A complete step-by-step guide to learn how to boil eggs to make them perfectly soft-boiled, medium or hard-boiled. These eggs are very easy to peel too!
Why This Method Works
Learning how to perfectly boil eggs is a kitchen basic, that everyone should know. Today I am sharing my tips for cooking the best boiled eggs. This fail-proof method lets you make perfect soft-boiled, medium or hard-boiled eggs. The addition of salt and the ice water bath makes them very easy to peel. I use them for salads, on sandwiches, as a snack.
How to boil eggs?
- Remove your eggs from the fridge and set them on the counter.
- Fill a pot halfway with tap water. Stir in salt.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Once boiling, turn the heat down to low heat and carefully place eggs in the pot.
- Cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat back to medium heat. Cook eggs according to the chart below, depending on how soft or hard boiled you need them.
- Fill a large bowl with water and ice. Set aside.
- After the cooking time. remove the eggs from the water and immediately place them in a bowl with ice water.
- Chill the eggs for at least 10 minutes.
- Peel by gently tapping the bottom of the egg against the counter, then roll it around to loosen the shell. Peel it off. It should come off easily.
- soft-boiled: cook eggs for 7 to 8 minutes; this is perfect for Asian pho soup!
- medium-boiled: cook eggs for 10 minutes; the yolk will have a softer center and the whites will be cooked.
- hard-boiled: cook eggs for 12 to 14 minutes; the eggs are perfect for deviled eggs, salads and sandwiches.
How to cook eggs so they peel easily?
Just like my mom and my grandma, I've always added a teaspoon of salt to the boiling water for cooking eggs. Also, the ice bath (not just cold water, but with actual ice cubes) helps here too. The shell pretty much peels off in one piece. It is helpful to start at the bottom of the egg where there is often a bubble of air. I gently tap that side against a counter or the side of the bowl and roll the egg to loosen up the shell. Then remove it. It's so easy!
Cooking Eggs in the Microwave
This method is best for cooking hard-boiled eggs. The rule is the same: cook water in a microwave-safe bowl until boiling. Add eggs and cook for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the microwave and place the eggs in an ice-water bath.
Recipes Using Hard-Boiled Eggs
FAQs about boiled eggs
The most common problem we stumble upon with cooking eggs is a gray or green ring around the yolk. The discoloration comes from over-cooking the eggs so it is important to stick to the cooking times explained above. Another reason may be cooking eggs in hard water. If the water has high levels of iron, chances are your eggs will have the dreaded green ring. Try filtered water!
Boiled eggs should always be stored in a fridge. Hard-boiled eggs will stay good for up to 1 week. If you peel them before refrigerating, place them in a bowl and cover with water. It will prevent them from drying out.
It's the exact oposite! Fresh eggs are better for frying sunny side-up. Fresh eggs are also harder to peel. If you are boiling eggs for deviled eggs or salads, buy them at least a week ahead.
More how-to recipes:
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How to Boil Eggs
- 6 large eggs
- 5 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Remove eggs from the fridge and set on the counter.
- Fill a pot with water, at least halfway. The amount of water needed depends on how large is your pot.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Stir in salt to water. Reduce the heat to low. Once the bubbling calms down, gently place eggs in water. This will prevent them from bobbing around and breaking.
- Cover the pot with lid and bring the heat back up to medium-low.
- Cook eggs for 7 minutes for soft-boiled eggs, 10 minutes for medium eggs and 12 minutes for hard-boiled eggs.
- Fill a large bowl with water and ice cubes.
- Once the cooking time is up, remove from boiling water and place immediately in ice water.
- Let the eggs chill for 10 minutes.
- To peel, tap the bottom of an egg gently against the counter and then roll to loosen up the shell. Peel it off. It should come off easily.
- Use eggs right away or store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- You can cook as many eggs, as you can fit in the pot without crowding it. Use large deep saucepan with lid to cook a dozen at a time.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.
Jodi Garza says
It’s amazing how you’re “adulting” through your whole life, owning a home, having college age kids, cooking full course meals and baking desserts that I actually sell (for money) and having never boiled an egg in my entire life! Thank you for your step by step glorious recipe!
I love that! It's never too late to learn something new. Thank you for the awesome comment, Jodi! I am glad my recipe is helpful!
I have boiled eggs all my life and its amazing to find out why I never really get the results I want.
Thanks for teaching me how to do this the right way.
LOVE this, they always turn out amazing when using your recipe!
That's fantastic! Thank you, Katie!
Thank you for the great tips!! They really make the perfect boiled eggs! I try to always have boiled eggs on hand..love them!
Same here! I am glad it's helpful. Thank you, Kristyn!
Wonderful guide! We love hard-boiled eggs in our house and I learned some good tips! Thank you!!
You are very welcome, Eden!