How to Hard-Boil Eggs Perfectly Every Time

Whether you're getting ready for the annual Easter egg hunt or you just love them as tasty snacks, we have tips and tricks for hard-boiling eggs the right way.

Updated February 14, 2024
hard-boiled eggs

As a longtime aficionado of hard-boiled eggs (I like them as a snack with a little hot sauce), I've spent years honing the craft of boiling eggs. It's not tricky, but to get a perfect hard-boiled egg, it does take some fairly precise timing. So whether this is your first egg boil or your hundredth, we're here to help you do it right!

How to Hard Boil Eggs

I have a big pot that's perfect for boiling eggs — I can get all dozen of them in the bottom in a single layer. If you don't have a mega pot, you can use something smaller and work in batches. 

  1. Place eggs in a single layer on the bottom of a large saucepan or pot.
  2. Fill the pan with cold water, fully submerging the eggs. Water should cover eggs by about one to two inches.
  3. Place the pan on a cold stove and turn it on to high.
  4. When the water boils, turn off the burner and cover the pan.
  5. Set a timer for 14 minutes, and allow the eggs to sit in the water untouched until the timer goes off.
  6. Carefully remove the eggs from hot water with tongs and submerge each in cold water for about five minutes to stop the cooking process.
  7. Refrigerate the eggs and use as needed.

Related: How to Make Deviled Eggs: Recipes, Variations, & Pro Tips

Tips for Hard-Boiled Eggs

The best eggs to use for hard-boiling are 1-2 weeks old — fresh eggs don't peel easily. Other tips for perfect hard-boiled eggs include:

  • Use a single layer of eggs in the pot for boiling to avoid poorly distributed heat.
  • Water should be approximately one inch over the eggs when cooking.
  • Let eggs stand in hot water, rather than continually boiling, to avoid a rubbery texture.
  • Pierce eggs with a needle prior to boiling to prevent cracks.
  • Stir occasionally to evenly distribute heat while cooking.
  • Place the eggs in cold water first, and then bring to a boil.
  • Do not attempt to hard-boil eggs in a microwave. The lack of ventilation could cause the eggs to explode.
  • Chill eggs promptly in ice water to prevent discolored yolks (although the discoloration is harmless).
  • Peel eggs by cracking them all around and rolling them between your hands to loosen the shell.
  • Refrigerate hard-boiled eggs in their shells for up to a week before using.
  • Use a marker to differentiate between hard-boiled eggs and raw eggs if they will be stored together.

Hard-Boiled Eggs Are Versatile in Recipes

You can use hard-boiled eggs in a number of recipes, including appetizers, salads, spreads, sandwiches, and more. So whether you want them for your Easter egg hunt or you just love them as a high-protein snack, you'll always have perfect eggs that aren't over or undercooked. 

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How to Hard-Boil Eggs Perfectly Every Time