I cook hard-boiled eggs a lot. I cook until the water boils, then lower the heat and let it simmer for another 15 minutes. Then I immediately dump the eggs into a bucket of cold water (supposedly this prevents the egg yolk from turning green).
So far so good. What additional step should I take to make sure the shells come off easily? They break in very small pieces and take forever to peel. Soak in vinegar?
I cook up to a dozen hard-boiled eggs at a time. So anything to save time will be greatly appreciated.
My 80yo Mother-In-Law taught me to do it this way and it has helped. I still get an occasional "Hard to Peeler"
put eggs in cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, turn off and cover. Let sit 13 minutes then run cold water over them till cool. Peel. She said when having trouble peeling them, peel under cold running water. The cold water gets under that little membrane and seperates the membrane from the egg. It helps and they are pretty close to perfect everytime.
Peeling has more to do with the state of the egg that how it's cooked, from what I understand. I've heard that older eggs peel more easily. That said, the best peeling eggs I've had were farm fresh and never refrigerated (if your farm-fresh eggs are unwashed you can leave them out on the counter, washing them right before cooking).
I basically put the eggs into cold water and bring that water to a boil, then turn it off, move to a cool burner and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 30 minutes. Then I put them in ice cold water. By far the tastiest hard boiled eggs I've ever had, amazing texture, never ever any green on the outside of the yolk.
I often bake hard boiled eggs using this method from Alton Brown but they are not necessarily easier to peel. (I bake bacon at the same time sometimes for a no attention easy clean up breakfast)
This is a silly method that works and you get better at with practice.
The Baking soda in the water does seem to help if you boil.
Ok, I've read a ton of things about HB eggs over the years, and make them a lot, and a lot of it is inconsistent. Regardless of method (I used to make them like you do with the lower heat after boiling, but now I'm back to just boiling them for 8 minutes with no difference and less steam in the kitchen), I usually end up with one or two (out of 6-9) with a green ring around the yolk. They can all be from the same carton, all cooled really, really fast or not so fast, and still one or two. I think it's just something inherent with that particular egg. FWIW, the ones that get cooked a long time in spag sauce which I mentioned in another post don't necessarily turn green, so I'm pretty sure it's not from heat.
On peeling them, I've read somewhere over the years that it has to do with the age of the eggs. IIRC, younger ones were supposed to be harder to peel, and eggs that were a little older were better for boiling. This may or may not have been from a Martha Stewart website, but it comes to mind. It may also have something to do with the diet of the chicken. All I know is that when I start peeling, if one of them sticks, usually several of them do, so I'm inclined to believe it's age of eggs or diet of the chicken.
I have the perfect boiled egg method :-)
The reason eggs crack in hot water is that the air pocket at the fat end expands too quickly. Starting with cold water still cracks some of them - and is very hard to control precisely.
I don't have the answer for the peeling, but I think the other answers are correct - it depends on the age of the egg. There might be some interesting hacks one could do for this though - soak in something maybe, either to strengthen the shell or to weaken the boundary between egg and shell
I don't know about making them peel more easily - perhaps that has more to do with the egg itself?
But to save time on cooking them, I've always just put the eggs in the room temperature water, bring to a full boil, turn off the heat, and wait until things cool. Takes about 60 seconds of effort over five minutes and they are cooked perfectly every time.
I've never found anyone so anal about cooking boiled eggs than Jacques Pepin. He has made an art out of it.