How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

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!).  (Or if you don't have a steamer basket, steam the eggs in a half inch of water.) The steam penetrates the shell a bit making the eggs easier to peel. (You can also steam eggs in a pressure cooker!)

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.

  • Cook time: 12 minutes


1. Cover the eggs in a saucepan with water: Fill a saucepan about a quarter of the way with water. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Add more water so that the eggs are covered by at least an inch or two of water.

The more eggs that are crowding the pan the more water you should have over the eggs. 6 eggs should be covered by at least an inch, 7 to 12 eggs, 2 inches.

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2. Heat the pot on high heat and bring the water to a full rolling boil.

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.

3. 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 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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4. Strain 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.

I find it easiest to peel the eggs under a bit of running 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.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • [email protected]

    This is how I learned years ago from Martha Stewart’s show. I let for 14 minutes. If using right away for tuna or egg salad, etc I crack egg by dropping on counter before sitting in ice bath. Never fails to peel easy and always cooked perfectly.


  • Christine

    Works great, I’ve followed this recipe for years.


  • Rachael

    Followed directions above. Cooked for 12 minutes. All my folks were green and two eggs were completely yellowish. Not sure what that was about.


    • Carrie Havranek

      Hmm, sometimes that happens if the yolks get green if the eggs have been cooked for too long or for too high a temperature. I’m sorry to hear that, Rachael!

    • Christine

      You should get your folks to a Dr, stat!

    • [email protected]

      Let the eggs set out of fridge like 10 mins so they are not too cold AND as soon as water starts to boil TURN OFF stove and cover. It sounds like you may have let the eggs boil a while before turning off stove, or maybe stove was not shut all the way off.

  • Biker Bob

    I found steaming the eggs for 12 min then cracking the fat end of the the shell before dropping in ice water to stop the cooking. Then thoroughly cracking the shell before peeling under running water works very well. Easy peel

  • Lin

    It didn’t work.

  • Haywood

    very long winded way to say 10 minutes


  • Janet D.

    Perfect!! 8 eggs and 9 minutes worked great. Added the salt and after the eggs were done put them 1 at a time in an empty coffee cup. A few shakes and the shells pratically came off ny them selves. Thank you.


  • Jay

    Worked like a champ. Only exception I did was cooling the eggs in warm water so the inner peel wouldn’t stick. I’m ready for more of your recipes. :-)


  • Ashley

    Perfect eggs thank you


  • Jeffre

    My eggs are perfect. Thanks so much.


  • ANDY

    Does not work / waste if time and eggs


  • Rita S

    I brought a large batch of eggs (30) to a hard boil, turned the burner off, put the lid on the pot, and timed the eggs for 12 minutes; I did test one at that point by putting it under cold water, peeled it after one minute, and cut into it- beautiful! perfect, and no green-grey on the yolk! Yep, this method works!


  • Leo

    I love it so good


  • Melissa

    Great recipe and very easy to follow.


  • jackie

    I was skeptical but this is the best hard boiled egg instructions ever!!! Thanks :)


  • Frank

    I’ve tried other methods, this one worked perfectly.
    Peeling them under running water the shells practically fell off on their own!


  • Molly

    Start with what kind of water! Cold water? Room temp? Start with egg straight from the refrigerator or room temperature?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Molly, usually I start with cold water and eggs straight from the fridge, but honestly it will work with room temp eggs and room temp water too, or room temp water and cold eggs, or room temp eggs and cold water.

  • Drew

    Honestly, this is really the only method that has ever worked reliably for me and it is awesome! Thanks so much!


    • Marni

      I’ve been following this recipe for about a year now. It’s true. EVERY TIME the eggs come out exactly as I wanted them.


  • Aldo

    I sincerely appreciate this instructive suggestion for i have acquired a new culinary skill.

  • Chris

    They are perfect!! But the first time I made them I cooled them in cold water, immediately after cooking. They were really hard to peel. I wanted to try again baecause the eggs really were perfect. So I cooled them in medium temperature water and they peeled very nicely. I finally know how to make perfect boiled eggs.


  • Nakita

    Boiled eggs are great but using a GE stove with the sensi-temp burners makes it so you can’t boil the water for the recommended number of minutes

    • Jess

      We don’t boil them for that long, only keep them in the hot water. Re-read the instructions. Hope this helps :)

  • Lanette Renson

    Awesome method!! Thank you!!


  • Pam Callahan

    Start with boiling water! Starting the eggs in cold water and bringing to a boil makes eggs hard to peel. Instead bring the water to a boil and than gently lower the eggs into it, I use a slotted spoon.

    I boil for 13 1/2 minutes and remove to an ice bath. The eggs will be very easy to peel. Just try it once and you will never again start them in cold water. Steaming also works but I prefer this method.

  • Rhonda

    I had stopped making hard boiled eggs because I’d get so frustrated trying to peel them. Try this tip for the easiest peeling ever!

    After cooking, then running the eggs in cold water, put 4 or 5 into a hard-sided, lidded container (a glass bowl or even the pan you cooked them in will work perfectly), just make sure the eggs have a little room to roll around. Put the lid on, then shake the container back and forth (not up and down!) for 10 -15 seconds. The eggs should practically fall out of their shells! If not, shake the container for 5 – 10 seconds more. This never fails to work for me!

  • Corinne


  • Sandra R

    Perfectly cooked. I forgot them and they sat in the hot water for 20 minutes. Not a problem and no green ring!


  • Alexis

    Yes the egg was cooked perfectly but because the egg was placed into the water before it was boiling it caused the Shell to stick to the egg making it more difficult to peel, if they were added once it was already boiling there wouldn’t be this issue.


  • Alissa

    Made it tonight!! Soooo easy!! Never made a batch in about an hour before!! It was great! I normally want to pull my hair out and throw the eggs!! I normally mess up several of them!! I think a huge trick is the older eggs!! Thank you!!


  • Gregory



  • Deb Talbot

    Thank you for helping me. I haven’t made hard boiled eggs in a long time. Your way makes sense.

  • Angela

    I have been making deviled eggs for Easter for 35 years – and tried every method out there to boil eggs. The easiest peel method is to insert the eggs in boiling water (using ladle or tongs). I don’t know the technical terms, but the insertion into instant heat seals a thin membrane around the egg -making it easy to peel. Doesn’t matter what temp before or after – I take right from the fridge but room temp is fine too. Doesn’t matter age of eggs – works great all the time. When peeling doesn’t matter if eggs are still a little warm or if cooled down.


  • LS

    Trying now… Will the salt repel the Easter egg dye?

  • Kelley

    Very simple way to make hard boiled eggs that turned out PERFECT! Adding the salt was a great addition, my sample egg peeled so easily. Thanks so much for sharing!! Quick question though for next time? Is there a certain time length that I should leave the eggs in my big bowl of ice water to cool?


    • Carrie Havranek

      Just until they are cool enough to handle, Kelley. It shouldn’t take more than 5 to 10 minutes for you to be able to handle them–depending on how sensitive your hands are! :)

    • Alissa

      Kelley. I put mine in a ice/water bowl straight from pot and just peeled them from there.

  • Sasha

    This method worked perfect.


  • Alan

    I see no mention about ‘stirring’ them in the early stages. It helps to center the yolks which makes deviled eggs present much better.

    • Jean

      Thank you! This made all the difference – no more lopsided, flimsy halves. :o)

    • Alissa

      Really?!?! Never heard that before. Mine are always off to the side!

  • zanele

    I use to take the timing for granted, thanks!
    I need them hard for lunch boxes as they make a great snack

  • CW

    I make my eggs this way and them put them in the fridge to eat when we want–is it the
    refrigeration that makes them hard to peel later????????????[usually out of 12 I get maybe 4
    or 5 that peel easy]

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi CW, both the freshness of the eggs and refrigeration can make the eggs harder to peel (the fresher the eggs, the harder they are to peel). I usually steam eggs to get them easy to peel. I’ve also starting peeling the eggs right after I cool them down with cold water. I often put them peeled in a covered container and store them in the fridge that way.

    • Tracy

      I add a teaspoon of baking soda to make the water Alkaline which makes the shells harder and easier to peel especially if you have to boil fresh eggs.

  • Sharon

    So many methods out there- this is the best!


  • Karan kaware

    It was helpful


  • Marlow

    Hard boiled eggs and rice have always been a struggle for some reason even though I am a pretty good cook, or so I’m told. This recipe works perfectly on gas or electric stoves and makes for easy, logical adjustment depending on how many you are making. Thanks so much!!!


  • Dominique

    This worked really well for me! Very easy to peel, no raw yolk, just overall very good! The only thing is that I think I may have overcooked them. I let them boil for a long time because I wasn’t convinced that the water was at a “full, rolling boil”. This resulted in a green color around the yolks and the yolks sliding out of the egg whites very easily.


  • Mike

    What did I do wrong? Just as it came to the boil the egg exploded!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Mike! This doesn’t usually happen as long as you are adding the eggs to room temp water and bringing them both to a boil together, but if this is what you did and still had an egg crack on you, then my best guess is that there was weak spot in the shell that caused the egg to crack. I’d give this method another try with another batch of eggs!

    • Ron

      Start with cold water and fridge cold eggs. They both come up to temp at the same time this way.

  • Nick

    My first time making eggs this way was a huge success. My wife is a wonderful cook and said that I am a natural. So, thanks to you, I earned brownie points!

  • Eric Herbert

    I went to hard boil some eggs but found the switch on my electric egg cooker was broken so I ordered a new one from Amazon at the same time I looked up your technique. It turned out to be so easy and the eggs came out so perfectly that I quick cancelled the Amazon order. Thanks for saving me some money!


  • Seth

    Perfect hard boiled eggs. Very creamy and rich yolks not overcooked at all.


  • Karen

    I put my eggs right into a bath of ice water and they came out great. Only had a few that ended up not peeling well. I used fresh eggs. Next time I will use older eggs for perfection.


  • Troy

    That you for ur help they are great much better than mine.


  • Lin Harrison

    Just came back from a trip with friends where I made the boiled eggs. I got rave reviews. I have used this method for several years now with great results. I passed on the link to this site to all my friends and I think they will use it too. Thanks for the method and the great extra hints.


  • Gene

    Awesome!! Works perfect every time. Thanks


  • Elizabeth smith

    The easiest and best way to hard boil eggs!!


  • Christyn

    Good recipe… my eggs turned out PERFECT!!!


  • Donna

    The eggs came out perfect!


  • Heidi

    This technique really does make perfect eggs…every time! I’ve made hard boiled eggs many other ways and have never ended up with eggs this great. Not only are they perfectly done they also peel easy ( I do add a salt to the water).

  • Majid

    Poke a hole through the shell on the fatter end of the egg BEFORE you cook it and the shell will come off super easily.

  • Nancy

    Karen, if using fresh eggs, I pour in a lot of salt. A lot of salt. I don’t measure I just pour it in. I have always had good luck with this. I can’t imagine 1/2 tsp of working at all.

  • Karen

    I’ve used this technique 3x and ALL of my eggs are a disaster to peel. I used salt, I used vinegar, I used white shelled eggs and brown organic eggs. Yet? Most of the egg white comes off with the shell. I see there is a different technique for “easy-to-peel” eggs which begs the question: Who wants difficult-to-peel eggs?


    • Elizabeth

      Do you put them in ice cold water, best with ice cubes in it, immediately and let them sit there till cool. Also tried baking soda in place of salt in the water when cooking.

  • Kathy

    Omg, this actually worked. My eggs came out perfect, not over cooked, not green, and they peeled easily. I’m actually stunned. I will never hard boil eggs any other way again. Thank you!!!!


  • Lee

    Used the Boiling method for 12 eggs, salted the water. Let them sit for 16-18 minutes. Sacrificed one egg to be sure, peeled very easily and nice fluffy texture. No green ring! Perfect!


  • Renee

    Worked perfectly! I tried the boiling method described above with just 4 eggs—let sit for 15 minutes and they turned out great.


  • Alexandra

    So I should peel them right after cooking as opposed to when I am ready to eat them?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Alexandra, I would recommend peeling them right after you’ve cooled them in cold water. They will be much easier to peel then rather than after they’ve been stored in the fridge.

  • Felix Masterson

    Just bought an egg steamer. Can’t seem to dial it in. Tried this method and eggs are perfect. Easy to peel and no green yokes.


  • Dawn L.

    I used to use an old cookbook from the 50’s to hard boil my eggs but that method didn’t seem to work and I always thought it was my lack of cooking skills! BUT this method proved me wrong! Loved it, very easy and fool-proof! Eggs peeled effortlessly!


  • Cheryl

    PERFECT! I use to make deviled eggs all the time and then I started having a horrible time peeling them nicely. I used organic brown eggs and followed this recipe and easy peasy Perfect! Thanks!


  • Mary

    My go to way every time!


  • Ana

    I followed these instructions EXACTLY and my eggs are not peeling well at all. I am suppose to be making deviled eggs for Thanksgiving but it looks like that wont be happening, as I’ve wasted all of these eggs.


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Ana, as I mentioned in the introduction, if you need hard boiled eggs that must be easy to peel, I recommend steaming them, not boiling them. Steaming eggs will give you easy to peel eggs every time. See What can happen with eggs is that if they are very fresh, they can be difficult to peel if you boil them. But steaming forces some air through the porous membrane of the egg shells helping to create some separation between the egg white and the shell, making the eggs easier to peel.

    • Kelly

      I have heard they won’t peel right if they have been sitting in the fridge for a while. They may not be past the expiration date, but if you’ve had them for a couple weeks, they are way harder to peel. No matter what method you use.

      • Elise Bauer

        That’s true too. It’s best to peel them right away. Shock them with cold water or ice water, then peel them. Store them peeled. If you store them refrigerated with the peels on, they can be hard to peel.

    • Jonathan

      Watch on YouTube
      Did exactly what it said in recipe. Did tap and roll… perfection! Thanks and good luck.

  • Grace

    Perfect hard boiled eggs is *exactly* how I’d describe this method. Especially appreciate the suggestion of cutting one open to see just how done they were. They were easy to peel while still a bit warm. This will be my go-to way of cooking eggs for all things hard boiled! Thank you!


  • Harold Lind

    Perfect eggs Every time. Also try poking a hole in the bottom of your eggs for easy peel use a thumb tack

  • James Pinto

    I am learning to cook, the method is simple and easy ☺️. Thank you


  • Mychea

    I did exactly what the instructions said and my hard boiled eggs came out perfect for devil eggs!! I will cook all my boiled eggs this way from here on out!


  • Tammie

    Best, easy, straight to the point recipe there is! Although I cook often, this has always been quite daunting, so thank you. Much appreciated.


  • Mona

    Perfectly cooked


  • Colleen

    Fantastic method! I forgot about mine and left 6 covered for nearly 20 minutes- still weren’t overcooked!


  • Horacio

    Followed exactly for hard boiled. They were very undercooked.

  • mari

    Best eggs ever, thank you!


  • Kasondra

    These were absolutely perfect! I’ve had trouble with the shells of hard boiled eggs, some days I make them perfect and other days the shells absolutely refuse to let go and chunks of egg peel off. I have this trouble most often when cooking many eggs at once. With these directions I made 18 eggs, half old and half new. All but 2 peeled with perfection and we’re done just right inside! Thank you so much! This is definitely my go-to for eggs now!


  • Keith

    Perfect! The only way I will ever boil eggs again!


  • Andrew

    Tried it with 2 eggs and worked perfectly with 10 min. The eggs were easy to peel, the only thing I did different, is I started with lukewarm water.


  • Liz

    As some others have mentioned this makes eggs terribly difficult to peel. Lower eggs into boiling water ..HOT start and lower temp to simmer 8-11 minutes then shocking in ice bath for 5 minutes. Works every time. :)

    … I’ve had success with this method Colorado, Hawaii, Florida, and New York

  • Chris G

    This recipe is flat out wrong. I have tried it 29 different ways and almost always the eggs are impossible to peel. I’m at high altitude in Denver fwiw.

    Here’s how to do it right:

    – boil the water first with some salt and dash of vinegar

    – add eggs

    – boil 5-8 mins

    – shock in ice water bath

    Product is then easy to peel.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Chris, when you are at altitude, as you are in Denver at 6000 ft, hard boiled eggs will always be more difficult to make because water boils at a lower temperature at higher altitudes. I suggest pressure cooking eggs, or if you don’t have a pressure cooker, steaming them, to get easy to peel eggs. The pressure from the pressure cooker helps offset the fact that you are at altitude.

      • Kevin

        Altitude makes a difference in how long you cook hard boiled eggs? I was surprised reading this message I’m not sure about my altitude, but from Calgary to Vancouver, I use the same proceudre throw some eggs and water in a pot and boil for 20min then run under cold water and they peel easily. The key for me has been running under cold water before peeling as I had read for advice.

        • Elise Bauer

          Hi Kevin, yes altitude can make a difference. Water boils at a lower temperature at higher elevations, meaning that it can take longer to cook things when you are high in the mountains.

    • Liz

      I agree Chris (CO springs here) …. lowering ends into boiling water, FOLLOWED by a shocking ice bath; works better EVERY TIME. Steaming I found to be too rubbery. Thanks for the insite Chris.

  • J Burks

    The eggs were perfect, and the salt in the water trick definitely made getting the shells off for deviled eggs easier!


  • Sharon

    When you suggest steaming fresh eggs to make them easier to peel, do you mean steam them in place of boiling them, or steam them first, then follow your recipe for boiling them? Thanks!

  • Ashley

    Have used this recipe several times and each time the eggs are perfect ! And so easy !!


  • Mary

    I made these today, and they were cooked perfectly at 12 minutes. I forgot the salt, but they peeled beautifully easy!! Thanks for an excellent method.


  • Amy Lynn

    Followed exactly (including the addition of salt and white vinegar) and cooked for 10 minutes. PERFECT!


  • Dianne

    Simply divine! I made this for my family and the devoured it! I had mine as stuffed celery and I think I could easily take this to any picnic and it would be gone in a flash! Thank you so much for sharing!


  • David

    If you’re lucky enough to have a Magimix Cook Expert, then all you have to do is put 500 ml water in the steel bowl, insert the steam basket with up to six eggs (straight from the fridge is fine) than run the program STEAM. 20 minutes later, dump the eggs into icy water, wait for a few minutes until eggs are cold, and peel. For some unknown reason, they peel like a dream, every time.

  • Judi

    I love this recipe of all the recipes out there. Easy & life I forget, still great eggs. I forgot them after running cold water & left them sitting in the water for awhile. The peels came right off so now I do it on purpose.

  • Nancy

    The recipe is absolutely perfect! I had 9 eggs and brought them to a rolling boil on a gas range. I covered them and let them sit on low for one minute. I turned the gas off and let them sit for 15 minutes. I then put them into a cold bath with ice for a good 20 minutes and when I removed them and they were easy to peel. For those eggs that I didn’t peel right away, I put them back into the container that they came in which keeps odors at bay.


  • Lynn

    Hi. Is there a reason you wouldn’t just steam eggs every time if it’s easier to peel? I’ve never steamed, but now I am wondering if they’re any better or worse than regular hard boiled.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Lynn! Emma here, managing editor. Great question! I think the biggest trade-off is in the texture of the eggs. Steamed or pressure cooked eggs tend to have a slightly more firm (some might say rubbery!) texture than regular boiled eggs. This makes steamed or pressure cooked best for things like deviled eggs, but some people don’t like them for just regular everyday eating (whole or in salads). Hope that helps!

  • Barbara

    Perfect ideas for every way you would want hard boiled eggs!

  • Linda

    Perfect, easy peeling hard boiled eggs every time! Mine take 18 minutes after boiling. I finish them in an ice water bath.

  • Lucie

    First time I use the “fugget about it” method. I’m adopting it from now on!!! Thanks!


  • Dennis

    Works like a charm.


  • Ellen Anderson

    Awesome! This worked perfect on my electric stove and I have never had much luck with making hard boiled eggs before! They were delicious and so easy to make using this method!


  • Diana

    Amazing!!! They came out perfectly my first try. I haven’t made boiled eggs in years, don’t cook so much but I’m starting to try.


  • Amy

    They came out great, thanks! I followed instructions on salt, vinegar, water amount, and 12 minutes in the hot water, perfect!


  • April

    First time ever!!! Perfect eggs!!! Never before have I had perfect peeling eggs. I just couldn’t believe each egg peeled so easily.


  • Linda

    It worked awesomely! I followed all of your tips. Only one egg that cracked was more difficult but under running water it worked too!

  • Ankit

    Amazing recipe! The eggs were perfect. And the salt really does make them super easy to peal. Thank you.


  • Morlan

    Hello, I think this is the first time I have ever post on cooking site, I’m like you I love hard boiled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, but I never get the eggs come out how I like them, but with this boiling method they were perfect and tasted great. every thing was perfectly cooked and the whites weren’t rubbery. Now we will see if my wife likes them, the real test, because she is not necessarily fond of hard boiled eggs. Thanks for your advice


  • Aileen

    I have tested this method a few times now, with success each time. Thank you!


  • Kurt

    I could have let the water simmer for another minute as suggested. Other than that, who could believe an egg in all it’s simplicity is so delicious all on it’s own! A little salt and pepper to taste of course. : ) Yum! Bookmarked you too…thank you!


  • Carrie

    Perfect, THANK YOU!!

  • Jackie

    Delicious, haven’t made hard boiled eggs since I was a kid and this method was super simple. Thanks!


  • Ceara

    This is the only way I make hard boiled eggs and I have no problems with them or the shell.


  • Toni

    I let them sit in the pan 18 minutes after turning off and then in cold water 30min. Came out perfect and peeled easily. Thanks.


  • ferd

    Perfect, everytime!

  • Hannah

    This method does not work AT ALL. It is the WORST method I have ever tried. The eggs are extremely difficult to peel. The shell comes off in tiny bits and takes most of the egg white with it. If you are able to get the shell off, the very top layer of egg white is tough and rubbery. Don’t waste your time and resources.


    • Lee Lee

      Recipe for perfect hard boiled eggs! The tricks for easy peeling are great. Try again.


  • Rob Clark

    This makes eggs that are extremely difficult to peel. The shell comes off in small pieces and often takes parts of the egg with them.
    Take out as many eggs as you want to boil and let them sit out for about 15 minutes; this helps to prevent breakage. Bring a large kettle of water to boil (enough to cover them over an inch high). Lower the eggs in with a slotted spoon, let the water come to a boil again and cook for 11 minutes. Drain the hot water, run one batch of cold water over them, drain that, then add ice and more cold water and let them chill for about 10 minutes. You’ll find your eggs are very peelable. Try it and see what you think.

  • James Robinson

    Awesome Thanks so much

  • Ammaris

    I ALWAYS manage to overcook eggs. I followed these directions exactly and came out with perfectly hardboiled eggs. Thank you so much!


  • PattyG

    Thank you so much… and easiest boiled eggs I’ve ever made


  • Egg lover

    This is just like a Julia Child recipe I have for hard boiled eggs and has always given perfect results- never any green lines and they taste yummy! If you need perfect hard boiled eggs for deviled eggs, it is worth the time.


  • nodscene

    Figured I’d try out this method and surprisingly this made the best hard boiled eggs I’ve ever had. The whites were nice and firm with the yolk perfectly cooked and had a fluffy-ness to them I’ve never seen before in a hard boiled egg. I realize these are only a “lowly” egg but I’m impressed. Cant wait to try an egg salad sandwich and other dishes to see what kind of difference it makes.

    I boiled as per directed and once I turned off the heat let them sit for 12 min. Truly was a perfect hard boiled egg.


  • Tomah

    I find a 1/4 tsp baking soda added to the water just before I take it off the heat makes the shell come off super easy.

  • Rebecca

    My go to recipe for hard boiled eggs!


  • David

    This was a great help! Perfect hard eggs are now easy to make


  • Sheri keefer

    This works perfect every time

  • Barb

    Perfect – and so easy!

  • Judy

    Appreciate the details! I have cooked many hard boiled eggs over the years and was always clueless when they didn’t come out as expected. I have confidence that tonight’s batch will be perfect, thanks to your tutorial.

  • Tomi-Anne

    Thank you so very much for sharing tips for easy peel eggs! I would always rip half of the hard-boiled egg apart just to get the shell off, but when I followed your instructions, I had absolutely no issues! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!


  • Garrett

    51 years and never made hard boiled eggs. This worked perfect. Perfectly cooked and the shells came right off. I’m hooked :D


  • Eric

    Best method I’ve come across. Perfect every time. Thank you


  • Brandon

    This method is one I found about a year ago,& a problem with egg since! Whomever cooked eggs over and over to figure this out, KUDOS TO YOU!!


  • Grisel

    The only way I’ve ever found to make hard boiled eggs perfect everytime! Thanks for sharing the recipe!


  • Marc

    works perfect

  • flowersnquilts

    Perfect! We have chickens, so our eggs are fresh, fresh, fresh. Out of 16 I steamed, only 1 was hard to peel (and the yolk was exposed on the side, so it was predisposed to be funky). Excellent method. I need to make deviled eggs, so I steamed them for 15 minutes. Perfect. Thank you!


  • Jeff

    This recipe yields perfect results every time. Thank you!


  • Tom

    Tip: I like to roll the individual eggs around on the counter a bit before putting them in the pot of water. This helps to center the yolk in the egg.

  • Elijah Mowbray

    Simple and effective method I have used many times without any missteps.


  • Frank Malpica

    Perfect eggs, I let them sit for 15 mins and they were amazing!


  • Adrianna Henry

    Clear, insightful instructions. Thank you!

  • Janet Dougherty

    They were perfect and easy to peel! Thanks

  • Tere

    I tried this and they came out perfect I just left them covered for about 18 minutes, thank you for the tip ;)


  • Kimberly

    12 minutes, and absolutely perfect!!


  • austin morrison

    I’m with Derek..eggs fell apart when trying to peel……ended up boiling constantly for 8 minutes……cold water rinse after…… came right off!

  • Matthew Krpata


  • Julia

    Worked like a charm.


  • Sheila

    This is the perfect way to cook hard boiled eggs for sure!


  • Cathy Gamache

    I do use this method love it. I also Crack the eggs and leave them in the water for a few.

  • Derek

    No idea what went wrong. The eggs boiled fine, it looks, but they’re hell to peel. Older eggs, check. 1/2 tsp salt, check. A total nightmare to get peeled without tearing the egg apart, check.


    • Tere

      try peeling them under running water, it works for me.

  • Trisha

    Absolutely perfect


  • Sarah

    Just add salt to the water after you put in the eggs and before the water boils. The egg shells practically fall off!

  • Janelle

    First time egg boiler and this was perfect!! I made two batches and it worker perfectly both times!! perfect yellow yolks.


  • Clinton Dawkins

    @Ruth Brown If you live outside the U.S., eggs are kept at room temperature. The American eggs are cleaned, however, and so need to be kept in a fridge until cooking, or else you’re asking for food poisoning.

    @Ryan Baking soda should be avoided when it comes in contact with food. It’s not arsenic but there’s just no reason to use it, especially for something so simple as boiling an egg.

  • Trina

    Thanks for the information. Perfect eggs. For Easter Egg
    colouring 2018.



  • Carol

    I steamed them for 15 minutes and they are perfect. Only way I’ll ever hard boil eggs from now on. Thank you.


  • Rob

    PERFECT hard boiled eggs.. literally the best the ever came out first try!!


  • Charlotte

    I just tried this, and it worked great! Thanks so much!


  • Elisa

    Thank you for the great recipe! Whenever my family boiled eggs in the past the yolks always had that grey/green colour and they were just ok. These ones looked perfect and tasted perfect! Made a very tasty egg salad with two of them, and I put the remaining 2 in the fridge for another day.


  • Emily

    This was AMAZING!! Perfect eggs to eat and perfect Easter eggs. No complications. Very very easy (:


  • Shantel

    Great simple instructions! My eggs came out perfect, I brought them to a boil and then turned off the heat..covered them with a lid. I didn’t even set a timer I just let them remain in the water about 10 minutes. Great addition to my wonderful salad :)


  • Carl

    My second time following this recipe and it worked great, again! My wife thinks I took a cooking class (well, I kinda did…Thanks, Elise!)


  • Ruth Brown

    I’ve tried so many different directions on hard boiling eggs and have not had good luck until now. I bring my eggs to room temperature before boiling and using the above directions, they turn out perfectly every time. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


  • Dave

    No matter which way you cook/boil/steam/pressure cook eggs, immerse them in a ice water bath for 6 full minutes, the egg pulls away from the inner shell membrane and makes peeling a snap. Start from the blunt end.

  • Christina

    Guess I’m going to have to try your steaming method because my eggs are moons as well. Lol. I’m sure there’s a difference because mine are farm fresh eggs as opposed to store bought. This time around we are definitely sacrificing appearance for taste. These are the best hard boiled eggs I’ve ever had!


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Christina, yep, I find that steaming works best for farm fresh eggs. But the gentle bring-to-a-boil-remove-from-heat method really does produce eggs that taste good, doesn’t it?

  • Ryan

    When I do mine I add baking soda to help with peeling and works Awsome. My grandmother told me this trick…… Hope it helps

    • Christina

      How much? I’m going to try that next go round as well.

      • Trina

        1/2 a teaspoon baking soda. I’ve not seen to add more or less depending on amount of eggs, just to add 1/2 teaspoon to water.

  • James Dalton

    worked great for me


  • Cliff

    The steam method worked so well! Easy, efficient and shell comes off so easy!


  • Mangaia

    If you want to precise cooking, boil the water before you put the eggs. When the water boils, put the egg(s). Look at your watch (or clock) to know the time. When the time comes, take out the egg(s).

  • Heather

    It works!! I have been looking for an easy recipe to stop the green yolks. I boiled 6 eggs in a medium sauce pan and they sat for 14 minutes. Even cold they were difficult to peel though. I wonder if more time would have helped…


  • Ashleigh

    Can’t understand why this didnt work for me with so many good reviews. Left for 12mins and still soft watery mess when i peel them. Having to start a new batch as wasted a few testing them. Maybe because they were straight from the fridge :/


    • Arny

      Ashley mine were perfect, first try. I improvised a bit.
      Brought them to a rolling boil, set my timer for 12 minutes, covered the pot and simmered for 2 minutes, and then I let them sit there for the remainder ten minutes covered with stove off. Perfect!

    • Manny

      Try the perfect boiled egg set your timer for 9 min make sure eggs are covered with water works for me everytime.

      • Louise

        Starting to time after the water comes to a boil makes perfect eggs! Thanks!

    • Becky

      That sucks. Mine were straight from the fridge each time I’ve used this method and as another individual already mentioned, I too had to add a few minutes to have them the way I prefer to eat them. Other than that, I’ve had good luck using this method.
      I just thought of 1 thing that may or may not be effecting your end result…..Are you using a gas or electric stove? I’m not sure if that makes a difference, but I suppose it’s possible???

      • Trina

        I saw that if it’s gas stove(burner that quickly cools) to put it on low/simmer once you turn off the boil. Electric burners obviously remain hot for a while.

  • Oma

    Works great


  • Garry Low

    Have used this method, and found it to be the easiest and most foolproof way. Works great!


  • Dani Smith

    Thanks! I will never boil again. Steamed for fifteen minutes and they peeled so freaking easy!


  • Mitsuko

    Ive been using this recipe to hard boil eggs. Older eggs peel easier. Cool eggs peel easier. Using cold running water, after cracking the shell all over, helps the egg to peel. Either way, I find letting the eggs sit for 11min after the rolling boil and turning off the burner is the perfect amount of time. If you let them sit for longer, they get green yolks. I also think they get overcooked, if you don’t get them in cold water right away. That’s my two cents. My husband and kids all agree my hard boiled egg game is on point!


  • Chris

    Instead of sacrificing an egg. What I do to check if they’re ready is simply spoon out an egg from the hot water. Drain off the excess water from the spoon or use a slotted spoon. Watch for the eggshell to dry. If it dries in 2-3 seconds it’s ready. If not let it cook a minute or two longer. Then repeat the process until the egg dries in a second or two.


  • James Dyke

    Works great, right out of the fridge I found it takes a bit longer but like she said you can experiment with the waiting time without ruining the eggs.


  • Kelly K

    This is the definitive way to make hard boiled eggs. Stop searching!


  • Matt

    I’ve done eggs this way for years. Once after turning off the heat and covering I dozed off in the recliner yet two hours later they were still awesome.

    • Elise Bauer

      Yep! That’s what I like about this process. Pretty much no risk of overcooking the eggs if you forget.

  • Derrick Eliason

    I brought mine to a boil, turned off burner (electric) , covered the saucepan for 8 mins, transferred eggs with slotted spoon into a bowl of ice water let it sit for 3 mins then I just get a glass about 12 oz like a orange juice glass put the egg in , fill with water then I shake it with a hand covering the top one on the bottom until water is gone, the shell peels right off. Then just put some salt on and eat them lol. Would post a pic but it won’t let me never posted on anything before.

  • Denise

    Are you starting with eggs straight out of the fridge or room temperature?

  • Kyla

    I find peeling eggs under *freezing cold* water makes it easier. I used to peel eggs and they came out lookin like the moon, once I started peeling them in cold water I noticed they came out with ease.

    • Becky

      LOLOL!!!!! “Came out looking like the moon”…….

  • Cassandra

    Crack the egg before you put them into the cool water, helps with the peeling :)

  • Malissa Mullin

    I rarely have trouble peeling eggs. Lightly tap them against a hard surface repeatedly so that the entire egg is covered in small cracks then peel under running water. Make sure to get under the membrane and the egg pretty much slips out.

    • Kasia S.

      I take me time, put on something fun on youtube to watch, get a cold drink and peel away serenely, nicely peeled shell makes the whites very smooth and silky, not choppy, worth it, even in egg salad :)

  • Andi Davis

    *furiously noms on a egg salad sandwhich* This recipe worked great for me. I sacrificed (ate) two eggs and used salt in the water. I found the eggs to be hard to peel, but I always do.

  • Patricia Brummett

    Worked great! Used my oldest eggs.

    It’s the first time my eggs were easy to peel! Thanks!

  • Patty Stevens

    I like Carol Morgan’s comment and plan to look up the egg stripper on home shopping network. I STRUGGLE WITH PEELING HARD BOILED EGGS similar to Danielle and it is a constant frustration not knowing if I will have deviled eggs or egg salad. Good thing I like both.

    • Janae Fournier

      The older the eggs the better. If you know your going to make hard boiled eggs buy a cartoon of eggs a week prior then when ready use that cartoon of eggs. They peel in seconds

  • Cynthia Johnson

    wonderful! first time in my life I made hard boiled eggs

  • Danielle

    I followed these directions, bought the eggs last week. About 4 of them peeled easily, the rest the shell was legit stuck to! I was so frustrated!! And the two test eggs I did peeled perfectly, and they were cooked perfect. I don’t know why the rest SUCKED. Anyway, making egg salad and trying again to make deviled eggs. I honestly think the cool down is what caused them to stick. I don’t know exactly. Time to try again!

  • Clanesha

    I used this method today and it was perfect!! I didn’t realize I’ve been boiling eggs the wrong way this entire time.

  • Fred

    I posted a while back how great this method is and that I would peel them and put them in my favorite pickle juice (sans pickles).

    Now I have a new suggestion. I have been reading about the benefits of apple cider vinegar so I tried that. I peeled them, put them in a jar and covered them with the ACV. VERY good, especially after adding a bit of Himalayan Sea Salt.

    • Greg

      How long did you leave it in the vinegar?

      • Fred

        Until I eat them. The longer the better.

    • Scott

      I take a hard boiled egg every night and place in a container covered with apple cider vinegar. I have it the following morning for breakfast. I do poke the egg a dozen times with a tooth pick before soaking. I found the longer the egg is in the vinegar the darker and more rubbery the white becomes but they are still very good. Also I had put six to seven eggs in the pickle juice from famous Dave’s pickles. Let them sit for at least 7 days…very good!

  • Carol Morgan

    I love hard boiled eggs but dread peeling them until I purchased the Egg Stripper on HSN that peels 5 eggs under 10 seconds
    I cook my eggs for the week put in fridge and
    peel as I need them
    Amazing product that works and makes my life so easy
    I think their web site is

    • Chris

      Can you note how much that egg stripper gizmo cost?

      • Carol Morgan

        On their web site

  • Timmy D

    Found this egg timer on amazon. Perfect eggs every time!

  • Greg

    Maybe I missed it, but how long do you leave the eggs in ice water?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Greg! Emma, managing editor for Simply Recipes, here. Just leave the eggs in the water until they’ve cooled. This usually takes me about 10 minutes or so. Enjoy!

  • Marisa

    Dan, perfect message, I found this recipe to be the best way to cook hard boiled eggs any way you want. And depending on what you are making at that time it’s so easy to adjust!! From deviled eggs to egg salad to add to chip beef over toast. Yeah, I add them to that. I live in the hot dish state of Minnesota. You get your protein were you can. Great recipe!! Everyone just has to experiment with the timing depending on the what you have. I have to change my times right now. I just moved in to a new home and went from a electric stove to a gas stove so my I can keep it on the burner now that my burner retains heat. And I’ll check one after 6 mins. I like it a little transparent in the middle when I’m just making it for eating. Note that when you don’t cook it all the way through like this. The first picture shown for 6 mins they should be eaten in 3 Days.

  • Debra Curran

    I found that if you take the tip of a sharp knife, like a steak knife and pierce the egg shell with just the tip (near either end) it helps to release the membrane from the egg and makes it easier to peel. Just insert the tip enough to pierce the egg and that thick outer membrane. And use a little vinegar in the water to keep the whites from seeping out.
    Peels easy every time

  • Jimbo

    Perfect! They even slice well when cooked like this. I think some of the replys are a little EGG-CENTRIC, lol!

  • Dan

    For people that are having a hard time with this recipe, use simple problem solving techniques, if your eggs aren’t cooked enough, take that experience to heart and cook them longer! If they are too hard to peel, your eggs may be very fresh, which speaks a lot for your grocer! I have cooked eggs from 7-11 but most of my eggs are home laid from friends and family. I’ll buy a few dozen and sort them from size myself, I’ve noticed the white, green, and brown to have different shell thicknesses and different peeling eases. I live in Utah at 4200 ft and my best success is to use a cast iron Dutch oven pot with a ceramic coating, traditionally a 2-3 hundred dollar pan from la crueset, but you can get knockoffs from tax maxx for 30-40$. I put them in, 6-12 eggs, lid on, water about an inch above the eggs, bring to a roaring boil and I move my pan off the burner (glass top) but not on my granite countertops because it may cool them down too quickly. Lid still on, I let them cook in the post boiling water for 11-14 mins depending on the size/number of eggs and cooling them down with cold/ice water to stop the cook…Perfect every time… if you are picky with the cook on your eggs, pull one, peel it, n cut it. That will let you know where they are. If you want them easier to peel, like some of my farm fresh ones, add 1/4 cup of any strong vinegar (I use white) and 1-4
    tsp of salt to the boiling water to help break down the shell and promote pre separation of the membrane.

  • Elizabeth

    This method completely ruined them for me. Mine were decent before, but since I needed to make pretty ones for a party I figured I would try this… The eggs were so overcooked and stuck to the shell and crumbled. So disappointed this is the first hit on Google search for perfect hardboiled eggs.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Elizabeth, if you need pretty eggs for a party, I suggest steaming them (see the link and suggestion in the intro to this recipe).

    • Steve Price

      If your eggs stuck to the shell that’s because the eggs were very fresh. Older eggs tend to not cling to the shell nearly as bad..
      I have had great success with the 12 min method.

    • Tracy

      Cheese n rice… If you needed “pretty” eggs, you probably should’ve made sure you didn’t try a new method the day of your event. They’re eggs…I’m sure you’re ok.

      • Christopher

        Thanks for the laugh! :)

      • Jessica

        Totally agree. I have great success with this method but the peeling part totally depends on how fresh they are!

  • April Derossett-Watson

    Perfection! Used the ice water bath after cooking, and the eggs practically peeled themselves. Never ever have I made such perfect eggs. Thank you for sharing this method.

  • Lou

    I don’t see how anyone can be upset with an egg if it’s not “perfect!”
    I, personally eat them anyhow!
    Oh well, I know we are in a rich nation and think nothing about waste, however, I am old fashioned and will make do with almost anything if it doesn’t turn out right.
    Just airing out a “pet peeve”

  • MackJr

    Perfect. I let my eggs sit for 15 minutes and the yolks came out perfectly cooked. Slightly crumbly and bright yellow.

  • Dan

    My mother always had the water come to a full boil then she would lower the flame and cook the eggs for 10 to 12 minutes with the pot still on the burner-so are you saying to turn it off completely once it starts boiling remove it from the heat and let them cook for 10 more minutes that way ?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Dan, don’t remove it from the burner, just turn off the heat and cover the pot, and let the eggs cook in the residual heat of the water in the pan.

  • Annie

    Thanks so much for this post! This method works for me every time!

  • Lynn

    Yes, perfect. Finally!

  • Sabra

    Disaster. I’m so upset that I wasted eggs. Twelve minutes is not enough! The first eggs fell apart when I tried to get the peel off. It was not cooked through.

    • Elise Bauer

      If the first egg wasn’t cooked enough, then the eggs need a few more minutes in the hot water. No need to waste any more than the one egg you tested. Just boil the other eggs for a couple minutes and they’ll be fine.

    • Bob

      Chill out! Eggs are $1/1.5 dozen. Pull some change from the couch cushions and try again..

      • MO

        LOL maybe where you are. Here in Seattle, they average around $2.80-5 a dozen, depending on brand and organic or not.

        • Dara

          In Florida; $4.99…

          • John

            99 cents indiana

    • Dan

      Maybe you covered the pot? Think it should be uncovered. Or maybe you didn’t use enough water

    • Shan

      All Walmart eggs are 37 cents a dozen… and you could have just cooked the other one longer.. you didn’t have to “waste” two..

      • Jessica Powell

        What Walmart has .37/dozen? They’re $2 at ours for cheapest brand.

  • Jen


  • Dianne

    How do you get the yolks to be in the centre and not right against one end of the egg?

    • Tabitha

      You stir them. I asked this same question years ago and stirring is the answer

      • Cookinkel

        Several times or is stir before the boiling point enough?

  • Karla

    Perfect eggs using this method! EVERY TIME! !!! AWESOME….thanks for posting this. Although I have used this method for quite some time now if I leave a huge gap in time between when I last hard boiled eggs I may need to glance over the directions again to remind myself of how many minutes to let eggs sit and whether or not to remove the pot from my element after it has boiled and been turned off or to leave it on the element. I am thankful to have your page bookmarked for a quick refresher! Thanks again! :)

  • Amanda

    I use the teaspoon of salt during the boil and follow up with the ice water, and these are literally ALWAYS perfect!

  • Marilyn
    • Theresa

      Wow! I’m going to try this!

    • Danny

      This video changed my life. Thank you for sharing.

  • bob

    A hot start produces easier-to-peel eggs, add to boiling water for 12 min. Steaming them is even better.

  • DrT

    PS. In Florida, there is no such thing as running cold water! So the only way is to shock them in ice bath. I usually ave to boil the eggs at least 30 minutes to get them cooked. I have no idea how this method works for anyone!

    • Becky

      This method works perfectly for me every time. My mother born during the depression and raised on an Ohio farm also made hard-boiled eggs by steeping them and she also made corn on the cob this way. Its a simple time-tested method. It is possible your opinion of a fully cooked egg is different than the actual norm.

    • Megan McMahon

      I also live in FL and agree the ice shock is necessary as we do not have “cold water”; however, if you follow the advice in this recipe, you will have perfect hard-boiled eggs, even in FL.

  • Jenny Johnson

    We loved it. It was so easy and fun. I can’t believe how easy it was and it only takes 10 minutes.

  • jim

    the tip about steaming fresh eggs first was great, I was able to peel the eggs very
    easily. Fantastic

  • Steve

    Terrible. This created the toughest peeling. Not sure why the different results. Followed explicitly. Maybe some missed information about how to cool them?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Steve! Take a look at some of the notes at the beginning of the recipe. There’s some great advice in there on peeling hardboiled eggs. In a nutshell: older eggs are always much easier to peel than really fresh ones, but you can also try cracking your eggs and soaking them in cold water after cooking (this can help loosen the shell a little). If you need hardboiled eggs that are 100% sure to peel cleanly, then try one of the other methods linked in the recipe notes. Thanks!

  • Catie

    This worked so well! It was my first time hard boiling eggs and they came out perfectly and easy to peel. Thank you!

  • Bekka

    You said “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.”

    You can actually test for doneness without sacrificing one. Remove one egg from the hot water with a slotted spoon and watch the water evaporate off the egg shell. When it evaporates very fast, the egg is done. This is a trick I learned from my Mother.

  • Kelly

    This is the holy grail for hard boiled egg cookin. Perfection! Thank you!

  • Daniel Bellefleur

    Nailed it the first time with this method. So long green hard boiled hard to peel eggs! Thanks for sharing!

  • Shanine

    Another good method for removing shell is to place in a small jar with a bit of water and lid.. shake it! Not too hard but hard enough. As the egg hits off the inside of the jar, the shell comes off in the water. I’ve had only two eggs split in half from shaking.

  • Caitlin Koi

    My family has always made greenish grey hard boiled eggs, then my first time making eggs on my own I do this and they’re perfect. Perfect consistency, color, taste, thank you so much.

  • jasmine pollard

    Thank you for this! I boiled eggs for the first time ever tonight, followed these directions, and they came out wonderfully. I did test one egg for doneness, and that one did not peel easily, per se (probably because it was still pretty warm), but the rest of the eggs that sat in ice water weren’t difficult to peel at all. I adjusted the time to about 9 minutes, and the yolks were perfect.

  • Jake LaBranche

    Eggs were soft. Easy peel. Soft core. Exquisite Eggs. I got peel on my fingers though. ha.

  • Jerry

    This method works perfectly. The eggs were extremely easy to peel. Everyone complaining they can’t peel their eggs obviously aren’t able to follow simple directions. Cold water. Eggs. Salt. Rolling boil. Burner off. Wait 15 min. Ice water. Peel. Not very hard……

  • Christina

    Thanks for the guide, I just started eating eggs and had never hard boiled before. This method worked perfectly and I had no trouble peeling them. I added salt to the water and let them sit for 10 minutes after turning off the burner, then put them in a bowl of ice water for about 3 minutes before peeling.

  • Steve R

    I feel foolish having bought ready made hard boiled eggs. I’ve worked in the food business since I was 8. I wish I’d have learned the steaming method a long time ago. It would have saved me a lot of time during “prep”. It’s as easy as steam, ice water and peel. AND they taste great.



    • Elise Bauer

      I love it when my in-real-life friends try the recipes. Adore you too Rich!

  • Ray Donahue

    I am going to try this tomorrow.
    Meantime as far as peeling goes: place the egg in a small glass or jar, fill with water, cap (or hold your hand over top), shake!
    I have only done this once but it seemed to work. Apparently the battering of the egg against the sides of the container causes cracking which allows the agitated water to travel under the shell. This forces the shell away from the white. I try this again tomorrow.


  • Jan

    I followed the directions exactly (I think) and on all 10 eggs, the peel stuck to the membrain which stuck to the whites … which left me very frustrated with ugly eggs not worthy of being made into deviled eggs. Where did I go wrong? Should eggs be at room temperature when I start? Should I cook fewer at a time? Were the eggs not fresh enough? Help!

  • Walter Dixon

    I crack my eggs then slide a spoon inside the shell and it comes right off

  • Henry C. Berg

    Hmm. Wondering why no one has said anything about piercing the bottom of the large end of the egg with a pin before cooking. Any thoughts?
    Hank B.

  • David

    Have been boiling eggs for years and like them soft on the inside. So I thought I’d give your method a try and it was right on point. 6 min per the directions and a nice soft center and at 8 just as you described it.
    I also added salt to the water as directed.
    Eggs peeled nicely as well.
    Thanks for the well written article along with the pics showing the yolks as that was critical.
    My new goto method…thanks Elise

  • Angela

    Followed directions exactly, wanted the “10 minute” version. They were runny.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi Angela! So sorry this method didn’t work for you! This is a pretty universal technique, widely used in restaurants, so it sounds like something must have just gotten off for you. Are you at high elevation? Did you let the water come to a full rolling boil before removing the pot from heat? Did you use extra-large eggs, maybe? Just a few possible thoughts!

  • Rich Murphy

    Instant Pot is awesome. For the hard boiled eggs, how many have you done at once?

    • Emma Christensen

      I’ve done as few as 1 and as many as 2 dozen eggs, though I don’t recommend doing more than will fit in a single layer. When I tested 2 dozen, I had to stack the eggs on top of each other and I got a lot of cracks in the ones on the bottom. (Though they still cooked ok!)

  • Kate

    When peeling, I’ve always found it easier to cool the eggs afterwards in cold water until you can hold it in your hand without it burning. Then I tap the egg a few times around and on each end to crack it, then just roll it in my hands or on the plate, like your rolling a ball of dough, until the shell cracks into tiny pieces all around. It peels right off that way with no problems. The shell practically falls off.

  • Brittney Lewellen

    For easier peeling I found it great to cook for 15 minutes and put straight into a bowl of room temp water and place it straight into the freezer. Let the top freeze over, this may take 30 to 45 minutes for a 1/2 inch freeze with a 14inch round bowl, then take the bowl out. If you have younger little ones letting them crack the ice with thier fingers is fun for them and entertaining for the adults to watch their fingers slide as they try to break the ice but not the eggs as they roll around in the bowl.

  • John Culley

    Instead of cracking an egg to check for doneness, lay the egg on its side and spin the egg on a counter or flat surface. If the egg is done, it will spin evenly and freely. If it is not done, it will wobble and stop quickly. That’s how grandma used to do it and grandmas are always right. :)

    • willy wonka

      Love this! My grandma taught me this too! Works every time!

  • Darcy S

    I just tried this and it worked well! I live at 5800 ft in the mountains, so I took your recommendation and left the burner on low for the first 8 minutes, then turned it off for the last 3. I have never hard boiled eggs up here (been scared for altitude). I sacrificed one egg at the 11 minute mark and it was perfect!

  • Karen Olson

    I tried your recipe today and it worked great for me. I have always used my mothers way, which was put eggs in cold water, heat to boiling. Soft boil 8 minutes, hard boiled and 7 minutes for soft boiled. It has worked great for me. Of course it depends on which size eggs you are using. Jumbo will take about a minute more. For peeling, I simply crack the hollow end and use a teaspoon to peel. Just slide the spoon under the shell. I’ve done this for many years. This works very good. Once in a while I’ll get an egg that doesn’t peel the greatest but usually it works fine

  • Wendy schmidt

    Omg. Best hard boil eggs I ever made Very delicious and they were perfect. No green at all. Thank you so much

  • karen

    thank you! it work

  • Kerry

    I used the vinegar and salt and they came out perfect!! Peeled easily and the yoke was nice and yellow..thank you!

  • Matt

    Just made a dozen, 2 cracked. Put them in ice bath afterwards and they peeled with ease. They were also yellow yoke with no gray or green. Thanks for the tip.

  • Bekki

    I just did this, it worked PERFECTLY! Thank you so much.

  • Disappointed

    Two of three of my eggs cracked, and they were not cracked before. I’ve never done it this way, and perhaps that’s why. Very disappointed.

    • Jennifer

      No, they probably had some cracks that couldn’t be seen. I use this method at least once per month and I rarely have an egg that cracks. Hopefully you’ll have better luck next time.

  • Louise

    I’ve been struggling with trying to cook an egg then peel it while still having a semi-hard yolk. What often happens is that I lose some of the whites whilst trying to peel it. Your advice worked and the three eggs I’ve just tried to cook all came out perfect.
    I’m so glad I found this, thanks again!

  • N A

    I believe talking to the eggs before boiling them and letting them know what is expected of them works best.

    • Elise Bauer


    • Dane

      Hahahahaha! I love it!

    • Nancy

      OMG…… Yes, whispering words regarding expectations really does work! I give them each a little pat on their underside as well, but be sure it’s on the plumper side or it doesn’t work. I am so grateful for all the goodness they bring to me. Thank you so very much for your comment. ……and I thought that I was the only eccentric!

    • Lydia Hulette

      Im going to try it your way.

    • Renee

      You’ve given a fresh perspective to my edibles and have given me that missing piece of the puzzle! Gosh, I talk to everything! How could I have neglected my eggs?! You’ve just helped me become just a bit more touched! When I get my own clean, white, padded room I won’t forget to thank my eggs… they’re gonna love me!

  • Shonna V.

    When storing in fridge….Is that already peeled?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Shonna, I usually store hard boiled eggs with their peels on.

  • Rosemary Bottai

    This method worked like a charm. So easy and simple. Thanks so much!

  • Geogre miichel

    I believe taking the eggs out of the boiling water and then running them through cold water works great. Although I have a secret after I run cold water through them I immediately put them back in boiling water. It is da best.

    • TiffanieJ

      What does your secret do? I love finding new ways to cook.

  • PJ Mohney

    Use several week old egglands best, followed instructions, even added a little salt & vinegar. WORST peel ever! Lost more egg than remained on the yolk. Maybe I shouldnt have thrown away the one that floated it was probably the only one old enough to boil. Maybe this is reflective of how old the eggs in the store really are?

    • PJ Mohney

      I must add the tip for cracking the shells and putting them back to soak worked beautifully. The rest of the batch peeled with no problem.

    • Sara

      I have followed these instructions for a variety of eggs, and I have found that Egglands Best eggs by far peel the worst.

      • Kim

        That’s because fresher eggs are harder to peel. Old eggs peel more easily. My guess is that the Eggland’s Best are more fresh than other eggs. Also, stores stock up on eggs around Easter, and so the eggs are usually older and peel better then too.

  • William

    I believe that temperature shocking the egg eliminates a difficult peeling boiled egg by preventing the bonding of the egg membrane to its inner shell which gradual warming seems to promote. Bring water in a 3 quart saucepan to a vigorous boil. Then add eggs that have been allowed to chill overnight in a 34 degree refrigerator by carefully ladling them into the boiling water one at a time. Using more boiling water helps to keep it from cooling too quickly. After all the eggs have been added to the water, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle rolling boil. Do not layer the eggs. Set a timer at 15 minutes for large or jumbo size eggs. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let the eggs remain in the hot water another 5 minutes. Drain the hot water and place the pot under a sink faucet running cold water for several minutes until the water remains cold. Allow the eggs to remain in the cold water bath for about a half hour, then remove to a drying rack. Egg shells will peel easily in large sections. This works for me every single time, whether very fresh eggs have been in the fridge just over night or allowed to age for a couple of weeks.

    I am forever through using trays of ice to cool the eggs and I never use salt or vinegar added to the pot of water.

    • Andrea Molina

      The cold eggs don’t crack being added to boiling water? I always thought you add cold water to begin with to prevent cracking.

      • William

        Never had an issue unless there was already a hairline crack in the shell, but I’m very careful to gently lower the eggs one at a time into the boiling pan of water.

    • DrT

      I just tried this method because the authors didnt work for me and I filled two pots for two dozen eggs. the first was my largest the second a smaller. When I ladled the eggs into the smaller once since the water boiled first there, none of the eggs cracked. When I did the same with second, half of the eggs cracked so I think there are dynamics here depending on the size of pot, the amount of water and the heat of the water that have to be figured in. I am upset I ruined half of the eggs with this method. The authors left me with runny eggs. I used to have a recipe in a craig claiborn book I had in the 80’s but I threw it out. I believe you ladled the eggs into simmering water not boiling. Perfect eggs every time with his method. I notice organic eggs have a thinner shell and dont work well for hard boiling

  • Elizabeth

    This method worked like a charm. Thank you for sharing ;)

  • Don

    I have always had trouble boiling eggs.
    Tried the steaming method a few months ago and will never go back. They are now always perfect.

  • Scruffy

    I’m sorry, but this technique is terrible – specifically adding the eggs to cold or room temperature water is a guarantee that the shells will stick to the eggs and become a nightmare to peel. Adding the eggs to already boiling water is much more effective as the shells come right off. I won’t be trying this method again.

  • Gary

    I’ve made hard boiled eggs all my life, but this was the easiest and the best. I boiled them for 11 minutes submerge them in a ic bath cracked one open peeled perfectly and the Egg Yolk and egg were perfect. Great Hack Thanks!

  • Kenneth Aull

    I’ve tried everything for hard boiling eggs, with easy peeling. Nothing works every time, except the steaming method.

    Take a vegetable steamer, if you don’t have one, buy one.

    Add water to the steamer, bring to a boil. Add eggs to the basket, one or as many as will fit, place in the steamer, and cover with the lid.
    Set timer for 16 minutes. While waiting, make an ice water bath that will fit the steamer, and still cover the eggs.

    When time is up, immediately submerge the steamer basket in the ice bath. Let cool for two or three minutes. Peel in the basket, it makes it easy to discard the shells in the garbage. They are perfectly cooked, cooled so they can be handled,and the peels just fall off. Use for deviled eggs, pickling, or just for eating

  • Ryan Allen

    Spot on! Boiled and then let sit for exactly 11mins. Transfered to iced water bowl…cracked and peeled immediately in an apple peel way. Worked and wonderful. Thanks. Only other I’ve ever tried is Julia Child’s and these were easier

  • Carrie

    Ok. So, I don’t like hard boiled eggs. Haven’t since I was a kid. I’ll eat the whites but never the yolk it was always grey outside and dry and gross.

    I can never remember how to hardboil eggs and my husband requested them for his lunch. So I got on the old interwebs and this was the first recipe that popped up. I read it and this is when I discover that grey outer yolk means over cooked. So, I decided to try this vs my mom’s boil for 20 minutes method.

    I followed your directions to a T. I did read somewhere that baking soda makes eggs easier to peel so I threw in 1/2 tsp. Brought 10 eggs covered with cold water 1 inch above the eggs. Brought to a rolling boil, turned off the heat, covered and let them sit for probably 15 minutes. I shocked with cold water and peeled 1 egg (she’ll slid right off). Cut it in half and the yolk was done like the 16 minute egg beautiful. I salted and tasted… turns out I love hard boiled eggs. These were divine. THANK YOU!!!

  • Esther

    Love it! My mom used a similar method growing up. I just wanted to boil a few eggs and it works great. I’m at a high altitude (Denver) so I went to 15 minutes and they’re perfect! Just have to remember to let them cool completely. I had been running cold water over them for about 2-3 minutes and cracked one open to find the center still nice and warm.

  • Amy

    I notice after adding the water, some eggs float and others don’t. Is that an indication of how fresh they are? Glad to see other people cook them one day and make deviled eggs the next. I used to kill myself staying up late making them for our work party. Splitting the time up be much easier.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Amy if your eggs float they are bad and shouldn’t be eaten.

      • Amy

        Thank you!

    • Barbara gleason

      It is not true if the eggs float they are bad.. they are just older and entirely edible and in fact much easier to peel for hard boiled eggs. I always try to remember to buy eggs at Easter time a MONTH ahead of the food prep date. My father was in the Navy and out at sea for long periods of time. Their eggs were inTheir refrigeration for six months at a time.

      • Elise Bauer

        Older eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs, but really old eggs have started to decompose, releasing gas, which is why bad eggs float. I think probably the ideal level is if the egg bobs below the surface of the water. So there is enough air to make it easier for the eggs to peel, but not so much as to indicate that the egg has decomposed beyond being palatable. My guess regarding the Navy eggs is that given how long out to see these ships stay, they probably keep their refrigerator at a temperature lower than the standard fridge in the home. That said, eggs do last a long time. This is true especially in Europe where they don’t strip off the protective membrane on the outside of the egg like we do here in the states.

        • Trisha

          What protective membrane on the outside of the eggs? My chooks don’t seem to lay any eggs with outside protective membranes?

          • Elise Bauer

            It’s thin. The membrane washes off if you wash the fresh eggs. So, if you want your eggs to last longer from the chicken, don’t wash them.

          • Paula

            All chicken eggs have an invisible membrane on them. You just didn’t realize. That’s why they can be gathered days after being laid and still be ok. The membrane is keeping them fresh. After washing/rinsing an egg, it will need to be stored in a fridge.

  • Paul Anderson

    You don’t actually have to boil the eggs. Buy a cheap probe thermometer and keep the water around 95 degrees. No ‘casualties’ this way!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Paul, I assume you mean 95 degrees Centigrade. That’s about 203°F, just a little bit below boiling.

    • Andy Long

      How long should the eggs be cooked at 95/203, Paul?

  • Kaleb

    I tried this the other day they turned out perfectly I live at a very high altitude so at ten minutes they ended up somewhere between the shown 6 and 10 minute times I also didn’t have a lid so I jury rigged one with tinfoil and was using a pretty sketchy pot #brokecollegekid

    • Shelley Relph

      Once the stove is turned off, a plastic or ceramic plate (one that can be put in the microwave so it can withstand heat) can also be used as a lid in a pinch.

  • Bobby Q.

    Several have mentioned peeling the eggs under running water. Fine, but do NOT let the shells go down the drain. The go in garbage can or compost.

    • Elise Bauer

      Agreed! I save all of mine for compost. The calcium in the shells helps prevent blossom end rot when growing tomatoes and peppers.

    • WendyB

      Egg shells along with coffee grounds are the two biggest culprits in clogging up a garbage disposal . Found that out the hard (and downright grossest!) way.

    • Michael E Bryant

      Or, you know, let them go in the drain and run the disposal.

      • Elise Bauer

        Hi Michael, my plumber’s advice is to not to run egg shells down the drain or disposal. They calcium in the shells ends up clogging up the drain and disposal.

  • Chef Ronaldo

    I boiled some eggs in a pot I had made popcorn in without wahing it. The residue oil in the pan caused the egg shells to practically fall off. Now I always add a teaspoon of vegetable or olive oil to the pan and it works everytime. Also, I peel them under running cold water which also helps seperate the shell from the egg.
    Chef Ronaldo.

  • Tash

    Somewhat followed these instructions, but changed up a bit after reading reviews and another recipe that called for Baking powder in the water.
    I’ve always used my go to brown eggs and shells ALWAYS stick when peeling.
    Used white eggs purchased 1 day ago.
    Eggs straight from fridge into pan covered 1″ above single layer eggs with water.
    Add 1/2 t baking powder (no salt or vinegar this time). And bring to boil.
    Turned off heat and let sit covered 15-17 min.
    I tested one egg BC I’m making today for Thanksgiving appetizer and want eggs done right for Deviled Eggs.
    EGG WAS PERFECT!!! Peeled perfect! Fluffy yellow yolk without any green overcook effect
    I immediately transferred eggs into prepared ice water bowl and put in fridge to cool before Deviled Eggs recipe prep!!!

  • Mike

    This recipe did not work for me at all. Ruined 2 dozen eggs, it’s not all its “cracked” up to be, will not repeat.

    • Akumawraith

      I have used this method for over 30 years and have not had any issues with it and I have lived in many countries during my life time. As each persons conditions are different in reference to altitude, cooking element type, pot type, and egg type it is really hard to narrow it down to why it may not be working for you.

      If you could provide further information on what is happening someone may be able to solve this issue for you.

  • Haley

    I am by far, the worst egg boiler in the universe, but using your recipe I just made the most perfect hard boiled eggs ever! I thank you and so do my thanksgiving guests!!

  • Nancy

    I use this method all the time now and it works perfectly. Just curious, if storing the hard boiled eggs that won’t be used right away, is it better to peel them first before storing in a sealed container? Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Nancy, good question. I usually store the eggs with the peels on. They last longer that way.

  • Paula

    You say they’ll keep for two weeks at the top and at the bottom you say eat in five days, which is it?

    • Elise Bauer

      At the top I say to buy your eggs (raw eggs) two weeks before you boil them, and at the bottom I say eat them within 5 days (after boiling).

  • Jess

    Want a perfect way to PEEL hard boiled eggs? After cooling in pan, leave the lid on and roll the pan in a circular motion (making the eggs circle around the sides of the pan and cracking the outer shell into a bunch of tiny pieces). Once you’ve done that, the entire shells practically fall right off, without taking much egg with them at all (if any). Eggs MUST be completely cooked and cooled first.

    Old family secret, time and aggravation saver for sure, as I am the family “Deviled Egg” Guru and must bring 2-3 dozen to every family function!

  • Chincia

    I started with 8 one week old fresh out of the fridge eggs. I put them in the pot and covered them with cold water about an inch over the tops of the eggs. I put them on the burner on high heat then added quite a bit of salt and some vinegar. I didn’t measure, but seriously the more salt the better. I probably used about 2 tablespoons. The vinegar I used one, maybe 2 tablespoons also. As I said, I didn’t measure. I brought it to a full roiling boil and then turned the heat off. I waited until it stopped boiling and then put a lid on the pot. I let it sit for 14 minutes, but could’ve easily went to 15 or 16 without them being overdone. I didn’t Crack one to test for doneness, but I did do the spin test. I then transferred them to a bowl and ran cold water over them until the shells were cool to the touch. Then I ate 2 and refrigerated the rest. They were perfect. The trick is to add the salt and vinegar at the beginning BEFORE they boil. They do you no good if you don’t have them in until after the water is already boiling.

  • SteveF

    I’ve used this method for several years now thanks to this site! :) I normally boil 24 at a time (big dutch oven), they go in from the fridge into the pot, fill the dutch oven (lots of water to offset the volume of eggs). Bring to a boil (with a teaspoon of baking powder), let sit for 12 minutes on the burner, then into the sink to be shocked with cold water….leave the water running on cold until all of the eggs are as cold as they will be in the fridge. Then drain, cover with the lid of the dutch oven and into the fridge. Peel the next day to make my deviled eggs. :)

  • Tom

    Checked several ‘how to hard boil eggs’ sites, not finding an answer: what temp should the eggs be to start with? Fresh-from-fridge, or room temp? Lots of complaints in comments about coming out under-done, I’m guessing they started with cold eggs, but I could be wrong. Answers from the experts?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Tom, I always take my eggs directly from the fridge. I start them in cold water and bring the water up to a boil.

  • Nate

    This recipe is no yoke!

  • Rick


  • Rick G.

    Ok. I cooked a dozen eggs in a pot with water, covering the eggs by an inch. Uncovered, I brought the eggs to a rolling boil and covered and turned off the gas. As the eggs were coming up to a boil, I added one teaspoon each of salt and vinegar, which is suppose to make the eggs each to peel and prevent and the the egg white from leaking out from an egg. After the 12 minute boil (I live at 3000′ elevation), I turned off the heat and pulled out one egg.

    I peeled the two-week old egg under cold water but it the shell bits still wanted to adhere to the egg a bit. Maybe I should have used a bit more salt and vinegar.

    Out of 12 eggs, one egg leaked a little. My eggs turned out like the picture above (16-minute egg).

  • Fife

    Don’t forget to save your favorite pickle juice and I saved the juice from my last jar of kim-chi. Pop the eggs into that juice after peeling. Let them sit for a day or two. Yum.

    • Corina

      That’s what I do with my eggs too :) you know what i find sooooo much tastier than pickle juice is pepperoncini juice. Mmmmm. Mmmmmm good!

  • matt

    ok, here it is! forget the salt and try horseradish! YUM

  • Laura

    After the eggs are boiled and the water has cooled, use it to water your plants! The water contains vitamins and minerals that your plants can use.

    • Elise Bauer

      Very good point, Laura! If any of the egg shell’s calcium has leached into the boiling water, it would be great for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant plants. I usually save any egg shells to put in my garden for that very reason.

    • Jc

      Thank you for the great tip!!!

  • Pamela

    Just tried this method and they came out perfect! Love boiled eggs with just salt! Mmm yum!

  • Ashgrove

    Just tried this, it worked out to PERFECTION. And thanks for the tip about peeling the eggs under running water, it took me just a few seconds to do it that way. Easy peasy!

  • Tonya

    This was awesome.. I even accidentally left them in the water too long, and they were still “all good!” I’ve been longing to learn how to do this, and I have finally found the best way!!

  • garvin timmann

    yes this works

  • Paula Keyth

    This recipe DID NOT WORK FOR ME! I followed the instructions to a T and the eggs came out soft boiled and runny! HUH????

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Paula, where are you located? Are you at altitude? If so, you’ll need to cook the eggs longer. If not, it sounds like you just needed more water in the pot.

    • Sue Roberts

      Not at altitude & plenty of water. The yolks in mine were not done all the way and they were hard as hell to peel. Didn’t taste good either.

  • Jeanette

    In order to get the shells off of the hard boiled eggs, put them in cold water after taking them out of the pan. The cold water will shrink the shells so they come off easily.

  • bruce

    do not listen to those that say put eggs in water then bring to a boil and let sit for 10 min..put your eggs right out of the fridge into boiling water.9 min at 2000ft elevation is perfect and then put in ice water or very cold tap water till cold and they will peel easy ..just like grammas used to and they was farm freash eggs

    • Sue Roberts

      Going back to exactly just that.

  • Rsb

    Leave the eggs in the hot water and peel them one at a time for easy peeling. If you cool them off the shell will stick to the egg and will peel in bits rather than large amounts.

    • Elise Bauer

      Actually you want to shock them in ice cold water for best results.

  • Radha Kishan

    I use a device called beepegg which is exactly in the shape of an egg and can be boiled with the real eating eggs. This egg device will play tunes when eggs are perfectly boiled. There are three different tunes based on soft boiling, medium soft boiling and hard boiling depending on your taste. Know more about this device at > . So you don’t really need to manually check if your eggs are ready or not. The company that makes this device is from Germany.

  • Ron W

    Jeff is right. This is an eggcellent way to boil eggs. I don’t have much eggsperience in the kitchen, but since my mother has gotten older, I have to do all the cooking. I sometimes get so eggasperated, but now I know who to make the perfect hard boiled egg. Thanks.

    • Jeri

      This comment made my day.

  • Jennifer

    Finally! Perfect hard boiled eggs!

  • Whitney Brown

    Steaming is the very best method. I am cooking a lot of eggs for our church’s annual chicken salad and sandwich sale. I let the water come to a boil in my steamer, added 20 eggs – loose enough for the steam to work and set my timer for 20 minutes. Used a trick my niece uses of shaking the eggs in the pot before peeling (loosens and cracks the peelings) and they peeled perfectly under cold running water. I put all of the eggs in a large bowl before running cold water. Perfect! I shook my first batch too hard so a few of the eggs split a bit, but I was able to see they were cooked all the way through with the splitting. Great method! I did learn this a long time ago from a chef I knew and forget how easy it is.

  • Shaunna

    Thank you so much! I’ve tried cooking eggs before and they never are perfect. I followed your directions and mmm perfect!!!

  • Jeff C

    This is an eggcellent way to boil eggs! They come out perfect and with the vinegar and salt they peel so easy! Thanks.

  • Allen and Robin

    Eggcellent recepie!

  • Shiggity

    I always take the pot off the burner. I tried it this way, turned off the heat and covered, and I got broken eggs. Fail.

  • Dennis

    The method works great thank you happy Easter

  • Christina

    Eggs have always been a nightmare for me! The steaming method worked perfectly; no tears, bad words or declarations of “no eggs this Easter” were heard by the family.

    Thank you!

  • Susan

    Mine turned out perfect! Finally! I think the key was to leave them on the burner a little longer. I did use the vinegar and salt. I bet vinegar helps them peel too, just based on science. Thank you!

  • sister catherine yaskiw

    hello, when you overcook eggs you will get the sulfide green ring….so be careful. plus its looks and taste are off.

  • Stacey

    I found some of these ideas amazing, but the best secret to peeling, is room temp! I learned this in a restaurant, from a boss and former chef!! Too cold or too hot and mush or chipped eggs…….takes a lot of practice, to get this correct! She would run hot eggs under cold water and cold eggs under hot water……our customers were always thrilled with her gorgeous, shelled eggs.

  • Jim od

    I Am 71yrs old. My 10 yr old granddaughter wanted to make Easter eggs. I wanted to do it right. I sought you out and followed the directions. They came out great. A happy little girl. We are bringing her up. Happy Easter.

  • Jane

    This method didn’t actually work for me. My shell did not come off easily at all. I am pretty bummed. I had to throw 3/12 of my eggs out.

  • Bam

    Boiling eggs couldn’t be easier. I found this method to be the most efficient way of boiling eggs. A lot of the recipes go into science when explaining how to boil an egg. I give this a 5 star, thanks man!

  • Richard jason

    I found the original recipe perfect…didn’t change a thing and the eggs were perfect…
    Thank you Simple Recipe writter..
    I did add organic apple cider vinegar and salt together in the water

  • Dajayosan

    If you REALLY want eggs that peel easily and perfectly EVERY TIME, here is the simple, if not obvious, solution. DON’T BOIL THE EGGS; STEAM THE EGGS! It takes a little longer, 20 – 22 minutes of steaming, but the results are astounding. Frankly I was shocked at how easily and quickly the eggs peeled – and every one perfect. Here is the link: Forget the baking soda or vinegar – you don’t need them!

  • fred

    Put eggs in pot of cold water.
    Turn on heat til it boils then turn down to simmer.
    After 20 minutes from first putting pot on stove, take it off and run eggs under cold water.
    Fill pot with ice water to cover eggs for 3 to 5 mins.
    THEN empy water and pour in HOT water to cover eggs and let sit for 1 to 3 mins.
    THEN eggs are read to peel or refrigerate.
    The ice first contracts the shell and then the hot water expands the shell so that it separates from the egg and makes it very easy to peel the shell off !


    I basically do what many do. I put the eggs in a pot with water just covering the eggs. turn the heat until it starts to boil, shut heat off and cover while sitting on hot burner. time this period for 35 minutes, then put in sink with cold water running over them. soon at your water is cool enough to put your hands in. run the cold water and break each egg and remove the shell. you will find that the shells will remove very easy and will not stick to the egg. after removing the shell I put back into the cool water until I finish the rest of the eggs with shells. I have took my family how I do this and they all do it this way now.

  • Ron

    Strange, I added the backing soda for easy pealing when doing 3 eggs. One old and 2 new. The 2 new eggs pealed very easy but the old egg took 30 min and took some egg with it. Is it possible backing soda has the opposite effect on old eggs ?

  • Sonja Galovics

    Secret to peeling is, after removing from the heat and letting them sit in the hot water for 12-15 minutes, drain and into the ICE bath. The ice is the secret. The shell will just slide off….perfect.

  • Steve

    I’ve been using your method of boiling the eggs for several years now to make my deviled eggs. The baking soda (a teaspoon in your large dutch oven) works miracles – did it one year I couldn’t get old eggs and every year since. SO much easier to peel and don’t affect the flavour or texture at all!! :)

  • Annie Halbert

    OMG!! I commented earlier the eggs were runny that should have been hard boiled that I had attempted to steam. I put the eggs on to boil the old fashioned way and then peeled them…what a dream to have the peel slip right off. I am now a convert and will steam every time!!!

  • Joshua

    I’ve tried several different ways and this is the first time I’ve had my eggs come out perfect! Thank you!

  • Marsha

    I steamed a dozen eggs and was thrilled at how good they were and how easy to peel. I’ve been boiling eggs for years, using the sit in water method and the rolling boil method, and always had a hard time peeling. I’ll be steaming from now on!! Thanks for the tip!

  • Tillie C.

    My friend, Gerry Grass from St. Rose, Louisiana gave me this hint. If you will crack your hard boiled egg particularly on the bottom (wide) side, hold egg under running water (faucet), use a wet spoon between egg (spoon cradling the egg) and shell, it will separate the shell in almost complete pieces. Then just rinse the egg from small shell pieces. The membrane will be intact to the shell because of the water between egg and shell. Works every time.

  • Xander Stone

    I had never prepared Hard Boiled eggs before reading this recipe. My first batch was perfect, and have have prepared a few more since then.

  • anonymous

    just made my first hard boiled egg following the recipe. Worked great! Thanks for posting.

  • Eldon

    I’ve been a USDA Grader the past 14 yrs. and have found that eggs that break while boiling were likely cracked before. If you shine one of the brighter small flashlights through the egg (candling) you will find most cracks. Fry the cracked eggs, boil others.

  • Michael Lane

    Found this very informative article from a Bing search. Boiled 2 dozen in one large pan. Very few even cracked (the vinegar may have helped). Opened one up to “test,” came out PERFECT! My wife and daughter will be making deviled eggs for our Church’s ladies Advent tomorrow night, Thank you for your great help. Have a Blessed Christmas.

  • Jane

    I am about to make these for a vegetarian scotch egg recipe I want to try. However, I see no reason whatsoever for not being able to eat the same food everyday? I would think your body would get use to the food & be an expert in processing the food. I see more problem with very occasionally eating a food. Interesting…

  • karen gilmore

    Hi My daughter raises chickens. She told me to add baking soda to the water. Then they are easy to peel works very well. I used 2 tsp for a dozen because fresh eggs are hard to peel. Thank You

  • Bramble

    Just tried your method minutes ago. I love it! Yolk is lovely yellow. White is done perfect!

  • Jake Fantom

    For years, whenever my wife is out of town for business, I have cooked myself hardboiled eggs for breakfast. I can never remember how long to boil them for, so I always wind up Googling “hard boiled eggs.” For years, a traditional solution came up — which was to boil the eggs for a specified period of time depending on whether you wanted them soft or hard boiled. This time, this page and quite a few others with the same “bring to boil and then remove from heat” directions came up. So I tried it — twice. The result was eggs that were virtually impossible to peel without pitting the surface, and leaving tiny fragments of shell to be found by your mouth. Yes, I immediately cooled them down prior to peeling by running cold water over them, and even added ice for ten minutes the second time in the hopes of improving results. I have no idea what scientific principle causes this result, but after two identical attempts, I am going back to the old way of just boiling the eggs, then letting them cool in cold water. In my experience, eggs prepared that way are a cinch to peel perfectly.

  • Capt. G

    The timing did not work for me. I was looking for some guidance on how long to cook eggs for hard boiled doneness. Using this instruction and leaving the eggs in the hot water for 15 minutes I had very soft boiled eggs. If you use this method be sure to test one.

  • Joan Calkins

    Elise I do not Post comments, no way, not a chance, forget about it;;; EXCEPT, of course, in your Blogs! So here goes: I Adore Eggs in every way except raw. Sadly enough, the rising prices have made eggs (a 70% increase in Calif) a Luxury Item. But let’s not dwell on that aspect, because WE LOVE EGGS!
    Now for my real dilemma: Thirty years ago, a dear friend introduced me an egg sandwich to end all egg sandwiches; He called it a Hobo egg sandwich, or something like that. He cut a hole and I think buttered both bread pieces…From there, I am clueless, except to say that the egg sandwich he served me was to die for. My friend is no longer with us, so I come to you, Elise, and your readers for help. Has anyone had, or is familiar with The Hobo Egg Sandwich?

    • mAGGIE

      It’s called “Toad in a hole” Butter the bread brown one side in the frying pan. flip over and pace the cracked egg in the hole and fry till theegg is done. Good luck

      • Carol-Ann Cowen

        …but before you begin (!) cut a hole in the center of the bread. (my dad used a small orange juice can with the end cut out and the bread was wide pan). Don’t forget to also butter the “hole” that you cut out!! My dad used to do two of these at a time for each of us girls…that’s how I came to love fried eggs so much!!

        • Samantha

          Love it! We call it bird in the nest, or egg in a frame

          • Matt

            By far my favorite way to prepare a fried egg! I grew up knowing it as a Hobo egg as well! Who knows, maybe that’s offensive nowadays..

  • ron

    everywhere I read says you have to cook 10-12 minutes to cook hard boiled eggs but I grew up being taught 5 minutes at a hard boil. when I only did 5 minutes my eggs turned out a little raw in the yolks once in a while. but over the last 15 years I have always only cooked them 7 minutes at a hard boil and they are always done.

  • Kevin

    I’m a recent widower and sad to say I never had boiled an egg in my entire life! (athough my wife was a great cook). I know such things are not rocket science, but sometimes the simplest things… … …. I tried this and it worked perfect, so thanks so very much.

  • Randy Barlow

    Thank you so very much for the tip on steaming rather than boiling. This technique worked perfectly!

  • elisha graham

    Hi Elise,

    There’re still lots of people who think eggs are’t good for them if they have high cholesterol levels. This article could be an eye opener for them.

  • Bomx

    Oh I agree, keep them in the fridge for a quick meal, I take them to work with me too.

    ALSO salt in the water when boiling makes mine peel easier!!

  • Bomx

    My Dad got perfect eggs at 8 minutes, but I always do 10 minutes.

  • Patch311

    I followed directions bringing eggs to a rolling boil over high heat using vinegar and salt but one of my eggs cracked completely around and out poured the eggwhite. I think bringing to a slow boil on low heat is preferable.

  • Kay

    I love hard boiled eggs. Thank you for this methone. However, I’ve only tried boiling them the same way. I don’t add salt and other things but I eat them with a little ketchup. Sounds gross I know, but they’re so delicious.
    Ketchup’s an awesome way to give something a little flavour. I put it in my fried rice too.

  • Steve

    Hard boiled eggs are the medium I use to consume Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce

  • Paula

    I tried this method and perhaps for the first time ever, my hard boiled eggs came out perfectly! Thank you for this post!

  • Steve

    I never really noticed how long my mother use to boil eggs. Mine always turned out bad to say the least. This way works great! So now I know…. Thank you very much.

    • Bomx

      Just put lots of salt in the water when boiling and stick to 10 minutes, they are easier to peel and I never had a bad egg except the ones I married!!

  • Frank

    Thanks for pointing out to cover the cooked eggs in fridge since they give off odors. Many fridges have open egg rack so I’d assumed it’s ok to put the cooked ones in there. And the photos of 6, 10, 16 mins – great help.
    Deviled egg recipes yummy, esp recipes with avocados. (Avocados & bit of sprinkled Nesquik (optional warmer) is a way to knock off sweet tooth.)

  • L.D. Meyer

    I tried the steaming method for hard cooked eggs, I’ve only peeled one so far but it was quite easy and didn’t have that tell tale ring around the yolk either. They say you can use fresh eggs and don’t have to wait a week either. I just brought some water to a boil and used a colander for a steam basket, covered it and steamed away for at least 20 minutes, I only hard cook 3 or 4 eggs at a time, seems to be foolproof. Congrats to who ever volunteered this tip.

  • David

    It would really help if this worked. It didn’t work at all and I followed your instructions exactly. All the eggs were soft and mushy.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi David! Sounds like you needed to have more water in the pan, and/or let the eggs sit in the hot water longer. The other thing that can mess things up is if you are attempting this method at high altitude.

      • David

        No high altitude. I had 2 and a half inches of water in the pan, and I put them on high. Could I maybe not have let it get to as strong a boil as needed? It was definitely boiling but not an out of control boil so to speak. lol Thank you for your kind suggestions.

  • Richard WAlters Jr

    why do the yokes turn green in the out side of them?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Richard, that usually means they’ve been overcooked.

  • Bad Advice

    The 15 minutes in a steam basket doesn’t work

    • Elise Bauer

      Then you either need more time or you need more steam coming from a full boil instead of a simmer. If you are at altitude you will definitely need more time.

  • Ashish Singh

    Thank you so much Elise! I boiled 6 eggs for the first time and followed your instuctions and I cant believe , all the eggs were boiled so well and not even a single egg was cracked. It was easy and nice. Enjoyed alot. Thank you Elise.

  • greg cover

    Gregory. I can’t cook . I try I can heat stuff in the microwave. I wanted to boil eggs for Easter to color with my son . This recipe really works .easy to peel . Thank you so much.

  • Ivy

    Thanks for the recipe. it worked great. placed eggs in cold water in large pan. Boiled eggs then with lid on turned off electric burner waited 10 minutes. Cold plunge then peeled great right away. one broke when boiling, but came out ok. I cracked the eggs and left them in the water to soak while cracked all the dozens and half eggs. worked like a charm. I have always had a terrible time peeling eggs. Awesome.

  • Kathy

    I have boiled many eggs over many years but since I knew I would be making 3 dozen today I wanted to see if there were any “tips” out there that I was not aware of. I was glad I stumbled across your blog. All these years I did it the same way as you suggested except for three things that you noted. First, I never tried salting the cold water first, so I gave it a try. Also, having a gas stove, I never knew to let the eggs boil gently for that minute before turning off the heat. I assumed I would have at least a couple of “duds” when it came time to peel them which I planned on using for egg salad for my hungry husband. But I was amazed – I had no duds! Every one came out perfectly smooth. I did the cold ice bath like I have before but I did peel them under cold running water like you suggested. And…I did end up making egg salad with a few of them but added avocado – another great idea of yours. Since they turned out so well, in addition to using them for salads I was able to make some beautiful pastel dyed deviled eggs. I just dyed the egg whites (that were cut in half with the yolks taken out) in individual cups of water with a few drops of food coloring added. They’re beautiful! Thanks Elise!

  • Jean

    Can I fix an UNDER-cooked egg? Can I put in water again and cook them longer?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jean, I assume you mean eggs that haven’t already been peeled and cut open? Sure. I would just put them back in the hot water and cook them a couple minutes longer. If the egg has already been peeled and cut open, I would just microwave it a little to finish the cooking if it isn’t cooked enough to your taste.

  • Donna

    I used the 1/2 tsp salt and the 1 tsp vinegar and it worked like a charm. Even the eggs that had a slight crack, didn’t “leak out.” I brought a dozen eggs to a gentle rolling boil, turned off the heat and let them sit…covered… for 16 minutes….they turned out perfect! Thanks!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Sici Wilson

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

  • Coral

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

  • 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 Bauer

      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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Melanie

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • asfranko

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • marlene

    You nailed it…..thanks…..

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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 Bauer

      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.

  • 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.

  • LC

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

  • 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 Bauer

      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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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


  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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! :-)

  • 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

  • Aaron

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

  • 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!

  • kelly

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

  • 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.

  • laura

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • kara-noel

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Charlie Starr

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Alex

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

  • Lisa Collins

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

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Carley

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

  • 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

  • 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!)

  • 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!

  • Shannon Franics

    Fantastic recipe, worked like a charm!

  • 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.

  • Syd

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

  • 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!

  • Christine

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

  • Dawn

    Excellent directions, they turned out perfectly!

  • 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 :-)

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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! :)

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Mark

    This worked a treat! Thank you very much!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • Marcelle

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Steve-Anna Stephens

    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.

  • ShowMeTheCurry

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

    Hetal and Anuja

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • 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

  • 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…

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. =)

    • TyHoad

      Megan, this is actually what Alton Brown teaches and how we do them in restaurants to make “so many” at once!
      Wet a counter towel or dish towel… ring it out.
      Cover your center oven rack with the damp towel.
      Rest as many clean eggs as you wish directly on the towel in a cold oven.
      Bake at 320 F for 30 minutes.
      Soak them in an ice water bath for 10 or 20 minutes… You’re good to go!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • Amy

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

  • 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.

  • Elise Bauer

    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!

  • Andrea

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

  • 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.

  • 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.)

  • Elise Bauer

    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.

  • Rose

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

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • 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’

    • celeste

      The doctor was commenting on the importance of having variety in the diet

  • Susannah

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

  • Bob

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

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • Elise Bauer

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

  • 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.

    • celeste

      Most salt here in the US is manufactured. Not harvested from the sea or salt mines.
      Sea salt is lower in chloride than the common varieties of salt on the shelf.

      • David

        In other words, there are a greater variety of chemicals in sea salt, which lower the actual percentage of salt it contains.

  • 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

  • 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.)

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • Alexis

      A easy way to peel an egg, that my best friend taught me, is to put the hard boiled egg in a small tubaware container with some water and a tight lid and shake it up until it feels like there is just water. Then, peel. Works every time with any type of egg. No vinegar salt or lemon needed.

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • Claudia

      Julia Child says 17 minutes…