How To: Steam Eggs for Perfect Peeling

How To: Steam Eggs for Perfect Peeling

Get ready y’all – I’m about to divulge the secret to easy peel hard boiled eggs.

Except it’s not a secret – cause HELLO! – Internet!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had luck peeling fresh hard boiled eggs (until now).

Look at ’em – those eggs are a dream, aren’t they?

How To: Steam Eggs for Perfect Peeling

Show of hands: who struggles with getting a perfect peel on your hard-boiled eggs?

Who prays over the pot of boiling eggs, asking that they release their shells – just. this. one. time.

Who gives up in disgust when the peels openly mock us and STICK WITH ALL THEY GOTS?


Y’all – until I discovered this new-to-me method, peeling hard boiled eggs was a fight to the death!

I have never had luck peeling fresh hard boiled eggs.



You know that Internet meme: pics or it didn’t happen?


Here’s proof of my eggs pretty much ever’ danged time I tried to make deviled eggs.

How To: Steam Eggs for Perfect Peeling

That’s EXACTLY how they looked upon peeling, every danged time.

Dem eggs is mocking me.

Ain’t no one asking me to bring the deviled eggs to any holiday meal. Nuh-uh. Nope.

Nightmare provoking, I tells ya.

It didn’t matter what super-guaranteed Internet method I had tried before, I’d end up with eggs that look like they had been in a bar fight and lost.

I see ya nodding; you understand.

You have been where I once was.

You have never been asked to bring the delightful deviled egg to the show.

Nobody wants that on their table.

Worst club ever.

So, what is the deal to get your eggs to look like the first pic of smooth as silk eggs?

Do you stand on one foot? Do you do the hokey pokey? Do you throw in seasoning? What kind of eggs should we use?

What is the danged secret?!

Let’s start with the eggs themselves.

Do you need to use older eggs when steaming?

Did you notice I used the word “fresh” in the intro above?

Basically, there is a school of thought that states you must let your eggs age for a week or so, in order to let the membrane that surrounds the egg to loosen its grip on the shell.

That sticky membrane is the culprit for shells that don’t want to come off cleanly.

Those folks say, if you desire easy peel hard boiled eggs, let the egg age a bit.

And whatever you do – don’t use fresh eggs.


While you can use older eggs, and they’ll do great, you can also use the dreaded fresh, harder to peel, eggs.

Where do you find a fresh egg?

Obviously, farm fresh eggs are the freshest.

Know any farmers with chickens? Get thee to the coop!

But, the eggs you get from the grocery store (or backyard chickens, if  you’re a lucky duck) are also fairly fresh (just not from the chicken’s budunkadunk fresh), especially if you use within a few days.

Fresh being a relative term for grocery store eggs.

Who lol’d?

Fresh schmesh.

You and I know that we buy eggs and sometimes don’t use them for months.


The fact is: the older the egg, the easier they are to peel once hard boiled.

Grocery store eggs go through a wash before packaged and that allows air to cross the shell into the egg, causing the membrane to shrink away from the shell, thus allowing an easier to peel egg.

Age has the same effect.


While, I have bought fresh eggs and let them age a week or so before boiling, hoping to get smooth eggs, they still mocked me as I tried to pull the shell away from the membrane in a pattern that didn’t resemble a scalping.



Nothing ever seemed to work.

Which brings us to the not so secret, secret: steaming your eggs to a hard boil.

How to hard boil eggs in a steamer.

…or as I heard in my head: how to steam eggs in a steamer, Steamer McGee.

So. Much. Steam.

I had never ever heard of steaming eggs to achieve the perfectly peeled hard boil, and even as I read through the directions on how to get the perfect hard boil, I side-eyed the article.



The method utilizes steam.


Anyone? Has anyone among you heard of this method?

I didn’t think it would work, but steaming eggs seemed like a fun experiment, so – why not.

These are the eggs I peeled on my first try:

How To: Steam Eggs for Perfect Peeling


I kid you not.

~i die~

The heavens parted and the angels sang: I had perfectly peeled hard boiled eggs for the first time in my life!

They were almost too beautiful to eat.


I couldn’t believe how easily they peeled. How perfect they were.

Also, it is no exaggeration to say that I wanted to go door to door in my neighborhood, showing off what could be – what is!

Look at these eggs! LOOK AT ‘EM!!! Aren’t they gorgeous? Don’t you wanna know how I did it?! You, too, can have beautiful eggs!

You’ll be relieved to know I didn’t, cause that’s just weird, but I totally wanted to.

Even now I wanna stop people everywhere and ask them if they’ve ever tried hard boiling their eggs with steam.

Again. I don’t.

Even OMT! has her limits.


I will forever be grateful to the lowly steam pot and am now ready for the requests to bring the most perfect deviled eggs worthy of a holiday table, to any and all celebrations.

I know you come here to learn new things, so don’t doubt me on this lovely lesson.

Get yer perfectly peeled hard-boiled eggs on, y’all!

It’s a new day!

Thank you Internet and your weirdo articles that I side-eye, yet try. You’ve changed our deviled egg making ways.

I don’t know why you’re still reading.



Perfectly peel!

Then take pics like I did and get to writing a proper thank you note.

Miss Manners would be so proud.

Happy Perfectly Peeling, Y’all!

How To: Steam Eggs for Perfect Peeling

How To: Steam Eggs for Perfect Peeling

Yield: 12 eggs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
If you're looking for how to get perfectly peel hard boiled eggs, look no further. You're about to make the most photogenic eggs you've ever seen. Thank you cards welcome!


  • 12 raw eggs, in shell


  1. In a covered pot that holds a steamer basket, bring a couple of inches of water to a boil.
  2. Once water is boiling, place eggs in steamer basket.
  3. Cover pot and steam eggs, at a full boil, for 15 minutes.
  4. Once done, immediately place steamer basket with eggs into a large bowl of ice water.
  5. When the eggs are cool, crack and peel those bad boys.


Keeping the temp high and the water boiling for the full 15 minutes of cook time has never failed to give me perfect eggs.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 egg
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 85 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 186mg Sodium: 71mg Carbohydrates: 3g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 7g
Post originally posted February 13, 2017. Updated March 15, 2019.



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  1. Oh, Mrs. Tucker, this is a great idea. However, today I have a comment unrelated to the topic of eggs. A few months ago, you shared a post about Duolingo. Now, I read your blog all the time, but almost never comment, today I must tell you that your suggestion to try Duolingo ROCKS! Husband and I have been working on Spanish for, well, a while. We spent a ton of money on Roseta Stone, but hated it. Duolingo is the best, we speak to each other in Spanish now all the time.We usually know what we’re saying too! ha ha It’s so fun and next time we go to Mexico, we are excited to try it out for real. Thank you soooooooo much!

    • THIS! This is what makes me the happiest writing. That you come here (THANK YOU for coming!) and take something away that helps you in your life…CONFETTI TOSS HERE…I swear, on the tough days, I’ll remind myself of your words. What a lovely gift. Gracias, mi amiga!

  2. Great share on steaming eggs.

  3. Wow! I have got to try this!

  4. Debbie Mills says:

    I have had the same problem for years. Can’t wait to try it. Should eggs come to room temp first or is it ok right from fridge?

    • I grab ’em straight from fridge.

      • Debbie Mills says:

        well, I don’t know if its because my eggs are fresh, fresh (chickens in the back yard) or what, but just tried steaming, cooling in ice water and have only peeled one but had a most difficult time getting shell off, was not a pretty site!

        • My eggs are fresh! I’m doing a quick series of facebook lives while we make some RIGHT NOW! I’m so sorry it didn’t work.

          • Debbie Mills says:

            I don’t “do” facebook, so couldn’t watch what you were doing live, but out of 10 eggs, 2 came out perfect, the other 8 look like a battle zone. The two perfect ones are from my Buff Orpingtons, the others are from my RI Reds, not sure if that would make any difference. Also noted that the ones giving me trouble, the membrane between shell and egg did not want to detach from egg easily. The 2 that peeled nicely, membrane came off with shell, making peeling easy.

  5. I am going to try this! I would love to make beautiful deviled eggs! Thank you! Found you in the Chicken Chicks blog hop, somehow I missed her post that you referenced. 😉

  6. I’ve never tried steaming them! We’d love for you to share this at our party the Creative Muster. Robin

  7. The trick is the ice water, not the steaming. I do this same thing with boiling them and it works just as well. The shock of the cold causes a contraction of the membrane just below the shell, and it will separate from the egg white proteins. Perfect eggs.

    • Carole, I’m not convinced the trick is the ice bath because I’ve used one for every method I’ve ever tried. Never have I had such gorgeous peeled eggs, as I have after steaming. I know lots of folks swear by the ice bath, but it has never worked consistently for me, but I’m glad it does for you…nothing worse than trying to peel hard-bolied eggs and they won’t!

  8. I steam and shock in an ice bath. I think the ice bath does it best.

    • I always thought the shock of an ice bath was the secret key…yet I used it for each method and the eggs never came out so perfectly as they do when I steamed them. (horrible photo as proof!)

  9. Patti, as others have said, it’s quick immersion in ice water that does it. What you may think is a function of steaming may be the fact that you are using the steamer insert to get all of the eggs quickly into the ice water. Perhaps the method(s) you used before weren’t quick enough? I can’t know; it’s just a guess. What I do know is that when I stopped being casual about cooling the eggs off, my peeling problems came to an end. I have always boiled — and ever since I started getting those finished eggs into an ice water bath right away, my egg shells have always come off cleanly.

    • Prior to the steaming method, I had a bowl of ice/water/ice water right next to the pot and got them in pronto. I felt diligent in the cooling method I used, but had eggs that looked like the “no” pic. I have no idea how this magic works, only that it does! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  10. I’ve been steaming my eggs since 2010 and write this article about it in 2012. A friend told me her grandmother shared that secret with her years ago…and ever since I ‘outed’ her secret, the trick has been shared and reposted by nearly every chicken blogger! The only way to hard cook an egg in my opinion. I do 20 minutes then into the ice water.

  11. I steam the eggs for 15 mins at night and then just stick them all into the refrigerator and go to bed. In the morning I peel what we need and the rest later that day. Works great

  12. AHHH! Those are beautiful! I will have to try the steaming method. I always have a fight with the eggshells too. I did learn one trick (from Martha Stewart!) that has helped a little bit. You find that little air pocket area in the egg,and start peeling there. It helps a little, but my eggs never look like your steamed ones!


  1. […] straight from the oven, I couldn’t stop telling folks about this life-changer (kinda like the life-changing steaming hard boiled eggs […]

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