Method #1 – Place eggs in a single layer in a pot of cold water, making sure there is at least 2 inches of water above the eggs. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda, which is said to raise the pH of the water, making it easier to peel. Once the water begins to boil, remove the pot from the heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Then drain, and run under cold water for a minute or so before covering the eggs in cold ice water until cool.
Method #2 – Same as above, but instead of adding baking soda, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. The salt is said to help prevent the egg from cracking and also to help solidify the proteins within the egg, thereby creating an easier to peel egg. The vinegar is said to help keep the egg whites from running out of any eggs that happen to crack while cooking.
Method #3 – Using a rice cooker with a steamer basket (or a stove top steamer), add about 2 inches of water to the rice cooker and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place the eggs in a single layer in the steamer, then put the basket of eggs in the rice cooker once the water is boiling. Steam for 15-18 minutes. Then remove the basket of eggs, run under cold water for about a minute and place in a pan of cold ice water until cool. No salt, vinegar, or baking soda was added to the water.
We even tried the "blowing" method where you remove a bit of the egg shell from each end of the egg and then blowing on one end of the egg while holding the egg lightly. The egg is then suppose to shoot out of the other end of the shell. This didn't seem to work too well for us.
So the method of cooking the eggs that worked best to remove the egg shell was ….. the Steamer Method (Method #3). Out of 16 eggs in the steamer basket, we removed the shells cleanly from 15 of the eggs very easily and only had a bit of trouble with one of them – meaning bits of the egg white came off with the egg shell. With Method #1 and Method #2, not only did it take longer to peel each egg but for most of the eggs, bits of egg white came off with the shell, leaving a pock-marked hard-boiled egg. Also, even though no salt, baking soda, or vinegar was added to the water with this method, when an egg cracked, it remained intact with no leakage of egg white .
We also found that if you have an egg that cracks during cooking, with the steamer method, the egg white remained intact with no leakage of egg white at all. With the boiling method, when an egg cracked during boiling, some of the egg white leaked out and the egg inside the shell was more watery.
So there you have it, folks! The method preferred by those of us at Huevos de Amor, San Jorge for cooking and peeling hard boiled eggs is the Steamer Method (Method #3 above), followed by cracking the shell and rolling the egg between your hands to break up the shell.