How to Hard Boil Eggs: Step-By-Step

April 1, 2019
Need a few tips for boiling eggs?  Here's a simple guide on How to Hard Boil Eggs: Step-by-Step so you can easily boil up a batch - follow this fail-proof method, and your hard boiled eggs will be perfect every time.
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Hard Boiled Egg Cut in Half Image

Hard boiled eggs are such a delightfully versatile food.  Whether you enjoy them as the ever-popular Southern deviled eggs, in salads like our favorite Amish Macaroni Salad, or for breakfast just as they are, hard boiled eggs can be enjoyed in so many ways.  In fact, they're one of my favorite go-to snacks.

Fortunately, making hard boiled eggs is a pretty simple process.  

Before we even get to hard boiling them though, let's talk about the eggs themselves for a second. 


When hard boiling eggs, try to use eggs that are not the absolute freshest ~ eggs that are seven to ten days old work the best. 

When hard boiling eggs, try to use eggs that are not the absolute freshest ~ eggs that are seven to ten days old work the best.  

Why?  Because very fresh eggs are difficult to peel once they're hard boiled.  And you'll tend to end up with some that have lumps and bumps and big hunks taken out of them from the egg shell sticking when you peel them.

It's the older eggs that readily release the shell and peel easily, resulting in nice smooth hard boiled eggs.

Peeling a Hard Boiled Egg Image

Follow these simple steps on how to hard boil eggs and you'll be easily boiling up a batch.  With this fail-proof method, your hard boiled eggs will be perfect every time.


Step 1:  Fill the Pot

Filling a Pot of Water to Hard Boil Eggs Image

Place eggs in a single layer in a pot, making sure the eggs have just a little bit of wiggle room.  If there's too much space, they'll jiggle around too much while cooking and could crack.  

Fill the pot with cold water to 1-inch over the eggs.  It's important to start with cold water so the eggs come up to cooking temperature slowly.  Water cold from the faucet is perfect ... it doesn't need to be (and shouldn't be) ice water.

As I mentioned before, use eggs that are not the freshest ~ eggs that are seven to ten days old work best.  Very fresh eggs are difficult to peel.  Try to plan ahead when making hard boiled eggs and buy the eggs about a week in advance of cooking them.


Step 2:  Bring Eggs to a Simmer

Simmering a Pot of Hard Boiled Eggs Image

Place the pot over high heat and bring the water to a gentle simmer.  The water should have just a few relatively small bubbles breaking the surface.


Step 3:  Time Those Eggs

Timing Hard Boiled Eggs Image

Once a few bubbles break the water's surface, immediately reduce the heat to medium to maintain the water barely at a simmer.  


One question people often wonder is, how long do you boil eggs to make hard boiled eggs?

My answer is 10 minutes - with the pot at a gentle simmer the whole time.

Keeping the pot at a simmer (not a boil) and stopping the cooking after exactly 10 minutes will produce a bright yellow yolk cooked perfectly all the way through. 

Cooking longer or at a higher temperature can produce an overcooked, crumbly yolk or create that non-appetizing grayish-greenish ring that we get sometimes around the yolk.
 


Step 4:  Cool the Eggs

Running Hard Boiled Eggs Under Cold Water to Cool Image

Remove the pot from the heat and run the eggs, still inside the pot, under cold water for about 20 to 30 seconds.  Then, fill the pot with cold water and allow the eggs to sit in the water to cool for about 10 minutes more.

Cooling Hard Boiled Eggs in Cold Water Image

While the eggs are cooling, shake them around in the pan ... kind of like playing a game of bumper car eggs ... to crack and loosen their shells.


Step 5:  Tap to Crack

Tapping a Hard Boiled Egg on a Hard Surface to Crack Image

People often ask, is it best to peel hard boiled eggs warm or cold?

Well, hard boiled eggs are actually easiest to peel while they're still slightly warm.  

If it's not already cracked from the shaking in the pan while cooling, start by gently tapping the egg on a flat hard surface to crack it. 


Step 6:  Peel 

How to Peel a Hard Boiled Egg Image

Then, starting at the large end, gently ease off the shell with your thumb and fingers.

If you've got a super stubborn shell, try holding the egg under cold running water while peeling it.  Sometimes this will loosen the shell and help in the peeling process.


Hard boiled eggs are actually easiest to peel while they're still slightly warm.

Once peeled, rinse each egg under cold water to remove any shell fragments.  Place in a sealable container and store in the refrigerator - they can be stored refrigerated for up to about a week.

Now, ready to turn those perfectly hard-boiled eggs into a delightfully delicious platter of deviled eggs?  Just click on over and follow our guide on How to Make Deviled Eggs: Step-By-Step to easily whip up a tasty batch.

How to Hard Boil Eggs Image
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How to Hard Boil Eggs: Step-By-Step
(Print recipe)
Ingredients
  • eggs, preferably older ones*
Directions
  1. Place eggs in a single layer in a pot, making sure the eggs have just a bit of wiggle room. Fill the pot with cold water to 1-inch over the eggs.
  2. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a gentle simmer. The water should have just a few relatively small bubbles breaking the surface.
  3. Reduce the heat and maintain the water barely at a simmer. Set a timer for 10 minutes and cook the eggs at a gentle simmer; do not let the pot reach a boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and run the eggs under cold water for about 20 to 30 seconds. Then, fill the pot with cold water and allow the eggs to cool for about 10 minutes. While eggs are cooling, shake them in the pan to crack and loosen their shells.
  5. Peel the eggs while they’re still slightly warm. If not already cracked from the shaking in the pan while cooling, gently tap each egg on a flat surface to crack. Starting at the large end, gently ease off the shell with your thumb and fingers. To help remove stubborn shells, hold egg under cold running water while peeling.
  6. Once peeled, rinse each egg under cold water to remove any shell fragments. Place in a sealable container and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
* When hard boiling eggs, use eggs that are not the freshest ~ eggs that are seven to ten days old work best.  Very fresh eggs are difficult to peel.  Plan ahead and buy the eggs about a week in advance of preparing your hard boiled eggs if you can.


Enjoy!

You might also enjoy these tasty recipes that use hard boiled eggs:








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