Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (How Long to Boil)

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?

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. Now, it’s not a magic secret and it’s not rocket science. It’s just our trusty, everyday method: and we use it all the time! Hard boiled eggs not only taste great, but they’re also a versatile source of protein. Use them in salads and sandwiches, for a quick snack, or deviled as a fancy appetizer (like our favorite Easy Deviled Eggs). Keep reading for our boiled egg master recipe and a video!

Related: Instant Pot Hard 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!

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).

Reference chart

QtySizeTiming once boiling (see below)
12Small13 minutes
12Large15 Minutes
12Extra Large17 Minutes
How long to boil eggs

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.

Looking for more? Here’s how to make hard boiled eggs easy to peel.

Ice Bath for hard boiled 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

Looking for 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 recipes:

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

How long to boil eggs


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  • Author: A Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 eggs 1x

Description

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


Scale

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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

Keywords: how to hard boil eggs, hard-boiled egg recipe, how to boil eggs, time, timing, long, how, to, eggs, cook, hard, boil, boiled, you

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog 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 recipe 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.

9 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    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
    Annie
    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
    Robin
    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
    ab
    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
    Holly
    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
    Sandy
    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
      Sonja
      February 7, 2013 at 8:17 pm

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

  • Reply
    Michael
    April 18, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    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.

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