Hard boiled eggs are a truly versatile, convenient snack or meal. From deviled eggs to Cobb salads to a delicious ramen topping, or even just by themselves with a little salt, they taste great and pack a healthy protein boost. But peeling them can be a major pain. Fortunately, we found a simple trick that makes removing the shells a breeze -- all you need is one simple ingredient that you probably already have: vinegar.
That's all it takes! Simply add around one tablespoon of white vinegar to four cups of water (feel free to eyeball it) and cook your eggs normally. The vinegar will weaken the shells slightly, making the shells slide right off when you peel them. We recommend adding the eggs to the boiling water mixture and gently boiling for 14 minutes. If you want soft-boiled eggs, add them to rapidly simmering water and, for one or two eggs, cook for five minutes for a perfectly runny yolk or up to seven minutes for a more firmly set but still spoonable yolk. If you're cooking three or four eggs, cook for a few extra seconds. (We don't recommend soft boiling more than four eggs at a time, but feel free to hard boil as many as you want.)
When the eggs are finished boiling, transfer them immediately to an ice bath. (For soft boiled, all you need to do is run them under cold tap water for 30 to 60 seconds and eat warm.)
Peel the eggs as soon as they are cool. If you want to leave them in the shells, they won't peel as easily as fresh, but they will still be much easier than a vinegar-free batch.
For an extra special treat, you can scramble your egg in the shell. Shake the egg vigorously for two to three minutes -- you want to make sure the yolk breaks inside the egg -- and boil it like normal for a fluffy golden egg.