How to Hard Boil Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs are an amazing base for so many recipes, and knowing how to cook them perfectly every time is an important kitchen skill. Come learn the best way to make hard boiled eggs, as well as how to easily peel them and other tips and tricks.

Want a recipe to use these eggs in? Try Avocado Deviled Eggs and Deviled Egg Bruschetta.

Several halved hard boiled eggs sit on a dark wooden cutting board

Learning how to hard boil eggs is an excellent kitchen skill to have—and it’s pretty simple once you know the basics.

For me, the best way to hard boiled eggs is in a saucepan that has a lid on the stovetop. I’ve broken down all my tips and tricks about it here for you.

I’m also including information on how to easily peel hard boiled eggs because sometimes, those suckers are challenging!

As a note before we begin—this tutorial is for hard boiled eggs specifically.

If you’re looking to make soft boiled, jammy eggs or medium boiled eggs, you need to find a different tutorial to help you out. (My friend Madeline talks about how to soft boil eggs in her tutorial.)

More recipes calling for hard boiled eggs: Salmon Niçoise Salad | No Mayo Potato Salad | Egg Salad | Cajun Cobb Salad | Avocado and Panko-Crusted Chicken Cobb Salad

Eggs in water in a saucepan on a stovetop

What you need to make this recipe

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In addition to these tools, you need a few ingredients:

  • Your favorite eggs—they should still be in the shell and be uncooked. Older eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs, so keep that in mind, too.
  • Ice cubes—to create an ice bath to stop the cooking of the eggs when they come out of the pot.

This hard boiled eggs recipe can be scaled, too, to fit your needs. Sometimes, I’ll make three eggs or make nine. It just depends on the day and what I’m using them for.

Keep in mind that if you want to make more eggs, you need to have a bigger vessel to give them room to cook. 

A collage of four images showing the best way to hard boil eggs, as well as cool them off in an ice bath

How to Hard Boil Eggs Perfectly Every Time

Place the eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan and cover them with hot water. You want there to be about 1” of water on top of them before we place them on the stovetop.

Did you know? You can very easily change the number of eggs to suit your needs. However, you will need a larger pot if you have more eggs to cook. If you stack the eggs on top of each other in a pan, they run the risk of breaking or cracking as they boil.

Bring the water to a boil over high heat. When the water is boiling furiously (this is known as a rolling boil), turn off the heat, and cover the saucepan.

Set a timer for 12 minutes, and let them sit.

When the timer goes off, remove the eggs from the saucepan with a slotted spoon.

Place them in a large bowl with ice water. Let them cool for 10-15 minutes, or until they are no longer hot to touch.

A word of warning: If you let the eggs sit significantly longer than this, they will have a green ring around the yolk, which indicates they’re overcooked. While they can be eaten safely, they’re less pretty than a perfectly cooked egg.

Collage showing a recently boiled egg and a crack in the bottom of the shell

What is the best way to peel hard boiled eggs?

Eggs can sometimes be difficult to peel. This could have to do with the age of the egg because older eggs are generally easier to peel.

To peel a hard boiled egg, gently tap the bottom on the countertop. Peel the shell away from the egg. For me, this seems to work better than cracking the shells willy-nilly and peeling from wherever the cracks form.

Keep in mind that this process might take some time, so give yourself plenty of it and don’t rush.

Once you’ve peeled the shells away from the eggs, rinse them and pat them dry.

More tips and tricks:

You can peel hardboiled eggs beneath cold running water, too, to help rinse away the shell at the same time.

Some people swear by adding vinegar or baking soda to the water while boiling it makes eggs peel perfectly, but that has never worked for me.

Hard boiled eggs are peeled on a dark wood cutting board

Frequently Asked Questions

Do hard boiled eggs need to be refrigerated?

Yes. Once you’ve cooked them, let them cool and then transfer to the fridge before you’re ready to use them.

How long do these keep?

About a week, give or take a few days. They will keep better if you leave the shell on and peel them right before you’re ready to eat them. However, it’s important to smell them to confirm they’re OK before eating if they have been in your refrigerator for longer than a few days.

What is the best method to hard boil eggs?

Obviously, I prefer the stovetop method to hard boiling eggs. You can also make Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs or even hard boiled eggs in the oven.

How long do you boil an egg?

For a hard boiled egg, 12 minutes is my magic time. (I’ve read some people say that 10-11 minutes is theirs, so this is something you should test for your tastebuds!) However, the time starts when you turn OFF the water. Confused about this? Read my instructions below in the recipe card… 

Close up of a halved hard boiled egg

Quick tips and tricks for perfect hard boiled eggs

  • Start with cold water and cold eggs. They’ll warm up together and begin cooking. Your timer won’t start until the water is at a rolling boil, and you’ve turned OFF the heat and covered the pot.
  • Don’t skip the ice bath. Not only will the ice bath stop the cooking process, but it will help make the peeling easier.
  • Scale or downsize this recipe for your needs. Just keep in mind that more eggs will need a larger pan to cook in while fewer can be cooked in a smaller pot.
Several halved hard boiled eggs sit on a dark wooden cutting board
Yield: 8 eggs

How to Hard Boil Eggs

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

Hard Boiled Eggs are an amazing base for so many recipes, and knowing how to cook them perfectly every time is an important kitchen skill. Come learn the best way to make hard boiled eggs, as well as how to easily peel them and other tips and tricks.

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs

Instructions

  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan. Cover with water, making sure there is at least 1” of water over the tops of the eggs.
  2. Turn on the heat, and bring to a rolling boil.
  3. Turn off the heat, and cover. Let sit for 12 minutes.
  4. Remove from the water, and place in a bowl with ice cubes. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, or until no longer hot to touch.
  5. Crack the eggs on the bottom, and peel carefully. If need be, rinse the eggs to remove all the shell.
  6. Enjoy immediately or add to another recipe of your choosing.

Notes

Hard boiled eggs will keep in the fridge for about a week, give or take a few days. They will keep better if you leave the shell on and peel them right before you’re ready to eat them. However, it’s important to smell them to confirm they’re OK before eating if they have been in your refrigerator for longer than a few days.

Quick tips and tricks

  • Start with cold water and eggs. They’ll warm up together and begin cooking. Your timer won’t start until the water is at a rolling boil, and you’ve turned OFF the heat and covered the pot.
  • Don’t skip the ice bath. Not only will the ice bath stop the eggs from cooking any longer, but it will aid in the peeling process.
  • Scale or downsize this recipe for your needs. Just keep in mind that more eggs will need a larger pan to cook in while fewer can be cooked in a smaller pot.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8 eggs

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 71mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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