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Since eggs are my favorite food ever, boiled eggs were one of the first foods I learned to make as a kid. But, I refined my favorite method for these easy peel hard boiled eggs only a few years ago. As a scientist at heart, it was really fun for me to do the testing for this “recipe”. I went through dozens of cartons to get the perfect hard boiled eggs at different doneness levels… and a couple batches of oven baked bacon and air fryer bacon to go with them. 😉
So even if you already know how to boil eggs — and I know many of you do — I hope you’ll learn something new. Because if you want easy to peel boiled eggs, the method does make a difference, and every minute counts for the end result. I have a time chart to make this easy!
Why You’ll Love These Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs
- 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 ways to make 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 – 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. The key difference is you boil them the whole time, so they are done more quickly. 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 easy peel hard boiled eggs is the stove. It’s super easy, no fuss or equipment required, and fast.
How To Boil Eggs For Easy Peeling
This section shows how to make perfect easy peel 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.
- Submerge 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:
|Very runny soft boiled eggs
|Runny soft boiled eggs
|Very gooey medium boiled eggs
|Gooey medium boiled eggs
|Just set medium boiled eggs
|Medium-hard boiled eggs
|Very creamy hard boiled eggs
|Creamy hard boiled eggs
|Firm hard boiled eggs
|Very firm hard boiled eggs
A few important notes about this:
- The times above are how long to boil eggs after the water has reached a rolling boil, and you place the eggs in cold water before bringing it to a boil. If you use some other method, such as adding the eggs to the water after it’s already boiling (don’t recommend), or removing from heat once the water boils, they will take longer.
- My time chart is based on large eggs. It will take a little longer to get to the same level of doneness with extra large or jumbo eggs, or quicker if you have medium eggs.
- Plunging eggs into cold or ice water after boiling is crucial. If you skip this step, your eggs will be overcooked, even if you follow the times above.
Here is a visual showing how my easy peel boiled eggs looked after 1 minute, all the way to 10 minutes:
Tips For Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs
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. Salting the water accomplishes a few things: It increases the temperature of the boiling water (so the egg white cooks a little faster and the yolk doesn’t overcook); it helps seal any small cracks or leaks; and a tiny bit permeates the egg shell, which makes for easy peel eggs. The vinegar helps with peeling as well, because it softens the shell. White vinegar or apple cider vinegar both work. 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.
- 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.
- 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 them in the refrigerator (unpeeled if possible). Boiled eggs in the shell will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. Without the shell (store submerged in water or draped with a wet paper towel and change daily), they will last for up to 5 days.
- 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!
- Freezing: Don’t do it — it ruins the texture of the egg white! If you really want to, you can freeze just the yolks for up to 3 months.
Hard Boiled Egg Recipes
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 of my favorite 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 salmon 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 a 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.
My Favorite Tools
- 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.
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.
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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
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