Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

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Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs, are they an urban legend or actually possible? After years (truly, years), I've finally cracked the code for shells that peel off with ease using just a simple temperature trick.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Perfect hard-boiled eggs, are they an urban legend or actually possible? After years (truly, years), I've finally cracked the code for shells that peel off with ease using just a simple temperature trick.

I'm so glad that this is a safe space (we're all friends, right?), because I'm almost embarrassed to admit this …y'all, I am NOT an egg cook. They perplex me! Maybe I take them for granted. They're so small, seemingly simple, but so, so feisty. More times than not, I over-cook scrambled eggs and turn poached eggs into egg water. Hard-boiled eggs were always the most humbling. After following directions to a T, I'd still find myself holding (what essentially amounted to) a peeled egg yolk and a real temptation to nibble egg whites off the shell.

As with all things, practice can make things slightly better. I'm a slow learner, so it's especially taken me A LONG TIME to master any egg-cooking technique.

The one egg technique I sought out to master first is the hard-boiled egg. If you do an internet search for the “perfect hard boiled egg,” you'll find instructions that cover a strange, perplexing spectrum …and I've tried them all. I've baked my eggs, steamed them, poked holes in them, and boiled them with a bit of vinegar. I've also let my eggs “age” a bit in the refrigerator, following the logic that slightly older eggs peel easier. While there were a few successful flukes, NOTHING produced consistent results.

SO, I hit the books and started doing some figuring on my own. I'll save you from my nerdy notes on the subject, but I finally (FINALLY) cracked the perfect hard-boiled egg code. What's the secret? No holes, no vinegar, no baking, steaming, or aged eggs …nope, just drastic temperature changes. THAT'S IT, FOLKS. This method results in perfect, easy-to-peel eggs EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Remember, I'm saying this as a person who has zero egg cooking skills or luck.

How do you hard boil eggs so that they peel easily?

How do we make it work? Simple. These are our 5 steps to PERFECT (and most easily peeled) hard-boiled eggs:

  1. Boil the water. Does this even count as a step?! Start off by bringing water to a boil (enough water to cover your eggs).
  2. Add the eggs to the pot. Once simmering, pull your eggs from the refrigerator and slowly place them in the water (using a slotted spoon). The more slowly you place them in, the less likely they are to crack. 
  3. Boil. Boil to your desired doneness (see below). 
  4. Transfer to an ice bath. After the timer is up, use that same slotted spoon to transfer them to an ice bath (just a bowl full of half ice and half water). Let the eggs chill there for at least 5 minutes. 
  5. Peel + enjoy. Bask in the pure pleasure of a shell that just slides right off the whites. It's the most satisfying feeling in the whole wide world. Once peeled, enjoy on their own or in your favorite boiled egg recipe (see below for some YUMMY ideas!)

How Long to Boil Eggs

That depends! Do you like your yolk gooey and soft-boiled or bright yellow (but not over-cooked) and hard-boiled? Here are times for each: 

  • Soft-boiled – 6-7 minutes in the boiling water
  • Hard-boiled – 10 minutes in the boiling water

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

What are the best types of eggs to use?

While some believe that older, or ‘aged,’ eggs are the trick to an easy peel (though again, I’ve not had consistent success with this), I still think hard-boiling your older eggs is the way to go. That way, you have your freshest eggs for scrambles, omelets, and fried eggs – the methods in which a fresh egg really TASTES like a fresh egg (you can’t tell a difference in taste between an older egg and a fresh egg when hard-boiling).

How to Peel a Hard-Boiled Egg

You’ve soaked your eggs in an ice bath and now you’re ready to peel, except ‘peeling’ the eggs makes you a little bit nervous and you’re not exactly sure *how* to do that …DON’T FEAR – it’s easy! I like to peel my eggs over the sink so that I’ve got a running faucet and an easy cleanup for any rogue shell pieces. Grab a bowl for your peeled shells (you don’t want a bunch of those going down the drain), and set it in the sink. I start by tapping the egg on a hard surface (typically the inside wall of my sink) to get a little crack going and then start peeling from that weak-point. Once you start peeling, trust me, that shell is going to slide right off, and you’re going to feel like you can CONQUER THE WORLD! Keep the peeled shells in the bowl so that you can easily dump them into the trash (or your compost bin, if you’re into that). 

How long do hard-boiled eggs keep for?

Hard-boiled eggs keep for one week (7 days) in the fridge. We recommend keeping them in an airtight container so that you don’t get punched with that pungent boiled egg smell every time you open the fridge! 

Our Favorite Ways to Use Hard-Boiled Eggs

While I love a good hard-boiled egg + fresh fruit snack, we’ve also got some really delicious recipes for those perfectly cooked eggs:

I hope this easy-peel hard-boiled egg trick serves you as well as it has me!

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Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

These perfect hard boiled eggs feature a simple cooking method that results in an egg shell that comes right off and leaves your eggs looking beautiful!

  • Author: Cassy Garcia
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 eggs

Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs, chilled

Instructions

  1. Bring about 3 inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, pull the eggs from the refrigerator. Using a slotted spoon or fitted strainer basket, carefully place or submerge the eggs in the boiling water. Boil the eggs for exactly 10 minutes.
  2. While the eggs are boiling, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with at least 5 cups of ice cubes. Add enough water to cover the ice cubes.
  3. Use a slotted spoon (or the strainer basket) to pull the eggs from the boiling water. Immediately place them in the ice bath, making sure that each egg is submerged. Let them sit in the bath for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Once completely chilled, either peel the eggs and enjoy right away or transfer to the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Notes

Suggested Toppings:

  • 3-Ingredient Paleo Ranch
  • Capers, smoked salmon, and fresh dill
  • Mustard, mayo, and chives
  • Chives and diced red onion
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  1. Danielle says:

    Yayyy 🙂 I will have to try this! Hard boiled eggs are my nemesis, and I always end up undercooking them. I finally gave up on Thanksgiving and bought pre-peeled and pre-hard boiled eggs at the grocery store so I could make deviled eggs!

  2. Andrea says:

    I started doing “boiled” eggs in my instant pot…I’ll never look back! It’s amazing! 5 minutes on steam, 5 minutes on a natural press release, and 5 minutes in the ice bath. It’s better than any stove top version…and like you, I’ve tried a LOT. Just consider it. 🙂

  3. dstew says:

    Okay tried your new way for me of doing hard boiled eggs. The first egg in the boiling water just slightly hit the bottom of the pot and that was enough to crack it a little bit and yup, Cooked whites all over the pot. So back to my tried and true way of doing one or a dozen hard boiled eggs which the shell comes off in 2 pieces and the odd occasion the shells comes off in 3 pieces. 1)Put eggs in a pot filled with water that just about covers them, cover with the pot with a lid 2) Bring to a rolling boil 3) turn off heat and let the eggs sit there with the lid covered for 10mins. I have left for much longer and they still come out perfect so don’t worry if you can’t get to them right at the 10 min. mark. Try it and let me know how you love it.

  4. Crystal says:

    I have tried all the tricks – thumb tack hole, baking soda, salt in the water – this is the first time EVER that all of my eggs have been super easy to peel! AMAZING! It works!!!

  5. Anna says:

    This method works every time.
    Thanks for making such a simple recipe even simpler and fool proof.

  6. Elissa says:

    This is the way my mother has done eggs, always perfect. I tried to reinvent the wheel with no success, stick to what works‍♀️. Thank you! My mother will be happy to say I told you so. Haha.

    1. Brandi Schilhab says:

      LOL! They come out perfectly every single time!!