The Unexpected Tool You Need To Peel Hard Boiled Eggs With Ease

If you're a fan of animated holiday shows, you may recall (or are now Googling) a '70s Easter special called "The Easter Bunny is Comin' to Town" by Rankin-Bass, the team responsible for "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." This movie introduced a bunch of impressionable kids (this author included) to the idea that it's possible to peel a hard-boiled egg in one continuous strip. Unfortunately, there's one catch to this ultimate egg-peeling hack — according to the movie's narrator, you have to be "a real Easter egg expert" to pull it off, and as hard as I tried, I could never make it work (via YouTube).

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A new trend TikTok method for egg peeling uses tape to (allegedly) make the process much easier. To do it, you take a piece of tape — many videos feature wide packing tape, but any kind will do – and wrap it around the shell of a hard-boiled egg. Roll the egg on a countertop, then peel off the tape.

Counter-rolling sans tape is a pretty standard technique for egg-cracking; it breaks the shell into fragments that are easily removed once you get a finger underneath the membrane. Using tape, however, keeps the bits intact from the outside, much as the membrane does from the inside. Taped egg enthusiasts swear that it's much simpler and also less messy than other egg-peeling methods.

How well does the tape method work?

So is the tape method really the last egg-peeling trick you'll ever need? As you might expect, some who are sharing their results on social media seem to feel it's a game changer, if not the kind of thing that will revolutionize your entire life. There's a chance that some of their enthusiasm is exaggerated for better viewer engagement, though, so there's no guarantee that you'll be equally ecstatic about the outcome.

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As one person commenting on a TikTok egg-taping video said of the method, "Yeah, but it takes time." Yet another issue with egg-taping is that it can be tricky to find the end of the tape to start peeling. What's more, there's no guarantee that all of the shell bits will stick to the tape as advertised, which means that you'll still have stuff to clean up apart from just throwing away that one piece of tape. Finally, if you want to reduce kitchen waste, you might be bothered by introducing a disposable piece of equipment into what should be a relatively simple process. Sure, tape isn't expensive, nor will it take up much room in a landfill, but it's possible to achieve the same results using nothing more than your own two hands. The issues with simplicity and sustainability may serve to disqualify the tape hack from being the best way to peel a hard-boiled egg.

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Another viral egg-peeling method managed to spawn a gadget

While special egg-peeling tape has yet to be marketed, people might buy the stuff if the Negg is anything to go by. The Negg isn't a type of adhesive — instead, it's a plastic jar with a lid. You stick an egg in it, add some water, put the lid on, and shake, and if you exert just the right amount of force, the shell is supposed to crack and slide off into the water. This method isn't quite foolproof, though, since if you don't shake hard enough the shell won't come off, but if you shake too hard, the egg might break. 

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The real issue with the Negg, though, is that there's no reason to shell out for such a thing when you can use any old lidded jar or plastic container. In fact, you don't even need a lid, since you can also shake an egg in a drinking glass or coffee mug. While your results with these methods may vary, Amazon reviews for the Negg indicate that many customers who spent $17 or so on this official egg-shaking product found it inconsistent at best. That's more that can be said for the Eggstractor egg-peeling tool, as this compressed air gadget makes a much bigger mess than manual shelling. Whether you shake your egg, roll it, tap it, or tape it, it seems that perfect peeling may only be possible if you're a magical talking bunny.

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