How to Boil Eggs (Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs)

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 is just a few steps away!

Eggs are healthy, 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!

Hard Boiled Eggs on a wood board
Table of Contents
  1. Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
  2. Learning How to Boil Eggs the Right Way
  3. What You’ll Need
  4. How to Boil Eggs
  5. FAQs
  6. How to Store Cooked Eggs
  7. Expert Tips
  8. How to Peel Eggs
  9. Hard Boiled Eggs (How to Boil Eggs) Recipe

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

I have used this method of hard boiling eggs for over twenty years, in recipes like my mom’s Macaroni Salad, and of course for making the best Avocado Egg Salad, and it has never failed me. Not once! I’ve seen several different methods that cooks swear by, but this is the one that has always worked for me.

Learning How to Boil Eggs the Right Way

Not only will I teach you how to boil eggs, but how to peel them, too! Today I’m sharing my foolproof method for hard boiled eggs.

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

What You’ll Need

Eggs – Of course eggs are the first must have. I always have large eggs on hand. You can use large or extra large – the method stays the same, but extra large eggs will need an extra minute of cook time.

A large pot – The size of the pot really depends on how many eggs you need. You want it large enough to fit the eggs while leaving a little space between them, but small enough so they have a ton of room to bounce around. Just fill up the bottom of the pan with eggs.

Ice Bath – This is a large bowl filled with ice water. It’s used to “shock” the eggs to make them stop cooking.

How to Boil Eggs

  1. PREP: First, grab a 3 quart pot (or smaller if you are boiling fewer eggs). Gently add a dozen eggs to the pot in a single layer and cover completely with cold water. You want the water to be about an inch higher than the eggs.
  2. BOIL: Bring the eggs to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Shut off the burner, cover the pot, and set the timer for 12 minutes. For softer yolks or a soft boiled egg, you can set anywhere from 4-10 minutes. While you’re waiting, fill a large bowl with ice and water and set it aside.
  3. ICE BATH: When that timer goes off, you have to move quickly. Gently remove the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon or tongs. Transfer the eggs immediately into the ice water. Leave the eggs in the ice bath for several minutes to stop the cooking process. This also helps to separate the egg membrane from the shells, making them easier to peel.
  4. REFRIGERATE: Drain the water and store the eggs in the refrigerator, or peel them right away and store that way. Store eggs in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  5. PEEL AND ENJOY! Gently tap the blunt end of the egg to crack, then peel away the shell.

That’s all there is to it! Perfect eggs, with a nice creamy, bright yellow center.

A collage of photos with eggs in a saucepan boiling on the stove.

FAQs

How long does it take to hard boil an egg?

Depending on how you prefer your eggs, you may want them to sit in the water a little more or a little less, anywhere from 8-14 minutes you should still get perfect eggs. If you prefer the centers to be a little softer (I actually prefer mine pretty firm), remove the eggs from the water at 8-10 minutes. You may need to do a few test runs to find the timing that works best for you.

– Soft boiled eggs: 4-6 minutes
– Medium eggs: 6-8 minutes
– Hard eggs: 8-12 minutes

The timing also may differ based on the size of your pan, the heat from your burner, the size of the eggs, and how many you cook at a time. Find a time and pot that works for you and stick with it.

How do you know when eggs are done boiling?

The easiest answer here is to watch the clock. Soft boiled eggs will take 6-8 minutes, a medium soft egg will take 8-10 minutes, and a hard boiled egg with a creamy and light yellow center will take 12 minutes.

Make sure to set your timer. If you forgot the only tried and true way to know if your egg is cooked properly is to crack it open and test it.

How do you hard boil eggs so they peel easily?

Adding a tablespoon of salt to the water as it boils or a couple teaspoons of vinegar can help make your eggs easier to peel.

Another method I’ve recently heard about starts with boiling water instead of the cold water start described in my recipe. The shells usually come off pretty easily but I’ve often lost 2-3 eggs to cracks in the process.

Why do my eggs crack when I boil them?

As mentioned above, putting cold eggs into boiling water can cause them to crack immediately. Also placing too many eggs in the pot can cause the shells to crack. It’s also possible that the crack pre-existed and just got bigger. Cracks in the eggs don’t necessarily make them inedible as long as they are small.

Can I make the in the Instant Pot or Air Fryer?

Yes! Both of these work! Try Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs and Air Fryer Hard Boiled Eggs.

How to Store Cooked Eggs

Once your eggs are cooked, you can peel them or leave them in the shell. Place peeled in an airtight container in the fridge. Keep them moist by placing a damp paper towel in the bottom and on the top.

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 covered bowl in the fridge.

Either way, your eggs will last about a week.

Expert Tips

How to Peel Eggs

Sometimes the peel can be difficult to remove, resulting in a lumpy looking surface. This doesn’t make the egg inedible, it’s just not as pretty. Start by tapping the blunt end of the egg on the counter, then use one of these methods to help peel the eggs a little easier. Some people swear by these simple tricks:

  • Peel the eggs under cold, running water.
  • Use a spoon to gently lift the peel from the egg.
  • Fresh eggs tend to be more difficult to peel; older eggs are easier.
Hard boiled eggs on a wood cutting board, with one egg peel and one egg sliced in half.

Here are some more great recipes to use up your hard cooked eggs:

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Hard Boiled Eggs (How to Boil Eggs)

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 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12 eggs
Calories 63kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 Eggs
  • Water
  • Ice

Instructions
 

  • Place 8-12 eggs in a 3-quart pot. For more eggs, use a larger pot. The eggs should lay in a single layer comfortably.
  • Add enough cold water to cover the eggs. Water should rise to about an inch over the eggs.
  • Turn heat to medium-high and bring water to boil, uncovered.
  • Immediately turn off heat, cover and move the pot from the heat. Set a timer for 10-12 minutes, depending on how firm you want your eggs.
  • Meanwhile, place a good amount of ice in a large bowl and fill with water.
  • When the timer goes off, immediately remove eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the ice bath. Let them sit for several minutes in the water.
  • Peel and eat immediately (they will be slightly warm, but easier to peel), or cool completely in the refrigerator.
  • Store cooked eggs in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  • Soft boiled eggs: 4-6 minutes
  • Medium eggs: 6-8 minutes
  • Hard boiled eggs: 8-12 minutes
 

Nutrition

Calories: 63kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 62mgPotassium: 61mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 238IUCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg
Keyword how long to boil eggs, how to boil eggs

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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Comments

  1. 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. 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.

  2. 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!

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

  4. 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

  5. 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!!!