I Tried the Annoyingly Brilliant TikTok Trick for Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs and WOW

published Apr 15, 2021
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Boiled egg shelled and split in half to show yolk inside
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Hard-boiled eggs are my white whale. Like Captain Ahab in Moby Dick, I feel equal parts flummoxed and cursed by them — they occupy an inordinate amount of my waking thoughts, and they haunt my dreams. I don’t know if Ahab ever struggled with peeling a hard-boiled egg (I’ve never been able to finish the book), but I find it to be one of the most maddening and impossible kitchen tasks ever.

And before you ask — yes, I have tried buying older eggs. And plunging them under a cold running tap. And adding baking soda to the boiling water. I’ve voraciously studied articles on the best way to peel hard-boiled eggs (like this one!), and nothing works. My eggs always look mottled, and half of the white ends up in the compost bin. I assumed I’d spent the rest of my days being demoralized by my inability to peel them without taking off half of the white.

So when I heard that there was a new trick on the block, thanks to this wildly popular TikTok video, I knew I had to try it. 


This one secret all chef’s DON’T want you to know!!….lol jk it’s just a boiled egg hack. ##boiledegg ##coming2america##lifehacks ##cooking ##eggs ##hacks

♬ original sound – Stephen P

How To Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs According to TikTok

The technique isn’t complicated: Before you boil the egg, gently crack it at the bottom (but not so much that the yolk and white spill out, obviously). Boil the egg, then immediately transfer it to a container filled halfway with cold water. Then vigorously shake the container. Afterwards, if the video proves true, the shell will just fall away from the egg, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. 

Armed with a carton of eggs, I got to work. The eggs I used were pretty fresh, which meant that if theories hold, they would be harder to peel. All the better to put this hack to work, I figured. I started with one egg to test the waters: After a delicate crack, and an exactly-8-minute boil, I used a slotted spoon to transfer the egg to an empty plastic container, filled it up halfway with cold tap water, closed the lid tightly, and shook it like my life depended on it for 10 seconds.

So … did it work? 

Holy. Wow.

Let’s just say the container wasn’t the only thing that was shook. Not only did the peel come off in almost one large piece, the white was left entirely intact — perfectly smooth. I was so surprised I actually shouted an expletive. I’ve been cooking for a long time, and nothing has delighted or surprised me as much as this technique.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

3 Tips for Making the TikTok Egg-Peeling Hack Work for You

  1. Make the ideal crack. I tried this a few times after my initial test, and observed a key element to success: The crack has to be just the right size. A timid, tiny tap against the counter won’t yield the dramatic results of an entire shell peeled away at once. And tapping too hard will cause white to seep out of the shell as it boils. The sweet spot for me was a complex pattern of spider webbing across the entire bottom of the egg, without any gaps that exposed the egg’s interior.
  2. You are definitely going to want to use a plastic container for the shaking part! All of my food storage containers are made of glass, which seemed too hard and abrasive for the trick to work. Besides, the video shows a plastic Tupperware-style container being used. Luckily, I had an empty plastic tub that used to hold feta cheese. I’m hanging onto it now — it’s going to become my full-time hard-boiled egg peeling tool!
  3. That said, don’t be afraid to really shake the container. This trick really relies on the agitation to slough away the shell. Whether or not you put on music and make it into a dance is up to you.

Although the internet can sometimes feel like a dark, depressing place, I remain grateful for moments of insight and knowledge such as these. Thanks to TikTok, I’ve freed myself from the arduous, years-long battle I’ve waged with hard-boiled eggs. Maybe I’ll devote my free time to finally finishing Moby Dick.

Or, maybe I’ll just start enjoying some of my favorite egg-forward recipes again.

Have you tried this tip? Did you love it, too? Let us know in the comments.