How to Perfectly Hard Boil Eggs
A perfectly hard-boiled egg has firm but tender whites and a golden yolk that is cooked yet creamy. This is my trusted technique for achieving just that! (Adjustments for soft-boiled eggs are included.)

Yield: as many as needed


  • Large eggs (preferably at least a week old)


  1. Place the eggs in a single layer in a saucepan, and cover with 1-2 inches of cold water. (I cover with about 1 inch of water when using 6 eggs or less and 1.5-2 inches when cooking 7-12 eggs.) Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat (uncovered), and then cover the pan and remove from the heat.  Allow the covered pan to sit for 10 minutes (set a timer) and then strain the water from the pan and run cold water over the eggs. Alternatively, remove the eggs to an ice bath with a slotted spoon. Chill until the eggs are cool enough to handle, and then peel them.  I like to use running water to help with the peeling.


  • Small differences will occur based on size of eggs, pot dimensions, and individual stoves, but this method has proved quite reliable for me over the years. Feel free to test one egg a minute or two early until you know the precise number of minutes that will result in the perfect egg for you.
  • Guidelines when preparing eggs for another purpose:
  • For slightly runny soft-boiled eggs:4 minutes
  • For custardy 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
  • Additional Tips:
  • Fresh eggs can be very difficult to peel. Use older eggs when possible.
  • If you are having difficulty peeling the eggs, crack the shells as if you were going to peel them and then soak them in water for a little while. This allows water to seep between the egg and the shell and will likely make the job easier.
  • Starting with the eggs in cold water and bringing to a boil (as opposed to adding the eggs to already boiling water) will help prevent cracking.
  • Some say that adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water prevents the whites from running out of the egg if it cracks while boiling. Also, I often add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water as this is thought to deter cracking and make peeling easier.
  • The harmless green ring that sometimes appears around the yolk is a result of overcooking or cooking at too high a temperature. Keeping the water at a gentle simmer—or following the instructions above—should eliminate this.

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