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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 — complete with time chart — and how to make sure you always end up with easy peel hard boiled eggs, 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. I went through dozens of eggs to do it!
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 if you want easy peel boiled eggs, the method does make a difference, and every minute counts for the end result.
Why You’ll Love These Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (Easy To Peel)
- 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 stovetop method!
- No specialty ingredients or special equipment needed
- Makes perfect easy peel hard boiled eggs every time
The Best Way To Boil Eggs
There are two main methods perfect hard boiled eggs on the stove:
- Most common method: Bring the water with the eggs, 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 air fryer boiled eggs and oven boiled eggs. Still, my go-to way to make the perfect hard boiled eggs recipe is the stove. It’s super easy, no fuss or equipment required, and is really fast.
What To Add To The Water
This section explains what to add for easy peel hard boiled eggs, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- 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.
- Salt – Salting the water makes for perfect hard boiled eggs because it:
- Increases the temperature of boiling water. 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 easy peel eggs. 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.
- Vinegar – You can add white vinegar OR apple cider vinegar to the water. The important part is the acidity from the vinegar, because it softens the shells. This makes them easier to peel, but you won’t be able to taste the vinegar.
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 Boil Eggs For Easy Peeling
This section shows how to make perfect hard boiled eggs, 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. 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 on the stove over high heat and bring the pot of water to a rolling boil. Then, set a timer and use the boiled eggs time chart below to get the eggs done to your liking.
- Plunge in cold water or an ice bath. 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 large bowl of ice water, as shown below.) 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 you want them done. After the water starts boiling, a good estimate is 7-10 minutes for hard boiled eggs and 1-2 minutes for soft boiled eggs, without removing from heat.
Hard Boiled Eggs Time Chart
Now that you know the tricks for easy peel boiled eggs, just follow the cook times in this boiled egg time chart to get the doneness you want:
|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. 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 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 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 method. Here is how to make hard boiled eggs easy to peel every time:
- Use eggs that are a few days old. Fresh eggs are slightly less acidic, so the white sticks to the inner shell more. With older eggs, the shell absorbs more air, becomes more acidic, and also shrinks slightly. All of these aspects create more space between the shell membrane (that covers the egg white) and the shell itself. That means easy peel hard boiled eggs!
- Start with cold water. This is sometimes called “cold start” and helps ensure that the boiled eggs are easy to peel. In contrast, using warm or hot water is called “hot start” and will increase the chances that the shell will stick to the membrane.
- Add salt and vinegar to the water. I 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.
- Plunge the eggs in ice water. This stops the cooking process from residual heat, so you don’t end up with overcooked eggs. Also, some of the water permeates the shell, which helps loosen the bond to the egg white and makes the boiled eggs easy to peel.
- Roll the egg on the counter. I’ve tried different techniques for peeling boiled eggs, and this one wins compared to starting at one end. Simply roll the egg on the counter with the palm of your hand, creating cracks all over the widest part. Then, start peeling at one of the cracks toward the center of the egg, and the shell will come off from there.
Once you know how to boil eggs perfectly, you’ll probably make them in batches. There are some storage tips to keep in mind:
- When to peel: The soonest time to easily peel eggs is after they have sat in cold or ice water for 10 minutes. If you won’t eat them right away, it’s best not to peel them because they will last longer with the shell than without. However, if you still prefer to peel your eggs all at once, you can.
- Storage: Hard boiled eggs are okay at room temperature for a couple hours, but beyond that, store boiled eggs in the refrigerator (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 daily, so it might not be much 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.
- Reheating: 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!
How Long Are Hard Boiled Eggs Good For?
Boiled eggs in the shell will keep in the frigerator for up to 1 week. Without the shell, they will last up to 5 days.
Can You Freeze Hard Boiled Eggs?
Freezing boiled eggs is not recommended, as it ruins the texture of the egg white. You can freeze just the yolks for up to 3 months if you like.
Hard Boiled Egg Recipes & Serving Ideas
Now that you know how to boil eggs perfectly (and peel them easily) 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, or mix with proteins, such as tuna salad with egg. These types of salads use a lot of eggs, so you’ll definitely want to use this method for easy peel hard boiled eggs!
- Other Salads – Boiled eggs work well in cauliflower potato salad (a healthier alternative to potato salad) or seven-layer salad. For meal salad options, try cobb salad or chef salad.
- Soft Boiled Egg Soldiers – Dunk cheese sticks or veggies into a soft boiled egg. (You can also do this with oven baked eggs!)
- Breakfast Sandwich – Layer sliced hard boiled eggs, cheese, and bacon on your favorite bagel. I often use low carb bagels, but any kind you like will do.
- 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 to 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 (Easy Peel)
Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs (Perfect Yolks!)
Learn how to boil eggs perfectly, with time chart for perfect yolks! Get easy peel hard boiled eggs every time using this fast simple method.
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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Love this recipe! I’ve used it three times to cook eggs for deviled eggs. Perfect. Eggs. Every. Time!! I used older eggs and followed the recipe exactly. All the eggs peeled nicely, which makes for a better-looking deviled egg. I did notice one or two that cracked during boiling but there were no leaks and those eggs still cooked beautifully. I am happy to find a recipe that works so well and doesn’t leave me with unusable eggs. Thank you!
Hello, I’ve always boiled my eggs this way (your second method), but without the salt and vinegar and didn’t have issues peeling the eggs. Next time I do hard boiled eggs I will try it with the salt and vinegar to see if it makes a difference.
This was a good advice. Tomorrow I’ll try it out.
This method is ingenious. I’ve never managed to make eggs that peeled this easily before. I don’t think I’ll make them any other way now!
Super easy process! Thanks for sharing this!
I needed this, especially the list of cooking times, as I have been going insane trying to get my eggs just right! This worked perfectly and we ended up with the gooey eggs I wanted with no chunks out of the peeled eggs.
Do you store the unpeeled hard boiled eggs in something like a ziplock bag (with no water) ?
Great work scientist!!
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Steven, You can store the peeled eggs submerged in cold water in the fridge.
Preheat eggs in hot tap water before placing in boiling water for easier peeling.
Especially important in Australia where eggs are usually refrigerated.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Robert, Eggs are also kept in the refrigerator in the US as well, you can just leave the eggs in the pot for about 10 minutes, until they reach room temperature.
Gary T Kohlhepp0
I’ve struggled with peeling eggs forever. This method worked perfectly for me. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been using the lid on/heat off method for quite a few years since it came from the egg board. Today I went back to the old way of doing this and it’s the first time in eons I didn’t struggle with the peeling of the eggs! They were perfect!!! 🥳
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