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How To Boil Eggs

Make perfect hard boiled eggs every time with this easy stovetop method! With a creamy center and easy-to-peel shells, you can enjoy these eggs as a quick breakfast or a protein-packed snack on the go.

Plate of hard boiled eggs cut in half and garnished with cracked black pepper.


Are you puzzled over how to cook the absolute most perfect, creamy hard-boiled eggs? I’ve got the secrets you need. With this straightforward process, you can achieve easy peel eggs every time, making for a convenient, protein-packed snack or a simple breakfast option. I know plenty of friends who’ve shied away from trying to hard boil eggs, worried it’s too complex or akin to a science experiment, especially after hearing tales of frustration over difficult peels or less-than-perfect results. But fear not! Achieving perfect eggs with the best results and ideal cook time is much easier than you might think, turning what seems daunting into a foolproof kitchen task.

Ingredients and Tools 

For these perfect hard-boiled eggs, we’re not sticking to just eggs and water. Let’s jazz it up with a few extra touches for the perfect peel and taste. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Eggs: Starting with 12 large eggs.
  • Water: The essential element for boiling.
  • 2 to 3 lemon slices: Adding lemon slices to the boiling water infuses a subtle citrus flavor and can help make the eggshells easier to peel.
  • Ice cubes: Crucial for stopping the cooking process immediately after boiling, ice cubes cool the eggs quickly, which also aids in easier peeling.
  • Cooking Pot: Don’t forget, and you’ll also need a large pot with a lid to accommodate the eggs in a single layer.

How to Boil Eggs

Let me guide you through the step-by-step process of how to hard boil eggs. Just stick to three key steps: avoid overcrowding the pan, prepare an ice bath in advance, and keep an eye on the cooking time.

  1. Prep. In one single layer, place cold eggs on the bottom of a large saucepan or pot. Add enough water to the pot so that the eggs are covered by about an inch of water.
  2. Boil. Add lemon slices to the pot and set the pot over high heat; bring it to a full rolling boil.
  3. Wait. Then, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Remove the pot from the burner and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 6 to 12 minutes, covered. The cooking time will depend on how you like your eggs.
  4. Cool. Next, fill a large bowl with ice and water and, using a slotted spoon, immediately remove the eggs from the pot and transfer them to the bowl with the ice. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until cool.
  5. Serve. Peel under cool running water and then eat ’em. Or make the best egg salad of ever.

How Long To Boil Eggs

Part of the answer to this question is, how do you like your eggs? Soft, jiggly, runny?

  • For a runny yolk, cook them for 6 minutes.
  • For a soft boiled yolk, cook for 8-9 minutes.
  • For a hard boiled yolk, cook them for 10-12 minutes.

Tips and Tricks

  • Choose Older Eggs. This might be surprising, but it’s best to use older eggs for hard boiling. Fresh eggs, directly from the coop or farm, are more likely to have shells that stick. If you’ve had eggs in your fridge and you don’t know what to do with them – boil them!
  • Avoid crowding the pan with eggs. They should all sit in one single layer for even cooking.
  • This recipe was specifically tested with large eggs. If using jumbo eggs, add an extra minute to the cooking time.
  • Cool The Eggs. One of the key factors in making the perfect hard-boiled egg is to cool it immediately after you strain it. As you read above, I do this by adding cold water and ice to the pot. Cooling the eggs right away in ice water stops the cooking process. This prevents overcooking and firms up the egg whites.
A hand holding an egg while peeling it.

How to Peel Eggs

I’ve found the best way to peel boiled eggs is under gently running water and starting to peel them at the base of the egg, not the round top. Gently tap or roll each egg on a hard surface, then carefully peel away the shell while holding the egg under the running water. Peeling eggs with the water running helps to remove the shell pieces and clean the egg.

Proper Storage

You can store hard boiled eggs, peeled or unpeeled, in an airtight container and keep them refrigerated for up to 5 days. This makes them super useful for meal prep! I make a batch ahead of time and then grab them on-the-go or add them to a sandwich or a salad. If I’m feeling extra motivated, I’ll turn them into delicious deviled eggs.

Plate of hard boiled eggs cut in half, with the yolks exposed.

Recipes Using Eggs

boiled eggs cut in half and set on a black plate

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Katerina | Diethood
Make perfect Hard Boiled Eggs every time with this easy method! With a creamy center and easy-to-peel shells, you can enjoy these as a quick breakfast or a protein-packed snack.
5 from 10 votes
Servings : 12
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 12 large eggs
  • water
  • 2 to 3 lemon slices, optional
  • ice cubes


  • Place cold eggs on the bottom of a large saucepan or pot in one single layer.
  • Add water so that the eggs are covered by about an inch of water.
  • Add in the lemon slices, set the pot over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat. Cover the pot with a lid, remove it from the burner, and let it stand for 6 to 12 minutes. Time will depend on how well you like them cooked. See notes below.
  • In the meantime, fill a large bowl with ice and add cold water to it.
  • When time is up, remove the eggs from the pot and transfer them to the ice water. Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooled.
  • Peel under running water before serving.


Cooking Times
  • Runny yolk: 6 min
  • Soft-boiled yolk: 8-9 min
  • Hard-boiled yolk: 10-12 min
Quick Tips
  • Use older eggs because they peel more easily than fresh ones.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the pan, and keep the eggs in a single layer.
  • This recipe was tested with large eggs. You may need to add up to 1 minute for larger ones.
  • Cool the eggs immediately after cooking. Stop cooking by cooling eggs in ice water, which also firms the whites.
  • Tip From a Reader: “After the eggs are cooked, pour off the hot water, and shake the pan like crazy in all directions, which will crack the shells. Cover with cold water and pick up the eggs, and the shells just slide off. No fuss and all done.” Tried by yours truly (with added ice cubes), and it’s true! Thanks, Jean!


Calories: 68 kcal | Carbohydrates: 2 g | Protein: 6 g | Fat: 4 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 164 mg | Sodium: 63 mg | Potassium: 86 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 1 g | Vitamin A: 238 IU | Vitamin C: 10 mg | Calcium: 29 mg | Iron: 1 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Breakfast/Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easter eggs, easter recipes, hard boiled eggs time, how long are hard boiled eggs good, how to hard boil eggs
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