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How long to boil eggs? Boil the water and let the eggs continue to sit in the hot water for about 15 minutes. Full instructions and tips in the recipe and video!

How Long to Boil Eggs?
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Looking for how long to boil eggs? After some trial and error, Alex and I come up with a perfect hard boiled eggs method that works every time. They not only taste great, but they’re also a versatile source of protein. Use them in salads and sandwiches, for a quick snack, or in deviled eggs as a fancy appetizer. Keep reading for the master recipe and a video!

Want another method? Go to Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs or Steamed Hard Boiled Eggs.
Want soft boiled eggs instead? Go to Soft Boiled Eggs.

How long to boil eggs? The short answer

How long to boil eggs? It’s not a simple answer, because they don’t actually boil! As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat! The eggs sit for about 15 minutes to let them cook fully through. The exact timing depends on the size of the eggs. See the reference chart below — and see above for a short instructional video!

Reference chart

QtySizeTiming once boiling (see below)
12Small13 minutes
12Large15 Minutes
12Extra Large17 Minutes

Then, place them in ice water!

After the eggs have finished cooking in the hot water, drain the pot and immediately add the eggs to a bowl of ice water. This will prevent the eggs from cooking further (which often results in a dry, crumbly yolk).

Ice Bath for hard boiled eggs

Watch the video!

How to peel eggs

After the hard-boiled eggs sit in the ice water, peel the ones you want to eat immediately. You can store leftover unpeeled eggs in the fridge for up to 1 week. Here are a few tips on how to peel eggs:

  • Older eggs peel easier than fresh eggs. A dozen that’s been in the refrigerator for about 1 week are the best to use for hard boiling.
  • Use the right boiling method, or even better, an Instant Pot. An Instant Pot makes eggs that are easiest to peel. Use our Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs method, or use the boiling method below.
  • Gently tap the larger end of the egg so that the shell crushes. Lightly tap the larger end of the egg so that the shell crushes. The bottom end of the egg has an air bubble, which makes it easier to crush the shell. Then start to peel off the shell. Continue peeling the shell until all the pieces are removed.
How long to boil eggs

How to store hard boiled eggs

Store hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in a sealed container. It’s best to keep the eggs still in their shell, which keeps them the freshest. So resist peeling the eggs until you’re ready to eat them! Keep the unpeeled eggs in a dry, sealed container in the refrigerator.

Egg nutrition

Egg nutrition

Though they might not have that reputation, eggs are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. What’s the break down? One egg has:

  • 75 calories
  • 7 grams of protein
  • Lots of nutrients

Recent research has found that instead of avoiding eggs for cholesterol reasons, they can increase the good cholesterol the body needs. Eggs are an affordable and easy-to-eat source of high quality protein. They’re also especially helpful for vegetarian diets as a natural source of B12.

How Long to Boil Eggs | Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

This recipe is…

This hard boiled egg recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free.

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How Long to Boil Eggs | Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (Boiling Time with Video)

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 eggs 1x


This tip for how long to boil an egg for hard boiled eggs works every time, and results in easy to peel eggs.


  • 12 large eggs (older eggs peel better than fresh)
  • Ice


  1. Place 12 eggs in the bottom of a large pot and and cover with water 1 inch above the eggs.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, gently stirring the eggs several times.
  3. As soon as the water boils, remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let the eggs sit for 15 minutes (13 minutes for small eggs or 17 minutes extra large eggs). Prepare a bowl of ice water.
  4. After 15 minutes, place the eggs in the ice water and allow them to cool completely (about 15 minutes). Peel immediately, or store in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

More hard-boiled egg recipes

Now that you know how long to boil eggs, the culinary world is at your fingertips! Use them in one of these egg recipes:

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Whether it’s how to grow bean sprouts or how long to boil eggs, our essential recipes are easy DIYs to make at home! Here are few more of our essential and DIY recipes:

How long to boil eggs

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Nellie McConnell says:

    How long do I leave eggs after I rotate them so the yoke is centered before I boil them?
    The ice works great. Love the devil eggs. Egg salad.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We haven’t practiced this method, sorry!

  2. Michael says:

    I’m from the school which never boils the water. Once it gets close I turn it off and let them sit in the hot water for an hr or so. They are more delicate tasting and richer this way. Of course you shouldn’t be in a hurry for this approach. I got this from Cook Illustrated a few years ago and am sold on it.

  3. Sandy says:

    My mom taught me the same method many years ago–with one added step. After draining the hot water, rattle the eggs around in the pot–vigorously. You want the shells to be cracked all over! Then cover fill the pot with cold tap water until the eggs are just covered. Let sit for a few minutes and then drain and peel. As my mom would say, they just “hop out of the shell”–sometimes the shell is still just in one or two pieces. It really works. Try it!

    1. Sonja says:

      Wow, how interesting! Thanks for the tip — we will try it next time!

  4. Holly says:

    What I do goes like this:

    1. Put a bunch of water in a pot, bring to a boil
    2. While waiting for water to boil, warm the eggs up in hot water in a bowl
    3. Water’s boiling, put the eggs in for 10 minutes exactly
    4. While you’re waiting, get a bowl of ice water ready
    5. Eggs ready, take them out of the boiling water and immediately into the ice water (this will shock the eggs away from the shell to make them easier to peel!)
    6. Let them cool in the ice water.

    So that was pretty standard for my family! But, one of my buddies taught me how to properly peel an egg.

    1. Crack the egg in a circle all the way around the width of the egg (short ways, not long ways, so it’s got a stripe).
    2. Roll the egg between your hands along where you just cracked.
    3. Peel! Watch as you get two even halves off the egg (ok, maybe 3!). Woo!

  5. ab says:

    I just boil the eggs for 3 minutes or so, drain them,
    then run cold water over them from the tap for a couple of minutes,
    and peel them under the cold running water.
    The temp difference between the shell and the inside
    is what separates the shell from the inside.

  6. Robin says:

    thanks for the refresher – I had researched this a long time ago, but had forgotten some of the details. Will be using this method going forward.

  7. Annie says:

    I saw a similar post on another blog this morning. I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn the tip about older eggs peeling better. Never in my life have I had trouble with hard boiled eggs, but the last time I tried making deviled eggs I went through two dozen eggs and probably ended up with 8 that were useable. I felt so ridiculous being great at a lot of things in the kitchen and not being able to make a darned hard boiled egg! Hopefully that will be my last failure, thanks to your help!

  8. Medifast Coupon says:

    I always have hard boiled eggs in the fridge for the on the run hubby. I have one carton boiled and marked and of course a raw carton, also marked. Hubby has grabbed the raw before and ended up with egg in his lap while driving, kinda funny :)

  9. Sarah says:

    perfect….and, in our Jewish tradition, for Passover, we will boil them in either onion skins or tea bags…giving them a nice warm brown color. (perhaps the predecessor to colored eggs this time of year?) Then we keep them in the fridge until the Seder, when they are warmed gently in an oven…gives them a nutty flavor. Served with slices of lemon… YUM