How to Make the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg (2024)

Eggs 101

Hard boiled eggs are great food to have on hand as their uses are so versatile. Not only are they super delicious on their own, but they’re great in sandwiches, chopped up on salads and the foundation for all devilled eggs. The trick to great hard boiled eggs is not over-cooking them, which can leave a grey ring around the yolk and make their texture a bit rubbery.Download our freeEgg Timer appto ensure your eggs turn out perfectly every time!

Things You'll Need

  • A pot with a lid
  • Eggs
  • Water


  1. Step 1

    How to Make the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg (1)

    Place your eggs in a single layer on the bottom of your pot and cover with cold water. The water should be about an inch or so higher than the eggs. Cover the pot with a lid.

  2. Step 2

    How to Make the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg (2)

    Over high heat, bring your eggs to a rolling boil.

  3. Step 3

    How to Make the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg (3)

    Remove from heat and let stand in water for 10-12 minutes for large eggs. Reduce the time slightly for smaller eggs, and increase the standing time for extra-large eggs.

  4. Step 4

    How to Make the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg (4)

    Drain water and immediately run cold water over eggs until cooled. Rapid cooling helps prevent a green ring from forming around the yolks.


  • For easiest peeling, use eggs that have been in the refrigerator the longest. The less fresh the egg, the easier it is to peel.
  • To peel a hard boiled egg, crackle the shell all over by tapping the egg on a hard surface, then roll the egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Begin peeling at the large end. Hold the egg under cold running water or dip it in a bowl of water to help remove the shell.
  • Hard boiled eggs with the shell on and kept in a sealed container will keep for 1 week in the fridge.
  • To determine whether an egg is hard boiled or raw, spin it! If it spins round and round evenly, it is hard boiled. If it wobbles while spinning, it is a raw egg.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time is needed to make hard boiled eggs?

Hard boiled eggs should be cooked for about 10-12 minutes. This timing avoids a powdery, dry yolk that comes from overcooking while keeping it solid enough for applications like devilled eggs or egg salad.

What is the best method for peeling hard boiled eggs?

To peel hard boiled eggs, start by tapping the eggs gently on a hard surface to crack the shell. Roll the egg gently on the surface to loosen the shell. Then, peel the egg starting at the larger end, where the air pocket is located. For more in-depth instructions, check out our guide on how to peel a hard boiled egg.

How long do hard boiled eggs last in the refrigerator?

Hard boiled eggs stored in the refrigerator can last for up to 1 week, as long as they are stored in an airtight container. For best results use them within a day or two. For more information on how to safely store eggs, check out our guide to egg storage and food safety.

What are some ways to use hard boiled eggs?

Hard boiled eggs can be used as an addition to almost any salad, to add protein to a potato salad, or as a topping for sandwiches or burgers. They can also be sliced and used as a garnish for soups, stews, or curries. Doro Wat, a chicken stew that is commonly known as Ethiopia's national dish, is a perfect example of how hard boiled eggs can be added to a dish. Enjoy them with a little salt and pepper for a quick and nourishing snack. Hard boiled eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients to have on hand and an easy way to make a simple dish special.

Check out our uses for hard boiled eggs in our Recipe Category: Hard Boiled Eggs.

Can hard boiled eggs be frozen for later use?

Hard boiled eggs are not recommended for freezing because the texture of the egg white can become rubbery and unappetizing.

What is the difference between a soft boiled egg and a hard boiled egg?

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.

Explore our comprehensive guide to soft-boiled eggs for more information visit out how-to on soft boiling eggs.

How can I avoid the green ring around the yolk of a hard-boiled egg?

The green ring around the yolk of a hard boiled egg is caused by a reaction between the iron in the yolk and the sulfur in the egg white. It’s not harmful to eat, just maybe not as appetizing as a nice yellow yolk. To prevent this from happening, make sure to avoid cooking the eggs at a full rolling boil, and reduce your cooking time. We also recommend cooling the eggs quickly in ice water after cooking to avoid carryover cooking.

Are older eggs better for hard-boiling?

It’s widely said that older eggs are easier to peel after being hard boiled, but using less-than-fresh eggs comes with other problems. You can use older eggs for hard-boiling, but they may end up misshapen due to the air pocket inside the egg increasing with age. Not a problem for egg salad, but not great for devilled eggs. Older eggs are also more likely to form a green ring, even within recommended cooking times, because the egg white becomes more alkaline over time, which makes the chemical reaction happen faster. If looks matter, fresher eggs are better, but they all taste great.

What is the ideal texture of the yolk in a hard-boiled egg?

The ideal texture of the yolk in a hard-boiled egg is firm, but not dry or crumbly. The yolk should not be fully set but should not be runny either.

Can I use my Instant Pot to make hard-boiled eggs?

Yes, you can use an Instant Pot or any pressure cooker to make hard-boiled eggs, even quicker than in a pot, which is perfect if you need to make them for a crowd. Simply place the eggs in a steaming basket or on a trivet in the Instant Pot, add 1 cup of water, and cook on high pressure for 5-6 minutes. Quick release the pressure and transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool.

For more information, check out our recipe for Instant Pot eggs.

How to Make the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg (2024)


How do you hard boil an egg perfectly? ›

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. Let the eggs cook, covered, for 9 to 12 minutes, depending on your desired done-ness (see photo). Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and chill for 14 minutes.

What's the secret to hard boiling eggs? ›

  • Place your eggs in a single layer on the bottom of your pot and cover with cold water. ...
  • Over high heat, bring your eggs to a rolling boil.
  • Remove from heat and let stand in water for 10-12 minutes for large eggs. ...
  • Drain water and immediately run cold water over eggs until cooled.

How to boil an egg so it peels easily? ›

Drop the eggs into boiling water. Eggs added to a pot of boiling water rather than brought to a boil along with the cold water will be easier to peel. Plus, this method allows for more precise timing.

Do you hard boil eggs before or after the water boils? ›

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 best way to hard boil fresh eggs? ›

Bring eggs to room temperature by leaving them on the counter. Place the eggs in a pot of cold water just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Make sure water is covering the eggs and then slowly bring to a simmer to prevent cracking. Boil for 8 minutes, drain, and cool in an ice bath.

Why add vinegar to hard-boiled eggs? ›

The vinegar in the water makes the eggs easier to peel. Here's why: The vinegar's acid not only dissolves some of the calcium carbonate in the shell, it also helps the whites set faster. Running the hard-boiled eggs under cold running water as you're peeling, meanwhile, helps the shell separate from the membrane.

How many minutes to boil an egg? ›

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

What to add to water when boiling eggs? ›

It's not necessary to add anything to the water. Some people also swear that adding a bit of salt, vinegar or even baking soda to the boiling water makes eggs easier to peel and/or makes them taste better. We, however, prefer the simplicity of plain ol' water.

How to know when boiled eggs are done? ›

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.

What is the best method for hard-boiled eggs? ›

Lower your eggs straight from the fridge into already-boiling water, or place them in a steamer insert in a covered pot, steaming at full blast on the stovetop. If boiling, lower the heat to the barest simmer. Cook the eggs for 11 minutes for hard or six minutes for soft. Serve.

Can you hard boil eggs that float in water? ›

An egg can float in water when its air cell has enlarged sufficiently to keep it buoyant. This means the egg is old, but it may be perfectly safe to use. Crack the egg into a bowl and examine it for an off-odor or unusable appearance before deciding to use or discard it.

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