How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

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  • Perfect hard boiled eggs, one of the most basic of cooking skills, remains a challenge for many home chefs.

    How long do you boil eggs? How to hard boil eggs should be a basic, but for many of us, remains a mystery!

    The yolk comes out a grayish-green, they aren’t fully cooked, the shells are hard to peel; a whole host of problems.

    Perfect hard boiled eggs, sliced with yellow yolk

    Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs with creamy yellow yolks and easy to peel shells. Tricks and tips on how to hard boil eggs!

    Since spring and Easter seem to be the time that hard boiled eggs make their seasonal come back for everything from egg salad , deviled eggs, or just eating them plain, I want to share a few quick tips and tricks on how to make hard boiled eggs. 

    Make sure to PIN The Key To Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

    Tomato Jam Deviled Eggs use sweet tomato jam with tangy horseradish in a devilishly creamy deviled egg filling. Top with chives and serve! #deviledeggs

    I am going to say that these are tips and tricks I have personally found work, as have many others, but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for failure.

    A close up of deviled egg with pimento cheese
    Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

    You will come across that stubborn egg that just doesn’t want to play nice and there are many variables preventing you from perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs. 

    The Best Egg Salad Recipe - velvety hard boiled eggs, fresh vegetables and herbs, a hint of lemon and quick hand mix will make the best Egg Salad you have ever tasted | #eggsalad |
    Egg Salad

    ONE. Older eggs (but not expired old) as opposed to fresh eggs, actually make the best hard boiled eggs. The taste will be the same, but the shell will peel with ease. 

    Tracie says: “This has been my recipe for many years it’s the best!”

    This is probably the most critical piece of whether or not your egg will peel well and might take some planning ahead.

    Why do old eggs peel better? From PopSugar: In fresh eggs, the albumen (egg white) tends to stick to the inner shell membrane due to the less acidic environment of the egg. After the shell’s protective coat slowly wears off, the egg becomes porous, absorbs more air, and releases some of its carbon dioxide.

    Grab the eggs in the front of the case, as most grocers will have the oldest stock up front.

    TWO. Adding 2 teaspoons of baking soda to cold water before boiling water will assist in peeling. Some folks swear by adding vinegar for the same purpose, but I’ve always had luck with baking soda, so I stick with what I know.

    If you have any tips like this, we’d love to hear them!

    Hard to Peel Egg and Easy Peel Egg

    THREE. Place the eggs in a single layer in the pot, being careful not to crowd the pot. The water needs to circulate around the entire egg. You may need to do them in batches.

    Also make sure you are using the correct size pot, too. For 6 or less eggs, a heavy bottom saucepan will work. If you are making more, use a large Dutch oven or pot. As with most items, overcrowding the pot does not help the cooking process.

    FOUR. Cover eggs with cold water and bring up to a boil. This way the eggs will come up to temperature with the water instead of being shocked when dropped into boiling water causing the shell to shatter and raw egg to leak. Boil over high heat for the rest of the cook time.

    Emily says: “Mine came out perfect using her method.”

    FIVE. There are many wives tales for centered yolks. Some tricks that I have heard are to sit the egg carton on its side the night before boiling and stirring the eggs while the water comes to a boil, alternating the direction every minute.

    I have also never had success with any of these working. I like to live on the edge and take my chances.

    Angle shot of macaroni salad with chives in blue bowl
    Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad

    SIX. Remove from heat as soon as the water comes to a boil, cover and let sit for 10-12 minutes. Many people are worried they will undercook eggs and therefore over boil.

    Bringing them to a full rolling boil is a sure way to get gray yolks! You are even better with a low simmer than a full boil. 

    Overcooking will result in the yucky colored gray hued yolk. The color comes from iron in the yolk reacting with hydrogen sulfide in the white.

    Please note that the 10-12 minutes is for a large egg. Extra large or jumbo eggs may need to boil for 1-2 minutes before removing from heat and conversely, smaller eggs may need closer to 8-10 minutes. 

    How to Get Yellow Yolks

    SEVEN. Immediately immerse in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and also loosen the shells. Shock the eggs!

    Fill a large mixing bowl with cold water and ice cubes, but make sure to leave enough space for the eggs. Transfer from boiling water to ice bath using a large slotted spoon

    EIGHT. Shells will be the easiest to remove while they are still warm. Peeling under cold running water will also assist in separating the shell from the egg and prevent you from burning yourself. 

    Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs sliced

    If you have any additional ideas or tips for easier to peel eggs, I’d love to hear them in the comments section!

    I am not the egg whisperer. I hope these tips will help with your questions on how to hard boil egg. There are so many factors that go into getting fabulous hard boiled eggs, so don’t beat yourself up if they don’t turn out perfect.

    If you own an Instant Pot, it is also super easy to make Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs or even Air Fryer Eggs!

    Here are a few recipes that use hard boiled eggs:

    Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad
    Overhead view of deviled egg macaroni
    Deviled Egg Macaroni Salad is a cold macaroni salad using deviled egg filling, pasta and finely minced vegetables. The perfect make ahead side dish for parties and potlucks! 
    Pesto Chicken Cobb Salad is a delicious salad recipe using traditional Cobb ingredients with chicken and a pesto dressing. The perfect starter or entree! #Cobbsaladrecipe #pestochickensalad
    Pesto Cobb Salad

    Tools for making the best hard boiled eggs:

    Heavy Bottom Sauce Pan– this will be one of your most used kitchen tools. Having something that is heavy bottom will distribute heat better and prevent burning whether you are using an electric or gas range.

    Dutch Oven– every kitchen should have one! They are heavy. They are expensive. They are worth it!

    Slotted Metal Spatula– I like these best for frying because they can withstand very high temperatures, the fine mesh means I can fish out any remaining batter that might be burning and they don’t stick to things easily.

    They are also good for general fishing-out-of-things, like eggs! 

    Mixing Bowls– make sure to check out my article on Using the Right Mixing Bowl, you’d be surprised how many people aren’t!

    Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs for Pinterest

    Questions you might have about how to hard boil eggs:

    Are hard boiled eggs healthy? This is always a loaded question and depends mostly on your definition of healthy. Please consult a physician for the best diet for you.

    What I will say is that a hard boiled egg is the most natural and organic of egg you can get with zero added sugar or fat.

    Consult the nutritional value on your egg carton for the best calorie, fat and cholesterol information.

    Are hard boiled eggs gluten free? Yes, hard boiled eggs are naturally gluten free.

    Tammy says: “This method works great for me every time – I think problems arise if people don’t “sacrifice” an egg and test for doneness. I always do this no matter how many times I hard boil eggs.

    Sometimes 1-2 more minutes sitting in hot water is all they need. It pays to test one before assuming they’re ready for the ice bath.”

    Can hard boiled eggs be frozen? Yes and no. Whites do not freeze well and become gross and rubbery. The yolks, however, will freeze decently, but not great.

    Are hard boiled eggs keto friendly? Yes! As far as I understand keto (I am in no means an expert), perfect hard boiled eggs are keto friendly.

    How long can hard boiled eggs be kept at room temperture? This is a great questions and eggs are commonly left at room temperature for long periods of time.

    Think of egg hunts, egg salad sandwiches on the potluck table or even deviled eggs, which I prefer to be more toward room temp than chilled.

    According to the CDC, hard boiled eggs are good at room temperture for up to 2 hours.

    How long to boil hard boiled eggs? This really depends on the size of your eggs. Generally speaking…10-12 minutes is for a large egg.

    Extra large or jumbo eggs may need to boil for 1-2 minutes before removing from heat and conversely, smaller eggs may need closer to 8-10 minutes.

    Can you reheat hard boiled eggs? You can, but they will get rubbery, just like an overcooked egg. I don’t recommend microwaving, they can explode and the texture will be off.

    If you really want to reheat a hard boiled egg, bring water to a boil in a saucepan and heat the egg in for 1-2 minutes.

    Why are my hard boiled eggs grey inside? They were cooked a little too long, but they aren’t bad, just a little unsightly.

    Do hard boiled eggs need to be refrigerated? Yes! After cooking, if you aren’t eating them immediately, hard boiled eggs should be kept refrigerated.

    How to Hard Boil Eggs for Pinterest
    Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs with creamy yellow yolks and easy to peel shells. Read the tricks and tips for perfect eggs every time!  Click to Tweet

    You can also make easy Poached Eggs! Or even fund some fun Easter Egg Ideas!

    Closeup of a poached egg on avocado toast garnished with micro greens
    Poached Egg Recipe

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    Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs sliced
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    4.78 from 18 votes

    Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

    Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs with creamy yellow yolks and easy to peel shells. How to hard boil eggs the easy way! 
    Prep Time3 mins
    Cook Time20 mins
    Total Time23 mins
    Course: Breakfast
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: hard boiled eggs
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 62kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola



    • Place eggs in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Do not over crowd the pot, make sure there is enough room for water to circulate around each egg. If there isn’t, work in batches of 6.
    • Add baking soda or vinegar.
    • Fill pot with cold water to about 1/2 inch above egg tops.
    • Bring to a boil.
    • When water reaches a full boil, remove from heat and cover.
    • For large eggs, cover for 10-12 minutes.
    • Immediately remove eggs using a metal slotted spoon and submerse in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
    • Run under cold water and gently break and remove the shells.
    • If you’ve tried this technique, come back and let us know how it was!



    Make them in the Instant Pot! 


    Calories: 62kcal | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 60mg | Vitamin A: 240IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 0.8mg

    ** Please note, these are just tips and tricks. I am not claiming that these will work ALL THE TIME or that this is THE ONLY way. They are simply suggestions. I’d love to hear your own and if these tips worked for you!

    Halved hard boiled eggs with creamy yellow yolks

    image of jessica formicola

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