Hard Boiled Eggs
These Hard Boiled Eggs are easy to peel and consistently come out perfectly cooked. This method delivers the most fuss-free eggs, whether you’re eating them for breakfast or using them in a recipe.
I have made so many thousands of hard boiled eggs in my life, enough that I could qualify as a hard boiled eggs expert, if there were such a thing.
I’ve always relied on them as a healthy snack to keep in the fridge, and my family and I love Egg Salad so much that mega batches of hard boiled eggs are frequently in demand.
After lots of experimentation and repetition, this is what I believe to be the best method for making boiled eggs.
Hard boiled eggs are sometimes thought of as a pain because of all the peeling, which I understand. Years ago I worked at a restaurant and was in charge of peeling and cutting them for salads.
I know how annoying it is when there are a million little pieces to pick off, especially the pieces that take chunks of the egg white with it.
The Secret for Easy Peeling:
For the easiest peeling eggs, a hot start and cold finish consistently deliver the best results, again and again.
Look at the big chunks of egg shell that come right off:
I shared an older version of this method on the Pioneer Woman’s blog back in 2015, and there are lots of comments raving about how well the method works. I’ve tweaked and improved a couple of minor things and wanted to share an updated version.
So if you’re looking to switch things up from your usual scrambled eggs or omelette, or if you want to make more egg salad for lunch or a hearty Cobb Salad, let’s go through the process of making the best hard boiled eggs.
How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs:
Because we need to start the eggs in boiling water, you’ll need to use some sort of tool to get the eggs in the water.
Previously I used a wire basket to lower the eggs gently into the water, but occasionally you’d get some breakage if one of the eggs fell too hard.
Now, I just “load” them into a pair of tongs with my fingers:
And then place it down into the boiling water:
It only takes 30 seconds to quickly load and place a dozen eggs down in the water, and this way you don’t get issues with cracking. I find I can use less water this way too.
How Long to Boil Eggs:
Boil the eggs for 13 minutes, assuming you are using large eggs.
If you’re using medium eggs, do 12 minutes, and if using extra large, increase cook time to 14 minutes.
After 13 minutes, drain the eggs, then place them into an ice bath for one minute:
Is the ice bath necessary?
What I like about the ice bath is it stops carryover cooking immediately, which helps us avoid getting a gray ring around the yolk. It also keeps the interior of the egg warm, while rapidly cooling the shell, so it’s easier to peel.
My fridge has an ice dispenser, so it’s no problem to put some ice and water in a bowl.
But if you don’t have ice accessible: you can drain the hot eggs, and place them in a bowl in the sink under a cold running faucet for a few minutes. Just like if you’re quick-thawing seafood. It’s important that you keep the water running so that the bowl is constantly refreshed with cold water.
Also, I used to chill the eggs in the ice bath for longer, but I found it to be unnecessary. You really just need to “shock” the eggs for a minute to stop the cooking.
Peel the Eggs Promptly
After the carryover cooking has been stopped, peel the eggs right away.
You want to peel them while the interior is still warm, but the shell has chilled.
Hard Boiled Eggs Tips and FAQs:
Do older eggs matter? Older eggs are a little easier to peel, though I think this is exaggerated. Eggs are usually already “not new” when they get to the store, and there have been plenty of times where I’ve made boiled eggs with eggs I just bought the day before.
Storing leftovers: Do not keep these at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze leftovers? I don’t recommend it. The whites get rubbery and gross. It’s best to make more or less, depending on how many you think you’ll eat.
How to reheat: If you want to make a batch of hard boiled eggs at the beginning of the week and warm them every morning for breakfast, I recommend leaving the shells on, then covering the desired number of eggs in boiling water for about 5 minutes, to warm the interior. Do not microwave the eggs, as they are likely to explode.
I always cook the eggs straight cold out of the fridge. There’s no need to bring them to room temperature. And if you do, you may need to reduce cooking time by a couple minutes.
More Favorite Egg Preparations:
Hard Boiled Eggs
- 12 large eggs *
- Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Make sure the water comes up at least two inches up the side of the pot.
- Using tongs, quickly place the eggs into the hot water. To avoid getting hot water on my fingers, I briefly shake off the tongs each time I remove them from the water.
- Adjust the temperature so that the eggs cook at a gentle boil. Sometimes if you're cooking a lot of eggs, you may need to increase the heat. Or you may find that if the water is boiling too vigorously and causing the eggs to jump up and down too much, you can lower the heat slightly.
- Cook for 13 minutes. Actually set a timer. Set up an ice bath (just a bowl of ice water) for the eggs during cooking.
- Drain the eggs, then place the eggs into the ice bath for 1 minute, to stop the carryover cooking.
- Promptly peel the eggs while they are still warm. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.