The Viral TikTok Hard-Boiled Egg Slicing Hack Is Everything It's Cracked Up To Be

It used to be that finding out about valuable kitchen hacks wasn't so easy. You had to learn a trick that was passed down in your family or happen to be at a friend's house while they were using a time-saving method to prepare dinner. Today, there's no luck required as long as you're willing to spend some time scrolling through cooking content on your phone. TikTok food hacks ensure that we always have access to something new, from peeling garlic cloves in the microwave to slicing a watermelon with a Pringles can.

In a video that was perfectly timed for holiday parties, a hack emerged that claims to make it easier to halve hard-boiled eggs for deviled eggs. TikToker Andrea VanDerwerker (@andrealanev) shared her trick in the now-viral video (over 25 million views and counting), commenting with chagrin that she was "just now figuring this out after almost 30 years on this spinning rock." The method appears to halve boiled eggs without getting yolk all over the knife, keeping it spotless for a more streamlined clean-up.

After watching the video a few times, we gave it a try, boiling a half-dozen eggs and halving them for ourselves. Here's how it went.  

How to make flawless hard-boiled eggs

Several commenters mentioned that Andrea VanDerwerker's eggs are pure perfection, and they really are. The eggs in the video don't show any signs that the whites stuck to the shell as they peeled. If you're still trying to figure out how to peel an egg without destroying the exterior, it all starts with the way you're boiling eggs.

VanDerwerker responded to one comment sharing her trick: "It's the instant pot [sic]. That's the secret. It saved my life." To use the Instant Pot to boil eggs, place the eggs on the steamer insert, add one cup of water, and cook on high pressure for five minutes. Let the eggs sit for five minutes before releasing the pressure manually. If you don't have an Instant Pot, the stovetop works just fine. We like to remove the eggs from the refrigerator about five minutes before cooking them, and it's important to boil the water before adding the eggs to the pot. After about 30 seconds of cook time, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with a tightly fitting lid. In 11 minutes, kill the heat and transfer the eggs to an ice-cold water bath to shock them and stop the cooking process.

Finally, there is one more trick to consider to ensure you end up with immaculate eggs. Poke the bottom of each egg with a thumbtack before cooking them to release the pressure inside the egg, preventing the whites from sticking later.

Pay attention to how you peel the egg

After the egg has been boiled and chilled in ice water, it's ready to peel. If you did everything right with the boiling process and the eggs are still sticking to the shell, the problem could be the eggs themselves. Using older eggs when making hard-boiled eggs is generally recommended here, as they lose moisture and have a higher pH level — both of which contribute to the egg white adhering less to the shell.

You can also try several different hacks for peeling eggs. Gordon Ramsay's method for peeling hard-boiled eggs involves cracking the egg before dropping it into cold water. The water gets between the shell and the egg white, loosening it up and making it easier to peel. We've also tried using tape to peel an egg, wrapping it in packing tape before gently rolling it on the countertop. When you can see dozens of cracks and fragments in the shell, gently remove the tape and the shell should come off with it.

How the TikTok hack works

Now that you know how to create perfect hard-boiled eggs, let's take a look at how Andrea VanDerwerker's slicing hack actually works. The video shows a cutting board filled with halved egg whites and VanDerwerker's knife positioned over a whole egg. She inserts the knife into the egg, rolling downwards until she reaches the initial cut. Several commenters point out that this method is similar to the way you would cut an avocado: "Did you just avocado that egg?" one commenter asks, and another offers "so we are cutting eggs avocado style?! I never knew that was possible lol." It's kind of true, except in this case you have to be very careful that you don't cut through the center, as an egg yolk is much easier to pierce than an avocado pit.

In the video, the process almost looks like magic. The egg white halves fall apart effortlessly, leaving a whole egg yolk and an almost completely clean knife. The result is a nice contrast between the yolky mess that clings to the knife with a traditional cut.

Comparing the TikTok method to other egg-cutting hacks

The principle behind this hack is all about making sure the knife doesn't pierce the egg yolk. Anyone who has prepared deviled eggs knows that this process is a bit of a pain in the neck because the knife goes through the firm white cleanly but the yolk is softer and contains more moisture than the white. Under the pressure of the knife, it breaks and fragments into tiny pieces. Some of those pieces stick to the knife, requiring constant cleaning to keep from staining the egg whites yellow.

A popular hack for preventing a dirty knife uses a surprising tool: dental floss. These thin threads can cut through soft foods (like eggs, cheese, or cake) in a straight line without crushing the food below it. (Of course, you'll want to make sure you don't use flavored floss unless you want your eggs to taste like mint.) While it's fairly effective, this method does pick up a little egg yolk on the strand, so we found the TikTok hack to be the better option for deviled eggs.

We will say that the floss method is much better if you're planning the serve the eggs with the whites and yolks together. The TikTok method keeps the yolk whole, which would look awkward on something like a salad or a breakfast sandwich.

Is it the perfect way to cut eggs?

After trying the hack, we can confidently say that it not only works but that we'll be using it again. Keep in mind that it will take a little practice to fine-tune this technique, but after getting the process down, we love that this hack is quick, easy, and — most importantly — much cleaner than traditional egg-cutting methods.

Our first egg was a little awkward, as we didn't press the knife in enough to cleanly cut the two halves. The second time around we somehow got off center with the rolling, causing an uneven cut between the two halves and a dangling piece of semi-cut white. On the third try, we realized that we had to start with the butt end of the knife and at the top of the cutting board; if we started in the middle of either, we ran out of room and had to position.

By the fourth egg, we had gotten into a rhythm. Learning from our previous mistakes, we pressed the butt of the knife in until we felt where it reaches the firm yolk before rolling the blade down towards the bottom of the cutting board. We kept firm pressure the entire time and used our free hand to guide the egg in a straight line. The eggs didn't always pop open as easily as they did in the video, but we were able to use our hands to gently pry the two halves apart. From there, pluck out the yolk and move on to the next egg.

Now what to do with all those yolks

The classic way to use up all these hard-boiled eggs is by making deviled eggs. Mash the yolks with your favorite ingredients (mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar being the classic accompaniments, but we also love Greek yogurt, avocado, or hummus) and pipe them back into the whites. If you're making the eggs ahead of the party, simply keep the filling separate from the whites in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve, piping them in at the last minute to make sure they look incredible.

Egg yolk use doesn't end with deviled eggs, though. We have a special affinity for egg salad sandwiches, which can be made by mashing the yolks and whites with mayonnaise and spices for a simple but satisfying meal. The hard-boiled eggs can also be chopped with capers, cornichons, and herbs before being mixed with Dijon mustard and olive oil to make sauce gribiche, a savory French egg dressing that's delicious on potatoes, roasted vegetables, or fish.