Learn how to boil an egg whether it's soft, medium or hard, including times, guidelines and tips. Use my easy no-fail step-by-step tutorial!
Learn all about how to boil eggs. Whether you like your yolks runny, jammy, or definitely set, a boiled egg is one of the most versatile, affordable, and nutritious things you can put on a plate. But like cooking rice, mastering this basic skill takes just a little bit of practice. Hint: It’s all about the timing!
One large egg has 75 calories but packs about 6 grams of protein including all 9 essential amino acids, vitamins A and D, iron, phosphorus (for bones,) plus choline (brain and metabolism.) Once misaligned for high cholesterol content, doctors now say eggs are not a major cause of high cholesterol levels.
How to make boiled eggs
- Place the eggs in a saucepan and pour enough cold water over the eggs to completely submerge them.
- In the uncovered pan bring the water to a rolling boil. Take the pan off the heat and cover. Allow the eggs to cook in the covered pan to the desired doneness. See specific times below.
- While the eggs are cooking, prepare a bowl with ice and water. When the eggs reach the desired cooking time, transfer the cooked eggs with a slotted spoon to the ice water to cool completely before peeling.
How to peel hard boiled eggs
- Tap the completely cooled egg against a flat surface.
- Roll the egg to crack all over.
- Peel the shell off.
- Rinse the egg under cold water if any tiny pieces of shell remain.
- Soft-boiled eggs: For soft, runny yolks, you want to make sure to remove the eggs at 4 minutes.
- Medium-boiled yolks: Often described as “jammy”, this is where my preference is, right around 6-7 minutes.
- Hard-boiled eggs: The range for hard-boiled yolks is anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes.
Tips for the perfect egg
- Begin with fresh eggs. If in doubt, do the fresh egg test with a glass of water. A fresh egg will lay on its side in a glass of water. A less fresh but still okay egg will stand up on its end. Bad eggs float.
- Don’t overcrowd the eggs in the pot. They should fit comfortable in the pot so they can move around freely as the water boils. I usually keep them at a single layer.
- Never keep the eggs at a hard boil for minutes on end. Joy of Cooking points out the phrase “boiled egg” is a misnomer. At the most eggs should be simmered on low with bubbles barely breaking the surface, but I prefer the method above.
- Start peeling at the large end. For an easy start to peeling, begin at the fatter end of the egg because there is an air pocket located there between the white and the shell. It should pop open easily.
- Add vinegar to the water. Putting a splash of vinegar in the boiling water works on the shells and make them easier to peel.
- Add a teaspoon of salt to the water. It may help prevent cracking and make it easier to peel the eggs.
Recipes to make with boiled eggs
- Avocado Toast with Egg – 4 Ways
- Beet Pickled Eggs
- Avocado Egg Salad
- Healthy Egg Salad
- Vegetarian Cobb Salad Jars
- Vegetarian Chopped Salad with Chickpeas and Egg
- Chinese Braised Soy Sauce Eggs
- Potato Salad
- Spicy Deviled Eggs
- Asparagus Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Creamy Dijon Dressing
- Shrimp Egg Salad
Frequently asked questions
Hard boiled eggs in their shells will keep for a week. Peeled hard-boiled eggs can also last for a week but store them in a tightly lidded container to try to maintain moisture. Eggs that are soft or medium boiled should be consumed within two days.
That ring – of a million Easter eggs – means your egg was overcooked.
No, the freezing and defrosting process messes with the texture.
For more cooking resources, check out:
- How to Poach an Egg
- How to Make Marinara Sauce
- How to Cook Pasta Perfectly
- How to Freeze Garlic
- How to Properly Cut an Onion
- How to Cut an Avocado
- How to Cook Dry Chickpeas
- How to Cut a Head of Lettuce
- How to Cut Cauliflower into Florets
- How to Make Oatmeal
With my cold-water method and these time guidelines, you’ll never suffer from a disappointing boiled egg again.
If you’ve found this cooking resource for How to Boil an Egg helpful or if you’ve tried any recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience with this technique. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
How to Boil Eggs
- 2 eggs or more
- Place the eggs in a saucepan. Pour enough cool water over the eggs until fully submerged.
- Bring the water to a rolling boil uncovered. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow the eggs to cook according to the desired doneness: 4 minutes for SOFT boiled; 6 minutes for MEDIUM boiled; 12 minutes for HARD boiled.
- Prepare a bowl with ice and water. When the eggs reach the desired cooking time, transfer the cooked eggs with a slotted spoon to the ice water to cool completely before peeling.
- Tap the eggs against a flat surface, roll and then peel the shell. Rinse the eggs under cold water if you need to remove any leftover pieces of the shell.