How to make Hard Boiled Eggs…

If a friend happens to stop by my house unexpectedly, 90% of the time I start of with the sentence, “Come on in! Sorry, it might smell a little funny because we just cooked eggs.”
We eat a LOT of eggs in our house. My current favorite lunch is an egg white omelet. My husband is always boiling eggs to have hard boiled eggs on hand for healthy muscle building protein snacks. Right now we have over three dozen eggs in our fridge and that’s after I came out of the shower yesterday to find my 20-month old egg washing our leather couches and wood floors with a dozen. So I guess you could say we are pros at hard boiling eggs now.

My husband asked, “So you can really do a whole post on boiling eggs?”

Uh, yeah.
I reminded him that very year around Easter we end up googling how to make the perfect hard boiled egg. Over time we learned the tricks to perfectly boiled eggs.
1) Start off with placing your eggs in a pot in a single layer and covering them with cold water about an inch above the eggs.
2) Turn the heat up to medium high and once water starts to bubble add some salt to the pot.
3) Bring water to a rolling boil. If your heat is too high, you will get some violent boiling and end up with egg casualties like this.
Bad egg…
This is a good rolling boil.

5) Once water comes to a rolling boil, place the lid on and turn off the heat.

6) Let eggs sit for 12-13 minutes making sure to not open the lid or all of the heat will escape. Make sure not to start your timer until right when you turn off the heat.
7) When the time is up remove eggs from pot and rinse in cold water or place in an ice bath to stop the eggs from continuing to cook.

8) Label your eggs so that your family knows which ones are hard boiled and which ones are not. OR you can use my husband’s trick of spinning the egg really hard on a flat surface. If the egg is hard boiled it will spin standing up like this one below and if it’s not hard boiled it will spin horizontally.

Have a hard time peeling your eggs?  Over time we have learned that the fresher the egg the harder it is to peel. If you can, don’t make your hard boiled eggs the same day you buy them. You would think that the fresher the egg the better, but that’s not actually the case. Eggs that are a week old work best but of course make sure they are not past the expiration date. Some people say that if you add baking soda to the water it makes them peel easier…we have that baking soda does not affect it at all. The only factor in easy peeling eggs is the freshness of the eggs. If you are using the hard boiled eggs right away, it also is easier to peel them under cold running water right after they have boiled.
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  1. i made some hard boiled eggs last week. first, none of them peeled well. it was HORRIBLE! and they made my fridge smell so bad. why is that? i’m grateful for this tutorial. thanks!

  2. I like to add a few drops of olive oil to the pot and it seems to help them slip out easier too. And you’re right, when I think about boiling eggs, I always have to google again. Silly.

  3. I love cold and hot hard boiled eggs! Having a cold egg is so great when I need a snack before a meal – it curbs cravings!

  4. When I plan to boil a bunch of eggs, and I’ve just purchased them, I just leave them out on the counter overnight and then boil them in the morning. They always peel fine.

  5. I just boiled up a dozen a few minutes ago. I love eggs…so quick and easy and they really make breakfast so much more satisfying! I never had an egg salad sandwich until I was an adult. I love them now! And they are great for snacking. Great tutorial. I agree that older eggs work best. The incredible edible egg!

  6. i’m excited to try your way to boil eggs! i always just place them in the pot and let them boil away….tending to usually forget about them. :) great tutorial!

  7. if you peel them under cold running water while they are still hot from boiling they will peel much better than waiting for them to cool off……….

  8. This post is perfect !! I hate eggs and never eat them, so was wondering how i would boil them perfect enough to paint on it ! :) thanx for the lovely post ! loads of love

  9. Try adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water; it helps prevent breakage, and the yolks seem to come out brighter. Weird, but it works. We did an entire series on eggs a couple years ago, and every batch that got the vinegar, came out so much better.

  10. Love the whole post on hard boiled eggs- I just hoped for the best having them boil in a pot of water.

  11. I always crack my eggs under the water, roll them around a little, and ta-da! The eggs peel perfectly almost everytime! The water gets under the shell and loosens it up away from the egg =)

  12. I drain off the hot water, then roll the eggs around inside the pot so the shells crack, then rinse under running cold water till cool. This way they are always easy to peel.

  13. thank you, i google this every year!

  14. When you spin a hard-boiled egg, it spins faster because of the increase in mass compared to the mass in the raw egg. Great tutorial!

  15. Awesome I’m glad someone did the scientific research to make the perfect egg!! Thanks this will be handy I have 2 dozen just waiting to be boiled!!

  16. very fresh boiled eggs can be easily peeled if you gently crack them against the countertop before placing them into the water. Granted, you might end up with a “bad egg” (as pictured in your post) but that is easier to deal with than throwing away an egg that refusese to peel!

  17. I don’t know why, but I never manage to boil hard eggs. :( I will try again following your advices. :)

  18. Hi Christy! I have been reading your blog for a while and I love it! I love boiled eggs but somehow I have never boiled them myself up to this point. I followed your instructions and boiled 5 tonight and they turned out awesome. Thanks so much for the tutorial as well as all the other delicious recipes you post!!

  19. I told my husband I was going to consult a blog about how to boil eggs. He said, “did someone really do a blog post about boiling eggs?” and then he noticed the comment that your husband had made to you and had a bit of a laugh :)

  20. i was so grateful for your blog post when it came time to boiling eggs for easter. thanks! :)

  21. can’t wait to try out this method—thanks!!!

  22. If you add the eggs directly to boiling water, they will peel perefectly every time when they are done. Just let them cook in the boiling water for a couple of minutes and then turn the heat off. Let them get to room temperature before you add them to the water or the shells will crack.

  23. I grew up in the country and learned as a child that eggs have a tiny “air pocket” on the larger/wider end of the egg. If you crack that portion of the egg against the edge of your pan, the peel will literally slip off. This “pocket” is there to help baby chicks crack their own egg when it’s time to hatch. Another tip I can give for easy egg-salad, or quickly “cutting” your boiled eggs is to use a pizza cutter! Just put them all in a bowl and go crazy. My mother uses a cheese grater.

  24. I learned how to boil the perfect egg from a fireman. They cook a lot when they are on duty and have to please a lot a guys. Your way is very similar to mine rolling boil and the addition of the salt to me is THE secret.

  25. Thanks! I made some eggs today and it took forever for the water to boil on medium heat…like almost an hour!

    I did it a little differently and let it boil for 2 minutes, then sit for 11 minutes and cool in an ice bath. That worked too. If only I can get rid of the smell!

  26. To those who are looking to get rid of the smell….After eggs have cooled off in ice water, place them in a large zip lock bag and put them in the fridge. TaDa! :)

  27. I do something similar. I pretty much follow all of your steps, but then at the end I use the “bumper eggs” method, where I smash the eggs against each other and they easily peel without effort.

    http://www.elisesaidso.com/2012/03/how-to-make-perfect-hard-boiled-eggs.html

  28. So if; let’s say, your eggs didn’t get quite “hard boiled” enough? Is there a way to save them? Or am I stuck with a pot of squishy Half boiled eggs for the trash to eat?

  29. @Unknown,
    Shoot! I’m not an egg expert but I would try to put them back in and boil them longer.

  30. To tell which eggs are hard boiled, add a few drops of food coloring to the boiling water. Then, your hard boiled eggs will have a slight tint to them and the others will not.

  31. D8TSoH Very informative blog post.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  32. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I have used this “recipe” many times now and gotten perfect eggs every! single! time! I used to just boil the heck out of them and they always had that ugly greyish yolk. No more!! THANK YOU! I am so happy.

  33. Susan Michelle says:

    I really enjoy your blog and your wonderful recipes and pictures. Thank you so much!
    We eat a lot of eggs too and I’ve always hated peeling hard boiled eggs.
    But have you tried baking eggs in the oven ? I ran across this tip recently and it’s great!
    You can also sit them in a muffin tin to keep them from rolling around and easier to take out of the oven. Works great every time, even on ‘fresher’ eggs.

    http://www.food.com/recipe/hard-cooked-eggs-in-the-oven-baked-eggs-61856?layout=desktop

  34. If you have only FRESH eggs (as we tend to have ‘cuz we have our own laying hens), try steaming them instead of boiling them. I’ve had great success utilizing this method and still having “pretty” end product appearance after peeling.

  35. If you plan to peel the eggs right away, I pour off all the hot water, run cold water over them till covered and then put on the lid and shake the pan………….this is a hard shake to crack the eggs. This loosens the peel thus ending up less frustration in peeling. Works for me!
    Tell me what causes the green ring around the yolk? Boiling was too severe?

  36. I put my fresh eggs into boiling water with a large slotted spoon; turn heat down to gentle boil; cook about 13 minutes. Drain eggs and fill pot with cold running water. Crack egg gently on the counter and peel. Works every time!

  37. I use your “recipe” every time I make hard-boiled eggs and it works perfect every time!!

    Except this time.

    Because I never heard the kitchen timer go off and my poor half-dozen eggs hung in hot water for at least 30 minutes. I haven’t tried one yet, but I’m sure the yolks be will be that greyish color and stinky. Any advice on what I can do to salvage them? I don’t want to throw it out but I also don’t want to eat them alone since I know they’re super over-cooked!

  38. Heya are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to
    get started and create my own. Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Yes, I had creativegirlmedia design my blog. I use a wordpress platform. It’s pretty complicate. I know how to code and I needed help.

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  40. Beverly Farnsworth says:

    I add red wine vinegar to my water for hard boiled eggs. I was always told …..;vinegar was the way to keep the inside from escaping. I use red wine vinegar to remind me they are hard boiled, the red turns the eggs a rose color-pink color.