How to Make the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

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How long do you hard boil eggs

It’s hard to make bad food when you start with fresh ingredients, but some things are easier to mess up than others. With hard-boiled eggs, it’s easy to end up with something that’s either rubbery or too runny and grey inside, making them impossible to peel cleanly or even eat at all. To avoid this, follow these easy steps to the perfect hard-boiled egg every time. For best results, use eggs no more than 2 weeks old; older eggs will be harder to peel cleanly and their yolks may become dark or discolored due to oxidation over time.

Table of Contents

If you’re planning on having a sandwich or making deviled eggs at any point shortly, hard-boiling eggs will be your best friend. However, if you haven’t had much experience with boiling eggs before and don’t know how to make the perfect hard-boiled egg, this article can help! This guide will give you step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow and guarantee great results with each batch of hard-boiled eggs you make from now on. After reading through it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t know how to make these yourself before!

How long do you hard boil eggs

When making hard-boiled eggs, it’s important to place them in a saucepan large enough that they can be fully submerged in water. Cover them with cold water by about one inch, bring them to a boil and allow them to boil for about six minutes. Then remove from heat and cover. Allow them to cool for at least 12 minutes before removing from water and peeling. A perfect hard-boiled egg will have a tender white and firm yolk; while most people like their eggs cooked just so, it’s worth noting that no one is right or wrong here—cooking preferences are subjective. 
If you like your egg runnier than others might, go ahead and take it out earlier. As long as you’re cooking them safely (over high heat), there’s no such thing as too done. But note: Cooking times of 20 minutes or longer can result in a green-gray ring around the yolk. This occurs because iron sulfide leaches into both parts of an overcooked egg and reacts with hydrogen sulfide (think rotten-egg smell) present in both parts of an undercooked egg, forming ferrous sulfide (green/gray). The good news? While not entirely unappetizing, these odd-colored bands are harmless and disappear when either part of an overcooked egg is cut into. And now you know!

How to Make the Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg

  1. Preparation
  2. The Cooking Process
  3. Eat or Store?
  4. Cleanup
  5. If You Break Them
  6. Serving Suggestions


Always begin with fresh eggs that have been refrigerated. Eggs should be at least one week old and never more than three months old. It’s also important to keep your eggs in their original carton until you use them—this will help protect them from becoming contaminated by raw ingredients. When an egg cracks or a yolk breaks, they are no longer safe to eat.

The Cooking Process

Hard boiling an egg is relatively easy, but it can be tricky at first. When done right, hard-boiled eggs should not have a greenish ring around their yolk and they should be fully cooked through. If you like your yolks runny, cook your eggs for only one minute in boiling water. For soft-boiled eggs with partially runny yolks, add an extra two minutes of cooking time.

Eat or Store?

Eggs are a great source of protein and a yummy snack, but hard-boiled eggs also have their fair share of uses around your home. Because boiled eggs can be stored for weeks, you can easily keep them in your fridge or pantry until you need them. If you’re not sure whether or not an egg is still good, place it in water: if it sinks, it’s fresh; if it floats, throw it out!


Cutting away egg whites is a huge pain, and doing it incorrectly can ruin an otherwise perfectly cooked egg. Here’s how to avoid that mess: First, use a large pan so there’s plenty of room for stirring. Crack your eggs into a bowl first before adding them to the pan. Add one teaspoon of salt per quart of water, then bring it all up to a boil on high heat; reduce heat immediately once you get rolling.

If You Break Them

Overcooked eggs are a hardboiled egg’s arch-nemesis. It’s easy to cut them in half and scoop out their innards, but chances are you won’t be happy with how your eggs look once you’ve taken a bite. They can taste rubbery or just plain old raw.

Serving Suggestions

You can eat hard-boiled eggs straight up or pair them with almost anything. In a stir-fry, in an omelet, on top of a salad, in a sandwich, etc. You get it. They’re versatile and tasty!

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