There are a few keys to making hard-boiled eggs perfectly every time. Use these strategies to make uniform, hard-cooked eggs just to your liking with nothing more than a pot of simmering water.
How do you hard-boil eggs perfectly? First, fill a pot with eggs and water, bring it to the boiling point, turn off the heat, and cover it. Wait for 10 minutes, then drain the pot and put the eggs in ice-cold water for 2 more minutes. Finally, easily peel your eggs and enjoy!
This article covers the details of how to execute perfect hard-boiled eggs every single time. Whether you’re looking for a quick high-protein snack or making a trayful of deviled eggs for a dinner party, knowing how to make hard-cooked eggs is a useful culinary trick that will keep you full and satisfied.
What’s the Perfect Boiling Time for Hard-Cooked Eggs?
If there’s one food debate that will never be settled, it may be the debate on how to cook steak. Well, the hard-boiled egg debate is a close second. From chefs to home cooks, there is a range of answers when it comes to the correct length of time to boil an egg for. And the truth is that the perfect boiling time for you comes down to personal preference. If you like a hard, firm yolk, you may need to cook your egg for up to 15 minutes. Or, if you’re after a soft, even runny yolk, you can cook your egg for as little as 6 or 7 minutes. The best way to find this answer for yourself is by cooking eggs for a few different time periods and seeing which result suits you best.
How many eggs can I boil at once?
As long as you’re using a pot that is large enough, you can boil as many eggs as you like at one time. It’s important that the eggs aren’t too close together in the pot, however, as if they knock about in the boiling water, they may crack each other. But with a spacious pot, this recipe for perfect hard-boiled eggs is a great way to make a large batch of eggs to enjoy for the week.
Do I need to use room-temperature eggs?
No, this recipe is written so that you can take your cold eggs straight from the fridge and into the pot! If you are using room-temperature eggs, however, you can reduce the cooking time by a minute or two.
How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
Let’s get into the recipe for the best way to make hard-boiled eggs on the stovetop.
You only need two very basic ingredients to whip up simple hard-boiled eggs. Here they are:
Cooking Hard-Boiled Eggs
Step 1: Fill a pot with water
Find a pot that is large enough to fit all the eggs you want to boil. Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid to match. First, place all of the eggs in the pot. Next, add water to cover the eggs by at least two inches.
Step 2: Boil the eggs
Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the water to a hard simmer, uncovered. As soon as the water starts to bubble a lot (but before you’re at a rolling boil), turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid. Despite being called hard-boiled eggs, you don’t actually want to boil the eggs. All that hard bubbling in the pot is likely to crack the shells, so keep an eye on the pot and turn off the heat just before it reaches a full boil.
Step 3: Set the timer
Depending on the texture you’re looking for you, set a timer while your eggs are in the pot. A good rule of thumb for making hard-boiled eggs is:
- 7 minutes if you want soft-boiled eggs with a creamy yolk.
- 10 minutes if you want firm hard-boiled eggs.
You should try a few different times and see when your eggs come out perfect for you. It’s all about personal preference at the end of the day.
Step 4: Bring the eggs to a cold halt
Before the timer reaches zero, set up a landing zone for your eggs. This will cool down the eggs to halt the cooking process and ensure they don’t overcook.
First, fill a second bowl or pot with cold water and a few ice cubes. Then, when the timer goes off, immediately drain the eggs from the pot and transfer them to the ice water bath. This will stop the cooking process. Let the eggs rest in the ice water for 1 or 2 minutes, or until they are cool enough to handle and easily peel.
You’ve successfully made hard-boiled eggs! All you had to do was put the eggs in water, heat them until the water is boiling, turn the heat off, cover the eggs for the right amount of time, and then put the eggs in cold water.
Peel and enjoy right away or you can save your hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for later!
When are Hard-Boiled Eggs Done Cooking?
There are two ways to know whether your hard-boiled egg is cooked or not.
The first method is a little risky because you’ll have to cut the egg in half.
- In a fully cooked egg, the yolk is solid and yellow. The egg whites will be totally firm and even a bit rubbery.
- Overcooked eggs, on the other hand, have a greenish circle around the yolk. The yolk will also be chalky and dry-looking.
- If the yolk is runny, then it’s undercooked but still edible and to some, even better than hard-cooked!
If you don’t feel like sacrificing one of your eggs to test for doneness, the other option is to pierce through the shell with an instant-read thermometer. Eggs are considered fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 160-170°F (70-77°C ).
Why Are my Hard-Boiled Eggs Hard to Peel?
Peeling a hard-boiled egg is a matter of technique – but it’s always a difficult thing to do. The thing that makes the eggs so desirable is the same thing that makes it hard to peel: protein!
When you hard-boil an egg, you’re cooking the protein. By bringing heat to it, it’ll make the shell bind with the membrane, making it twice as hard to peel. Don’t worry, with enough practice, you’ll get it right!
If you want to make your life easier, you should know older eggs are easier to peel than new ones. If you boil your eggs one week in advance you’ll notice the difference.
Egg Peeling Tips
There is some good news if you find yourself getting frustrated when trying to peel hard-boiled eggs. Try these tricks to help making peeling your eggs faster and easier:
- Put a teaspoon of baking soda in the boiling water with the eggs.
- Let the eggs sit in a container full of water in the fridge for a day or so.
- Peel the eggs in a bowl of room temperature water.
- Gently crack the egg’s shell against the counter and then roll the egg on the counter while applying pressure. After doing this, finish taking off the shell.
Can You Over-Boil an Egg?
You can over-boil an egg. What’s more, you’re likely to over-boil one if you don’t pay close enough attention. One minute can mean a world of difference when it comes to this. Always pay attention to your eggs when they are boiling.
Seasoning Options for Your Hard-Boiled Eggs!
While hard-boiled eggs are delicious on their own, it can be fun to shake things up a bit by adding seasoning. If you want, try some of these ideas.
- Classic salt and pepper
- Chili powder
- Garlic salt
- Sriracha or your preferred hot sauce
- Green onion
You can also turn your eggs into a creamy egg salad or toss them on top of a green leafy salad. They also make a nice addition to potato salad or even a protein-rich topper to soft baked potatoes.
- Pot with a lid
- Large bowl
- 1 Egg
- Find a pot that is large enough to fit all the eggs you want to boil. Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid to match. First, place all of the eggs in the pot. Next, add water to cover the eggs by at least two inches.
- Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the water to a hard simmer, uncovered. As soon as the water starts to bubble a lot (but before you're at a rolling boil), turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid.
- Let the eggs sit for 7 minutes for soft-boiled eggs and 10 minutes for hard-boiled eggs.
- Fill a bowl with ice water.
- When the timer ends, drain the eggs and transfer to the ice water. Let cool for 1-2 minutes, until you can easily handle them.
- Peel and enjoy, or save in the fridge for up to five days.