How Long To Boil Eggs

how long to boil eggs
how long to boil eggs

Boiling eggs may seem like a simple task, but achieving the perfect result can be a bit tricky. Whether you prefer soft-boiled eggs with a jammy yolk or hard-boiled eggs with a firm texture, understanding the cooking time is essential. In this article, we will explore the best approach to boiling eggs, ensuring that they turn out perfectly every time.

Hard boiled and soft boiled eggs on a counter

The Cold Water Approach is Flawed

Many traditional tutorials suggest adding eggs to a pot of cold water, bringing it to a boil, and then cooking the eggs until they’re hard-boiled. However, this method overlooks one crucial factor—the type of pot used. Different pots, such as aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron, have varying rates of bringing water to a boil and retaining heat. Consequently, eggs cooked in different pots may end up with different cooking times, resulting in overcooked eggs.

To avoid this inconsistency, it’s best to use a hot water method for both soft-boiled and hard-boiled eggs. This approach guarantees a more precise cooking time and eliminates the risk of overcooking.

Boiled eggs on a counter

How to Boil Eggs in Hot Water

To boil eggs using the hot water method, follow these simple steps:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, ensuring there is enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch. It doesn’t matter which type of pot you use since the eggs only touch the water once it’s boiling.
    Boiling a pot of water on the stove
  2. Reduce the heat to low and use a skimmer to gently place the eggs in the water. This prevents the eggs from bouncing around and cracking. Immediately turn the heat back up to a boil.
    Placing eggs into a pot to boil
  3. Set a timer as soon as the eggs are in the water. The cooking time will depend on how soft or hard you want the eggs to be.
    Setting a timer to boil eggs

How long to boil eggs

  • 6 minutes: A liquidy yolk and soft white. Perfect for eggs served in an egg cup.
  • 6 1/2 minutes: A soft, jammy yolk. Ideal for eggs on toast or soft-boiled eggs on a salad.
  • 8 minutes: A medium yolk that’s slightly soft but firm enough to hold its own.
  • 10 minutes: The early stages of a hard-boiled egg, with just a smidge of softness in the middle.
  • 12 minutes: A hard-boiled egg with a lighter yolk.
  • 14 minutes: Your traditional hard-boiled egg with the lightest yolk and a firm white, but not overcooked.
    How long to boil eggs chart timer
  1. Once the eggs reach your desired time, immediately place them in an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process and maintain the perfect texture.
    Boiled eggs in an ice water bath
  2. Gently tap the eggs on the bottom thicker end, peel from the bottom, and continue to remove the shell.

Following these steps will ensure that your boiled eggs are cooked to perfection every time.

Tips To Prevent Cracking

Sometimes, boiled eggs can crack during the cooking process. To prevent this, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Allow the eggs to warm up to room temperature before cooking them.
  • Reduce the heat to low while gently placing the eggs in the hot water to prevent bouncing and cracking.
  • Avoid overcrowding the pot to ensure even cooking.
  • If cracking persists, consider trying different egg brands, as the shell thickness can vary.

Boiled eggs with salt and pepper on top

How Long Can You Store Boiled Eggs?

If you have leftover boiled eggs, you might be wondering how long they can be stored in the fridge. Here are some guidelines:

  • Hard Boiled Eggs: Up to 1 week.
  • Soft Boiled Eggs: Up to 3 days.

For maximum freshness and the longest storage time, it’s best to store boiled eggs in their shells.

Favorite Recipes With Boiled Eggs

Once you’ve mastered the art of boiling eggs, you can explore a variety of delicious recipes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Let us know in the comments below what your favorite cook time for boiled eggs is. We’re partial to a 6 1/2-minute jammy egg.

Recipe originally posted March 2018, but updated to include new information and photos.


1. How can I make perfectly peelable boiled eggs?

To make boiled eggs easier to peel, try the following tips:

  • Use slightly older eggs, as fresher eggs tend to stick to their shells.
  • Place the boiled eggs in an ice-water bath immediately after cooking to cool them rapidly and create a separation between the shell and the egg.
  • Gently tap the boiled eggs on a hard surface and start peeling from the bottom, as it’s easier to get under the membrane.

2. Can I reheat boiled eggs?

Yes, you can reheat boiled eggs. To reheat a soft-boiled egg, place it in boiling water for about 20-30 seconds. For a hard-boiled egg, immerse it in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. However, keep in mind that reheating boiled eggs may affect their texture slightly.

Remember, cooking is an art, and experimentation is encouraged. Enjoy the process of boiling eggs and discovering your preferred cooking time and texture. For more culinary inspiration and tips, visit Takeout Food, where we celebrate the joy of food and provide valuable insights to culinary enthusiasts.

Article by Takeout Food

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