How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.56 from 9 votes
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It’s no secret that I’m an egg fanatic (check my logo). They’re inexpensive, easy to cook, and so extremely versatile! My favorite budget meal hack has always been to just “put an egg on it.” And while soft boiled eggs might be my favorite, there are definitely times when a hard boiled egg just works better. So I wanted to do a quick tutorial on how to make hard boiled eggs so you can see just how quick and easy they are to incorporate into your meals!

Several hard boiled eggs cut in half against a yellow background

Let’s just get right to the nitty-gritty of what everyone wants to know…

How Long to Boil Eggs

The easy answer – boil large eggs for about 12 minutes to make hard boiled eggs.

The long answer – The amount of time needed to hard boil an egg can vary depending on several factors including, but not limited to:

  • The size of the egg
  • The type of cookware and stove top used
  • The starting temperature of the egg
  • The boiling method used (cold start, hot start, steaming)
  • Your altitude

I’m going to provide a general guide below, but you’ll need to experiment a little to find the exact time needed to make perfect hard boiled eggs using your equipment, your eggs, and at your altitude.

five hard boiled eggs cut in half lined up with numbers over top

The image above shows my results after 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 minutes.

  • 6 minutes: nice jammy yolk
  • 8 minutes: yolk is half set, half jammy
  • 10 minutes: mostly set with a bit of wetness in the center of the yolk
  • 12 minutes: completely solid yolk
  • 14 minutes: solid yolk, not yet overcooked to the point of a green yolk

How to Boil Eggs – Step by Step Instructions

As mentioned above, there are actually several ways to make hard boiled eggs. I like the hot water bath method because it doesn’t require a lot of attention and it’s pretty forgiving if you can’t tend to the eggs right when your timer goes off. Here’s how it works:

1. Add cold eggs to a pot and cover with water

Place cold, large eggs straight from the refrigerator into a saucepot in a single layer. Add enough water to cover the eggs by one inch.

2. Bring to a boil

Place a lid on the pot and bring the water up to a boil over high heat.

3. Turn off the heat

When the water reaches a full rolling boil, turn off the heat and leave the pot on the burner (lid still on). Let the eggs sit in the hot water for about 12 minutes. The water will slowly cool as they sit, which helps give you some flexibility before the eggs over cook (green-tinged yolk=over cooked egg).

4. Transfer eggs to ice bath

After 12 minutes, transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water for about 5 minutes.

5. Peel and enjoy!

Hard Boil Eggs Using Steam

I also like to steam my eggs, as seen in my tutorial for 6-minute soft boiled eggs. This method is super fast because you only use about an inch of water, which comes to a boil very quickly. To make hard boiled eggs using the steaming method, simply let them steam for about 10-12 minutes. I also find that steamed eggs tend to peel very easily. See the steaming tutorial here.

One hard boiled egg cut in half with everything bagel seasoning sprinkled over top

How Long Are Hard Boiled Eggs Good?

A hard boiled egg will stay good for about a week when refrigerated in their shell. A peeled hard boiled egg should be eaten within two days.

Tips for Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

The internet is full of tips for making hard boiled eggs easy to peel. But I will be honest, I’ve tried them all and I haven’t found consistent results with any method. Sometimes even eggs within the same batch of hard boiled eggs will vary from impossible to peel to peeling effortlessly. That being said, I’m going to list all of the tips and tricks I’ve heard, if case you want to try them to see if any of them bring you success.

  • Old eggs peel easier than fresh eggs
  • Add cold eggs to boiling water instead of bringing them to a boil together (this tracks with my steamed eggs being easy to peel more often than not)
  • Tap the egg on a solid surface, then gently roll to crack the shell on all sides before peeling
  • Peel eggs under running water (the flow helps separate the white from the peel)
  • After removing part of the shell, slide a spoon between the shell and egg white to separate them
  • Place the eggs in a covered container and gently shake to crack the shells until they fall off
  • Add baking soda to the water (about ½ tsp per pot)

Have you had success with any of these methods? Share which one works best for you in the comments below.

Hard boiled eggs lined up on a yellow background

Recipes Using Hard Boiled Eggs

I add hard boiled eggs to just about everything. If you need a little inspiration for how to use your hard boiled eggs, here are a few hard boiled egg recipe ideas:

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How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

4.56 from 9 votes
A step by step guide on how to make hard boiled eggs, recipe ideas, tips for easy peeling, and more.
Hard boiled eggs lined up on a yellow background
Servings 4
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 20 minutes


  • 4 large eggs


  • Add cold eggs to a saucepot. Add enough water to the pot to cover the eggs by one inch.
  • Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat on to high. Allow the water to come up to a boil.
  • Once the water reaches a full rolling boil, turn the heat off and leave the pot on the burner (with the lid on) for about 12 minutes.*
  • After 12 minutes, transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water. Chill the eggs in the ice water for about five minutes. Peel and enjoy.

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*Cooking time may vary slightly based on your altitude, cookware, stovetop, size, and temperature of the eggs.


Serving: 1eggCalories: 72kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 6gFat: 5gSodium: 71mg
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Looking for other ways to cook your eggs? Check out these other recipes:

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  1. I’ve always been hit and miss boiling eggs (rolling boil for several minutes – usually resulting in overcooked eggs). I’ve used the hot water bath method the last couple of times and the eggs came out perfect, once at around 12 minutes and once at 14 minutes (for a completely solid yolk). It really does seem to be forgiving within the last couple of minutes.

    Thank you for posting “basic” how-to articles like this. My mom and grandmothers were all good cooks, but I didn’t exactly take time to learn from them when I was younger.

  2. Hey Beth,

    Your recipes are amazing and I have become a great cook now! I can feed my family and it’s a hit every time :) I actually enjoy cooking now! Thank you!!!!!!!!

  3. Thank you!! I feel ridiculous but my husband and I could never do these right. Neither of us were taught how to cook by parents, much less boil eggs. We tried before to make hard boiled eggs using a different method and horribly failed and wasted a dozen eggs. This worked like a charm!!!!! My husband thanks you for his deviled eggs.

  4. If water is boiled first and then eggs added, 12 minutes produces very runny eggs not hardboiled at all

    1. Hi Lu, the instructions say to put the eggs in the water before it’s boiled so they heat up along with the water. This means that the total cook time is longer than 12 minutes. 12 minutes is just how long the eggs sit in the water after it reaches a boil.

    1. No, William, you read that incorrectly. The instructions say to turn off the heat as soon as it reaches a boil. The water stops boiling and the eggs just sit in the hot water bath for 12 minutes. ;)

  5. I was surprised to see Ramen as an idea to add eggs to. I’ve done this since childhood only raw. I’d cook Ramen till boiling, drain most of the water amd crack an egg or 2 and mix while the egg cooks in the boiling Ramen. Comes out so good amd turns Ramen into a protein rich meal instead of just bad carbs. If you only have 5 bucks to eat than Ramen and eggs will keep you going strong. Great recipes, thanks for the helpful tips.

  6. Brought eggs to a boil. Removed from heat. Covered pan for 6 minutes. Placed in ice bath 5 minutes. Perfection! No green. Delicious. Used duck eggs.

    1. I add the eggs after the water boils, as you suggested in the easy peel tips. Use the same cook times you suggest. Then immediately put them in an ice water bath to cool, and I’ve NEVER had a hard to peel egg. I can almost remove the shell in 2 peices!

  7. To peel the egg easily, peel off a tiny amount at the skinny top end, perhaps no more than a 1/4″ diameter. Softly tap the fatter end to crack the shell bottom. Put your mouth up to the skinny end and blow hard and be ready to catch the egg through the fatter end as the egg will easily come out of the shell.