Skip Nav
Original Recipes
Perfect Cocktail Pairings For the 2016 Grammys
Cooking Basics
How to Cook Chickpeas Every Which Way
Cooking Basics
The Best Way to Stock Up on Homemade Soup

Why Are Fresh Eggs Difficult to Peel When Hard-Boiled?

Burning Question: Why Are Fresh Eggs Harder to Peel?

If you often cook eggs, you may have noticed that extremely fresh ones are difficult to peel when hard-boiled. The shell doesn't peel back cleanly and often leaves a pock-marked texture on the surface of the egg. But as eggs grow older, their shells peel more easily. Why is this? In fresh eggs, the albumen (egg white) tends to stick to the inner shell membrane due to the less acidic environment of the egg.

After the eggshell's protective coat slowly wears off, the egg becomes porous, absorbs more air, and releases some of its carbon dioxide. This makes the albumen more acidic, causing it to stick to the inner membrane less. The egg white also shrinks slightly, so the air space between the eggshell and the membrane grows larger, resulting in boiled eggs that are easier to peel.

For ideal peeling, use eggs that are seven to 10 days old and follow Jacques Pepin's tips for boiling the perfect egg.

Image Source: Shutterstock
Around The Web
Go for the Gusto, Not the Sugar and Fat: The Most Delicious Heart-Healthy Valentine's Treats
How to Make Matcha Tea
How to Freeze Soup
The Surprising Ingredient You Can Use in Place of Dairy
How to Make a Really Good Salad
How Long Does Garlic Last?
Microwaveable Mug Oatmeal With Peanut Butter and Banana

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

Join The Conversation
kia kia 5 years
thanks, hubby and I have a heck of a time peeling back hard boiled eggs that we get from a local farm and have moved on to poaching them because of this.
Spectra Spectra 5 years
Yep, this is why I always hard boil the last few eggs that are in the carton after they've been in the fridge for a week or so. It works SO much better!
coutorture coutorture 5 years
Very interesting. I find that if I put hard boiled eggs into freezing water for a couple of minutes, afterward it's much easier to peel.
Latest Food