How to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs (No-Fail Stovetop Method)

My go-to stovetop hard boiled eggs recipe! How to cook hard boiled eggs so that they are perfect every time. This no-fail recipe takes less than 15 minutes! Jump to the Stovetop Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we do it.

Watch Us Make Hard Boiled Eggs On The Stove

How I Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs On The Stovetop

We’ve been cooking hard boiled eggs this way for years. I love to keep a batch of hard boiled eggs in the fridge for snacks throughout the week. I also use them to make classic egg salad, deviled eggs, and my favorite potato salad.

You won’t believe how simple it is to cook hard boiled eggs. Follow my tips and you’ll be making the perfect boiled egg in no time!

By the way, since posting this stovetop hard boiled eggs recipe, we’ve added a full tutorial for how to cook eggs in a pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot). The eggs turn out perfectly and are easy to peel. If you have a pressure cooker, I highly recommend taking a look.

Four Easy Steps For Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Step 1: Place eggs in a single layer on the bottom of a saucepan. You don’t want to pile them on top of each other. Keeping them in one layer, reduces the risk of cracking the shells when they come to a boil.

Step 2: Pour in water and cover by about two inches. Some hard boiled egg recipes have you bring water to a simmer and then tell you to add the eggs. I don’t like doing this since adding a cold egg to very hot water risks cracking the egg.

How to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs -- Cover the eggs with about two inches of room temperature or cold water.
Cover the eggs with about two inches of room temperature or cold water.

Step 3: Bring the water to a boil. The moment the water begins to boil, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, move the pan off of the heat then set a timer for 10 to 12 minutes (I talk about cook time below).

How to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs -- After boiling for 30 seconds, I move the pan off of the heat, and then set a timer for 10 to 12 minutes (depending on how large my eggs are).
After boiling for 30 seconds, I move the pan off of the heat, and then set a timer for 10 to 12 minutes (depending on how large my eggs are).

Step 4: Transfer the cooked eggs to an ice bath so they stop cooking. I use a slotted spoon to remove each egg from the hot water and then carefully drop them into a big bowl filled with cold water and ice. When the eggs are cool enough to handle, you can peel them.

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs Perfectly Every Time (Stovetop Method)

How Long To Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

The cook time for hard boiled eggs will vary depending on how large the eggs are, your altitude, and how done you want the yolk to be. After cooking lots (and lots) of hard boiled eggs in our own kitchen, here’s a list of cook times that we’ve found to be the most accurate:

  • Medium eggs = 9 to 10 minutes
  • Large eggs = 11 to 12 minutes
  • Extra large eggs = 13 to 14 minutes

If you live at a higher altitude, you may need to cook the eggs slightly longer than what we’ve mention above (I’d start with three to four additional minutes of cook time).

When I am making a large batch of eggs, I like to “sacrifice” one egg at around the 10 minute mark and check for doneness. If it’s a little underdone, I’ll keep the eggs in the water a bit longer.

My Tips For Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

If you’ve made hard boiled eggs before, you’ve probably experienced the occasional stubborn egg that just doesn’t want to peel nicely. There are lots of tricks out there for easy peel eggs. We’ve tried a few, but have found the following tricks to work best for us:

  • Try not to use the freshest eggs. Fresher eggs don’t peel as easily so if you have the chance, buy eggs for deviled eggs a week in advance.
  • Cool the eggs completely before peeling. We find this helps a lot, but if you’re still having trouble, crack the cooled egg and place it back into the ice bath. The water sneaks underneath the shell where you cracked it and makes it easier to peel after 5 minutes or so.
How to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

Recipe updated, originally posted December 2011. Since posting this in 2011, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

How to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs (No-Fail Stovetop Method)

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My go-to stovetop hard boiled eggs recipe. How to cook hard boiled eggs so that they are perfect every time. This recipe is for four eggs, you can increase or decrease as you see fit. Make sure the eggs can sit in the saucepan in one layer so they do not hit each other and crack shells while they cook.

4 or more eggs

You Will Need

4 or more large eggs

Water

Directions

    Place the eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 to 2 inches. Heat over high heat until the water comes to a rolling boil, cover the saucepan with a lid, cook for 30 seconds then remove completely from the heat and let stand for 12 minutes.

    Just before the eggs are cooked, prepare a bowl of ice water.

    Transfer the cooked eggs with a slotted spoon to the ice water and leave for 5 minutes. Crack egg shells and carefully peel them away. If the shells are not easily peeling away from the eggs, place them back into the ice water and try again in 5 minutes.

    **Cooking time can range from 10 to 14 minutes, depending on the size of your eggs, altitude, as well as how done you want them to be. If you are cooking a large batch of eggs, it might be a good idea to “sacrifice” one egg and check doneness.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 egg / Calories 71 / Protein 6 g / Carbohydrate 0 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 5 g / Saturated Fat 2 g / Cholesterol 185 mg / Sodium 62 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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15 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Travis May 1, 2019, 2:55 am

    You only say “bring to a boil”, the recipe doesn’t specify whether that should be done on low, medium or high heat. That should make a considerable difference…

    Reply
    • Joanne May 1, 2019, 12:11 pm

      Hi Travis, the eggs need to come to a boil over high heat. It is at this point that we cover with a lid and cook for 30 seconds then we take the pan off of the heat completely so that the eggs can finish cooking.

      Reply
  • Kathleen Larrabee November 18, 2018, 12:35 pm

    I used your method for hard boiled eggs. It worked beautifully. The yolks were nice and yellow, no green. The whites done to perfection. I am 72 and I learned something new. Ha Ha!!!! Thanks so much. I made deviled eggs for Thanksgiving at church. Everyone raved. No leftovers. I just use mayo, salt ,pepper and curry powder. They were delicious. Thanks again

    Reply
  • Brandon Becerra November 14, 2018, 6:14 am

    To peel the eggs I use a spoon. It’s been the easiest and most effective way to peel an egg for me.

    Reply
  • Steve Elves July 28, 2018, 2:48 pm

    Nobody seems to have mentioned the effect of altitude on boiling water. Every 500 ft. of altitude above sea level decreases the boiling point of water by about 1 degree F.

    Adding salt to the water will partially offset this decline.

    I suspect that the commenter who had trouble with eggs not completely cooked may have 3 possible issues:
    a) very large eggs, and/or
    b) cooked right out of a cold refrigerator, and/or
    c) higher altitude.

    Reply
  • Horace Palmer, III September 3, 2017, 5:28 pm

    When I worked in a NYC commercial kitchen, the night crew, who made the egg salad for the next day, always swore by putting a ton of salt into the water as they cooked the eggs, like 3 or 4 dozen at a time. I’ve found that it works in this recipe also. For 4 eggs, like a 1/4-1/2 cup of salt. However, I find other techniques described here as interesting, so I’ll give them a try.

    Reply
  • david jones October 16, 2014, 12:57 am

    I like using a teaspoon. I just crack the egg and poke the teaspoon under the shell and rotate.

    Reply
  • Tom August 22, 2014, 12:28 pm

    Everybody seems to make a “process” out of peeling hard boiled eggs– this tip works with ALL Boiled eggs, Hot, ,Cold, ,over boiled – whatever! Ready? Here it is, Simply tap/crack shell all the way around and hold under COLD RUNNING TAP WATER While peeling the shell– a lot of times it will simply come off in mostly one piece without all the mess!! Water gets into the cracks and literally puffs out the shell away from egg. If the egg is broken, again simply run the tap water on the opposite side of the break and Wa – La, a perfectly peeled hard boiled egg

    Reply
  • Marty July 3, 2014, 1:40 pm

    A hint for some one making potato Salad with hard boil eggs. When potatoes are boiling put your eggs in i use a spoon and time it for 10 minutes and take them out putting them in a bowl of cold water or running water it stops the cooking process. Making Devil Eggs, Hard Boil Eggs the same way use boiling water also. The yolks come out with a beautiful yellow color. Have also mention this method to chefs many times also. No Gray yolks for me.

    Reply
  • Lorae July 3, 2014, 12:47 am

    I Loved all your tips and tricks! Very helpful :)!

    Reply
  • Marsha Z May 16, 2014, 6:06 pm

    I don’t have a problem with the cooking method. I have difficulty peeling the shells off the eggs. They come off in itty-bitty shell fragments. Am I not letting the eggs cool down enough? Are the eggs too fresh? Also, since I’m now disabled, a lot of my prep work is done at the dinette table, instead of standing at the countertop. Anything to make the task easier, right?

    Reply
    • Joanne May 19, 2014, 10:54 am

      Hi Marsha, We’ve just added a little note about peeling hard boiled eggs in the article above. (Your question inspired us to add a few tips). Here’s what we’ve added:

      “If you’ve made hard boiled eggs before, you’ve probably experienced the occasional stubborn egg that just doesn’t want to peel nicely. There are lots of tricks out there for easy peel eggs. We’ve tried a few, but have found the following tricks to work best for us:
      Try not to use the freshest eggs. Fresher eggs don’t peel as easily so if you have the chance, buy eggs for deviled eggs a few days in advance. (This is not necessary, it just makes things a little easier)
      Cool the eggs completely before peeling. We find this helps a lot, but if you’re still having trouble, crack the cooled egg and place it back into the ice bath. The water sneaks underneath the shell where you cracked it and makes it easier to peel after 5 minutes or so.”

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
      • Theresa July 8, 2014, 12:10 pm

        Put a spoonful of vinegar in the water while coooking and the eggshell will come off nicely!

        Reply
        • Joanne August 7, 2014, 1:20 pm

          Great tip!

          Reply
      • Nancy July 19, 2015, 6:31 pm

        After cooking and pouring in cold water I smash each end of egg against something and put it back into the water. That lets water seep in to make peeling easier. Hold egg under tepid water while peeling.

        Reply

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