Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs (2024)

Wondering how to make hard-boiled eggs? We’ve got you covered. Learn how to perfectly boil eggs every time with our top-rated recipe!

How to Boil Eggs

You'll find a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions in the recipe below, but let's go over the basics first:

How Long to Boil Eggs

Six whole eggs should be perfectly hard boiled after about 14 minutes in gently boiling water with vinegar and salt.

How Long Does It Take to Hard Boil Eggs?

From the beginning of the recipe to the end, it will take about 40 minutes to make hard-boiled eggs: You’ll need to bring the water to a gentle boil, boil the eggs for 14 minutes, and cool the boiled eggs for about 15 minutes.

How to Hard Boil Eggs

Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect when you hard boil eggs at home:

  1. Bring the salt, vinegar, and water to a boil.
  2. Gently boil the eggs for about 14 minutes.
  3. Transfer the eggs to ice water.
  4. Once cooled, peel the eggs.

How to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs Easy to Peel

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.

Learn more: I Tried 6 Ways to Make Hard-Boiled Eggs Easier to Peel, and This Is the Best One

How Long Do Hard-Boiled Eggs Last?

  • To store unpeeled hard-boiled eggs: Store the eggs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
  • To store peeled hard-boiled eggs: Place the peeled eggs in a bowl, then fill the bowl with just enough cold water to cover the eggs. Store, uncovered, in the fridge for two to three days. Replace the water every day to keep it fresh.

Learn more: How to Store Hard-Boiled Eggs

Can You Freeze Hard-Boiled Eggs?

Avoid freezing whole hard-boiled eggs, as the whites will become tough and rubbery during the freezing and thawing process. We recommend freezing just the yolks and using the whites immediately (for instance, in a salad).

How to Freeze Hard-Boiled Egg Yolks

To freeze egg yolks:

  1. Separate the yolks from the whites with your fingers or a slotted spoon.
  2. Spread the cooked yolks in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Flash freeze for at least three hours or up to overnight.
  4. Transfer the now-frozen egg yolks to a freezer-safe bag labeled with the date.
  5. Freeze for up to a month.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

“I have made these at least 20 times and they always peel perfectly and are cooked to perfection,” according to Kimberly Mcpherson.

“I haven't made egg salad in years, partially because I could never keep the shell from sticking to the egg whites,” says Denise Goodlin Murray. “These eggs came out so beautifully, and in fact, I could "feel" that the eggs were loose inside the shell before I ever cracked them!”

“Finally eggs that peel perfectly, even when using fresh eggs,” says Kendra Adams. “Not everybody has old eggs lying around the house. So if you need perfectly peelable eggs in a pinch, use this recipe!”

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams

Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs (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.

How do you get boiled eggs to peel easily? ›

Egg Peeling Method #1: Boiling Eggs with Baking Soda

The higher pH of older eggs allows the whites to separate from the inner shell membrane, which makes them easier to peel. The baking soda method of boiling eggs aims for the same result.

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.

How long do you hard boil fresh 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. Step 4: Prepare an ice bath and place eggs in it after 20 minutes. Step 5: Allow eggs to cool for 10-15 minutes.

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.

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.

What makes boiled eggs harder to peel? ›

The fresher the eggs, the harder they are to peel. This is because the egg white or “albumen” in a fresh egg has a relatively low pH level, making it acidic. When cooked, these fresh egg whites bond strongly to the inner shell's membrane.

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.

Is 10 minutes long enough to boil an egg? ›

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.

Is 20 minutes long enough to boil eggs? ›

For one to four eggs, bring the water to a rolling boil, cover the pot, and turn the heat down to its lowest setting for 12-14 minutes. For five to eight eggs, cook for 15 to 18 minutes. For nine to one dozen eggs, cook for 20 minutes. After cooking, transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water.

Can you over boil an egg? ›

If you boil an egg for five or 10 minutes, it becomes firm and cooked. If you boil it for hours, it becomes rubbery and overcooked.

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