How to boil eggs (2024)

By:Nagi

How to boil eggs – Bring water to a boil first, add eggs, start the timer. 6 minutes for runny yolks, 8 minutes for soft boiled (my go-to!), 10 minutes for hard boiled. Peel under water to make life easier.

How to boil eggs (1)

After cramming directions for how to boil eggs in the notes of more recipes than I can count, I figured it was high time to share a proper recipe. So here is how I boil eggs!

How to boil eggs

This method will produce consistent results to the level of doneness you desire no matter what pot you use and how weak or strong your stove is.

  1. Boil water first.

  2. Gently lower in fridge-cold eggs.

  3. Lower the heat slightly – so the eggs don’t crack due to being bashed around but water is still at a gentle boil.

  4. Start the timer – 6 minutes for runny yolks, 8 minutes for soft boiled, 10 minutes for classic hard boiled, 15 minutes for unpleasant rubbery whites and powdery dry yolks.

  5. Transfer into a large bowl or sink of cold water.

  6. Peel under water starting from the base (it’s easier).

And that’s all you need to know. But if you’re wondering about the why, read on!

How long to boil eggs

  • Dippy eggs and soldiers – 3 minutes (can’t peel)

  • Runny yolks – 6 minutes

  • Soft boiled – 8 minutes

  • Hard boiled – 10 minutes

Remember, lower fridge-cold eggs into boiling water then start the timer!

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My egg boiling rules & the why

  1. Boil water before adding eggs – Your water boils faster than mine, because you have a better pot and stronger stove. So if we both start with eggs in cold water then bring it to a boil, our egg cook times will be different.

    Plus, at what point really do you consider the water to be boiling so at what point do you start the timer? And who wants to stand over a pot, waiting for that exact moment it comes to a boil so you can start the timer? Remove that variable! Always start your eggs in boiling water.

  2. Lower heat slightly once eggs are added – So the eggs aren’t bashed around so they crack. But keep the water at a gentle boil / rapid simmer else you will lose heat. Goal: maximum water bubbling without eggs cracking.

  3. Fridge-cold eggs – Insurance policy for creamy / runny yolks, eggs are consistently easier to peel, pls there’s a consistent baseline for everyone boiling eggs. 8 minutes for a room temperature egg = hard boiled, fridge cold egg = soft boiled!

  4. Egg size – The egg cook times provided above are for “large eggs” which are sold in cartons labelled as such. “Large eggs” are ~50 – 55g / 2 oz each, a size prescribed by industry regulations. For other egg sizes:

    – Extra-large eggs (60g/2.2 oz): add 30 seconds
    – Jumbo eggs (65g /2.5 oz): add an extra 1 minute
    – Emu eggs: separate recipe coming one day….. (maybe!😂)

  5. Don’t crowd the pan – Small saucepan and too many eggs = not enough heat in the water per egg = slower cook time.

  6. Saucepan size – A 18 cm / 7″ saucepan is suitable for 6 eggs, a 16cm / 6″ pan for 4 eggs.

  7. Save ice for co*cktails – Ice is precious around these parts. There’s no need to waste them on your morning eggs! A bowl of cold tap water is enough to stop the cooking process.

  8. Peel from the base – It’s easier. Try it.

  9. Peel under water – Also easier. Try it!

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What type of boiled eggs I use for what

  1. Dippy eggs for soldiers (3 minutes) – Made for dipping in toast sticks (pictured above), these cannot be peeled as only the outer rim of the whites are set. The yolks are runny as is the inner layer of egg whites, so you can mix it up and dip the bread sticks in.

  2. Runny yolks (6 minutes)I don’t use these very often because they are a bit of a pain to peel because the egg whites are just barely set so they are rather delicate! Usually if I’m after a runny yolk I’ll do poached eggs (such as for Eggs Benedict) or fried eggs sunny-side up (for burgers). Just easier to handle and cook, I find.

    What I use them for – Caesar salad and on toast with avocado in some form (smashed/smeared, guacamole or avocado sauce).

  3. Soft boiled eggs ⭐️ (8 minutes) My favourite and default boiled egg because it is at its best! Cooked so the yolk is just set which means it is at its optimal creaminess. But the yolk is cooked enough so it doesn’t run when you cut it.

    What I use them for – salads (Nicoise, chicken pasta salad, Gado Gado), studded throughout fish pie and for my favourite egg sandwiches.

  4. Hard boiled eggs (10 minutes) – The other alternative level of doneness for the above listed salads. I prefer soft boiled rather than hard boiled simply because the yolks are creamier and the whites are softer.

  5. Overcooked eggs (12 minutes+) – Powdery yolks and rubbery whites are not to my taste, but do your eggs as you wish! I just hope nobody is aiming for the dreaded grey ring around the yolk. That’s as overcooked as you can get!

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Egg cracking problems?

To prevent eggs cracking:

  1. Lower the eggs in gently using a slotted spoon or similar – don’t drop them in from a height!

  2. Reduce the heat slightly as soon as the eggs are added so the water isn’t bubbling so furiously that the eggs are thrown around so violently that they crack.

The other thing that can cause egg cracking is thin shells. The thickness of shells varies which can come down to the chicken breed and the quality of the chickens – and therefore the eggs. Do you use free range eggs?

Crater eggs

As for the burning question about why some eggs peel neatly and others end up cratered like the moon? Ahh, so much information out there! The only thing I know for sure is that older eggs peel more neatly than fresh eggs. This is simply because the membrane of freshly laid eggs is adhered more firmly to the shell so it’s harder to peel off. The older the egg, the more that membrane degrades = easier to peel.

I find eggs purchased from the store that I’ve had for a week+ in the fridge almost always peel neatly.

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And onwards!

And that, my friends, is all the pertinent information I have to impart on the matter of boiling eggs. Go forth and enjoy your new egg boiling life, with guaranteed perfectly boiled eggs every single time!

And for egg boiling experts – share your tips. I love learning new things! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

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Tap or hover to scale

Recipe video above. This method of boiling eggs will produce consistent results to your desired level of doneness, every time!

Top tips: fridge cold eggs (creamy yolks insurance), bring water to boil first, then add eggs and start the timer. Starting from cold water causes too many variables and inconsistent results, plus eggs put into boiling water are easier to peel. Use a saucepan large enough so the eggs are in a single layer with space in between (Note 1).

Ingredients

  • Large eggs , fridge cold (55g/2oz each, Note 2)

Instructions

  • Water level 3cm/1" – Fill the saucepan with enough water so it will cover the eggs by 3cm / 1" or more.

  • Boil first then add eggs – Bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower fridge-cold eggs into the water.

  • Lower heat – Reduce the heat slightly to medium high – water should still be bubbling but not so much the eggs are being bashed around so roughly they crack. (Note 3)

  • Start the timer once all the eggs are in.

    – Dippy solders: 3 minutes (can't peel)

    – Runny yolks: 6 minutes

    – Soft boiled: 8 minutes

    – Hard boiled: 10 minutes

  • Cool 10 minutes – Remove eggs using a slotted spoon into a large bowl or sink filled with plenty of cold tap water to cool the eggs. (Ice – Note 4) Cool 10 minutes.

  • Peel from base in water – Crack the base of the shell by tapping it on the counter, then peel under water from the base (it's easier).

  • Storing – Hard boiled eggs can be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days (peeled or unpeeled). Freezing not recommended (whites go weird).

Recipe Notes:

Egg doneness

Start timer once eggs put into boiling water:

  • Dippy soldiers (3 min) – Made for dipping toast stick in (see photo in post). Only outer rim of whites set. Can’t be peeled.
  • Runny yolks (6 min) – Barely set whites, runny yolk. Delicate to peel. For runny yolks I usually do poached eggs or sunny-side up.
  • Soft boiled (8 min)my favourite– Soft set but fully cooked whites, fully set yolks but a bit jammy. My favourite / most used.
  • Hard boiled (10 min) – Firmer whites and fully cooked yolks but not dried out.
  • Overcooked (15 min) – No! Unpleasantly firm rubbery whites and powdery dry yolks.

1. Don’t crowd the eggs, they will take longer to cook! Saucepan size for number of eggs: 16cm/6″ – up to 4 eggs 18cm/7″ – 6 eggs More eggs = larger pot

2. Egg size – Eggs are sold in different sizes. The cook times provided in the recipe are for large eggs (55g/2oz each in the shell), sold in cartons labelled as such. For extra-large eggs (60g/2.2oz) add 30 seconds, for jumbo eggs (65g/2.5oz) add 1 minute.

3. Egg cracking – Lower heat as needed to prevent eggs from cracking but goal is to keep it at a gentle boil / rapid simmer. If the water is still, there is not enough heat and your eggs are not cooking fast enough! Still got cracking issues? Thin shells is a problem (are you using free range?) and sometimes eggs already have a hairline fracture (can be invisible).

4. Ice water – there’s no need to waste precious ice for the water though if you have an abundance of ice, feel free to go ahead as it will speed up the cooling time. Just be sure to use enough tap water to cool the eggs.

Nutritionper egg.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 63cal (3%)Carbohydrates: 0.3gProtein: 6g (12%)Fat: 4g (6%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 164mg (55%)Sodium: 62mg (3%)Potassium: 61mg (2%)Sugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 238IU (5%)Calcium: 25mg (3%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Keywords: hard boiled eggs, how to boil eggs, soft boiled eggs

Did you make this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @recipe_tin.

Life of Dozer

Size context: large eggs and jumbo paws.

How to boil eggs (13)
How to boil eggs (14)

Hi, I'm Nagi!

I believe you can make great food with everyday ingredients even if you’re short on time and cost conscious. You just need to cook clever and get creative!

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124 Comments

  1. How to boil eggs (18)Wendy says

    How to boil eggs (19)
    Thank You! I always forget to try this method and I finally got a chance. I did the 10 min boil and it looked exactly like your eggs, I was so delighted. What surprised me the most was the egg white portion, which I’ve always really disliked, was so tender. We absolutely loved these as our protein on our big green salads with a coarse grind of pepper and a sprinkling of flake salt. Can’t wait to make more for deviled eggs.

    Reply

  2. How to boil eggs (20)Barrie says

    Taking eggs from the fridge straight into hot water, I always make a small hole in the wide end of the egg. Stops cracking, bursting whatever. Vinegar in the water will reduce the loss of contents in the event the egg does crack.

    Reply

  3. How to boil eggs (21)Terry Paul says

    How to boil eggs (22)
    I followed your recipe for hard boiled eggs and it was great. I added one thing I got from my sister. I added a little salt and white vinegar to the boiling water and they peeled super easy. I boiled 12 eggs and added 1 tsp. sale and about 3 Tbsp. vinegar. They peeled lickety split.

    Reply

  4. How to boil eggs (23)Sherri says

    The first egg I put into the boiling water popped immediately. It didn’t get bashed. It popped immediately because the water was boiling from pressure or something. I’m going to go ahead and put the eggs in cool water and do it gradually.

    Reply

  5. How to boil eggs (25)Pero says

    How to boil eggs (26)
    Perfect soft boiled eggs!! I have never boiled an egg in my life (I’ve always preferred scrambled or fried) but they came out perfectly after one try following these instructions.

    Reply

  6. How to boil eggs (27)Krystine says

    Once the water starts boiling, I immediately turn it off, add my eggs and then cover the pot. I haven’t found it necessary to keep the fire on. Just my two cents.

    Reply

  7. How to boil eggs (28)Ange says

    How to boil eggs (29)
    Just fabulous!! Thank you. Truly impressed with how great and easy this recipe is! 🙌🙌🙌

    Reply

  8. How to boil eggs (30)Dave Essenberg says

    The instructions worked perfectly! As to peeling eggs underwater, I don’t have a swimming pool but my neighbor was nice enough to let me use theirs.

    Reply

  9. How to boil eggs (31)Jay Haines says

    How to boil eggs (32)
    If you boil an egg for 6 minutes, it is hard boiled. If you boil an egg for 3 minutes or more, it will be hard boiled.

    Reply

  10. How to boil eggs (33)Jeffrietta Thompson says

    I just tried the egg boiling method from RecipeTin Eats and it’s a game changer! The guide was so detailed and easy to follow, resulting in perfectly cooked eggs just the way I like them. The tips on egg size and peeling were especially helpful. I never knew boiling eggs could be this foolproof. Thanks, Nagi, for making my breakfast routine so much easier!

    Reply

  11. How to boil eggs (34)B says

    Thank you for making the point about the ice 🙌 my sentiments exactly 😆
    Also, pawfect eggs to paws 🐾 visual!

    Reply

  12. How to boil eggs (35)Tracy Nelson says

    How to boil eggs (36)
    It is about time that someone wrote down the most simple exact steps to take to boil an egg. Thank you thank you thank you!

    Reply

  13. How to boil eggs (40)Amyjo says

    Yikes, all these times are wrong, if you boil for 2-3 min you get soft boiled yolks (not “runny” but thick like honey). Your “15 min” is not overcooked, it is a classic hard boiled egg. What you consider “hard boiled” is called a plasticine yolk, where the yolk has the texture of silly putty. Truly an abomination and not a goal at all. Gross mouth texture for sure. If you are making a hard boiled egg, you want dry yolk to mash and mix with mayo/mustard anyways, a plasticine yolk does not do that at all, it sticks together and makes a mess.

    Reply

  14. How to boil eggs (41)Lou says

    Perfect. Thank you. Seems so simple to make hard boiled eggs…but this recipe perfects it. The eggs were amazing. Best ever.

    Reply

  15. How to boil eggs (42)Sohel'Rana says

    I appreciate your clear explanations and the emphasis on safety throughout the process.
    It’s evident that you care about your readers’ well-being and want us to tackle these issues safely and effectively.
    Your blog has become my go-to resource for appliance-related issues,
    and I’ll be sure to share it with friends and family who might face similar problems with their appliances.
    Keep up the fantastic work!

    Reply

  16. How to boil eggs (43)Carys says

    I have had good success with this method for hard boiled eggs, but unfortunately found the soft boiled to be a combination of overcooked outer rim of white and raw everything else. I think they needed more time in the water and to not be cooled down. I would be keen to hear others’ thoughts.

    Reply

    • How to boil eggs (44)Carys says

      I just realised my eggs are marked as “jumbo” on the packet despite looking like normal sized eggs to me. So it’s likely my error in not adjusting the cooking time. I’ll try adjust next time and will report back if I get better results!

      Reply

How to boil eggs (2024)

FAQs

How to boil eggs? ›

Put the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with the lid. Allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for the following times according to the desired doneness: 3 minutes for SOFT boiled; 6 minutes for MEDIUM boiled; 12 minutes for HARD boiled.

How long do you boil eggs? ›

A soft boiled egg is boiled for a shorter amount of time, typically 4-6 minutes, so that the yolk remains runny while the white is only partially set. A hard boiled egg is boiled for a longer amount of time, typically 10-12 minutes, so that both the yolk and white are fully cooked and solid.

How do you boil eggs so they peel easily? ›

Instructions
  1. Place eggs in a medium pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and turn off the heat. ...
  2. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and chill for 14 minutes. This makes the eggs easier to peel.

Do you boil the water before adding eggs? ›

You might have heard that you should drop your eggs into room temperature or cold water and then bring the water to a boil. This is a myth. In our tests, bringing the water to a boil first and then lowering the eggs into the bath made for easy peeling and more accurate timing.

What is the trick to boiling fresh eggs? ›

Step 1: Find a pot that has a removable basket so you can fully submerge your eggs. Step 2: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Step 3: Place eggs in the boiling water (all eggs must be submerged) and adjust heat so that eggs simmer at a low boil for 20 minutes.

How do you tell when eggs are done boiling? ›

The Spin. To test this popular trick, I laid both eggs on a smooth, flat surface and gave them a light spin. The boiled egg spun quickly, smoothly, and without any wobble.

How much vinegar to boil eggs so they peel? ›

Therefore, adding one tablespoon or 15 ml of vinegar for every quart of water in the pot is recommended. So, vinegar for hard boiled eggs can save you time and effort when peeling and also help you get more out of your protein-rich snack!

Why are my hard-boiled eggs so hard to peel? ›

Hard-cooked eggs may be difficult to peel if they are very fresh. This is because an egg shrinks inside during storage, which pulls the inner membrane away from the inside of the shell. For this reason, a hard-cooked egg will peel more easily if it has been stored for 1 or 2 weeks before it is cooked.

Why salt is added to boiling eggs? ›

Egg white solidifies more quickly in hot, salty water than it does in fresh. So a little salt in your water can minimize the mess if your egg springs a leak while cooking. The egg white solidifies when it hits the salt water, sealing up the crack so that the egg doesn't shoot out a streamer of white.

Is it better to peel hard-boiled eggs when they are hot or cold? ›

Shocking your recently boiled eggs by submerging them into a bowl of ice water is key. The quick cooling of the hard-boiled eggs causes the egg whites to contract, freeing them from the membrane. If you let them cool for about 15 minutes, the peeling is much easier.

How do chefs boil eggs? ›

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. If desired, add some vinegar to the water to help with the smell. Add in the eggs gently with a spoon so the eggs do not crack and boil for 6 minutes. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat completely off and let the egg stand in the water for 6 more minutes.

What happens if you put cold eggs in boiling water? ›

Most noticeably, your eggs will be likely to crack due to the shock of the extreme temperature change. That's not all, though. Booker also states that the egg white will attach itself to the inside of the shell, rendering it far more difficult to peel. And it gets worse from there.

What is the trick to boiling eggs? ›

The general rule of thumb to make hard-boiled eggs is to (simmer) them for 13 minutes. A roaring boil can crack your eggs, so yes, first bring the water up to a boil, then let the eggs simmer for 13 minutes before transferring them to an ice bath.

How do you boil an egg perfectly? ›

Put the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water is at a rolling boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with the lid. Allow the eggs to sit in the hot water for the following times according to the desired doneness: 3 minutes for SOFT boiled; 6 minutes for MEDIUM boiled; 12 minutes for HARD boiled.

Is it OK to boil eggs for 30 minutes? ›

Overcooked eggs will result in a very hard yolk and sometimes a green ring around the yolk. They will also have a slightly unpleasant sulfur smell after sitting in the fridge. I recommend cooking them for no longer than 12 minutes and transferring them to a large bowl of ice water as soon as they are done cooking.

How long are hard-boiled eggs good for? ›

Hard cooked eggs can be stored in the refrigerator up to seven days, either left in their shells or peeled. Make sure eggs are refrigerated within two hours after cooking, and don't leave refrigerated cooked eggs out at room temperature for more than two hours.

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