How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs: 3 Fool-Proof Ways

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Perfect, easily-peeled hard boiled eggs can be surprisingly tricky to pull off, especially when you need to make a big batch for Easter or a summer potluck. Here are three different ways that we've found give us consistent results, every time. Pick one to try the next time you need hard boiled eggs!

Photography Credit: Emma Christensen and Elise Bauer

With Easter coming up and summer potlucks following right behind, there are many hard-boiled eggs in our near future. Sometimes they can be a little tricky to pull off—peels included!

Here are three ways to make hard-boiled eggs depending on your equipment, what kind of eggs you have, and what you plan to do with them.

Hard Boiled Eggs

CLASSIC HARD Boiled EGGS on the Stovetop

This is the old-fashioned straight up way of hard-boiling eggs. Water and heat—that’s all you need. And a kitchen timer. Just cover the eggs with water, bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let the eggs sit for about ten minutes.

We have found that eggs cooked this way usually peel easily, especially if you’re using older or commercial eggs, but sometimes the whites can stick to the shells. This is the best method if you want to make Easter eggs, egg salad, or any other recipe where it’s ok if some of the eggs don’t peel perfectly.

How to Steam Hard Boiled Eggs


If you are using farm fresh eggs, take heed. It can often be difficult to peel them after hard boiling them in the traditional manner.

Instead, we recommend steaming fresh eggs instead of boiling, which we’ve found helps them peel much more easily. To do this, place the eggs in a steamer basket in a pan with about an inch of water, then steam for about ten minutes.

You can then use these eggs in any way you like — those peels will come off easily! They’re great if you plan to make deviled eggs or pickled eggs, when appearance is important, or to serve with salads, like Nicoise salad.

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs in the Pressure Cooker

HARD BOILED EGGS in the Pressure Cooker

We’ve found that no matter what kind of egg—brown, white, fresh, old, commercially-produced, or locally-sourced—the pressure cooker method delivers. You can cook a dozen eggs at once (more if you have a second steaming rack), the timing is consistent from batch to batch, and the eggs are always easy to peel. Always.

The only downside is that sometimes a few of the eggs develop cracks in the shells. The egg itself inside the shell is still perfect, but that makes this method less ideal for making Easter eggs.

Use this method if you need to hard-boil a lot of eggs at once and need them to peel easily, like making deviled eggs or egg salad sandwiches for a party.

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Carrie Havranek

Carrie Havranek is a former Associate Editor of Simply Recipes and the author of the cookbook Tasting Pennsylvania (2019). She lives in Easton, Pennsylvania and goes out of her way for farmers' markets, new ingredients, yoga, and walks in nature.

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  1. Peggy

    I have found that the best way to make hard boiled eggs is in the air fryer! The yolk isn’t as dense either, which is a bonus. They are incredibly easy to peel too!

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  2. Sharon Rausch

    I learn so much from you as well! Thank you so much for sharing your helpful information.

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  3. Grandpa Mike

    My Grandmother told me if the eggs are cold, start them in cold water and gradually bring both the eggs and water up to a gentle boil, and boil for about 10 – 15 minutes. If the eggs are fresh and not chilled, it doesn’t matter quite so much.

    Also, where I live we have very hard water….as in brick manufacturing. An older farm wife told my wife (a local grocery store cashier) to try a putting a little baking soda in the water. I guess it has to do with the alkali content. It seems to work. We can peel the entire egg in just a couple of pieces.

  4. Wanda

    I’ve had little to no luck getting shells off hard-cooked eggs. I tried the pressure cooker method last year around Easter and was mostly satisfied with the results. But, I was intrigued by the steam method–mostly because I didn’t have to get the pressure cooker out!–and was very satisfied both times I’ve done it. The first time I tried it with both fresh and older eggs and didn’t have a problem peeling either one. I’m a convert!

  5. Cheryl

    Start HOT! Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, then gently lower the eggs into the water. I use a wire basket for this. Now that the eggs are in, lower the heat so that the water is at a gentle simmer. You don’t want a full rolling boil, just a gentle amount of bubbles. Cook for 13 minutes.
    When the eggs are finished cooking, drop the eggs into an ice bath for 5 minutes.
    After 5 minutes, the eggs will be cool to the touch. Give them several taps against the countertop, all over. Then peel away. You’ll get lovely large pieces of shell that come right off. It’s the best method I’ve found and no special equipment needed. Source:

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Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs in the Pressure CookerHow to Make Hard Boiled Eggs: 3 Fool-Proof Ways