After some furious brainstorming in The Frying Pan, I recently prepared some hors d'oeuvres for a group of friends. These snacks were meant to include a thinly sliced boiled egg element. Unfortunately I found that I did not have a technique that reliably produced egg slices at my desired thickness.

My Technique

I boiled the eggs and placed them in an ice bath. I shelled them and placed them, one at a time, on my cutting board (leaving the remaining eggs in the ice bath.) I was hoping the time in the bath--about 15 minutes--would be enough to firm the eggs to aid in slicing.

I drew a sharp, honed blade (6" chef's knife that I use for pretty much all of my prep) across the egg and essentially tried to freehand it. The results were tasty and they were fine for my friends but I would have really liked them to be more uniform.

I did try wiping my blade between slices and this helped a little, but the biggest problem I was having was the change in consistency between the white and the yolk. The knife would hit the yolk and it would sort of drag or turn. I tried a few different grips and I ended up just kind of clawing it.

Alternate Ideas

For next time, I have considered trying to freeze the boiled eggs and letting them thaw slightly before slicing. Something in my gut tells me that frozen hard boiled eggs won't be good eats. It seems like the texture would be changed.

I have read about using dental floss to make a clean cut... but I don't see how that would help here. Is there some magical dental floss technique that I'm just not envisioning?

Some quick Googling also lead me to the idea of wetting my knife or adding oil before each cut. I really feel like the problem is the egg itself and it's awkward shape and consistency. But maybe there's something to this advice after all?


As you can see below, I ended up with some small guys and some fat guys. They were tasty, but I WANT PERFECTION!

Bacon & Egg hors d'oeuvres

  • 1
    Is there any reason you cannot use a purpose-built egg slicer? media1.onsugar.com/files/users/1/17470/21_2007/img20l-thumb.jpg
    – Matthew
    Jun 9, 2014 at 13:57
  • 2
    No particular reason apart from not wanting another gadget in the kitchen. #apartmentlivingproblems
    – Preston
    Jun 9, 2014 at 15:50
  • Slice them before you boil them. Not sure why you really care, yours look great as they are
    – TFD
    Jun 10, 2014 at 7:07
  • 4
    @TFD Exactly how is one supposed to slice an uncooked egg? Now THAT would be impressive kitchen technique.
    – logophobe
    Jun 11, 2014 at 19:55
  • 2
    Wet, thin blade, like a boning knife. Chef's knife is almost exactly wrong for the job. Jul 28, 2015 at 21:26

5 Answers 5


Between slices, dip your (very sharp) knife in water. It really does work. You don't want your knife wet enough that it makes your eggs wet, it just lubricates. Also, the eggs should be very cold before slicing. Your finger food looks great BTW.

  • 1
    The proximity of "slice" and "finger" in your post makes me a little nervous. Strange eh? By very cold do you mean I should stick them in the fridge? Any comment on the freezing idea?
    – Preston
    Jun 9, 2014 at 6:43
  • 1
    20 minutes in the freezer should do no harm and will no doubt make the eggs easier to slice. You don't want to freeze them solid, just firm them up a little. You can do the same thing with bacon or other tricky-to-slice meats. Jun 9, 2014 at 7:16
  • @PrestonFitzgerald I concur with Eledil, a short time in the freezer helps to slice just about everything. Yankee's solution isn't bad either, if you don't mind buying another gadget. I admit - I have one.
    – Jolenealaska
    Jun 9, 2014 at 19:30
  • An addendum to @Jolenealaska suggestion - wipe any egg yolk off of the knife before dipping in water as the egg yolk will create (unnecessary) friction.
    – jsanc623
    Jun 10, 2014 at 14:54

Egg slicers work very well for this - consistent, thin slices. It's also good for more than just eggs - mushrooms, avocados, mango and strawberries also slice nicely in a well-made model. Avoid the cheap ones - the wires aren't solidly mounted and will break with regular use.

  • 1
    I will occasionally use my egg slicer to slice some strawberries or mushrooms, just so I can say "See? It's not a uni-tasker!" (Note that mushrooms will quickly destroy a cheap egg slicer, so you have to weigh cost vs. being able to say there's only one uni-tasker in the kitchen.)
    – Marti
    Jun 10, 2014 at 2:47
  • 1
    Yeah, I had an egg slicer that I wanted to find other uses for and tried it on a mushroom. It cut one mushroom nicely, and then fell to bits on the second one, not something I'm going to bother replacing. Jun 10, 2014 at 2:53

Two solutions to consider, either separately or together:

1.) Did you apply a bit of oil to the blade of your knife? That's my go-to.

2.) If you don't have an egg or strawberry slicer, the dollar store generally has onion holders for a buck or less. Use it to hold the egg in place and slice right flush with the tines.


Ok I am clearly confused as to why you wouldn’t just use an egg slicer, one of the smallest gadgets available to have to store. Clearly oiling, wetting using onion cutters are all time wasters. Just get the egg slicer. Also the wire slicers for cutting cheese for deviled eggs, there are fancy ones or the knife shaped ones with triangle shaped holder so you can cut a variety of items. Frankly I find the egg slicer handy as you can slice an egg, turn it the other way any turn again to make easy diced eggs for salads etc. my kids loved eating eggs sliced and less likely to choke. It seems to me you're making life harder instead of paying a few bucks for a cheap slicer.

  • Debra, welcome to Seasoned Advice! I strongly recommend you take the tour and browse through our help center, especially How to Answer and even more, the code of conduct. We strive to keep this a friendly environment where everyone is welcome to participate and we accept the specific restrictions without negative comments. Your original post was flagged as unfriendly and a helpful experienced user removed the offending parts. You are welcome to have an own opinion and to disagree with the asker as long as the answer is constructive and positive.
    – Stephie
    Aug 28, 2019 at 19:00
  • Heya Debra. You're probably right--I've never actually used one of those before and I just wrote them off as low quality gadgets. I'll have to give it a shot. Thanks for the tip.
    – Preston
    Sep 2, 2019 at 14:05

Try wetting the knife, or use a wire slicer (some plastic tool with steel/nylon wires stretched across an egg shaped indentation). Also, make sure the eggs are hard boiled, and cold.

  • OP's question clearly outlined their technique (in which your points, or lack thereof rather) were detailed.
    – J Crosby
    Aug 27, 2019 at 16:57

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