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hard-boiled eggs over a toast
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How to Hard Boil Eggs Properly

Find out how to hard boil eggs perfectly every single time, with a creamy yolk and beautiful egg white. NO kidding! These hard boiled eggs are super-easy to peel and only take 10 minutes to cook.
Course:Breakfast
Cuisine:American
Keywords:hard boil eggs
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 4 eggs
Calories63 kcal
Cost $ 0.15 per egg

Equipment

  • stovetop
  • pan

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vinegar

Instructions

  • Place (2 weeks or older) eggs in a saucepan and then cover them with cold water by 1inch. Stir in vinegar.
  • Bring water to a boil over high heat. As soon as it comes to a full rolling boil, remove pan from heat and cover with a lid.
  • Let stand off heat for 3-4 minutes (soft-boiled eggs), 5-7 minutes (medium-boiled eggs), or for 10-12minutes (hard-boiled eggs). If you are a stickler for avoiding overcooking, then cook eggs for the minimum time stated within those ranges.
  • Drain and transfer eggs to a large bowl with ice cold water and let them sit for up to 1 minute. Roll eggs on the counter (or shake them very well in a closed jar) to crack and then peel under running water.

Recipe Notes

  • In order to not clog up the sink's pipes with egg shells, peel eggs under running water but with a colander placed underneath, so that the shells will fall into the colander.  For extra safety, cover the sink drain with its drain stopper, just in case any tiny pieces of shell pass through the colander.  

How Fresh Are Your Eggs?

Would you like to do a quick test before boiling your eggs? You can find out if they have expired or are still good enough to cook with.
To do this, place an egg in a cup of water and look for the following signs:
  • If the egg sinks (lying on its side), it is a fresh egg. It is great to eat but hard to peel. Fresh eggs have a brighter yellow yolk when cooked.
  • If the egg sinks but stays upright on one end, it is an older egg that still good to eat. It will be easy to peel!
  • If the egg floats, it’s an expired egg. Don’t eat it!

Easy to peel hard boiled eggs

Peeling eggs doesn’t have to be a hard task! To keep the egg white intact when peeling, use one of the tips below:
  • Use older eggs (1 week or older). What this means is fresh eggs will be hard to peel because they contain a thin membrane under the shell! 
  • Add either 1/2 tsp salt or baking soda to the water to make eggs even easier to peel. The baking soda particularly increases the alkalinity of the water, making easy to peel eggs. 
  • Add vinegar to the water, which serves a double purpose: not only does it help prevent eggs from cracking but also softens the shell, making it easier to peel. I add it every time that I hard boil eggs!
  • Roll hard boiled eggs on the counter. After cooking and cooling them in a bowl of ice cold water, roll eggs on the counter to crack them all around. Then either place them under running water or soak them in water to loosen the shell and peel it easily. 

How to prevent your eggs from cracking

There are several ways to prevent eggs from cracking:
  1. Place cold eggs (straight from the fridge) in cold water. Cold eggs in boiling water will make them crack due to temperature shock! To prevent cracking, place eggs in cold water and then turn on the heat.
  2. Add vinegar to the water. The acidity will help to congeal the egg white, stopping the leak.

How long egg hard boiled last refrigerated?

Let hard boiled eggs cool completely and then refrigerate them for up to 1 week-- either in their shell or peeled in a sealed container or plastic bag.

Can hard-boiled eggs be frozen?

Unfortunately NO! Hard boiled eggs is not part of the arsenal of easy freezer meals -- although you can make ahead and refrigerate.  Freezing them alters the overall texture, making them quite unpleasant to the bite.  
EXTRA:
If you are planning to make hard boiled eggs for Easter and peel them easily, buy eggs that are 1-2 weeks old. Follow one of the cooking methods above and make sure to place vinegar in the water. This will not only prevent cracking, but also will soften the shell, making it easier to peel. In addition, after they have cooled in an ice bath, make sure to roll boiled eggs on the counter to crack them all around and then soak in water for a while. This will make them even easier to peel.
If you live at high altitude, it will take more time to hard boil eggs.

Other methods:

Method 1 (Cold eggs, boiled covered – Fast method):

  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan. Cover them with cool water by 1 to 2 inches.
  2. Cover the pot with a lid and bring water to a boil over high heat.
  3. As soon as the water reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for the desired time.
    • For soft-boiled eggs, boil eggs for 2-3 minutes
    • For medium-boiled eggs, boil eggs for 5-6 minutes
    • For hard-boiled eggs, boil eggs for 7-8 minutes
  1. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked eggs to a large bowl with ice cold water and let them sit for 2-3 minutes. Roll eggs on the counter to crack and then peel under running water.
NOTE: THE 2nd METHOD described in the recipe card above is my favorite method because: 1) the risk of overcooking them is less than the previous method and 2) it doesn’t take very much longer to cook compared to that method. The overall difference is just a couple of minutes.

Method 3 (Room temp eggs, boil and the simmer):

  1. Bring eggs to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes, or by letting them sit out of the fridge for 1 hour before cooking. If you don’t let them come to room temp, they will crack!
  2. Meanwhile, boil water over high heat. Then, using a slotted spoon gently place eggs in the boiling water. Reduce heat to medium-low and let water come to a simmer.
  3. Simmer (do not boil) for the required time:
  • Soft cooked: 3-4 minutes
  • Medium cooked: 5-7 minutes
  • Hard cooked: 12-15 minutes.
  1. Cool in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Crack the shell by rolling on the counter and peel under running water to help loosen shell. NOTE: Exact cooking time depends on the temperature of eggs, size of eggs, and amount of water used.

Nutrition

Calories: 63kcal | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 63mg | Potassium: 61mg | Vitamin A: 238IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
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