How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

I love hard boiled eggs. They’re great for deviled eggs, egg salad, or just eating plain with a sprinkle of salt. For years I ate one every morning until my doctor told me that you shouldn’t eat the same food every single day. So now I eat them only a couple of times a week.

Used to be that people were scared of eating eggs because of the cholesterol in the egg yolks. Now research has found that eggs also raise the good cholesterol that bodies need.

When it comes to boiling eggs, the biggest problem is that people can easily over-cook them, leading to a dark green color around the yolk, and a somewhat sulphuric taste. Here’s my method for how to cook hard boiled eggs so that they don’t get over-cooked:

Instructions updated July 2014. First posted 2007.

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

  • Cook time: 12 minutes

Did you know? Older eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs. If you are planning to make hard boiled eggs for Easter and want to make sure that the eggs are easy to peel, buy your eggs at least a week ahead of time (two weeks even better, they'll keep).

If you need easy-to-peel eggs and you have fresh eggs, you might want to try steaming the eggs for 15 minutes. Pour an inch of water into a pot and insert a steamer basket. Bring to a boil. Place the eggs in the steamer basket, cover and steam for 15 minutes (more or less, check!). Somehow the steam penetrates the shell a bit making the eggs easier to peel.

If you've boiled a batch of eggs that  you are now finding difficult to peel, try cracking the shells all around without peeling them and soaking the eggs in water for a while. The water often seems to seep in enough under the shell to make the egg easier to peel.

If you live at high altitude, let the eggs sit in the hot water longer or lower the heat and maintain a low simmer for 10 to 12 minutes.


1. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a saucepan. Cover with at least an inch or two of cold water. The more eggs that are crowding the pan the more water you should have over the eggs. Heat the pot on high heat and bring the water to a full rolling boil.

hard-boiled-eggs-method-600-1 hard-boiled-eggs-method-600-2

Adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water may help keep egg whites from running out if an egg does crack while cooking. Also some people find adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water helps prevent cracking as well as making the eggs easier to peel.

2. Turn off the heat, keep the pan on the hot burner, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes.

If you have the type of stove burner that doesn't retain any heat when turned off, you might want to lower the temp to low, simmer for a minute, and then turn it off.

Depending on how cooked you like your hard boiled eggs, the eggs should be done perfectly in 10-12 minutes. That said, depending on your altitude, the shape of the pan, the size of the eggs, the ratio of water to eggs, it can take a few minutes more. Or if you like your eggs not fully hard cooked, it can take a few minutes less. When you find a time that works for you, given your preferences, the types of eggs you buy, your pots, stove, and cooking environment, stick with it.

If I'm cooking a large batch of eggs, after 10 minutes I'll sacrifice one to check for doneness, by removing it with a spoon, running it under cold water, and cutting it open. If it's not done enough for my taste, I'll cook the other eggs a minute or two longer.

I also find that it is very hard to overcook eggs using this method. I can let the eggs sit, covered, for up to 15-18 minutes without the eggs getting overcooked.

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3. Strain out the water from the pan and run cold water over the eggs to cool them quickly and stop them from cooking further. Or, if you are cooking a large batch of eggs, remove them with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water.

The best way to store hard boiled eggs is in a covered container in the refrigerator. Eggs can release odors in the fridge which is why it helps to keep them covered.

They should be eaten within 5 days.

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  1. Pille

    My favourite way to eat boiled eggs is with some good butter and a sprinkle of sea salt. Granted, it’s not something you can have every day, but it’s so delicious every now and then..

  2. Karen

    Pouring a bit of dark soya sauce on the yolk is my favourite way of eating hard boiled eggs. Brings back a wealth of childhood memories.

  3. Lisa S.

    I love the honesty-I never notice them boiling either.

    Friends think I’m odd because I keep hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator, but each week when I grocery shop I get a dozen fresh eggs and boil up the remainder of the last carton. There’s always 4-6 hard boiled eggs on-hand. Need a quick snack/meal-egg salad sandwich! Salad needs something-slice a hard boiled egg up. Dog is being a picky eater-slice a hard boiled egg over his food. How’s that ad go? The incredible edible egg!

  4. Angel Elf

    Hi Elise;

    I have heard that adding vinegar to the boiling eggs is just a myth. My mother did it, I do it, and everyone I know does it. I’m going to write to the American Egg Board and find out once and for all.

    By the way a quick and effective way to clean up a broken egg that’s fallen to the floor. Just sprinkle a little salt, I use the kosher one, on the egg. The salt coagulates the sticky mixture, making it easy to scoop up with a paper towel.

  5. Charles W. Stanton

    Elise, thank you for a terrific food blog! My family and I have enjoyed several of your recipes.

    I must say that today’s recipe and yesterday’s recipe on poached salmon simply don’t work for us. We live at an elevation of 6300 ft, where the boiling point of water is about 12 degrees lower than at sea level. Any recipe that calls for bringing water to boiling then taking it off the heat simply won’t cook the food for us.

    Is there is “sure-fire” adaptation to these sorts of recipes that will work for us?

  6. Pamela

    I love hard-boiled eggs, rather eggs that are almost hard boiled with a slightly runny yolk. My significant other loves them cooked (and usually) until they are like bricks with a ring of green, this is a great way for us to reach a happy medium! Thank you!

  7. Denise

    I agree with all your steps Elise except for the way to tell that they are done. I spoon one out and run under cold water for a second, then I spin the egg on the counter and if it spins perfectly and doesn’t wobble like a weeble wobble, I know the eggs are cooked to perfection. Whoever gave me this tip told me that a raw egg won’t spin like a top but a cooked egg will – I don’t know where I heard this or who to give the credit to, but it works!

    • Greg

      Encyclopedia Brown solved a case using this method. It was a book I read like 35 years ago.

      • Kat

        Hahaha @ Greg :)

        Denise ~ I LOVE this way of testing eggs. I am in the process of hard boiling some right now (it’s how I found this page) and will be using this method.

        I am doing an avocado deviled egg recipe!!

      • jansen

        Greg, I remember that Encyclopedia Brown story. The store clerk had to go get a broom to clean up the dropped egg. The give away clue.

        • Monica Counterman

          I read that book too. I loved that series, but man it makes me feel old.

      • sharon

        Yes!! Encyclopedia Brown!!

      • joy

        I loved those books, greg

  8. Stacy

    I read about a similar method in the New York Times a couple of years ago, and I’ve had nothing but perfectly boiled eggs since. Hard to imagine, but it’s even easier than this. Once the water is boiling, simply clamp on a tight-fitting lid and turn off the heat. Leave them on the now-cooling burner 10 minutes and then cool the eggs. I like it because it doesn’t require the minute of simmering time and me remembering to come back and turn off the heat and take them off the burner. Now that I’m writing it, though, maybe this method works only on electric burners, which would allow a more gradual reduction of heat — simulating the simmering time in this method?

  9. Elise

    Hi Angel Elf – Adding vinegar works because of a chemical reaction with the acid in the vinegar. It speeds the coagulation of the egg whites. Salt helps too.

    Hi Charles – Cooking at altitude presents all sorts of challenges. Sorry I can’t help you there, but perhaps a Google search will yield some information.

    Hi Denise – Spinning an egg is a great way to tell the difference between a raw egg and a cooked one, but it won’t tell you if your yolk is cooked through or not. The reason that the spinning egg works for distinguishing raw eggs is that the yolk is moving in the egg whites. Once the egg whites are firm, the egg will spin normally.

    Hi Stacy – You got it. With an electric burner (coil), all you have to do is turn off the heat and cover the pot. Don’t have to worry about simmering for a minute, because there is enough residual heat in the coils to keep the eggs simmering for a minute on their own.

  10. arcey

    I’ve always done something similar. I bring to a boil with cold water, then turn off the heat and cover for 17 min. (I know that’s a lot longer than your time, but it’s the way I learned it, so I’ve always done it that way.) I use a gas range.

    By the way, in step 2 above, you say in one place to bring to a gentle boil, and then say to use high heat for the boil. Do you use gentle or high heat?

    Thanks for all the great tips!

  11. Nancy

    I always understood that the vinegar acted on the calcium on the shell to “soften” it thereby making it less prone to cracking. Lemon juice does the same thing (A good use for yucky bottled lemon juice). Incidentally, the egg shells are good for the garden! I suppose the calcium neutralizes acidic soil. Just a guess., though.

  12. Judy

    A trick I found from a guy that sells food to construction sites…for easy peeling add about a quarter of a teaspoon of salt to the water. Works like magic, doesn’t matter if the eggs are old or new!

  13. Adissa

    Actually there is a much easier method to safely boil eggs. Normally the shell cracks because of the air that’s inside the egg which expands when the temperature rises. So before you put the egg in the water, just use a little needle (here in Germany we even got devices for that) and make a tiny hole in the bottom (bottom as in the flat side of the egg, not the pointy one)… don’t sting the egg too deeply as this would damage the membrane inside and would cause liquid to leak out.
    After doing that, you’ll see air coming out of the egg while it boils inside the water.

  14. Katie

    Everyone has an opinion on boiling eggs! My two cents:
    (1) I’ve found free-range eggs typically have thicker shells, meaning you can lower them into boiling water with little fear of cracking.
    (2) Getting the boiled eggs into ice water immediately from the pot of hot water makes them easier to peel. (I think I learned that one from Alton Brown.)

  15. Jeff Daly

    I recall the egg-spinning test differently. You spin the egg on its side, then very quickly press down on it (ever so briefly) with one finger to stop it, finally and let up. With a hard-boiled egg, the egg will just sit there after you release it (or start rolling off the surface its on). However, an uncooked egg will start to spin again! This happens because the yolk continues to spin independently from the eggshell itself.

    This doesn’t help though if the egg is mostly cooked, to the point where the yolk is more of a solid than a liquid.

    Oh well, its a fun trick to entertain children.a

  16. michael bash

    Re eggs: It’s very fashionable these days to say “sea salt”. Here in Greece all salt is sea salt. What is the alternative? Are they still selling salt from Salzburg and Avery Island? I thought that went out with horses going blind in the mines after years of almost no light.

  17. Elise

    Hi Michael, according to this page about Avery Island, they are still mining salt there.

  18. Jeanne

    This is the method I used when I lived in California, except I found that if I cracked all the eggs before putting them in ice water, they were sure to peel easily. Now that I live at 5500 ft here in Arizona, once they come to a boil I turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes – that’s for extra large eggs. They come out perfect.

  19. Megan

    One episode of Good Eats recommended that you hard-boil eggs in an electric kettle. I tried it out, and it works great. Put in the eggs, cover with cold water, and flip it on. Come back about 15-minutes later and rinse them with cold water to slow down the cooking. It works like a charm every time (though I suppose you could argue that it’s a pain to clean the kettle).

  20. Bob

    I enjoy hard-boiled eggs with hot sauce. This post will help.

  21. Susannah

    I’m with you the best way is with hot sauce!

  22. 0c

    So, it is not ok to eggs everyday? why? Can you elaborate on that please.

    • Eric

      My 85-year-old stepfather has eaten two fried eggs every day of his life. And the FDA has said an egg a day is just fine. Jus’ sayin’

  23. Gail

    The sure fire way to prevent the eggs from cracking is a couple of shakes of salt in the cold water from the beginning. No need for vinegar or the needle…I PROMISE you they will not crack! :0)

  24. Michael

    Yes to Adissa’s comment! I use poultry trussing needles or the tines of a boiled corn holder to poke a small hole in the bottom of each egg, drop them in gently boiling water for 12 minutes, then remove them into very cold water for a minute or so. They are always perfectly cooked and remarkably easy to peel. My mother thinks I am insane for doing it this way, of course.

  25. Rose

    I enjoy hard-boiled eggs with tomato-canned tuna mixed with the egg yolks and served inside the egg whites

  26. Elise

    Hi Oc – The reason you shouldn’t eat eggs every day is that you shouldn’t eat any food every day. According to my doctor, our bodies work best on a varied diet. This is why in our family at least we have pork one night, chicken the next, steak the next, tuna the next, etc, and we don’t eat the same food for dinner that we ate for lunch. Also, sometimes if you eat one food every day, your body can develop a sensitivity to it, which can lead to an allergy to it.

  27. Jo

    Another way to check and see if a hard-boiled egg is done is to take it out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon and count to 8. If the shell is perfectly dry at the count of 8, your egg is done. Works every time for me! If it still has a wet spot past 8, then it needs to cook for a bit longer. (This trick and the spinning trick are fun ones.)

  28. Susan from Food Blogga

    Excellent tips here, Elise! Though I’ve read a lot about how to boil eggs correctly, you still taught me a few things to try. Thanks!

  29. Gira

    Well, I guess I’ve been boiling my eggs incorrectly all this time. ;)

    My method on a gas stove is that it takes twenty minutes to cook eggs from start to finish (I’m in SF and probably pretty close to sea level).

    I put the eggs in a pan, run cold water over them and put the pan on the stove on medium high. When I notice it’s come to a boil (usually a little after it’s come to a boil) I turn it down to low to simmer. When it’s been twenty minutes since I put the pan on the stove I take it off. No green rings, never hard as a rock yolk, always cooked through (I hate them runny). This isn’t for soft boiled eggs.

    After the twenty minutes have elapsed I take the pan to the sink and begin running cold water from the faucet directly into the pan and over the eggs until they are cool enough to handle and don’t become hot again after a couple minutes.

    I always make only what I’m going to eat as for some odd reason I have an aversion to cold boiled eggs that have been in the fridge unless they’re in potato salad. :)

    My Mamma always taught me to use a little lemon juice in the boiling water for poached eggs. It helps keep the white together, so I imagine it would work just as well for boiled eggs, but I never have the shell cracking problem with my method of making them. She also taught me that if you crack the egg all around on a hard surface (counter, edge of the pan, etc) and peel it from the “large” end, you’ll never have a problem with getting it out of the shell unless it’s under or over cooked.

    Starting from the middle or the little end seems to cause more problems, even with “aged” eggs.

  30. Andrea

    Charles: Not sure this would work, but what about a steamer? Do those work at high altitudes?

  31. Elise

    Hi Arcey –

    By the way, in step 2 above, you say in one place to bring to a gentle boil, and then say to use high heat for the boil. Do you use gentle or high heat?

    Actually, I think I say to start the eggs in cold water and bring them gently to a boil. By starting the eggs in cold water, they will be brought gently to a boil, even if you have the burner on high heat. The trick is to lower the heat when the water starts to boil so that don’t bump into each other and the pan so much. Harold McGee mentions in his book that heating the eggs too quickly (what happens when you put eggs into already boiling water) increases the chemical reaction that causes a sulfur smell and taste in the eggs. He actually recommends that the water never come to a complete boil, that the heat stay just below a simmer, and then plunge the eggs into ice water as soon as they are done. That’s too much work for me – to stand over the stove and make sure that the water is just the right temp – so I use the bring to a boil and then remove from heat method.

    • Eric

      Elise, I love that you reply to questions about your article. This has all been very helpful information. I’m about to go home and boil up a dozen for deviled eggs, and plan to use what I’ve learned here, as the practice ones I did last week were all hard to peel. Can’t wait to try the avacado deviled egg recipe. Thanks!

  32. cindy

    hi. i hate to say this, but i think you’re overcomplicating things a bit. i find the best, and simplest, way to cook hardboiled eggs is to bring salted water to a boil, then carefully place the eggs into the pot with a slotted spoon, and let boil for 6 to 8 minutes, depending upon how hard-boiled you like your eggs. then quickly run cold water over them to cool. three steps, and presto, easy to peel, deliciously textured hard boiled eggs.

  33. Amy

    When I was in Italy, I had a breakfast of HBEs and olive oil. Highly recommended!

  34. Elise

    Hi Cindy – I know this approach might seem complicated, but really it isn’t. All you do is bring the eggs to a boil with the water, let them simmer for a minute and then turn off the heat. I usually use an electric stove with a coil, so I don’t even have to do the simmering for a minute part. This couldn’t be easier. I usually don’t even bother with a timer. 10 minutes, 15 minutes, the eggs are still good and not over-cooked.

  35. Theresa

    I eat my morning hard boiled eggs with light soya sauce and white pepper — been doing that ever since I was a little girl. Sooo good!

  36. jimmy guillet

    All the advice for boiling eggs is good but the correct cooking time is best determined by trial & error, after all its not a big deal to forfeit a few eggs.
    The only thing I can add to all the good advice is I place a cloth in the bottom of the pan. This way I do not have to worry about the temperature nor eggs bumping around and guess what, no cracked eggs.

    • Mark in Seattle

      The sacrificial egg! I like it a dab of butter–the best egg of the bunch

  37. valerie

    I have never read so much information about boiled eggs, I do it without thinking. But I think it is important to teach easy things, because we just forget to teach them! I just start a new American blog about easy french cook, I would be happy to have your thinking.

  38. Megan

    If you live at high altitudes, couldn’t you always try to bake the eggs? It seems you could set the oven to low (I think eggs fully cook around 160F?) and just let them bake away. =)

  39. Ron Stanley

    The most accurate way to consistently boil either hard or soft boiled eggs is to purchase a Oster egg boiler. It has the correct measuring water quantity for either soft or hard. Mine cooks up to seven eggs at a time. When the water boils out, the unit shuts off and you have perfectly cooked eggs every time.

  40. Jeremy

    Wow, everyone has something to say about boiling eggs, huh?

    One tip I’ve heard (possibly from Alton Brown) is to use a pin to make a tiny hole in the bottom of each eggshell. Apparently this releases built up pressure inside the egg and will prevent it from cracking. Can’t say I’ve ever tried it before, I’ve never had to patience to sit there puncturing a dozen eggs before putting them in the saucepan.

  41. Elena

    Hello Elise,

    Seems to me another major problem with hard boiled eggs is cooking them in such a way that they peel easily. I’ve heard lots of theories about this. Would love to hear you weigh in on this!

  42. arielred

    This article and these comments are wonderful…Thanks for posting! I especially like the use of less energy… I always boiled my eggs until they were done… now all I have to do is use enough gas to bring them to a boil and then simmer for a minute… very nice. Also… I have a kinda strange addition to the comments…somewhere along the line I found that if I was peeling an egg and it was difficult to peel, that if I just either closed my eyes or peeled it without looking at it, it was never a problem. I figured that I was just me getting frustrated and forcing a delicate thing…know it sounds silly, but all of the women in my family use this now and no more torn up eggs! :) Thanks again…

  43. BJane

    My tried and true method for dealing with those sticky unpeelable peels: roll egg on countertop using enough pressure so the shell gets crackled all over (you know, in a million pieces but still intact). Toss back into pot of cool water and let sit a minute or two. The water seeps under the shell making it a breeze to peel.

    PS- FWIW, I’m in the ‘bring to boil/cover and turn off heat/time for 15 minutes’ camp

  44. Elise

    If I’m having trouble peeling an egg, and I know it isn’t because I’m using super fresh eggs, I crack it all over and soak it in cold water for a few minutes. That usually seems to do the trick.

  45. jennifer

    For those that really want to know why adding vinegar works. Egg is largely protein and when you cook the egg you are actually denaturing the protein (that is a good thing) using heat. The vinegar, or lemon juice, makes the water acidic. Acid can penetrate the semi-permeable egg shell and denature the protein. (Much of the water supply is a little acidic anyways but the higher the concentration of acid the more quickly and throughly the protein is denatured.) It usually just denatures the protein on the outside and you heat your egg to denature the rest of the protein. The solid denatured protein prevents any other still liquid protein from escaping until you have finished cooking your egg.

    As a further interesting note, if you let an egg sit in acid (more concentrated is better) such as vinegar or lemon juice, you can denature the entire egg without cooking it. It will also ‘eat’ the entire shell. the shell is largely calcium carbonate which will react with the acid to produce carbon dioxide and water.

  46. Michelle

    Re shells: Not only are the shells good for your garden, but birds will eat pieces of shell to recover the calcium lost in laying their own
    Thanks to everyone for the wealth of info!

  47. Sheila O

    What – no discussion on centering the yolks? Perfect deviled eggs must have the yolk centered. I do this by placing the eggs on their sides in the refrigerator for 24 hours before boiling. Try it – it works.

  48. Sunshine

    The best way to have HB eggs that are easy to peel-boil the water first, turn the temperature down and lower the eggs into the already boiling water. They peel like a banana.

    Eggs are the new Fortune Cookie–Write a message, joke or “fortune” on your HB eggs and share in a bowl at work. Much better than doughnuts, and fun, too.
    And I’m not “eggs”agerating!

  49. ShowMeTheCurry

    Try sprinkling a little salt in the water while boiling the eggs. It makes it easier to remove the shell.

    Hetal and Anuja

  50. SAS

    My “no fail” way of boiling eggs is really simple. I put them in the pan first, then fill the pan with water at least an inch or more above the top of the eggs. Then, I place them on the stove with the burner set to high, and set the timer for 20 minutes. After about ten minutes I check to see if the water is boiling yet. If so, I turn the burner down a bit so the eggs boil on a low boil. I rarely have more than one egg crack (slightly) with this method.

    Once the timer goes off, I remover the pan, carefully pour out the hot water so as not to crack the eggs while slowly refilling the pan with cold water to stop the cooking. I let them sit for about 5 minutes, and then eat or refrigerate for later.

    This method has worked successfully for me at sea level, and altitudes as high as 3000 ft. The yolks are never discolored from over-cooking.

    My French friend, Florence, once showed me a lovely way to enjoy hard boiled eggs. You slice up some tomato (heirlooms are great if you can get them, or any variety of tomato you like), 1/2 an avocado sliced or cubed, and 3 sliced eggs, and make a salad. I drizzle it with some extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I’m partial to celery seed, so I generally add that, too. In fact, I just finished eating it for lunch today! It’s also quite lovely as the colors of the eggs, avocado and tomato look nice together.

  51. Steve

    The best way to eat a hard-boiled egg is with a dash of Tabasco sauce on each bite. Tabasco goes with eggs like peanut butter does with jelly.

  52. Nancy Perley

    Our favorite way to eat hard boiled eggs: With hot salt (mostly hot cayenne, some light salt, and black pepper mixed), and if eating hot, add a few drops of olive oil on them instead of any butter type product. To die for!

    To stop the eggs from cracking, I pre-warm them for about 15 minutes in a very warm water bath in a plastic bowl. While they are warming I prepare my stock pot and start the water boiling. Then I use a slotted spoon to dip them carefully in. The better they are pre-warmed, the less cracking.

    For Altitude, they might try this. After placing the eggs in the boiling water, turn the temp down to low or med. low and COVER the pot. SIMMER covered instead of boiling uncovered. I use 13 to 14 minutes at sea level using simmer/slight boil and my yolks do pretty well. At altitude they can simmer a little longer. Using the low burner setting seems to be better for getting really good looking hard boiled eggs. A loud timer will get you back to take them off the burner. Better yet, keep the timer with you.

    I am anxious to try your method the next time I boil eggs. Thanks. Great website by the way!

  53. Sara V

    For high altitude, you can follow her recipe except instead of turning the stove off, turn it down to low. When I lived at an altitude of 5500, I would put my eggs in a pot, cover with cold water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn down to low and cook for 15 mintues.

  54. Holly

    For easy-to-peel eggs: there is a very thin membrane between the shell and the inside of the egg. You have to ensure that water can seep in between the membrane and the cooked egg or else the egg sticks to it and breaks apart when you try to peel it. By cracking the cooked egg well and rolling it around on the countertop to really crack it good, you also tear the membrane a bit. Then, running it under water while peeling or submerging it in cold water, as others have mentioned, the water gets through the tears, between the membrane and the egg, and allows the shell and membrane both to slip right off.

    I just tried the egg with butter for the first time – delicious. Tomorrow I’ll try the olive oil!

  55. Cheryl

    I love eggs-fried, scrambled, poached, in an omelette or boiled. I recently discovered cooking poached and boiling eggs with an egg cooker. I am soooo happy with my egg cooker! There are a number of brands sold; I got the Oster brand. I love it. I have had to experiment a bit to get them right, but I find it much easier to get them the way I want them than by boiling or poaching on the stove.

  56. Owen

    I had always loved to EAT hard boiled eggs … but had never cooked them before … Using the method for an electric stove (and a dash of salt and red wine vinegar) my first batch of eggs cooked up perfectly.

  57. Tommy

    I just hard-boiled four eggs – one did not make it! Then I got on-line to your site. I should have gotten on-line first! Thanks for the info!

  58. Marcelle

    I always keep a straight pin with a roud tip and pierce the egg at the largest part. It lets the air out.

  59. Bud Kinney

    Regarding boiling eggs at high altitude. A way to raise the boiling temperature of the water is to add salt. You can test the mixture ahead of time to determine how much salt you need to add for the volume of water you want to boil. The salt raises the boiling point (and lowers the freezing point).

    Great idea, thanks Bud! ~Elise

  60. Fred

    I cannot believe I am enjoying a web site about hard boiled eggs. Thanks everyone for all these tips.

    One tip I did not see. If you want fancy HB eggs that last, after you finish your favorite pickles don’t toss the jar and juice. Peel those eggs and put them in there. After a week or so, wow.

    Great tip, Fred. Thanks! ~Elise

  61. Tamera

    For years I have had trouble with hard-to-peel boiled eggs, and for the heck of it, I typed in Boiled Eggs in google today. As God is my witness, I shall never have that problem again! Thankyou, Elise, for helping me make my first batch of ez-peel HB eggies today!

  62. Mary R

    I just saw last week on Paula Deen……use lots of salt in your water when boiling eggs and they should peel easier……works for me! I usually take so much pain taking the yellows out with a spoon before deviling…..she just pops them out!

  63. K Stanley

    I keep wanting to make deviled eggs, but wind up making egg salad instead. I put vinegar and salt in the water; boil for minute and let set for 15 minutes; put in icewater for a few minutes. The only problem is the yolks are lopsided. They are never centered. Why?

  64. Ken P

    The real secret to prevent cracking of the egg shell is to poke a small pin hole in the large end of the shell – this is where the air bubble is so allows the expanded air to escape as the egg heats. Also I bring the water to a boil before putting in the eggs – set my timer at 6 1/2 minutes – when the timer goes off ( it reminds me I’m doing eggs ) I immediately drain and run in cold water. This gives me a perfect soft boiled egg EVERY time – no guess work. Eight minutes will give you a hard boiled & Ten minutes is enough for Devilled eggs

  65. Eric

    Bud Kinney on January 31, 2008 3:22 PM

    “One tip I did not see. If you want fancy HB eggs that last, after you finish your favorite pickles don’t toss the jar and juice. Peel those eggs and put them in there. After a week or so, wow.”


    Must you wait until the pickles are gone? Will it effect either’s taste much?

  66. Anonymous

    This was very helpful but we did buy our eggs at the last minute it’s the Friday before easter. What to do?

    If you hard boil them, crack one and it is hard to peel, put the rest back in the fridge and don’t crack them for several days. ~Elise

  67. Jenn

    I tried this recipe and NOPE it did not work.. I even left the eggs in the pan for 15 monutes and they were still undercooked.. I was dissapointed.

    Hi Jenn, many factors can influence cooking time, including size and shape of your pan, how many eggs are in the pan, your altitude, the ratio of water to eggs in the pan. This method works for most people, but sometimes you have to tweak given your particular circumstances. Try increasing the amount of water in the pan. Or if you are high altitude, cooking longer. ~Elise

  68. Susan, Canada

    I’ve been using a similar method for years…many, many years, sigh :). I bring eggs to boil then shut off heat and forget for 15 minutes (a timer works well). Drain in pot and beat them about in the pot then fill with cold water. This is where we differ. I peal them while they are still warm. They are easier to peel when warm and if I am making egg salad this is also where I break them up. Again they are easier to break up when warm. Then I leave in covered container in fridge. If I am using them for halves I don’t cut them until cold. That way they don’t crumble.

  69. Leslie

    My goodness! I think I’ll just crack a raw one and toss it down with a squirt of Tobasco! Such a fuss. Here’s an easy trick: to peel a hard boiled egg if you don’t need it whole, just guillotine the egg at the beltline with a sharp chef’s knife and use a small spoon to scoop out the egg. This is a VERY FAST and TIDY technique.

  70. Karen

    Thank you very much for this post, and all the useful comments from everybody! My friend always has a good chuckle at the fact that I cannot boil an egg to save my life. So, I found this post, and decided to try it with the last two eggs in my fridge. I’d like to announce that these directions are wonderfully specific, and I have now, for the first time in my life, perfectly boiled an egg.

    Peeling the first one was a pain; I couldn’t get past the membrane, so it felt like the rubber of a dog’s chew toy, and fiddling the shell and that membrane was a long and frustrating process. Then I remembered a friend’s tip to start it with a spoon at the flat end. The second shell just peeled off in a fifth of the time the first one took me.

    As for centering the yolk for deviled eggs, my friend just served these a couple of nights ago, and she said the trick was to leave them on their side overnight in the fridge. Her eggs looked great.

  71. Gaia_Iphigenia

    Wow! First time ever cooking hard-boiled eggs (I’m a scrambled or over-medium girl) and these instructions were PERFECT! I got bright yellow not over cooked eggs. Loved it!


  72. Chad

    How long can you keep eggs on the stove after cooking before they are not good anymore? I left them cooling for about four hrs?

    I’ve left hard boiled eggs cooling in the pan all day and still have had no problem with them. ~Elise

  73. Crystal

    One great way to devil the eggs. After you peel; cut the wide end of the egg off right at the edge of the yolk. Gently take out the yoke (I take a toothpick and go around the edges of the yoke to loosen it then gently squeeze it out.) Cut the corner of a ziploc bag and fill with filling. Then just squeeze the filling into the egg. It also helps if you stand the eggs up in the carton. Quick, easy, and mess free. They also look really pretty. At easter I use a LITTLE sprinkle a food colored sugar.

  74. Druegan

    Hi Elise!

    Thanks for the great HBE guide. I’d tried once or twice before, with spotty results, but your method worked like a charm! Kudos to you!

  75. Mark

    This worked a treat! Thank you very much!

  76. amy

    I love hard boiled eggs with a few drops of soy sauce on the yolk.
    Recently, I got these cute little molds from a Japanese store, so i eat my eggs in the shape of a heart or star!
    And lastly, this recipe is perfect because the yolk is not too runny and not too dry. Great job!

  77. Alisa

    Thanks for the tips! I think the easy peeling comes from the step where you immeditaly cool the eggs in cold water after cooking. I never used salt or anything in the water before while cooking the eggs but I discovered that if I place the eggs right into a bowl of cold water and ice after they’re done cooking to quickly cool them that this causes the membrane inside the egg shell to stick to the inside of the shell and not to the egg, thus making them easier to peel. The eggs will slip right out of the shell after cracking the shell by rolling the egg on a counter and pressing on them with my hand to crack the shells on all sides.

    If I don’t cool the egg immediately, I find the membrane will stick to the eggs and make them annoyingly hard to peel. I don’t understand the science behind this, I just discovered this is true with trial-and-error cooking of eggs.

  78. Stan Goldfarb

    If live at high altitude where water boils at a much lower temperature than at sea level, you can raise its boiing point by adding salt. Table salt will do just fine. It doesn’t matter what kind (sea salt, Kosher salt, lite salt) just how much.

  79. Libby

    This recipe helped me a lot, and after reading some viewers’ comments and seeing that people recommended hard boiled egg with butter and salt, I tried it. It was very good.

  80. Kellee

    Sigh…this is such an effort. I’m a uni student and live at a fully catered college. Unfortunately it means I can’t eat what I want and am limited to the crap they serve. I just bought myself one of those electric tiered steamers and was wondering if I can hard boil eggs this way using steam? It says rice can be cooked in it so I cant see how it is much different. (I’m devastated as eggs are one of my most favourite foods and I have no way to cook them)
    Also I thought I read in the comments that I can boil an egg in an electric kettle/jug-is this true? Wouldn’t it pose a problem with the eggs resting on the element (the metal coil bit inside the jug that heats the water)
    Anyway, just want to test ALL theories before I have to spend my limited student budget on buying a gadget JUST to cook eggs.
    (Oh and might I add how appalled I am that so many people have admitted to NOT EVER cooking BOILED EGGS before in their life. It is one of the easiest things to do and I’m only 21-have been boiling (hard/soft), poaching, scrambling eggs since I was 10!)

    Hi Kellee, no idea on the steamer or electric kettle. Why don’t you try them and find out? Let us know what you find. ~Elise

  81. BobF

    Kellee – yes, in college I boiled eggs in my small electric kettle.

    Bud, adding salt does affect boiling temp, but sea water boils at about 215F, only 3 degrees more than normal with all that salt.

  82. Darla

    A neat trick my grandfather showed me for peeling HBE’s is fun, maybe not something you want to do if someone else is going to eat them… but fine if you’re the one eating them.

    You hit each end with the back of a spoon until you get a hole in the egg… then you blow in the hole on one end until the egg shell cracks or air comes out the other hole… it basically forces air between the shell and the egg, and then the whole shell comes off in 1 or 2 pieces.

    Kids LOVE this trick! :)

  83. matt

    Wow this is my first time making anything in the kitchen and I have to be completely honest, that stuff is so freakin pro! My first batch of eggs was delicious.

  84. sandraregina

    My aunt cooks the eggs with onion peel at Easter and they get a lovely marbled brown, and at least to me a hint of onion essence. Maybe its just the onion smell in the air after cooking. I’ve heard you can do this with other kinds of vegetable peels for other colours – does anyone know more?

    Here’s a link to other ways to use natural dyes for Easter eggs. ~Elise

  85. Jim Evans

    Greetings, Rather than straining the eggs and refilling your pot with cold water a number of times to cool them off, I find it works better if you place the pot of eggs into the sink after straining off the hot water and let cold water run into the pan very slowly. Once the water reaches the top of your pot it will overflow keeping the water in the pot cool. You only need to let a trickle of water flow for about 5 minutes to cool your eggs enough to be handled.

  86. Hannah

    Hi Kellee, I also hard-boiled many, many eggs with my hot pot (electric kettle) for both my undergrad and grad degrees – they’re the perfect fast protein-filled portable breakfast! There was never a problem with the heating element. You can make a LOT in a hot pot – soup, pasta, eggs, etc. etc. – great for a dorm room with no other way to cook and restrictions on microwaves :-)

  87. Dawn

    Excellent directions, they turned out perfectly!

  88. Christine

    THANK YOU. Those are the best hard boiled eggs I have ever had!!!!

  89. Michelle

    I used your tips to make myself some hard boiled eggs – for egg salad AND to eat them plain – and it was the BEST eggs I’ve EVER HAD! (Even better than my grandma used to make…and that’s hard to do!) Usually when I make hard-boiled eggs, they end up incredibly rubbery! Taking them off of the heat and covering them for 10 minutes instead of leaving them on the heat for a five or six minutes is the KEY to making these so yummy! Thanks so much!

  90. Syd

    Thanks for the tips. My warm frisee salad with bacon and dijon vinigarette with ‘perfect hard boiled’ eggs was devoured quickly.

  91. Joseph

    I remember watching my mom eat boiled eggs with BBQ sauce so I tried it and it’s I eat my boiled eggs with BBQ sauce on them…It might be a BBQ thing too..I have always heard that if you spin an egg and it doesn’t wobble then it’s done…Makes since to me..If it’s done the yoke stays in one place, thus preventing the wobble.. and I have never had an uncooked one yet…if you try it and you get a different result please let me know.

  92. Shannon Franics

    Fantastic recipe, worked like a charm!

  93. Gen B

    I was so bsuy reading all these great tips that I forgot to take my eggs off the stove! I’m sure they’ll be just fine though.

    Next time I hard boil eggs for Deviled Eggs, I will lay them in the fridge on their side first for a day – the centered yolk was a GREAT tip!

  94. Claire

    I can never remember how long to cook eggs for so look it up every time – this recipe is by far the easiest and tastiest!! (My shells did crack though but they still tasted great!)

  95. Rebecca

    Wow – I can’t believe the amount of comments on this article! I tried the method outlined by Elise and it worked perfectly. The yolks had that beautiful creamy “wavy” texture and taste. Question about the vinegar – are you using white wine vinegar? Does it matter what kind?

    I use rice vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. Red wine vinegar would work too, but might stain the eggs. ~Elise

  96. Carley

    Finally, after years of always messing these up, they came out PERFECT! :D

  97. Kurt

    Thanks for the great method for the eggs, before now I always let it to chance. No more, now my deviled eggs are perfect! BTW, here’s a quick recipe for great deviled egg mix. Use eight hard boiled egg yolks, mash with potato masher, blend in about 1/2 c. mayo or miracle whip, add a couple tsp of sweet pickle relish to taste. Throw in a tsp or two of spicy brown mustard, mix well. spoon into egg halves, sprinkle with paprika.

  98. Getha

    Myself and my husband are crazy about eggs (in any form). Hard boiled is one of my favourite. I use the normal Steamer to steam the eggs for 10 minutes, remove them immediately, run it under cold water, de-shell them, slice it length wise into 2 pieces, sprinkle some Salt and Pepper on the yolk and place a small piece of Cilantro on top. yummm tastes so good.

  99. Jim Mahoney

    Reading your post on making boiled eggs and the attached comments remind me of summer times as a boy with grownups who preserved food and raised kids, and vice-versa. For evening snacks we ate Saltine crackers and raspberry jam with our mom on a blanket in the backyard. Us kids snapped beans, for canning, with the neighbor lady while sitting in shade on the front porch. On hot summer afternoons we drank Kool Aide and ate firm chilled boiled eggs dipped in salt. Thanks for the recipe and comments.

    Jim Mahoney Spokane

    Hi Jim – chilled hard boiled eggs dipped in salt, isn’t that the best? Porches, hot summer days, snapping beans, canning jams, seems like we had similar summers. :-) ~Elise

  100. scott

    I followed exactly and eggs were not cooked when I went to peel them. The egg whites were runny and I ruined 8 eggs!!! Now have to go buy more.

    Hi Scott, it’s always a good idea to test one egg first, before cracking all the others open. ~Elise

  101. Kari

    The reason for the vinegar is that it etches and “cleans” the eggshell, thus preparing it for dying. It makes the colors adhere better. Thanks for your recipe Elise!

  102. garrett

    Mmmmmmmm lol yes I didn’t know how to make them until just now! Thanks! I was wondering why mine were always so nasty!

  103. Lisa Collins

    This is such a great recipe – especially for those of us who struggle with even the simplest things in the kitchen! :o)

  104. Alex

    My favorite way to eat hard boild eggs is with some cumin, salt, and black pepper… tasty treat that jump starts my morning!

  105. Rachael Hannan

    I am baking scotch eggs for a friends wedding and was looking for a way to make sure the eggs did not go black when I hard boiled them.

    Thank you so much – and what a fabulous information! :)

  106. CLH1

    Just a note for making Potato Salad -

    You can cook your potatoes and eggs at the same time! I generally let mine cook for about 15 minutes after adding them to boiling water, with the potatoes.

    Remove the eggs and put in ice water. About the time the eggs have cooled enough to peel and chop, the potatoes are ready to be drained and cooled.

    While the potatoes are cooling is when I mix up the base for the potato salad: Mayonnaise AND Miracle Whip Light, minced dill pickle, pickle juice, dill weed, celery seed, chopped celery, salt, pepper, hard-boiled eggs, and a Southern Seasoning (usually whichever is in front of the cabinet – Everglades Heat, Seminole Seasoning, Slap yo’ Mamma…etc).

    Mix, cool, and eat!

    Hope this helps!

  107. uriela

    These were perfect! The yolk was firm but creamy and not powdery like overcooked eggs and not runny like undercooked. Delicious! Bringing some with me to class tonight.

  108. Glitzel

    I have done experiments on why eggs are hard to peel and I have found placing them in already boiling water makes the egg easy to peel. I used eggs from the same container and placed half in beginning cold water and half in already boiling. The half in boiling water peeled easily while the other was difficult. Piercing the eggs in either case prevented cracking.

  109. Charlie Starr

    Thank you for writing this! It was SO helpful, and extremely thorough! Charmed, Charlie.

  110. katherine

    In all honesty I have never made a hard-boiled egg in my life, but have had to start eating them for the protein. So today I googled this recipe, and have just eaten what was possibly the most perfect hard-boiled egg I’ve ever seen. Thankyou so much!

  111. Jerry Wayne Anderson

    In an uncovered pan, as soon as the water comes to a full boil, shut off the heat, cover the pan and leave it. In 25 minutes you have perfectly hard-boiled eggs. No fuss, no timing. The age of the eggs does make a difference in ease of peeling.

  112. Delight

    If you want to easily peel a hard boiled egg without waiting, just add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the water before boiling. This raises the PH level and decreasing adhering. Once it cools, crack off the shell on each end of the egg, then hold tight to the shell, and blow the egg out its shell. Yes, with your mouth. Catch it! It is slippery.

    Would love to see a video of that trick. ~Elise

  113. WitchDoctor

    Thank you! I’m a big fan of “doing simple things well,” and I agree, this is the PERFECT way to make hard-boiled eggs. I just tried it and it worked so well!

  114. William Miller

    I’m confused by this method of cooking eggs. In the directions of #2, you say to “gently bring the eggs to a boil”, then later in the same section you say to “put the burner on high”. Well, which is it please?

    You gently bring the eggs to a boil by starting them in cold water and putting the burner on high. Do not start the eggs in hot water. ~Elise

  115. Stacy

    Wow! Thanks so much for your site. I just boiled our Easter eggs and my “sacrificial egg” was PERFECT. I did have one of the 21 crack, but that is way fewer than I lost last year.

  116. Karla

    One of my favorite ways to eat hard boiled eggs is the way I ate them as a child. Cut open, and mashed up a bit with a tad of sea salt and some fresh black pepper. Delish! I don’t use vinegar in the pot when I make them because it affect the flavor.

  117. Becky

    Adding salt to the water to compensate for the lower boiling point at high altitude sounds like a great idea, but it’s not likely to help much. The boiling point of seawater, as salty as it is, is only 100.6 degrees C, compared to 100 degrees C for pure water. Now imagine trying to add enough salt to raise the boiling point by 4 or 5 degrees C!

  118. Heidi

    Is there a way to prevent HB eggs from stinking? I keep a week’s worth of HB eggs in the fridge as a way for an easy and healthy snack. Thing is, they usually smell.

    We put them in a plastic container and store them in the fridge. Otherwise, yes, they do end up smelling. ~Elise

  119. Margaret

    Perfect! I think! I put 25 eggs in a pot. I got online to find out how long to boil them and came across your site. So, I added the vinegar and salt. By the time I checked the eggs they were boiling but I don’t konw how long they were already boiling for. So, I let them boil another 2 minutes I think. I took it off the stove, covered the pot, let it sit for about 10 minutes and went to cool them with cold water. The water in my complex was turned off!! I ran to the freezer and dumped the ice maker full of ice into the pot. Perfect eggs! No green. Our elevation is between 9,000-10,000 ft. and the eggs are perfect.

  120. kara-noel

    Thanks for saving the day this easter with this post from ages ago!!

  121. Dawn

    Thankyou for your instructions. I need to make a batch tonight to make deviled eggs tommorrow.
    I never knew that the eggs should not be store bought fresh. Makes sense. I have always had a bad time peeling them and usually destroyed a few.
    Again thank you!

  122. Jessie Marie

    I never notice them boiling either! Once I put them on the stove I tend to wander off and forget about them! I do remember eventually and they always come out great anyways! I love boiled eggs with a bit of seasalt, it’s delicious and boosts my day!

  123. Mac

    This is how I’ve always cooked my eggs and they’ve never come out wrong. I usually boil a dozen to take to work on Mondays for everyone in the office and they just rave about how perfect they are … perfectly yellow yolks every time.

  124. Joyce

    So much to remember!

    My fool-proof method for perfect hard-boiled eggs, sans sulphur ring, and with a yolk that is a consistent yellow throughout:

    1) Put eggs in a small pot. Fill with water so they are (almost or completely) submerged.

    2) Pot > stove > high heat.

    3) When water boils turn to medium heat, leave for 10 minutes.

    4) This last part, you can do it however you like, but what I do is run cold water on the pot with the eggs for a while until the eggs are warm. Then I drop them an inch or so onto a hard surface so they crack then I roll them and peel. Rinse to get rid of small shell pieces.

  125. Tom

    -Cover eggs with water in a small pot, put on high heat.

    -As soon as the water starts to boil, remove from heat (I set timer to 7 minutes just as soon as I turn on the heat, works good for me at my altitude (90ft above sea level…lol).

    -Cover pot with lid…wait about 15 minutes.
    -Drain the hot water from pot.

    -Fill pot with cold water, drain it, fill it again with cold water.
    -Wait 2 minutes. Drain the water. Eggs should be cool enough to handle.

    -Roll them puppies in your hands to crack the shell.
    -Peel from fat end first. Shell should come off easily and sometimes all in a bunch.

    -MOST Important step—> Eat the eggs! Enjoy. Use your own tastes as to salt, pepper, or whatever is your preference.
    I eat them by biting off an entire half at a time, chew, swallow….repeat! OINK. haha

    I never made ‘deviled eggs’ or anything else with them. Why? Cause as soon as they are done I eat them! Yumm.
    -Good luck!

  126. laura

    I just boiled 3 eggs the way mentioned at the top of this post and YES they are perfect, thanks for the advise!

  127. Michelle

    This discussion reminds me of a passage from Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon,” where one of the characters makes the perfect soft boiled egg for her nephew. I probably read the book over 20 years ago, but to this day it’s how I cook eggs. I can’t find an actual passage but from what I remember, the eggs and the water must “meet on equal terms” (i.e. the same temperature), when the bubbles in the boiling water reach the size of peas, remove it from the heat, cover and go do some “small obligation” like answering the door. Upon completion of that, your eggs are perfectly soft boiled, with the yolk just slightly soft, not runny. Since then I’ve just left the eggs in the water a little longer for hard cooked eggs.

  128. kelly

    This really did make the perfect hard boiled eggs! Thanks for sharing it.

  129. Tony

    Thanks so much Elise. I just made hard boiled eggs for the first time ever by following your recipe. They came out perfect! Just ate one. The yolk was nice and yellow, and perfectly cooked. Thanks again!

  130. Aaron

    The method you described was perfect, thank you for sharing!

  131. Sheri

    Just tried the salt in the pan to keep the eggs from cracking – 2 of the 5 have cracks?!

    The best thing to do to keep the eggs from cracking is to not let them boil for too long, or to have too many eggs in the pan. Vigorous boiling bumps the eggs together. ~Elise

  132. Jen

    WOW this method works perfectly! My whole life I’d been simple boiling water, THEN putting the eggs in, keeping the water boiling for a full 6 minutes. They always came out grey/green and I never knew why.. well now I do! I just cooked 2 following this method and they were the best eggs I’ve ever had. Thanks Elise! :-)

  133. egglady

    I don’t know what went wrong. I followed the recipe exactly and I get eggs that I have bright orange waxy-looking centers, not the smooth yellow I expected. Screw it – I’ll buy them hard-boiled from now on. I can’t even boil an egg!

    This is why it pays to test an egg first, before cooling down the rest of them. Could be for your elevation, pan, etc. you need a few more minutes. I would add 3 minutes to the cooking time and try again, this time testing one egg before cooling down all of the rest. ~Elise

  134. Ellie

    I forgot to refrigerate my boiled eggs last night. Can we still eat them or throw them out.

    Great question. A few hours is one thing. Overnight is another. If you crack one open and remove the shell and the egg smells bad, throw it out for sure. If there are any cracks in the egg’s shell and you left it out overnight, throw it out. ~Elise

  135. Derek

    Just wanted to say that this was the best boiled eggs I have ever made. I followed your directions to a T and they came out perfect. Thanks for this.

  136. Alyssa

    Sur La Table also makes this love little gadget that I believe is under $10 that tells you when your eggs are done. I find it indispensable. It’s called the egg perfect timer and you boil it with your eggs.

  137. Kalyn

    I just adore hard boiled eggs too! When it’s not a work day, my favorite way to eat them is to boil the eggs, then while they’re still warm, mash with a bit of butter (or if I’m feeling very virtuous I use something like Smart Balance) and then season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. I never get tired of eating this!

  138. Maia

    This is exactly how I cook my eggs. I’ve never had any crack this way either.

    That tip about the eggs spinning like a top is cute! I doubted it at first, but I just tried spinning some raw eggs and they definitely weeble-wobbled over the counter. I’ll have to try with the cooked eggs next time to confirm the rest of the theory!

  139. Irene

    Elise, I have no idea how many times I’ve raved about your site to others… but I do it all the time. Almost to an excess… :) Anywho, thanks for the perfect hard boiled eggs. You are amazing! Have you ever considered writing a post for beginners about the basic ingredients one should have in their kitchen? I go to the supermarket and sometimes I’m at a loss as to what to buy… especially because I’m inconvenienced by only one shopping trip a week. Just a suggestion. Thanks again!

    Hi Irene, great suggestion! I recommend doing a search for pantry essentials in Food Blog Search to see what other food bloggers have to recommend. ~Elise

  140. Rebecca

    Thank you so much for these tips. After having trouble year after year peeling my Easter Eggs, I decided to this year search online for information to get them to come out right. Followed your advice and the eggs were perfectly cooked and easy to peel!

  141. Julie

    I’ve never made hard-boiled eggs before, so I happened upon this blog while searching for methods. They turned out absolutely perfect! I used salt in the water instead of vinegar. Thanks for the great instructions!

    I cut up the eggs and mixed them in a salad with chick peas, sauteed radishes, baby spinach, chopped romaine, green onions, some black pepper, & a garlic salt/sea salt mix. Best salad I’ve ever had!

  142. Charles

    Grew up not really liking hard boiled eggs, but decided to give them another chance after having a very good one on a salad at a restaurant. Having never cooked them, I found your site while looking for a how to. They were perfect! The eggs were just a couple of days old, but they peeled very easily. I did add a little salt and vinegar to the water before it started boiling. I’ll confess that one that’s still warm, sliced in half, plus a little butter, salt, and pepper is wonderful.

  143. Linda

    I tried making these eggs just the way the recepie said and was so disappointed because my eggs were not done when I was finished. I had already peeled about 9 of them when I broke one open and found out. Had to throw all of them away am am now recoiling the rest.

    • Elise

      It’s always helpful to do a test egg, peel and cut open one of them first. Then you can see if you need more time for the rest.

  144. LC

    12mins makes the perfect egg. From cold water, turn off heat when boiling.

  145. Linda Stefani

    This method has not worked for me. I wait until the eggs are at a rolling boil and then turn them down to a low roll and boil for 10 minutes. I get perfect eggs every time. This is how my mother taught me and she was born in 1921.

  146. David

    Serious Eats found the secret for easy to peel eggs. Cold start. Which means get the water to a roiling boil and take the eggs straight from the fridge and put them in the boiling water. Works with new or old eggs.

    My further testing shows the water needs to return to a full boil, then shut the heat off and cover. Covered time depends on the number of eggs and quantity of water. For me, 2 quarts of water (in a 3 qt pan) and 7 eggs, the time is 13 minutes. Then cool in ice water for 15 minutes.

    The water needs to stay over ~170° F (I forget exactly, look up in McGee) or the proteins will never coagulate. Of course, if you have a huge pot of water, the cold eggs won’t reduce the temp that much and you can just cover.

    • Elise

      I’ll have to try that with some fresh eggs David, thank you!

    • Laura

      I was just going to post the same thing! I’ve been using the eggs-into-boiling-water method since that post a few weeks ago and have not had a *single* egg that did not peel perfectly. I’ve been putting the eggs (8-12) in and letting them go for ~11 min once the water comes back to a boil. I haven’t found the perfect time for boiling yet though – a few batches have been a little green.

    • Molly

      I was also going to cite the recent Serious Eats article:

      Elise, I have been following your method (cold start) for years, and have enjoyed perfectly cooked, but hard to peel eggs. Now I’ve been using the Serious Eats method and I can’t believe how much of a difference it makes! Possibly a tiny bit less convenient, but will be my new go-to.

  147. shawn

    How to make a perfect hard boiled egg? try a lot of different techniques, times, water amounts, pre cooking soak, post cooking soaks, different additives in the water, etc. Sooner or later you’ll get it right.

  148. Sandy S

    Shawn above, you are wise! I have been doing my method for so long that I cannot remember how I came by it. But, I am sure there were many miscues before the eggs started coming out with any consistent appeal. Luckily I like eggs just about anyway they can be consumed! Still, one likes to be able to predict when they will be just right. Somewhere along the line, I started avoiding fast changes in temperature to obtain a more tender white of the egg. Especially nice for soft boiled eggs, but appealing for hard boiled eggs, too. (I don’t add either salt or vinegar to the water for the same reason.) Otherwise I pretty much use Elise’s method for hard boiled eggs when using electric stove tops, though I gently cool the water down before peeling. This is done by gently crack and rolling the egg on a hard surface. Peel starting at the large end. Whenever hard boiled eggs are made, there are usually at least two that are eaten warm with a dab of butter and salt in the morning, and mayo and mustard after noon!

  149. marlene

    You nailed it…..thanks…..

  150. Susan

    I use the same method that you feature here but follow it up by draining the eggs and putting them in a straight sided bowl or pan, add a small amount of water and a few ice cubes then swirl the eggs vigorously around in it. The shells will crack all over and the cold water will seep in and shrink and peel the shell away from the whites by the collision with the ice cubes and sides of the pan. The water also washes the chips of shell from the egg whites, easily.

    For what it’s worth, I never put cold water into a hot pan because it will warp the pan bottom. I’m not sponsored by a cookware company who will replace my pans if they are abused!

  151. verena

    I prefer to steam mine. I steam the eggs for 16 minutes, and then refrigerate. I have one most days for lunch. I find steamed eggs are a lot easier to peel than boiled eggs.

  152. asfranko

    Try “Red Hot” sauce on your hard boiled eggs. You’ll love it.

  153. Hot pot

    Haven’t read the whole thread, but just wanted to contribute that I have a big (5qt?) pot with a pasta strainer. Best way to get the eggs into the boiling water is to put them into strainer and lower strainer into water.

  154. L.D. Meyer

    I’m gonna catch a lot of flack but here goes. I picked this up from another website, bring your water to a hard rolling boil and take the eggs from the frig and take a push pin and make a hole in the large end and take a pair of tongs and gently lower the cold eggs into the boiling water then bring it back to a hard rolling boil again. Cut off the heat and let set for around 12 mins then put cold tap water in the pan and toss in a couple of ice cubes to stop the cooking. Now I’m going to try and s’plain this insane and unorthodox manner of hard cooking eggs. When you put cold eggs in boiling water the shell expands then when you shock the eggs again with the ice water the white contracts from the shell. I’ve tried this method and the eggs do peel easily, before I discovered this method I used to tap both end of the egg and I put a piece of hose on the end of the tap and hold the egg firmly under the hose and gently pulse the water and it would force the water under the shell, it helped but I like the latest method. I’d wait at least a week from the purchase date to prepare them though. As always, Bon Appetite, Adios n’ Hasta La Bye Bye! Your zaney western plains makeshift chef…….Shalom and G_d Bless.

  155. L.D. Meyer

    When I eat a hard cooked egg I like to season it with celery salt and black pepper and a dash of hot sauce, I particularly like Tabasco’s green Jalapeno sauce. Bon Appetite!

  156. Erin S.

    Another method is to use a pressure cooker to cook them. You could probably have a chicken lay an egg directly into the pot and it would come out easy to peel, the shells just slip right off. Only down side for me is that my only pressure cooker is a mammoth 11qt pressure canning rig, so it doesn’t really work for just a few eggs. But come Thanksgiving and my families desire to eat a dozen deviled eggs each and I find myself needing to hard cook three dozen, it works like a charm.

  157. Melanie

    Hard boiled eggs dipped in ranch!! To die for!

  158. Jeff

    The best way to come up with hard boiled eggs, is not to boil them at all. Steam them in a steamer for 20 minutes and plunge them into ice water to make peeling them a breeze. The get the yokes centered, in case your making deviled eggs, try taking the carton of eggs and turning them over the night before (the top of the carton down) to let the yokes center themselves in the white.

  159. Jen

    I use this same cooking method without adding anything to the water. The easiest way to peel that I have found, is after dumping the hot water out and ice bathing them, I pour most of the cold water out and add ice if needed, replace the lid and shake. Not to vigorous. It cracks the shell and water gets up under, making them easy to peel.

    Just one of a billion ways to do it lol!

    I love your site

  160. mlaiuppa

    I’ve been using this method but letting them sit too long. 20 min. or more. I’m going to try this method instead.

    I mostly hard boil eggs to make pesto deviled eggs. Just mix yolks and mayo with pesto, then put back in whites. They’re green so look a little off putting but are delicious. I use home made pesto but you can use store bought.

  161. Mike

    You’re spot on with this recipe.
    When I was in high school back in the late 60’s, I cooked in a restaurant. We cooked eggs every which-a-way for breakfast & also hard-boiled (3) dozen at a time every (3) days for egg salad sandwiches & sliced for salads. Lay out each flat of a dozen eggs, lightly tap each egg with the back of a knife just enough to break the shell, load them into a large pot, cover with 3″ cold water & (1/4) cup vinegar, bring to a rolling boil, cover & let sit on a cold burner for (15) minutes. Strain out the water & load the pot with crushed ice & cold water. Then came the part no one wanted to do; Peeling all of those eggs. Any that had “popped” from the shell were relegated to the egg salad mixing bowl.

  162. Princessbob27

    Elise’s hard boiled egg recipe doesn’t work unless it was for a raw egg! I followed all the directions twice and it did not work twice. It was a complete waste of my money and time!

    • Elise

      Hello PrincessBob. Given how many people have had success with this method, I would suggest that you review the way you are implementing it. Add more water to the pot and you should have no problem.

      • Pat

        I think the amount of water is key – you couldn’t do this recipe with a small saucepan and a pile of eggs and have it come out the same way; it depends on the heat capacity of a decent amount of water, slowly cooling, to cook but not over-cook the eggs. It is a case of properly following directions (1-2 inches of water over not-crowded eggs) even if you don’t understand why.

  163. Coral

    Thank you! This was the first time they were perfectly cooked on purpose. ;)

  164. Sici Wilson

    A little baking soda in the water helps shells come off easily

  165. Shane

    I know I’m late to this party. But I just tried this method of hard boiling eggs and they turned out absolutely perfect! Thanks so much for this guide.

  166. Angela

    To easily peel a hard boiled egg: put one hard boiled egg in a mason jar filled with water to cover egg, screw on lid and shake vigorously. Peel will fall right off.
    Your recipe “how to make hard boiled eggs works” every time!

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