Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Homemakers and Amateur Cooks

How to Make a Hard Boiled Egg

Posted on April 14, 2008
Filed Under How to…


I’m wondering if, from reading the title, you thought “Duh, everyone knows how to do that!” or if you were secretly happy to finally have directions to do it instead of just putting the eggs on the stove in water and kinda guessing from there.

I would be in the last category, until yesterday. You know, there are some things it seems like everyone evidently is just automatically born knowing… you just never see a recipe in a cookbook of how to make hard boiled eggs. Or how to make baked potatoes or grilled cheese sandwiches.

I so seldom make hard boiled eggs, maybe about once a year for a salad. A salad was actually the reason I made them yesterday. I used to not like eggs at all. It was actually more psychological than anything, I think, just picturing what the yolk could have become. Then I grew up. Now they’re fine if they’re scrambled or made into omelets or somehow fried solid with the yolk and white mixed, nothing over-easy! Hard boiled with salt is too dry. Deviled eggs are good too, but I haven’t made them in ages. I just eat the ones other people bring to church potlucks and picnics. So, that’s my opinion on eggs, for whatever it’s worth.

Anyway, we got together with family last night and I was in charge of bringing salad. Yesterday afternoon, I mused to Shannon, “I wonder what the proper way is to make hard boiled eggs”. He said, “Just boil ’em in water for awhile”. When I didn’t go with those directions, he switched to ‘Google knows everything’. By the way, did you know there are entire websites about cooking eggs?! To make a long story short, I followed some online directions and the eggs turned out PERFECT! So, I’m going to write them here so I have them for future reference (you know, for when I make hard boiled eggs next year). And if you flounder around and guess every time you make hard boiled eggs, then this is for you too. I also learned a tip to keep that greenish color from forming between the whites and yolks.

Put eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Water should come an inch or so above the eggs.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn burner down to medium and cook for 10 minutes.


When the 10 minutes is up, immediately drain the hot water and put them in cold water or ice water. I kept them in the pan and just rinsed them in cold water a few times till the pan was cold, then filled it with cold water. Let them sit in there for a few minutes, then gently crack the shells and peel them.

—Getting them in cold water right away after they’re done cooking keeps the yolks a nice yellow and cooling them down quickly keeps that greenish color from forming.
—For deviled eggs, to get the yolks centered, lay the eggs on their sides for about 8 hours (in the fridge of course) before cooking them.
—Don’t use fresh eggs. They peel hard. Eggs should ideally be at least 2 weeks old when using them for hard boiled.

There is another way to hard boil eggs too. You can bring them to a boil, then take them off the burner and let them sit for 20 minutes. I actually made eggs twice yesterday because the first time didn’t work. The yolks weren’t quite done. I had used this method, but the directions said to let them sit only 10 min. There was another site that said 20 min, so I think that might be enough for the yolks to get done.

How do you hard boil eggs? Do you make them alot?


21 Responses to “How to Make a Hard Boiled Egg”

  1. Sharon on April 14th, 2008 9:59 am

    I actually have a cookbook with directions for hardboiled eggs, but I know they are kinda tricky. I think some of the greenish stuff is from overcooking, but I really don’t know. I always add a little vinegar to the water I boil ’em in, since that supposedly helps prevent them from cracking while they’re cooking and a little white leaking out. (and because my Mom always did that). I don’t usually completely cover the eggs with water (that wouldn’t work in the pan I do it in), and they turn out fine. You first method is basically how I do it, too, tho’ I start timing as soon as the water starts bubbling and do ’em 15 minutes at a slow boil. Definitely do the ice water right away.

    I don’t make ’em as much as I used to, partly because of Sawyer’s egg allergy, and I don’t keep as many on hand. But the rest of us LOVE deviled eggs, and I love just plain hardboiled for a snack, so I do ’em occasionally.

    I laughed over your take on eggs. Sounds similar to mine. When I was younger, just the thought of where they came from & what they might be (and I gathered eggs, and saw what’s on ’em sometimes, which didn’t help) was bad enough, and I didn’t like the over-easy part either. I still don’t like if they ooze, but will eat them otherwise. My family really does think I’ve grown up, though, to eat them at all, and even say they’re good!

  2. Judi on April 14th, 2008 10:01 am

    I bring them to a boil then set them aside for 20 minutes with a lid on. When I put the cold water on them I bang them around a little to get them to crack. The theory is that the cold water will go under the peel and help to remove the shell. Don’t know if that works or not, but I still do it that way. Maybe your theory about the age of the egg is really what counts, but I get mine from the market so I don’t know how old they are.

  3. Freida on April 14th, 2008 10:13 am

    I boil eggs all the time. We LOVE them!…in lettuce salad, regular egg salad, and creamed eggs. I do it pretty much like you said. I’ve heard too that they peel easier if they are not fresh, but I buy brown eggs from our neighbors or church people, so I don’t know if they are fresh or not. Either way, we eat them.

    My take on eggs???? I LOVE them! I can’t imagine not liking them. I laughed at yours. ????

  4. amy on April 14th, 2008 11:02 am

    I always wondered what was up with the green on the yolk part was all about. sometimes it’s there and sometimes not. I am anxious to try the cooling faster method.

  5. Twila on April 14th, 2008 11:35 am

    I love runny yolks! Several years ago our neighbor gave us a number of goose eggs and then I was in egg-yolk heaven, frying those for my breakfast (yeah, I figured that might gross you out, lol.) I boil eggs just like your first method, 10 minutes and then into ice water. Works every time.

  6. Rosalyn on April 14th, 2008 11:56 am

    I do quite a bit of hard boiled eggs. My girls love ’em! I like them for salads, and have to make a few extra for the daughter that wants the egg but no salad. They love deviled eggs, too. I usually boil mine your first method…for 10 minutes. Then I immediately put ice water on them. I try to peel them as soon as possible. I never know how old my eggs are, but sometimes I have such a problem peeling them, and the next time they peel just fine. I wish you’d have a method for no-fail peeling!! ???? (other than old eggs, I mean)

    Oh, and I actually have 2 different cookbooks that tell me how to boil an egg–Better Homes & Garden Cookbook, and then Mennonite Country Style Recipes, by Esther Shank. Both of those are my “tell how to make anything” cookbooks! :)

  7. Elaine on April 14th, 2008 1:17 pm

    you can use fresh eggs, just get the water boiling first, holding the egg over the water drop them in the pan, they will hit the bottom of the pan and crack just a little. You might have some white strings in the water but they peel just fine. When I peel the eggs I have most of the shell cracked before I peel it off.

    We have our own fresh eggs and eat boiled eggs fairly often.

  8. Berneice on April 14th, 2008 3:22 pm

    I have to admit I thought, who needs a recipe to boil eggs, but it was intresting to see all the tips! :)
    We love hard boiled eggs! I have them on hand most of the time. I also use the 1st method you had. If the fridge is void of eggs,we have a problem. We find the nearest source and QUICK get some!

  9. Ruthie on April 14th, 2008 5:24 pm

    I used to do the first method, but kept forgetting that I had them on the stove and would overcook them. (I know; use a timer..duh! I keep thinking I will remember without the timer…) So the second one is my favorite method. And, if the eggs are fresh, add a TBSP or two of salt to the water. Tap the tip of the egg against the counter, just enough to hear it crack, but not enough to actually see the crack. The shell peels right off!

  10. barb on April 14th, 2008 8:40 pm

    I second what Ruthie said about the salt when boiling “fresh” eggs. It works!! I would say at least 2 Tbsp. salt.
    I have a recipe for “Cornchip Salad” that has boiled eggs in it. It also has bacon, cheese, and of course lettuce and corn chips. The dressing is homemade and it is delicous. The recipe came out in one of our church (German Baptist) cookbooks a few years ago and it has become a famous German Baptist salad:) If anyone would like the recipe just comment here and I’ll gladly post it. It is a must have in your recipe collection.

  11. Jo on April 14th, 2008 8:41 pm

    I didn’t know how to hard-boil eggs when I got married. *blush* Esther Shank’s cookbook was my lifesaver there. When I’m doing deviled eggs, I cool them in water & then put them in the fridge for an hour or two; they peel effortlessly. I’ll have to remember your tip for centering the yolks, ’cause that’s a pet peeve of mine. Someone mentioned the age of store-bought eggs; I once heard that they are often a couple of weeks old already when we buy them. I’ve hard-boiled eggs that I just got from the store, and they worked great, so they’re obviously not very fresh.
    We love eggs here—and all of us love runny yolks, except Kendric (we hope to convert him soon!)

  12. Kay on April 14th, 2008 9:30 pm

    Hey, Barb, I want that salad recipe! Sounds wonderful! You can just post it in another comment here.

    Thanks to everyone for all your tips and how you do it! This is interesting. And I learned alot about eggs! Maybe I’ll start making them more often. I think I should edit the post now to add all your tips too. :)

  13. barb on April 15th, 2008 7:20 am

    Corn Chip Salad

    1 head lettuce
    6-8 hard boiled eggs (no problem, right?)
    1 pound bacon, fried and crumbled
    1/2 pound shredded colby or cheddar cheese
    4-6 cups corn chips, crushed (the more-the better)

    1 cup miracle whip
    2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (can use apple cider vinegar)
    1/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar

    Toss lettuce, eggs, bacon, and cheese. Add chips and dressing just before serving.

    This is one of those salads that is not good leftover.(I guess I do know of a couple people that will actually eat it the next day. Yuck)
    Anyway, try to remember that when you make it.
    Hope you enjoy it:)

  14. Berneice on April 15th, 2008 11:58 am

    I also have this recipe. It is awesome. Everyone needs to try it. :)

  15. Drew Kime on April 15th, 2008 12:23 pm

    I’ve got a good followup for this, How To Dice A Hard Boiled Egg:

    I’ve also got a taco salad recipe you might like. (Hmm, going to have to write this one up on my blog.)

    – 1 head lettuce
    – 2 Roma tomatoes – drained, seeded and diced (just the meaty part)
    – 1 small sweet onion, diced
    – 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    – 1 lb ground beef, cooked and seasoned (taco seasoning, chili powder, your choice) then cooled to room temperature
    – 1 cup thousand island dressing
    – 2 cups Fritos or other corn chips (the skinny kind)

    Toss the lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and dressing. Add the ground beef and corn chips and toss again.

    If you’re taking this on a picnic — that’s how I remember having it, when my Aunt made it — you can mix everything except the corn chips and pack it in a zip-top bag. Add the chips and serve.

    Leftovers are still good for two or three days in the fridge, as long as you add fresh corn chips when you serve.

  16. Christy on April 16th, 2008 7:03 am

    I’m so w/ you on not liking eggs when I think too long about what they are. Aaaack!!! I went through a stage where I could hardly even eat baked things that tasted like eggs. (Still don’t really like it, but just try not to think about it.)

    I also thought it was funny that boiled eggs are something you should just know. My grandma put her recipe in a cookbook, so now I can refer back if I forget. It’s the bring to boil, rest 20 min. version. I thought the green color was from overcooking. ??

  17. Katie Mast on April 16th, 2008 3:21 pm

    I admit when i first saw the title, I’m like people dont know how to boil eggs. But it was interesting to read comments about it. At our house when we are out of eggs we are in trouble. I can hard boil a dozen eggs and by the time i have them peeled they are gone. My husband just loves them and so do my 3 children. I heard a long time ago that if you take a thumb tack and prick a hole in the bottom of each egg before boiling, they will peel clean. That is the way i do all mine, even when they are fresh,(some made comments about cracking them a little) I think it does the same thing. I dont end up with half of my egg coming off with my peelings. If you got a Pampered Chef decorator you got to make deviled eggs they look so pretty when done. ALso we live in PA dutch contry and here we make red beet eggs. MMMM We eat 2 dozen eggs in one day made that way. I am with you on just eating plan eggs, i dont like them that way either, but hard boiled any which way I love them.

  18. Katie Mast on April 16th, 2008 3:25 pm

    I was also going to say that Esther Shank cookbook is the best. I have given that for gifts to so many people that were just learning how to can or newlyweds and it’s a big hit.

  19. Gwen on April 17th, 2008 9:19 pm

    When we were visiting our friends in the hospital in Colombus, OH, we were all eating in the cafeteria one day, and there, for sale in the cooler, a bowl of hard boiled eggs…$1.00 each. Kindof makes you want to start making and selling them!!

  20. Kim Mast on April 19th, 2008 10:47 am

    I bring my eggs to a boil over medium heat and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and let sit for 12 minutes. Then immediatly put in ice cold water. Mine always peel like a charm!
    P.S. I also put salt in mine if I know they are fresh.

  21. how to hard boil egg on April 26th, 2008 10:09 pm

    […] to Make a Hard Boiled EggMake the perfect hard boiled eggs! Tips, pictures, and directions included. egg – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaHard-boiled eggs are produced by boiling until both the […]