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Learn this simple method for how to boil eggs with perfect results every time. Perfect hard boiled eggs, with perfectly firm whites and creamy yellow centers are just a few steps away!

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, tasty, and great for a quick grab-and-go snack. Make a quick Egg Salad for lunch or Deviled Eggs for a party. Once you know how to boil eggs, the possibilities are endless!

Eggs, sliced in half revealing creamy yellow centers.
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Why This Method Works

For the longest time, I believed that a cold start was the only way to boil eggs. After all it had worked for me for 30 years. I got perfectly cooked eggs, but they weren’t always easy to peel, and it could be a painstaking process pickling off tiny little shards of shell that sometimes took that beautiful white with it.

So I started testing and observing other methods and it turns out, a hot start was better. It will give you a beautiful easy peel and perfectly cooked yolk. Every. Single. Time.

I’ll walk you through the method, share some peeling tips and debunked internet hacks, and at the end I’ll share the updated recipe card. I promise this method will teach you how to boil eggs with easy peels, the only way you’ll ever need to know!

What You’ll Need

  • Large pot – Your pot needs to be big enough to hold all the eggs you want to cook in a single layer, while leaving a little space between them, but not enough space to bounce around, causing them to crack.
  • Water – Fill the pot with enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch. The amount of water needed will change depending on the size of the pot and the amount of eggs. If it’s hard to visualize, just place the eggs in the pot, fill it with enough water to cover them by an inch, then remove the eggs and start boiling the water.
  • Large Eggs Use as many eggs as you need, but don’t overcrowd the pot. Extra Large eggs may require an extra minute of cooking time. Older eggs are said to be easier to peel, but I haven’t necessarily found that to be true using this boil-first method. Brown eggs, white eggs, it really doesn’t matter.
  • Large Bowl – For creating the ice bath to cool the eggs and stop them from cooking further.
  • Ice – For the ice bath. You’ll need enough to fill about half of the bowl.

How to Boil Eggs

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

BOIL WATER: Bring a medium pot of water to boil over high heat.

ADD EGGS: Carefully add the eggs to the hot water using a slotted spoon or a mesh strainer.

Eggs simmering in a pan of water.

SIMMER: Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer for 12 minutes. You want bubbles, but not a full rolling boil.

PREPARE ICE BATH: While the eggs are cooking, prepare an ice bath. Fill a large bowl about halfway with ice, then add water.

Eggs in ice and water in a large bowl.

SHOCK: Transfer the cooked eggs to the ice bath and chill for 10-15 minutes. This “shocks” the eggs and stops the cooking process.

STORE: At this point, you can transfer to a bowl and store the eggs in the refrigerator for up to a week, or enjoy right away!

A close up of a hard boiled egg that's been sliced in half.

PEEL AND ENJOY! Gently tap the blunt end of the egg to crack, then peel away the shell.

How Long to Boil Eggs

There are several factors that come into play and can change the answer to the question from a simple one to one that’s a little more complex. Things like the size and starting temperature of the egg, the type of pan used, the type of stove top, and even your altitude.

The bottom line? Use this time chart as a guide and take it with a grain of salt. You may need to do a few test runs to find the timing that works best for you.

  • 6-7 minutes: Soft-boiled eggs. The yolks are soft with a jam-like texture. They are perfect for setting in an egg cup or topping a salad or a piece of toast.
  • 8-10 minutes: Medium eggs. Still slightly soft centers, but firm enough to slice.
  • 12-14 minutes: Hard eggs. At 12 minutes, eggs are firm with a light yellow center, at 14 minutes is your traditional hard-cooked egg, with a very light center and a firm white.

Easy Peel Tips

The trickiest part of learning to boil eggs is usually peeling the eggs! To peel an egg, start by tapping the blunt end gently on a hard surface. Once you get it started the shell should come off easily.

If you’re still having trouble, try one of the methods listed below. I’ve collected a handful of tips from around the internet that might help you out.

peeled eggs in a bowl

Take these “egg peeling hacks” with a grain of salt; they may work for you and that’s great! I’ve tried several of these tips, but still, the thing that works the best for me is to dunk them in an ice bath right away!

  • Fresh eggs are harder to peel, while older eggs tend to be easier to peel. Eggs will last for several weeks in the fridge, so using eggs that are a week old or more can result in easier to peel eggs. (My take – it doesn’t really matter.)
  • Add a teaspoon of salt, vinegar or baking soda to the boiling water. (My take – The results were inconsistent.)
  • Run the egg under cold water and peel. (My take – this does seem to help)
  • Crack the shell with a spoon, then gently use the back of the spoon to lift the shell off. (My take – this seems a little more difficult than it’s worth.)
  • Gently shake the egg in a sealed mason jar. (I haven’t tried this one.)

How To Store Hard-Cooked Eggs

Once your eggs are cooked, you can peel them or leave them in the shell.

  • Place peeled eggs in an airtight container in the fridge. Keep them moist by placing a damp paper towel in the bottom and on the top. They should be eaten within a few days.
  • If your eggs are still in their shell, you can keep them in the cardboard container the eggs came in, or store them in a bowl in the fridge. They will last at least a week.
Hard boiled eggs on a wood cutting board, with one egg peel and one egg sliced in half.

Recipes Using Hard Boiled Eggs

Recipe

Hard Boiled Eggs (How to Boil Eggs)

4.27 from 104 votes
Learn how to boil eggs in a few simple steps. Get those perfectly firm whites and creamy yellow centers every time you hard boil eggs!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 eggs

Ingredients
  

  • 8 Large Eggs
  • Water
  • Ice
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Instructions
 

  • Bring a medium pot of water to boil.
  • Carefully add the eggs, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 12 minutes. You want bubbles, but not be a rolling boil.
  • While the eggs are cooking, prepare an ice bath. Fill a large bowl about halfway with ice, then add water.
  • Transfer the cooked eggs to the ice bath using a spoon or a mesh strainer. Let cool in the ice bath for 10-15 minutes. At this point, you can transfer to a bowl and store the eggs in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Store cooked and peeled eggs in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Unpeeled eggs can be stored in a bowl or in their original carton for up to a week.

Notes

  • Soft boiled eggs: 6-7 minutes
  • Medium eggs: 8-10 minutes
  • Hard boiled eggs: 12-14 minutes
 

Nutrition

Calories: 63kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 62mgPotassium: 61mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 238IUCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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4.27 from 104 votes (91 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Martha S. Weatherton says:

    Hard boiled eggs…(as Elvis would’ve said, ‘Thank you, thank you very much)!!! Where have you been all my life😁. I tried it YIPPEE I’m 71 & you’ve given me something so simple, yet so special I just had to let you know. I also live in sunny S.CA(El cajon). Tks again, Kristin

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      I’m so glad you found it helpful!

  2. Jacquie Gee says:

    I just tried this method and the eggs are perfect!!! Thank you so much. 😊

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      So glad it worked out for you!

  3. Pam says:

    As I scroll through these comments while waiting for my water to boil it occurs to me that there might be different results depending on whether or not electric stove is used, as an electric stove burner will have residual heat when turned off but a gas stove will not. Guessing you’re using electric?

    Giving a somewhat neutral rating as I chickened out and am just doing a full boil.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Pam, I appreciate you asking a question and I’d love if you came back and gave the rating based on your actual experience. I hope it worked out for you!

  4. Sue says:

    I made 4 eggs that were over a week old. Followed directions exactly. They came out perfect-easy to peel, moist yellow yolk
    Thanks!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Sue! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Penny Smith says:

    I decided to give this method a try vs what I usually do. I have a few too many eggs.
    It was the worst result I have ever had. 70% (none were new eggs) stuck HORRIBLE. Not sure how this is your method for 20 years. Yikes.

  6. Lynn says:

    I followed recipe and eggs were impossible to peel and not hard boiled. I had to dump them.

    1. Penny Smith says:

      Whoops… replied to the wrong one. Yep. Worse ever! I did two pots and one the yolks weren’t right. But worse stick I ever had hard boiling. 😞

  7. Kelly L says:

    Recipe worked perfect just the way it was stated. Thank you

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Kelly! Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Carin F Lawrence says:

    Followed directions exactly and my eggs were runny. Had to use them as scrambled eggs.

  9. Barb says:

    Under cooked eggs and the shells were hard to take off and took off most of the egg. Going back to my instapot recipe.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Ok, thanks for sharing.

  10. Gail says:

    Tried your recipe, and still had a huge cluster of ugly eggs. Thanks for the idea, but I’m still on the hunt for the “magic” recipe. Have a great Thanksgiving

  11. LD says:

    Apparently, I have been boiling eggs wrong. This method, with the ice bath, did the trick. Thanks.

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome LD! Thanks for stopping by.

  12. beth says:

    i’m so happy to have found this and it works well for me every time although sometimes the eggs peel easier than others and I’m not quite sure why maybe more fresh I’m not sure but my one question is in your initial description you do not mention removing the pot from the heat source but down in the recipe instructions you say that after it comes to a boil to cover it and remove it from the heat source so do you remove the pot from the heat or not? Thanks!

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Beth,
      The initial description you read in the post is just a simplified version to give you an idea of what’s entailed. The recipe card below will have the detailed instructions to print and follow. As far as peeling, most often the older your eggs are the better they will peel.

  13. Penny says:

    Eggs were hard to peel and weren’t cooked all the way through. I did 2 separate batches. ☹️

  14. Kathi says:

    I followed the directions exactly. They were hard to peel! Came out lumpy.

    1. Lynne says:

      I add oil to the water. The eggs peel perfectly every time!

  15. Mary Ann Campbell-Wick says:

    Thank you Kristen!! I feel like such a dork-been cooking, quite successfully for over 40 years now-many County Fair Blue ribbons hanging on the wall-fattened 2 ex-husbands good and well before I moved on to the keeper, and seriously I didn’t know how to make a perfect hard boiled egg. The truth is I HATE eggs- I cook/bake with them and prepare them for family. I’ve raised my own chickens and harvested beautiful eggs. I think because I never taste them except in tiny tiny bites in a potato salad, I’ve been missing the boat. Well, thanks to you I have an empty deviled egg plate that won’t make it this years 4th of July picnic…it’s a okay! I feel so smart, like I know a secret. Thanks!! Happy Independence Day! from Alaska!

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Mary Ann, So glad I could help! And thanks for the fun comment! 🙂

  16. Lynn says:

    So is this rapid hard boil of water or just when mild bubbles?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      It’s just when it hits a rapid boil. Mild bubbles would be a simmer.

      1. Dotsy says:

        Do yu peel the eggs before putting them in the fridge ?

        1. Kristin Maxwell says:

          Personally, I don’t. They don’t stay as fresh. (3 days peeled versus a week unpeeled).

  17. D.Sima says:

    This is the first time in many years of cooking that my eggs turned out perfect following these instructions.
    Thank you

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome D.Sima! Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Ab says:

    A perfect hard boiled egg is not hard to cook.followingthe different methods given.

    Now please I want you to give the instructions for a perfect soft boiled egg..this will test the mettle of a good chef.

    Thanks ,

    Ab

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      For a soft boiled egg you can cut the time in half. 4-6 minutes will yield a lovely, soft boiled egg.

  19. Debbie McCurry says:

    Thank you so much!! I was in a hurry to make deviled eggs for my clients with IDD..on Christmas Eve, amongst other sides, you are a godsend to me!!!
    Merry Christmas!!!
    You’ve made a lot of VIP’S VERY HAPPY!!!

    1. Kristin says:

      That is so awesome Debbie! Thank you for sharing. (Glad the VIP’s loved it)

  20. Miranda says:

    11 am news then Mr Food? By chance were you in California? Lol it sounds like my younger days! Lol

    1. Kristin says:

      Yup, always been a Southern Cali girl!