How to Make the Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

They pack protein into a salad, are a fantastic on-the-go breakfast and a necessity for making deviled eggs. Hard-boiled eggs are fantastic but are a bit intimidating to cooks.

Overcook them, there's a green ring around the yolk. It's harmless to eat, but doesn't look pretty and is caused by boiling the egg too long. Undercook them, you have a gooey, unappetizing mess.

We're sharing our tips for the perfect hard-boiled egg so you'll never get the green ring again.

Step 1.
Place eggs in a saucepan and fill with cold water. Water should just cover the eggs.

Step 2.
Bring the water to a boil on medium-high heat.

Step 3.
Turn the burner off and place a lid on the saucepan.

Step 4.
Set the timer for 13 minutes.

Step 5.
When the timer goes off, use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the hot water. Place them into a bowl of ice water. The ice water will stop the cooking process.

Step 6.
Allow them to cool and remain in the ice water for approximately 15 minutes.

Step 7.
Once the eggs are cool, start the peeling process by gently rolling the egg to break up the shell.

Step 8.
Once the shell is slightly crushed, start peeling.

Step 9.
When the entire egg is peeled, dip it in a small bowl of water or place it under running water to get rid of any excess shells.

Step 10.
The perfectly boiled egg with a nice and yellow yolk is ready to be used.

Tips to Hard-Boiling Eggs

  • Do not overcrowd the pan with eggs. The number of eggs you can boil at once depends on your pot size. The eggs should be in a single layer and not tightly packed into the pot.
  • Older eggs peel much easier than fresher eggs.
  • It's easier to begin peeling an egg at the larger part, rather than the smaller part, of the egg.
  • Make sure to place the eggs in an ice bath right away to stop the cooking process. This will also help the membrane to separate from the egg to make peeling easier.
  • Don't let the eggs sit around unpeeled. The longer they sit the harder they will be to peel.
  • Hard-boiled eggs last about 5 days stored in the refrigerator.

Your Perfect Yolk

There are different opinions on how long to boil an egg. Some like their yolk on the softer side, while other's like more well done. We tested different times in the Test Kitchen and are sharing our results. Hopefully, it will help you determine what's the correct length of time to boil an egg for your perfect yolk.

Two Minutes: Whites are set and the yolk is very soft. If served warm, the yolk is runny.

Four Minutes: Whites are set. The yolk is very soft but not runny.

Six Minutes: The yolk is creamy but has set up.

Eight Minutes: Yolks are creamy and a medium firmness.

Ten Minutes: The yolks are firm and less creamy.

Twelve Minutes: The yolks have firmed up even more and are not creamy.

Fourteen Minutes: The yolks are extra firm and the green ring typically forms around the yolk.

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David Linn - Apr 13, 2019
Blondie Pussycat
When you live in the clouds things do change.
Do the math i'm sure you can figure it out.
Regards. David
Blondie Pussycat - Apr 4, 2019
David Linn~at a high elevation, even baking cakes, cookies, bread, etc and probably eggs would have to be cooked longer. Look it up!
Deb Reher - Apr 2, 2019
And for very fresh eggs, just from one of the girls?
Either wait a week or never refrigerate it and cook it in cold water. It never works perfectly for easy peeling but sometimes it does.
David Linn - Apr 2, 2019
This how i do it works every time. Try It!!
To make the eggs, simply bake them in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes. You can place them directly on the rack or use a muffin tin, which makes it easy move them in and out of the oven in bulk. Once the 30 minutes have passed, remove the eggs from the oven (carefully, because they are hot) and plunge them in ice cold water for 10 minutes.

The shells may have brown spots where they were in contact with hot metal. Sometimes that discoloration fades away in the water plunge, but sometimes it will leave marks on the whites.
Blondie Pussycat - Apr 1, 2019
Well now that I live at 8470 elevation, I have had to increase even more time to the boiling part and the sitting in boiling water. I like my yolks creamy. So it goes like this. I use large eggs.
I boil water in a heavy stainless steel pan, add about a Tbsp of vinegar making sure the water will cover the eggs by 1". Once the water is boiling I gently drop the eggs in the water and boil for 6 minutes. I move the pan off the burner and cover the pan. I let them stay in the water 17 minutes (I know.) They come out perfect . It took me weeks to find the correct time to do each step until they were like I like them. If an egg is overcooked, I can not eat them because it makes me gag!
Andy Anderson ! - Apr 1, 2019
Laura... steaming is a great way to do hard-boiled eggs.
Laura-Jean Miller - Apr 1, 2019
Actually, I made hard boiled eggs just like that for years and the yolks do come out perfect but some times they were the devil to peel. I tried every method for easy peeling but none worked until I hit the jackpot. Steam the eggs. The yolks are perfect and the shell just slips off.
Andy Anderson ! - Jul 27, 2018
And what did my students use as an excuse… I do not understand; I use this method at home and they come out perfect every time.
Andy Anderson ! - Jul 27, 2018
Everyone claims to have the “perfect” method for making hard-boiled eggs, and that method might be perfect for you; however, there are simply too many variables to take into consideration.

For example:

How high above sea level are you? Altitude controls the boiling point of water. For every 500 feet (152m), the boiling point of water decreases by one-degree Fahrenheit.

What type of pot are you using? Is it a heavy cast-iron pot that will hold in the heat, or is it thin and flimsy? Remember, the eggs must stand in that water off the heat for a specified amount of time.

How long does it take your stovetop to bring a cold pan of water to the boil? I have a friend who has an old electric cooktop, and it can take 10 – 12 minutes to bring a pot of water to the boil. My Viking gas range goes from cold-to-boiling in 90 seconds.

What is the temperature of your eggs? Are they straight out of the fridge, or have they been resting (warming up) on the countertop? Egg temperature will impact how long it takes for the egg core to get to the proper temperature.

What is the size of your eggs? I get my eggs from a local farmer, and they go from little to whopping big.

Are you adding salt to the water? Salt increases the water's boiling point, or the temperature it must reach to boil.

Not long ago, I opened the fridge, took out a carton of eggs, and gave one to each of my students. I told them I wanted the “prefect” hard-boiled egg with a firm yolk, bright yellow, no green ring. No rules on how you do it...

Thirty minutes later I had 6 peeled eggs sitting in front of me. I told them to cut them in half, and the results were interesting. Two were undercooked, two woefully overcooked, two were passable, but not “perfect.”
Ruth Gerrard - Jul 15, 2018
Are these suggestions for refrigerated or room-temperature eggs?
Garry Schuemann - Jun 28, 2018
Garry - June 28, 2018
The best way to boil eggs that you want to peel is first bring the water to boiling then place the eggs in the water and boil for 10 minutes. Pour the water off the eggs and cool in in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes. They will peel easily.
ed bangs - May 6, 2018
I also understand that adding just a pinch of baking soda to the cold water which is then boiled helps in the peeling process. I've tried it. The soda doesn't change taste, look, or color but does seem to help with peeling.
Elizabeth Neal - Mar 26, 2018
What elevation is your test kitchen? I live at 7,000 ft and generally have to add time to just about everything.
Cynthia Bliss - Mar 24, 2018
This is for Blondie Pussycat,
I found this after looking up how to boil eggs at 7,000 ft for you.
And if you live at high altitude, you need to boil them a bit before letting them sit. I'm at 7400 feet, and I find that if I let them boil for 5 minutes, then let them sit for 15, they are perfect. But at sea-level, I'm certain that would result in overcooked eggs.
Nancy Eddy - Mar 24, 2018
We make anywhere from 35 to 48 eggs at a time at my job. The way I do it: Vinegar and salt in pan. Put eggs into pan. cover with water. Bring to boil, turn off heat, cover, let sit for at least 15 minutes. Drain, shake eggs while putting cold/ice water into pan over eggs. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then peel. I find it best to peel eggs under the water, because it allows the water to get under the membrane and make them easier to peel. I also use a small spoon and after removing the shell from the end of the egg, gently slide the spoon under the membrane, holding it under water to allow it to be sucked in. Takes a little more time, but it works.
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