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What is your favorite food in the world? Mine is eggs (and adding a little oven baked bacon or even air fryer bacon doesn’t hurt!). There are so many delicious ways to enjoy them, and perfect hard boiled eggs are one of my favorite ways. Today, I want to show you how to boil eggs perfectly every time – and how to peel boiled eggs easily, too!
Boiled eggs were one of the first foods I learned to make as a kid. But, I refined my favorite method for boiling eggs only a few years ago. As a scientist at heart, it was really fun for me to do the testing for this article.
So even if you already know how to boil eggs – and I know many of you do! – I hope you’ll still get something out of it. Because when it comes to boiling eggs, the method does make a difference, and every minute counts for the end result.
This is going to be your ultimate guide for how to boil eggs, the best way to peel them, and how to store them afterward. Once you master them, try oven baked eggs next!
Why You’ll Love This Hard Boiled Egg Recipe
- Perfectly cooked to your liking (see the time chart below!)
- Works for soft boiled or hard boiled eggs
- Quick and easy – it’s the fastest method!
- No special equipment needed
- Makes easy peel boiled eggs every time
The Best Way To Boil Eggs
There are two main methods for how to boil eggs on the stove:
- Most common method: Bring the eggs to a boil, then turn off the heat, close the lid, and let them cook in the residual heat. This method works fine, but it takes longer, because the water stops boiling. I’m not a patient person, so I prefer the second way.
- The best method: My preferred method for boiling eggs is to boil them the whole time. Once the water comes to a boil, you set a timer and cook them for exactly the number of minutes needed for the level of doneness you want. Yay for having faster, perfect boiled eggs!
There are actually lots of other ways to boil eggs. People do it in a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or even boiled eggs in the oven. I’ll share how to boil eggs using some of these other methods down the line. (And please, let me know if you’re interested in one of them in particular!)
Still, my go-to way to make perfect hard boiled eggs is the stove. It’s super easy, no fuss or equipment required, and is really, really fast.
Ingredients For Easy Peel Boiled Eggs
Of course, the main ingredient you’ll need is the EGGS! I used large eggs for my testing, so the cook time will be different if you have medium, extra large, or jumbo eggs.
If you want your eggs easy to peel (and who doesn’t?), adding 2 ingredients to the water that will ensure perfect, easy peel eggs…
Some people think that adding salt makes the water boil faster, which is actually not true. However, salting the water makes for perfect hard boiled eggs because it:
- Increases the temperature of boiling water. Adding salt raises the boiling point of the water slightly. This is not the same as boiling faster! Since the boiling point increases, the time it takes to boil is the same. But, it does heat up faster and in the end boils at a higher temperature. This causes the egg white to cook a little faster, which makes it easier to prevent overcooking the yolk.
- Helps seal and cracks or leaks. If a crack develops in the egg, the salt will aid in coagulation. That basically means it will seal faster when it hits the salt water.
- Makes the egg easier to peel. A tiny bit of salt actually permeates the egg shell. It’s not enough for you to taste it, but it does help with peeling.
You can add white vinegar OR apple cider vinegar to the water. The important part is the acidity from the vinegar.
Why does vinegar help create easy peel boiled eggs? It softens the shells! This makes them easier to peel. Yay!
A tiny amount of vinegar does permeate the egg shell, but don’t worry – you won’t taste it.
Some people swear that adding baking soda helps to make eggs easier to peel. I tried it, but it didn’t make any difference. The salt and vinegar did.
How To Hard Boil Eggs
This section shows how to make hard boiled with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Place eggs in water. Place your eggs in the bottom of a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the eggs with at least an inch of water above them.
TIP: Add the eggs before adding the water. This will ensure they don’t break.
- Add salt and vinegar. Stir gently, being careful not to disturb the eggs too much.
- Boil eggs. Place the pan onto the stove over high heat. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Set a time and use the boiled eggs time chart below to get the eggs done to your liking.
- Plunge in cold water. Right before the timer is about to go off, turn on the faucet to the coldest that it goes and let it run until the water is ice cold. Once the timer goes off, drain the hot water and place the pan under the cold running water, letting the ice cold water fill the pan. The water will turn lukewarm from the heat of the eggs and pan. Keep running the water (it will overflow from the pot), until the water in the pan is ice cold. (Alternatively, you can also just use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water.) Leave the eggs in the pot for about 10 minutes, until they reach room temperature.
How Long To Boil Eggs?
The time to boil eggs depends on how much you want them done, but using the method above, a good estimate is…
- How long to hard boil an egg: 7-9 minutes once the water starts boiling
- How long to soft boil an egg: 1-2 minutes once the water starts boiling
Of course everyone likes them a bit differently, but lucky for you, I tested how long to boil eggs for all doneness levels by going through a few dozen of them! I took out a couple boiled eggs at a time, at one-minute intervals. I repeated this test several times, ande made the following chart, to ensure that you get perfect hard boiled eggs every time…
Hard Boiled Egg Time Chart
Now that you know the tricks for how to boil eggs perfectly, just follow the cook times in this boiled egg time chart:
|1 minute||Very runny soft boiled eggs|
|2 minutes||Runny soft boiled eggs|
|3 minutes||Very gooey medium boiled eggs|
|4 minutes||Gooey medium boiled eggs|
|5 minutes||Just set medium boiled eggs|
|6 minutes||Medium-hard boiled eggs|
|7 minutes||Very creamy hard boiled eggs|
|8 minutes||Creamy hard boiled eggs|
|9 minutes||Firm hard boiled eggs|
|10 minutes||Very firm hard boiled eggs|
A few important notes about this time chart:
- The times above are how long to boil eggs after the water has reached a rolling boil.
- These times are based on large eggs. This is the most common size, and it’s what I buy. The times might take a little longer to get to the same level of doneness if you have extra large or jumbo eggs, or be done quicker if you have medium eggs.
- This is how long to boil eggs using my method where the eggs boil the whole time and are not removed from heat until they are done. If you use the other method where you remove from heat and cover with a lid once the water boils, they will take longer.
- Plunging eggs into cold water after boiling is crucial. If you use the above hard boiled egg time chart but skip the cold water step, your eggs will be overcooked.
Here is a visual showing how the boiled eggs look after 1 minute, all the way to 10 minutes:
How do you know if boiled eggs are overcooked?
There are a couple of ways to tell. The first indicator is rubbery whites. The more common way to identify overcooked hard boiled eggs is a green ring around the yolk.
What causes a green yolk in hard boiled eggs?
A green ring on boiled eggs is a chemical reaction between the sulfur in the egg white and the iron in the yolk. Though not harmful, the yolk will be very dry. To prevent this, use the boiled egg time chart above!
How To Peel Hard Boiled Eggs Easily
Before I figured out how to peel hard boiled eggs, the process drove me crazy. Fortunately, after some testing, I found a sure, foolproof way to peel hard boiled eggs easily every time:
- Start with eggs that are a few days old. Why? Fresh eggs are slightly less acidic, so the white sticks to the inner shell more. As the egg gets older, the shell absorbs more air, becomes more acidic, and also shrinks slightly. All of these aspects create more space between the egg white and the shell. That means easy peel boiled eggs!
- Add salt and vinegar to the water before cooking. I already talked about this above. The salt permeates the shell a little bit, and the vinegar helps to break down the shells, making them easier to peel.
- Cool the eggs in ice cold water for ten minutes. There are multiple reasons to do this. First of all, it stops the cooking process from residual heat, so you don’t end up with overcooked eggs. But just as important, it makes for easy peel boiled eggs! The reason is, some of the water permeates the shell, which helps loosen the bond to the egg white.
- Roll the egg on the counter. I’ve tried different techniques for how to peel boiled eggs, and this one wins, hands down. Simply roll the egg on the counter with the palm of your hand, creating cracks all over. This process helps loosen the shell in general. Then, start peeling at one of the cracks toward the center of the egg, and the shell will come off effortlessly from there.
Hard Boiled Egg Nutrition
When it comes to nutrition, boiled eggs are exceptional.
Are boiled eggs good for you?
Yes, eggs are good for you! They contain 13 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, calcium, iron, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, biotin, pantothenic acid, iodine, zinc, selenium, molybdenum, and choline. And, each egg contains 6 grams of quality protein, meaning it has all the essential amino acids [*, *]. The nutrients of the egg are found in the yolk, and the white contains the protein.
Choline, one of the most important nutrients in egg yolks, has been associated with lower risk of liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disorders [*].
Not surprisingly, eggs are pretty much the perfect food for a low carb lifestyle. And, the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association no longer limit egg or cholesterol intake, which used to be a concern with eggs. The myth of the relationship between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease has since been debunked [*, *]. In fact, studies have shown that consuming whole eggs daily actually improves cholesterol and insulin sensitivity [*, *, *, *].
How many calories in a boiled egg?
A large egg, which is most common, has only 70 calories.
How To Store Hard Boiled Eggs
Once you know how to boil eggs perfectly, you’ll probably make them in batches. Why wouldn’t you? They make such wonderful snacks and store well.
When to peel hard boiled eggs?
The soonest time to peel hard boiled eggs is after they have sat in cold or ice water for ten minutes. Give them at least this long, to prevent overcooking and make the peeling process easier. However, don’t leave them in the water for too long without refrigeration, because bacteria can grow.
If possible, do not peel hard boiled eggs until you are ready to use them. The shell will protect them and they will last longer. But, if you still prefer to peel your eggs all at once, you can.
What is the best way to store hard boiled eggs?
Hard boiled eggs are okay at room temperature for a couple hours, but beyond that, store boiled eggs in the fridge, unpeeled if possible.
If you prefer to peel your eggs all at once, store them submerged in cold water in the fridge. You’ll need to change the water every day, so it might not be much of a time savings. Alternatively, you can drape damp paper towels over the eggs instead of submerging in water, but it’s still recommended to swap them daily.
How long are hard boiled eggs good for?
Boiled eggs in the shell will keep for about a week. How long they last will be impacted by whether you store them in the shell or peeled; eggs that have been peeled won’t last as long.
Can you freeze boiled eggs?
Unfortunately, freezing boiled eggs is not recommended. I’ve tried, and the texture when thawing them is just terrible. Don’t do it!
Can you reheat hard boiled eggs?
Yes, you can reheat boiled eggs, but don’t use the microwave or they will explode. Instead, place the egg(s) into a glass bowl and add boiling water to submerge. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for about 10 minutes, then remove and enjoy!
Boiled Egg Recipes & Serving Ideas
Now that you know how to boil eggs perfectly every time, I hope you’ll make them more often! Here are some ways to enjoy them:
- Salt & pepper – When you have that blissful creamy yolk, that’s all you need to enjoy perfect boiled eggs.
- Deviled Eggs – My fave is simple deviled eggs with bacon, but they are also delicious with lox on top or avocado mashed in.
- Egg Salad – Either a classic egg salad or avocado egg salad.
- Other Salads – Hard boiled eggs go well in cauliflower potato salad, seven-layer salad, or chef salad.
- Soft Boiled Egg Soldiers – Dunk cheese sticks or veggies into a soft boiled egg.
- Breakfast Sandwich – Layer sliced hard boiled eggs, cheese, and bacon on your favorite bagel (I use low carb bagels!).
- Saucepan – This one heats evenly and is a great universal size for boiling eggs.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – This kitchen staple is useful for so many recipes, and will make for easy peel hard boiled eggs.
- Sea Salt – Not all salt is created equal! This one is easy to pinch and full of naturally occuring minerals. It’s also a must for both cooking and eating your boiled eggs.
How To Boil Eggs Perfectly Every Time
How To Boil Eggs Perfectly (Easy Peel!)
The BEST method for how to boil eggs, and how to peel hard boiled eggs easily! Includes a time chart for perfect yolks, ways to ensure easy peel eggs, storage tips, and more.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
How To Boil Eggs Perfectly
Place eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a large saucepan or pot. Add enough water to cover the eggs with at least 1 in (2.5 cm) of water over them.
Add a tablespoon (15 mL) of vinegar and a tablespoon (14 g) of sea salt to the pot. Stir gently.
- Place the pan onto the stove over high heat. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Once the water is boiling, set a timer to the following number of minutes based on how you want your eggs.
1 minute – Very runny soft boiled eggs
2 minutes – Runny soft boiled eggs
3 minutes – Very gooey medium boiled eggs
4 minutes – Gooey medium boiled eggs
5 minutes – Just set medium boiled eggs
6 minutes – Medium-hard boiled eggs
7 minutes – Very creamy hard boiled eggs
8 minutes – Creamy hard boiled eggs
9 minutes – Firm hard boiled eggs
10 minutes – Very firm hard boiled eggs
- Right before the timer is about to go off, turn on the faucet to the coldest that it goes and let it run until the water is ice cold. Once the timer goes off, drain the hot water and place the pan under the cold running water, letting the ice cold water fill the pan. The water will turn lukewarm from the heat of the eggs and pan. Keep running the water (it will overflow from the pot), until the water in the pan is ice cold. Leave the eggs in the pot for about 10 minutes, until they reach room temperature.
How To Peel Boiled Eggs Easily
- Once the eggs are at room temperature (but not colder), you can peel them.
- To peel an egg, roll it on the counter with the palm of your hand, pressing gently to make cracks all over the shell. The peel will come right off!
- If not using right away, see notes in the post above about how to store hard boiled eggs and when to peel them.
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Serving size: 1 egg
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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