Some basic lessons fall through the cracks. You take certain information for granted until one day, you go to access it and you realize, it isn’t there. 


For me, one of those lessons was how to make a hard boiled egg.  When I went to college, there were a number of times I found myself in the kitchen at a standstill, lacking basics.  A quick call to mom or a flip through the index of a general cookbook (this was before days of laptops and wireless internet access in kitchens) and my Cooking 101 knowledge was slowly filled in.  

Surprisingly, it wasn’t until quite a bit later that I realized I had no idea how to make a hard boiled egg. My first point of reference was The New Basics Cookbook that I had received as a wedding gift.  Unbelievably, it did not include instructions for cooking hard boiled eggs.  Though I have made a few good recipes from the book, I must admit, I have never quite forgiven it.

The below instructions were not the first I found but they are the most foolproof.  I end up with nice, yellow yolks each time.  Should you find yourself without this basic lesson, I hope this helps!

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Step 1: Place eggs in a high-sided sauce pan and fill with water at least 2 inches above the eggs.  You do not want to use eggs that are too fresh like farm fresh eggs because they are harder to peel.   


Step 2: Turn on high heat and keep an eye on the eggs.  When they reach a boil, cover the pan and remove the eggs from heat.  

Step 3: Keep the pan covered for 12 minutes.  If you are using very large eggs, you may want to increase it to 13 or 14 minutes. 


Step 4: Immediately remove the eggs from the hot water and put them into a bowl of very cold ice water to stop the cooking.  Leave them in the cold water at least 3 minutes.


Step 5: Remove the eggs from the water and eat immediately, make egg salad, whip up some deviled eggs or store them in the refrigerator.  I have read you should eat them in 5 days but I have eaten them after a week with no negative effect.


My husband often surprises me with some hard boiled egg artwork.  I highly suggest being creative with your eggs.  Though markings will be removed with the shell, somehow the eggs inside taste better!


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44 Responses to “How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs”

  1. anon a mouse Says:


  2. Caroline Says:

    hello mr. anon a mouse. i am pleased your skills include boiling eggs. you might be surprised how many people are searching the web to find a foolproof technique.

  3. Allison S. Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’m a teen baker with zero cooking experience. I really appreciate this. Are there any other recipes that utilize hard boiled eggs?

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  5. Robin Says:

    One proviso — if you are at high altitudes, water boils at a lower temperature and cools down much faster so this method leaves you with partially cooked yolks [not that there's anything wrong with that]. Instead of removing from heat, leave on heat. I’ve found that 20 minutes from cold start to removing from heat and placing in cold water works for me at 5,400 feet.

  6. Caroline Says:

    Allison – My favorite Deviled Eggs recipe coming next!
    Robin – Thanks for the high altitude tip!

  7. Suz Says:

    I had the basic technique you were showing but haven’t tried the icebath…you can teach an older cook new tricks! Thanks.

  8. Kare Says:

    I hard-boil eggs so seldom, I always forget in between how to do it just right – and find myself ashamedly googling! Interesting idea adding the ice – I’ll have to bookmark and try this time. Thanks!

  9. Megan Says:

    Despite being relatively accomplished in the kitchen, for whatever reason, the simple process of creating a hard-boiled egg is one that I can’t retain. It’s like the rules of football or people’s birthdays; I just can’t seem to keep the info inside my brain. But, I hope that, with your help, I’ll get there. (I’m almost there on football.) Thank you for this very useful post.

  10. Laura Says:

    I have never tried this method, I make lots of Boiled eggs. I am excited to try this method. I have purchased a couple different egg timers and they were all a waste of money! I look forward to your posts!

  11. Nicole Says:

    Love the egg artwork (both your photos and the drawings)! And I think posts like this are fantastic. So many people (myself included) make it into adulthood without learning basics like this. Now I’m craving deviled eggs…

  12. JRE Says:

    Have you ever checked out the Egg Watcher Web page? So cute! It entertains you while you wait for your egg to cook.

    Fun blog. Thanks for your posts!


  13. GeekKnitter Says:

    I’ve never had too much trouble with hard-boiled eggs… potatoes, they’re my downfall. Never seem to come out right. Maybe I’m cursed, I don’t know.

    Love the drawings on the eggs!

  14. my spatula Says:

    great post! sometimes a perfect hard boiled egg is all i need.

  15. Unplanned Cooking Says:

    I was actually thinking of doing a similar post but for a different reason. Eggs are perfect in school lunch boxes, and easy to prepare on a Sunday afternoon. But my method isn’t foolproof, so maybe I’ll just link to yours :).

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  17. Louise Says:

    I like the tip about fresh eggs being harder to peel. I’ve always wondered why they can be so frustrating one time and peel with ease another! -it’s great to go over the ‘no-brainer’ basics once in while!

  18. James Says:

    Great blog entry. I will also admit, drawing on eggs, pretty funny!

  19. Carol Says:

    What a great blog! I’m glad I found you. You have a new follower!

    I was searching the internet for how to make the perfect hard boiled eggs! Thanks!


  20. Tori Says:

    I appreciate this post as it’s never a bad thing to go back to the basics and break them down. One more addition to factor in. The cooking time changes depending on if the eggs are cold out of the fridge or if you let them come up to room temperature. I think they come out a little better at room temp and are less likely to crack the shell when you first submerge them in the hot water. I find for medium sized eggs at sea level it’s 9-11 minutes if they’re room temp, 12-14 if they’re straight from the fridge. Go egg salad sandwiches!

  21. Adrianne Says:

    Anon a mouse is an idiot. This technique makes great boiled eggs and some people really don’t know how to do it properly. I bet A.A.Mouse has green yolks.

    Jerk. If you don’t have something nice to say shut the heck up.

  22. Lynda Says:

    My partner and I were only discussing this very topic — how to hard boil an egg to perfection, so it was interesting to stumble past this post. Thanks for taking the time to explain and photograph the steps.

  23. Melissa Says:

    Now, can you tell me how to make the perfect poached egg sans with boiling water? I cannot master it to save my life!

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  27. Randall Says:

    New Basics Cookbook pg. 448. You claim they have no recipe for hard cooked eggs. Then you copy it verbatim. Wow.

  28. Amy @ Eggies Canada Says:

    You and your husband take some nice photos. It’s amazing how even the simplest things like boiling hard boiled eggs need explaining but you did a great job on your explanation. If you’re looking into trying out a new cool kitchen tool for cooking hardboiled eggs check out the eggies.

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  31. diddy Says:

    This is my first time on your site. It it lovely. Unfortunately I had to read the first blog from Anon a mouse complaining about that the directions for boiling eggs were here. Better that person submits a recipe for boiling tongue…. his/her tongue so it won’t be wagged in such an ugly, uncalled for and detestable fashion.
    As I am writing this I am waiting for my pot of eggs to come to a boil…. thank you for the kindness of your instructions.

  32. Jenna Says:

    Thank you for the information. I,once again could not recall how many minutes to sit.
    It is simply detestable that people spend their time writing such negative comments. If you don’t like the information go somewhere else. One would like to think they would spend their time being miserable somewhere else.

  33. Amber Says:

    That first comment/rant is totally ill informed; cooking eggs is one of the first lessons in any good cooking school.

    Great basic recipe but 11 minutes is plenty for large eggs. I have read
    That If there is a greyish/ greenish outer layer to the yolk than it is overcooked.
    I just did your recipe with 15 large eggs and 11 minutes was perfect – no greyish outside – just bright yellow- nice delicate flavour and texture :) my “eggie” steamer also does them perfect but can only fit 7 eggs at a time.

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