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Eggs 101

How to Make the Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Hard boiled eggs are great food to have on hand as their uses are so versatile. Not only are they super delicious on their own, but they’re great in sandwiches, chopped up on salads and the foundation for all devilled eggs. The trick to great hard boiled eggs is not over-cooking them, which can leave a grey ring around the yolk and make their texture a bit rubbery. Download our free Egg Timer app to ensure your eggs turn out perfectly every time!

Things You'll Need


  1. Step 1

    Place your eggs in a single layer on the bottom of your pot and cover with cold water. The water should be about an inch or so higher than the eggs. Cover the pot with a lid.
  2. Step 2

    Over high heat, bring your eggs to a rolling boil.

  3. Step 3

    Remove from heat and let stand in water for 10-12 minutes for large eggs. Reduce the time slightly for smaller eggs, and increase the standing time for extra-large eggs.

  4. Step 4

    Drain water and immediately run cold water over eggs until cooled. Rapid cooling helps prevent a green ring from forming around the yolks.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much time is needed to make hard boiled eggs?

Hard boiled eggs should be cooked for about 10-12 minutes. This timing avoids a powdery, dry yolk that comes from overcooking while keeping it solid enough for applications like devilled eggs or egg salad.

What is the best method for peeling hard boiled eggs?

To peel hard boiled eggs, start by tapping the eggs gently on a hard surface to crack the shell. Roll the egg gently on the surface to loosen the shell. Then, peel the egg starting at the larger end, where the air pocket is located. For more in-depth instructions, check out our guide on how to peel a hard boiled egg.

How long do hard boiled eggs last in the refrigerator?

Hard boiled eggs stored in the refrigerator can last for up to 1 week, as long as they are stored in an airtight container. For best results use them within a day or two. For more information on how to safely store eggs, check out our guide to egg storage and food safety.

What are some ways to use hard boiled eggs?

Hard boiled eggs can be used as an addition to almost any salad, to add protein to a potato salad, or as a topping for sandwiches or burgers. They can also be sliced and used as a garnish for soups, stews, or curries. Doro Wat, a chicken stew that is commonly known as Ethiopia's national dish, is a perfect example of how hard boiled eggs can be added to a dish. Enjoy them with a little salt and pepper for a quick and nourishing snack. Hard boiled eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients to have on hand and an easy way to make a simple dish special.

Check out our uses for hard boiled eggs in our Recipe Category: Hard Boiled Eggs.

Can hard boiled eggs be frozen for later use?

Hard boiled eggs are not recommended for freezing because the texture of the egg white can become rubbery and unappetizing.

What is the difference between a soft boiled egg and a hard boiled egg?

A soft boiled egg is boiled for a shorter amount of time, typically 4-6 minutes, so that the yolk remains runny while the white is only partially set. A hard boiled egg is boiled for a longer amount of time, typically 10-12 minutes, so that both the yolk and white are fully cooked and solid.

Explore our comprehensive guide to soft-boiled eggs for more information visit out how-to on soft boiling eggs.

How can I avoid the green ring around the yolk of a hard-boiled egg?

The green ring around the yolk of a hard boiled egg is caused by a reaction between the iron in the yolk and the sulfur in the egg white. It’s not harmful to eat, just maybe not as appetizing as a nice yellow yolk. To prevent this from happening, make sure to avoid cooking the eggs at a full rolling boil, and reduce your cooking time. We also recommend cooling the eggs quickly in ice water after cooking to avoid carryover cooking.

Are older eggs better for hard-boiling?

It’s widely said that older eggs are easier to peel after being hard boiled, but using less-than-fresh eggs comes with other problems. You can use older eggs for hard-boiling, but they may end up misshapen due to the air pocket inside the egg increasing with age. Not a problem for egg salad, but not great for devilled eggs. Older eggs are also more likely to form a green ring, even within recommended cooking times, because the egg white becomes more alkaline over time, which makes the chemical reaction happen faster. If looks matter, fresher eggs are better, but they all taste great.

What is the ideal texture of the yolk in a hard-boiled egg?

The ideal texture of the yolk in a hard-boiled egg is firm, but not dry or crumbly. The yolk should not be fully set but should not be runny either.

Can I use my Instant Pot to make hard-boiled eggs?

Yes, you can use an Instant Pot or any pressure cooker to make hard-boiled eggs, even quicker than in a pot, which is perfect if you need to make them for a crowd. Simply place the eggs in a steaming basket or on a trivet in the Instant Pot, add 1 cup of water, and cook on high pressure for 5-6 minutes. Quick release the pressure and transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool.

For more information, check out our recipe for Instant Pot eggs.