Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

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Learn how to make hard boiled eggs with perfectly soft, creamy yolks every single time with these easy step by step instructions!  

hard boiled eggs cut in half on a marble board

I make hard boiled eggs on a regular basis as I love eating them for breakfast, snacks, and also incorporate them into recipes like my favorite egg salad, bacon deviled eggs and salmon nicoise salad.  

Eggs are such an easy, healthy way to add protein to meals and snacks.

To be honest, I never cared for hard boiled eggs growing up.  The yolks were always dry with a dark gray-green ring around them because they were overcooked.  

When they’re cooked properly, they’re so much more enjoyable.  I’ll take a soft, creamy yellow yolk over a dry one any day of the week!

hard boiled eggs in a ramekin

Why you’ll love this hard boiled egg recipe

  • This is the foolproof way to make perfect boiled eggs every single time.
  • You’ll learn how long to cook your hard boiled eggs to reach your desired level of doneness.
  • Egg shells are less likely to crack using this method of cooking.
  • Recipe includes information on how to peel boiled eggs easily.

Tips for perfect hard boiled eggs

  • Use older eggs instead of fresh.  For years I wondered what makes hard boiled eggs hard to peel.  It turns out, the fresher the eggs are, the harder they are to peel, because the membrane is attached to the shell.  As the egg ages, the membrane separates from the shell, making it easier to peel.  Using eggs that are 1-2 weeks old is ideal, but if you only have fresh eggs on hand, consider making Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs as fresh eggs peel much easier using a pressure cooker. 
  • Use large eggs every time to take the guesswork out of when they are done.  See cooking times below to determine the cooking time for your desired level of doneness.
  • Cook the eggs gently as instructed in this recipe to minimize the amount of eggs that crack during cooking.  For years I cooked my eggs at a rolling boil the entire time, which resulted in most of the eggs cracking during cooking.  
  • Use a pot just large enough to hold the amount of eggs you plan to cook in a single layer with enough room to move around.  Eggs will cook more evenly when they have room to move around.
  • Cool eggs in an ice bath.  This stops the cooking process and makes the eggs even easier to peel.

How to make perfect hard boiled eggs

Cooking eggs isn’t rocket science, but you’ll get consistent results every time when you follow these simple steps.

Years ago I used to cook my eggs by boiling them at rolling boil the entire time, which resulted in more eggs cracking during the cooking process.

The method that I’m sharing with you here is a much gentler way to cook them, which means the egg shells are less likely to crack.

how to make hard boiled eggs collage

  • Place the eggs in a sauce pan large enough to hold the amount of eggs you plan to cook in a single layer with some room to move around.
  • Fill the pan with enough water to cover the eggs by 1 inch.
  • Cover the pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  When the water comes to a rolling boiling, the pan will release steam and the lid will rattle.  
  • Once boiling, immediately remove the pan from heat and let stand covered for 8-12 minutes depending on the desired amount of cooking time.
  • Place the eggs in an ice bath for 5-10 minutes until cool.  
  • Peel immediately if using or store unpeeled in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

How long to cook hard boiled eggs

hard boiled eggs with cooking times next to them

The doneness of hard boiled eggs is a personal preference.  I prefer to cook mine for 8-10 minutes for a softer yolk, but many people prefer to cook them for 12 minutes or more until the yolk is cooked all the way through.

Once the eggs come to boil, let stand covered for 8-12 minutes for the desired amount of doneness.

  • 8 minutes.  Soft, creamy yolk.
  • 10 minutes.  Yolk slightly soft in center.
  • 12 minutes.  Fully cooked yolk.
  • Anything over 12 minutes may result in overcooked eggs with a grayish green ring around the yolk.  They are still safe to eat, but the yolks may be dry.

Is it safe to eat an egg that cracked during boiling?

It’s common for eggs to crack during boiling because heat builds up in the shell, causing the egg to expand rapidly. 

Eggs that crack while boiling are still safe to eat, but they should be eaten the same day for food safety.

close up of halved hard boiled eggs

Recipe Notes

  • Older eggs are easier to peel because the egg white shrinks, leaving more space between the shell and the egg. Choosing eggs between 1-2 weeks old is ideal for hard boiled eggs.
  • The cooking times listed are for large eggs, therefore cooking times will vary for eggs that are smaller or larger.
  • Let egg stand covered for 8 minutes for a softer, creamier yolk; 10 minutes for yolk that’s slightly soft in the center; 12 minutes for a fully cooked yolk.
  • This recipe calls for 8 eggs in a medium pot, but you can cook any number of eggs that you wish. Choose a pot that fits all of the eggs in a single layer with some extra room to move around.
  • Hard boiled eggs keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

easy hard boiled eggs lined up on a marble board

More egg recipes you’ll love:

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Yield: 8 eggs
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Learn how to make hard boiled eggs with perfectly soft, creamy yolks every single time with these easy step by step instructions! 

hard boiled eggs cut in half on a marble board

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs, preferably older eggs (1-2 weeks old) for easier peeling

Instructions

  1. Place the eggs in a medium sauce pan in a single layer, and fill the pan with enough water to cover the eggs by 1 inch.
  2. Place the lid on the sauce pan and cook on medium high until the water begins to boil. You'll know that the water is boiling because the lid will rattle and the pot will release steam.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and let stand covered for 8 - 12 minutes, depending on the desired level of doneness. See Recipe Notes below to use as a guide.
  4. Place the eggs in a large bowl of ice water for 5-10 minutes or until cool.
  5. Peel if ready to use, or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  • Older eggs are easier to peel because the egg white shrinks, leaving more space between the shell and the egg. Choosing eggs between 1-2 weeks old is ideal for hard boiled eggs.
  • The cooking times listed are for large eggs, therefore cooking times will vary for eggs that are smaller or larger.
  • Let egg stand covered for 8 minutes for a softer, creamier yolk; 10 minutes for yolk that's slightly soft in the center; 12 minutes for a fully cooked yolk.
  • This recipe calls for 8 eggs in a medium pot, but you can cook any number of eggs that you wish. Choose a pot that fits all of the eggs in a single layer with some extra room to move around.
  • Hard boiled eggs keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 209mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

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