Jacques Pépin poses for a portrait at his home kitchen in Madison, Connecticut on September 1, 2022. His 14th book, Jacques Pépin Art Of The Chicken: A Master Chef's Recipes and Stories of the Humble Bird, featuring his watercolors of the bird, will be published in late September. (Photo by Yehyun Kim for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Jacques Pépin Uses A Thumbtack To Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs
By Elaina Friedman
Jacques Pépin has many useful cooking tips, including the secret to hassle-free egg peeling. It involves sticking a thumbtack or pin through the shell of a raw egg before boiling.
As he explains in his book "Essential Pépin," poking a sharp object into the air pocket in the round bottom of the egg relieves the pressure that builds up as it boils in water.
This protects the egg from cracking as it cooks and saves you from rubbery whites. It also loosens the egg from its shell, making peeling a breeze.
In addition, Pépin favors a gentle boil to keep the whites from getting tough. He cooks hard-boiled eggs for 10 minutes and soft-boiled eggs, or egg mollet, for seven minutes.
Celebrity chef Jet Tila showcases this same trick in a TikTok video, but he uses a safety pin instead of a thumb tack. "The egg is actually more durable than you know," he says.
Lifehacker also tested the Pépin method and determined that the pinned eggs were easier to peel. However, when Lifehacker tried poking the tops of the eggs, they became warped.