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

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.

Updated April 18, 2019 : We made a few tweaks to this post to make it easier for you to find the information you need!

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  • 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!

    • Carrie Havranek

      Peggy! My jaw dropped. Please tell me what you do? Temperature? Time? Oh you have me scurrying to dig out my air fryer!

      • Peggy

        I use up to 6 eggs. I generally don’t need more than that at a time. I did a full dozen once and one of them was undercooked. I have no idea why.

        I wash the outside of the eggs and pat dry. Then place eggs into air fryer basket. I don’t use a tray or anything. Just right in the basket. I cook at 270 degrees F for 16 minutes. I take the eggs out and cool on a baking rack or if I’m in a hurry I put the eggs into an ice water bath. I find them super easy to peel and by far the easiest way for my husband to peel too. He’s the worst at peeling! Ha

      • Peggy

        And by undercooked, it was slightly undercooked. Like, the yolk was just a little soft. Maybe it was leaning against another egg or something.

  • Sharon Rausch

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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:

  • Sharon

    I’m American living in the UK…I’m a Suply food fan for many years now. Just want to take a quick moment and tell you the horrors I’ve had with making hard boiled eggs here. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that they don’t refrigerate their eggs or what. All I know is that no matter what advice I get they are one tough egg to crack! No pun intended. Could be that I refrigerate as soon as I buy them? Not sure….I’ll lisren to any help there is…still hope for me!

  • Debra

    I’ve been boiling eggs like that for awhile and they always turn out great.

  • L.D.

    I’ve been steaming eggs for a couple years now with pretty good success, while the water is heating up, I take 4 eggs out of the frig, poke a hole in the large end with a pushpin, stand them large end up and warm up in the microwave for 45 to 60 secs (700 watt oven) , once water is boiling I place the eggs large end up in bottle caps in the steamer basket, place lid and steam for 12 mins, then give ’em the ice bath. Dry off and place in ziplock bag and place in the frig still in their shells, I have a 99% rate of escaping the ugly dark ring around the yolk, plus they peel fairly easy, I use eggs that are 7-10 days old.

  • Jeannie

    I appreciate this information. I’ve been told so many hacks to facilitate peeling eggs. However, as a Family and Consumer Services (new title for Home Economics) educator, I wish to correct your terminology. They are ‘hard-cooked’, rather than ‘hard-boiled’ eggs.

    Thank you for your kind attention to this matter, Carrie.


  • jim austin

    Where is the pressure cooker info on boiled eggs ?

    • Rebecca J

      Click on the recipe title next to The Recipe: or the words ‘pressure cooker method’ in the first paragraph. It took me a moment to find it too.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Jim! Emma here, managing editor. The link for the recipe is next to the ‘Recipe’ line beneath the photo. Here’s the link again: Easy Peel Hard-Boiled Eggs in the Pressure Cooker.

  • Nicole

    Do you have the perfect way to soft boil eggs? I can’t get them

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Nicole! Emma here, managing editor. We don’t have a recipe specifically for soft-cooked eggs, but you could use any of these methods and reduce the cooking time by 2 minutes — that should do it!

  • Anita

    Did I miss something? How long do you cook the eggs in a pressure cooker?

  • Joyce

    Another way is in Air Fryer. 250 degrees for 17 minutes. Cold water until cool.

  • RON


  • Kathy Burns

    Forgot to thank you for all your recipes. I’ve used MANY. Delish! I’ve been subscribed to your emails for years. Love to read.

  • Kathy Burns

    A method I use successfully to peel store bought eggs is this:

    Boil eggs however you do. I bring to boil & simmer ~ 10 min..

    Throw hot water off.

    When filling container (usually pan I cooked in) with cold water …. I take each egg and tap the fatter end, gently to break shell.

    Let cracked eggs sit in cold water until cool enough to handle.

    Then peel starting at cracked end.

    Most of the time, every egg peels quickly without gouging egg white at all. Just a thing I do.

  • Gerri

    YAY! As a BTW, eggs are not just for Easter this time of year. Passover Seders use eggs in the ceremony for every guest to eat at the beginning of the meal.