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How to Boil Perfect Eggs

Learn how to boil eggs with exactly the yolk you crave. This simple article guarantees perfect boiled eggs every time!

By: Nina Hoffman,
Updated May 10, 2021
How to Boil Perfect Eggs

When it comes to making hard-boiled eggs, there are a few tips to avoid green yolks and hard-to-peel shells. With these step-by-step instructions, you can learn how to make perfect boiled eggs every time! It's so easy that once you learn how to make them, you'll never need to look at instructions again. Whether you're making deviled eggs, planning an Easter brunch, or simply boiling eggs for breakfast, follow these instructions to achieve perfect boiled eggs that are easy to peel and have perfect yellow yolks!

The key to hard-boiled eggs that are easy to peel is using eggs that you purchased a week to 10 days ago. Adding salt to the boiling water is thought to make the eggs easier to peel and prevent cracking while boiling. The cooking time may vary depending on how hard or soft you prefer the yolks.

What You Need:

12 eggs (several days old recommended)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
Large saucepan, at least twice as tall as eggs


1. Gently place eggs in the bottom of a saucepan in a single layer.

2. Fill the pan with cold water to completely cover the eggs by about one inch of water.

3. Place the pot, uncovered, on a burner and turn it on high. Let the water come to a boil.

4. Once the water comes to a full boil, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 9 to 12 minutes. The longer you let the eggs stand, the harder the yolks will be cooked.

5. After the time is up, strain the hot water out of the pan and fill it back up with cold water. Add ice cubes to the water and wait until the eggs have cooled enough to handle. OR transfer to eggs to a bowl of pre-made ice-water bath.

6. Next, remove eggs from ice-water bath, place in a bowl, and peel.​ Eggs may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Other Tips for Boiling the Perfect Eggs

•  For runny soft-boiled eggs (barely set whites): 3 minutes
•  For slightly runny soft-boiled eggs: 4 minutes
•  For custard-like yet firm soft-boiled eggs: 6 minutes
•  For firm yet still creamy hard-boiled eggs: 10 minutes
•  For very firm hard-boiled eggs: 15 minutes

*Each of these times should be for how long eggs are boiling in a covered pot.

Storage: Refrigerate any unused eggs, still in their shells, within 2 hours. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.


•  Check out these great breakfast recipes that use eggs, and start packing more protein into your diet.
•  If deviled eggs are your weakness, you should check out this easy step-by-step guide to making them here.
•  And find  5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Hard-Boiled Eggs right here.

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Misleading instructions. 4. Once the water comes to a full boil, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 9 to 12 minutes. The longer you let the eggs stand, the harder the yolks will be cooked. 6.Other Tips for Boiling the Perfect Eggs For runny soft-boiled eggs (barely set whites) 3 minutes For slightly runny soft-boiled eggs 4 minutes For custard-like yet firm soft-boiled eggs 6 minutes For firm yet still creamy hard-boiled eggs 10 minutes For very firm hard-boiled eggs 15 minutes Each of these times should be for how long eggs are boiling in a covered pot. So - What is it? Bring to a boil, remove, cover and THEN leave for the requisite amounts of time, or BOIL for the requisite amounts of time?

This is a great tutorial. I want to agree with the tip to "gently" place your eggs in your pan of boiling water! I'm sometimes not gentle enough, and I crack the egg shell. Woops!

There is nothing more satisfying than eating the perfect boiled egg. I like my yolks runny but the whites must be cooked right through. I very rarely achieve that as by the time I crack open the shell the yolk has started to harden and then I don't the runny yellow which I wanted to dip my toast 'soldiers' into. Thank you for these great tips, especially the helpful cooking times. I use white vinegar in my water.

This is a really good tutorial on boiling eggs. My fiance and I have had many discussions on the best method (we both love to cook!) The tutorial suggests adding salt to the water to make them easier to peel, but I have found that a little bit of baking soda added to the water works even better! I also heard the tip on the Food Network that older eggs are actually better to use than fresher eggs, as they are also easier to peel. It's really nice to keep a bunch of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for quick and healthy snacks and lunches.


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