If you ask a connoisseur the best way to boil eggs, they may begin by telling you something you didn’t expect to hear: Start with old eggs. As strange as that may sound, it’s great counsel. Once boiled, fresh eggs are more difficult to peel than older ones. Therefore, purchase a dozen eggs a week ahead of time and store them at the back of the refrigerator if you intend to make deviled eggs, egg salad, or porridge topped with an oozy soft-boiled egg. This will prevent you from being tempted to burn them before starting the boiling process. Your fingers will also be grateful when it comes time to peel the soft- or hard-cooked eggs.
Prepared your older eggs? Great.
Table of Contents
Here is the best way to boil eggs
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil
Putting a big pot of water on the stovetop and heating it to a rolling boil over high heat is the first stage in the cooking procedure for eggs. (By the way, you only need water; other recipes ask you to salt the water or add baking soda, but none of those steps is essential.) Add just enough water to cover your eggs by a few inches. Unevenly cooked eggs are those that are partially buried in boiling water. Consider using a broad saucepan when boiling a big quantity of eggs so that they cook more evenly by laying in a single layer.
You may have heard that after placing your eggs in water that is either cold or room temperature, you should bring the water to a boil.
2. Gently lower eggs into the water
Take your cold eggs out of the refrigerator as soon as the water is boiling (the temperature shock will make them easier to peel). Eggs should be carefully placed in the boiling water using a big spoon. The eggs might shatter if they are dropped into the pot carelessly, leaving you with floating egg whites all over the place.
3. Boil eggs for 4 to 14 minutes
To cook the eggs to the appropriate doneness, set a timer. If necessary, adjust the heat to maintain a consistent simmer because if the water is brought to a boil too quickly, the eggs will scramble and thrash around the pot like they’ve been dumped into a mosh pit.
At 4 minutes, remove your fighters from the pot for soft-boiled eggs (the sort you scoop straight out of the shell). Technically, they will be hard-boiled at 7-8 minutes, however the yolk will be slightly jammy. You can continue boiling the eggs for an additional 14 minutes if you prefer drier hard-boiled eggs. Then, as is typical of overcooked eggs, you’ll probably see an unattractive green ring around the yolk’s edge. The cooking times were calculated.
- Boil eggs for four minutes for soft-boiled yolks and delicate whites.
- Firm egg whites and a runny yolk after five minutes.
- Firm egg whites with a sticky yolk after 6 minutes.
- Firm egg whites with a completely set yet jammy yolk after 8 minutes.
- 12 minutes: firm egg whites with a firm hard-boiled yolk that are firm and pale in color. 10 minutes: firm egg whites.
- Firm egg whites with a crumbly, dry pale yolk after 14 minutes (ideal for deviled eggs)
Don’t have the time to give this much thought. An easier cooking option is to boil your eggs in an Instant Pot.
4. Transfer eggs to an ice bath
Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the boiling water and place them in a big dish of icy water when the timer goes off. The ice bath will prevent the egg from cooking, guaranteeing that it will be precisely how you want it. In addition, the rapid temperature shift will make it simpler to peel the cooked eggs.
5. Peel the eggs
Peel your eggs under cool running water once they are cool enough to handle. Because the water will penetrate the eggshell, you will be able to remove it neatly. (It will also remove any minor bits of shell that may have remained on the eggs.)
Eggs can also be peeled immediately in the bowl as an alternative. After a few minutes of cooling, use a spoon to twirl the unpeeled eggs. Allow them to shake so that their shells start to fracture (starting the peeling process for you). However, you’ll need less water since the shells won’t rinse off as easily as they would under running water. (Our former food editor Rhoda Boone prefers this technique; she can peel a dozen hard-boiled eggs in under two minutes.)
Boiling eggs, whether shelled or not, may be kept in your refrigerator for up to a week if they are kept in an airtight container. You may eat them alone or slice them up for grain bowls, spaghetti, salads, and sandwiches. You still need motivation? If looking at our greatest hard-boiled egg recipes doesn’t motivate you to master the art of flawless egg boiling, nothing will.
Check out our other cooking tips!