How Long to Boil Eggs (Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs)

Wondering how long to boil eggs? This method for hard-boiled eggs works perfectly every time and results in easy-to-peel eggs.

How Long to Boil Eggs | Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

How to hard boil eggs: this recipe is just as much for our own recollection as it is to share it! I don’t know how many times we’ve had to try to remember how long to boil eggs – it seems so simple until you screw it up (and we have!). After some trial and error, we’ve come up with a perfect hard boiled eggs method that works every time. Hard boiled eggs not only taste great, but they’re also a versatile source of protein that can be used in salads and sandwiches, for a quick snack, or deviled as a fancy appetizer. Keep reading for how to hard boil eggs, including how long to boil eggs.

How long to boil eggs?

Hard boiling eggs is actually really easy–when you remember the right way to do it, that is!. The most important thing to remember is to bring the water to a boil with the eggs already in the pot. This ensures that the eggs cook fully from the inside out; if you add the raw eggs to boiling water, like you do with pasta, the eggs will cook from the outside in. This results in soft-boiled eggs; although still delicious, this isn’t what you’re looking for!

Now: how long to boil eggs? It’s not a simple answer, because the eggs 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. While the eggs sit in the hot water, start preparing the rest of your ingredients for whatever dish you’re making. You’d be surprised at how much prep work you can finish in 15 minutes!

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) and will prevent you from burning your fingers as you try to peel the eggs. After the hard-boiled eggs have sat in the ice water, peel them immediately. You can also store unpeeled eggs in the fridge for a few days, but they’re easiest to peel when you do it right away.

Ice Bath for Hard Boiled Eggs

Looking for more hard-boiled egg recipes?

Now that you know how to hard boil eggs, the culinary world is at your fingertips. After mastering how to hard boil eggs, use them in one of these recipes:

If you have an Instant Pot, we also love making hard boiled eggs in our Instant Pot electric pressure cooker!

How Long to Boil Eggs | Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Looking for other essential recipes? 

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

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

How Long to Boil Eggs | Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

1 Star (11 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 eggs
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Wondering how long to boil eggs? This method for hard-boiled eggs works perfectly 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.

Keywords: how to hard boil eggs, hard-boiled egg recipe, how to boil eggs

Always perfect hard boiled eggs

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    April 15, 2011 at 9:11 am

    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

  • Reply
    Medifast Coupon
    April 15, 2011 at 10:27 am

    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 :)

  • Reply
    April 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2011 at 2:02 am

    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!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm

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

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