy with other things) but I sure am intrigued!

  5. Carolyn Hunter says:

    The BEST way to peel farm fresh, brown , hard boiled eggs is to tap the smaller end of the egg ( pointed end) . You only want to put a very small crack in the shell. You might no see a crack but you can hear it when you hit the egg on the counter. When it’s cooking this TINY crack lets the membrane around the egg turn loose. I put my eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to a boil, boil for 2-3 minutes, then let them sit in a covered pan for around 5-10 minutes ( or when ever I get to them!) put in a bowl of cold water, and peel the eggs! Perfect every time. If a little of the white leaks out into the water while cooking, no problem, the egg stills peels easy and looks great! Also another egg tip, if your eggs float in water, they are too old to cook and eat. That shell is thinning and air is getting inside and so is the possibility of bacteria.

    • Ha! I can just imagine as I put that “tiny” crack in the egg that it will end up being a bit too big and I’ll have a mess. Worth a shot though– thanks for the tip!! 🙂

  6. Who knew!? Thanks for the tip! I had the same issue of getting no nice looking eggs the last time I made deviled eggs from farm fresh. I will definately be using this! Thanks again!

  7. I just learned today that when canning, you get a better seal by NOT boiling the lids before you put them on. Mind was blown.

    Funny story, I didn’t realize when I was young and newly married that fresh eggs don’t peel well. I signed up to bring deviled eggs to my first Easter as a married woman, and the night before was so upset over my ugly eggs after peeling. My husband and I went to the store and bought over a dozen of the individual hard boiled eggs that the grocery store had and used those!!!! We never told anyone. Then he bought me an egg timer that goes in with the boiled eggs as a joke. 🙂 I get much better success 11 years later, but I love this trick you posted. Hard boiled eggs are a hit here, but I like to peel them hot and put them into egg molds to make cute shapes for lunches. 🙂

  8. Jennie C. says:

    I’ve heard to generously salt the water and then I cook for 5 minutes and let them sit for 20ish minutes or more afterwards. Maybe it’s my imagination, but it does seem to help!

  9. I actually steam my fresh eggs in the rice cooker. I crack them and then drop them into cold tap water rather than ice water. They peel great – even eggs that are super fresh. Here is a link to my post:

  10. I have 6 laying hens and I have this problem every time I boil eggs they all ways come out with a bunch of wholes from were the egg whites stuck to the shells which makes it hard to pickle them also. so I will definitely be trying this next time I boil my eggs. thanks for the tip………..

  11. Bob and Vickie says:

    WOW! We have been struggling with peeling boiled eggs from our own farm fresh eggs since we got chickens a few months ago. So we followed the instructions and just had to laugh when the shells came off as easy as you could imagine (if you could imagine easy shelling, LOL). We actually had a couple shells almost all the way off before I pulled them out of the water. But this was as easy as it could be to shell eggs.
    This is really as good as it sounds.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea.

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