How long to boil eggs? It seems simple enough but most people overcook their eggs. Here’s how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs or soft-boiled eggs.

Everyone needs a go-to method for perfectly cooked eggs every time for making Deviled Eggs and Egg Salad. This method is really easy – all you need is a saucepan and water.

boiled eggs on a platter with hard boiled eggs, medium boiled eggs and soft boiled eggs

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Hard-Boiled Eggs Video

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Perfect Boiled Eggs

Are you tired of overcooked green or grey egg yolks, rubbery whites, or discovering an oozing yolk when you need a firm one for your Chicken Cobb Salad? Do you tend to overcook your eggs just to be sure they are done? This tutorial is for you!

Learn how to make hard-boiled eggs with our tried and true (easy-peel) method. Boiled eggs are such a versatile ingredient and every cook should have this skill down. You will be a pro in no time, enjoying all of your favorite Boiled Egg Recipes, and let’s not forget Easter Eggs.

Perfectly cooked soft boiled egg and perfectly cooked hard boiled egg

What are the Best Eggs for Boiling?

Eggs come in different sizes (small to jumbo) and varieties (natural, free-range, organic, omega-3, etc). The primary things to consider for boiled eggs are:

  • Egg Freshness – Older store-bought eggs are easier to peel. Farm fresh eggs (from backyard chickens) should be cooked under high pressure in the instant pot or they can be very difficult to peel.
  • Size Matters – We use Large Grade AA eggs. Large eggs (2 ounces each) are the standard size in most recipes so we stick with those. Medium eggs will cook faster and Extra Large or Jumbo eggs will take a little longer.
large grade AA eggs in egg carton

Tips for Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs:

  • Use the same pan every time for consistent results. We use a large 3-quart stainless steel saucepan. Different types of pans such as cast iron can take longer to come to a boil which may need less cooking time once eggs are at a boil.
  • Don’t cover with the lid or you won’t be able to see when the water starts boiling.
  • Set a timer as soon as the water is at a boil (keep watch for the start of the boil so you aren’t guessing at your timings).
  • Have a bowl of ice water ready so you can lower your eggs into there as soon as the timer is done. This stops the cooking process and makes them easier to peel.

How to Boil Eggs

  1. Place cold eggs in a large stainless steel pot and cover with cold water, filling 1″ over the surface of the eggs. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat uncovered.
  2. Once at a boil, reduce heat to keep a medium boil then set a timer for your desired doneness (see chart below).
  3. Prepare your ice water bath and as soon as the timer is done, transfer eggs into ice water.
Step by step photos of how to boil eggs

How Long to Boil Eggs?

As soon as the water comes to a boil, set your timer and follow this time chart for soft boiled to hard-boiled eggs. Tip: You can pull them out at different times and set up different bowls with ice water to make a variety of eggs all in one pot.

  • Boil for 2 minutes: soft boiled with a liquid center
  • 3 minutes: soft-boiled with a creamy center
  • 4-5 minutes: medium-boiled with a moist, soft center
  • 6-7 minutes: hard-boiled eggs with a soft center
  • 8-9 minutes – fully hard-boiled eggs with firm, dry center

A perfect hard-boiled egg should have fully set (but not rubbery) whites, have a bright yellow center, and should never have a green tinge around the yolk which signifies overcooking. Soft-boiled eggs have fully set whites and a creamy liquid center.

Boiled Eggs Timing Chart from soft boiled eggs to hard boiled eggs lined up in a row

Common Questions

Is salt needed for boiled eggs?

Adding salt increases the boiling point of water but only by about 1 degree which is insignificant. Unless you are adding a ton of salt, it doesn’t make a difference. We do not add salt.

Do you need vinegar for eggs?

It is thought that adding vinegar to the water helps with easier peeling of eggs, but vinegar only dissolves the outer layer of the shell. It is unnecessary and can be skipped.

Can I use farm-fresh eggs?

If you have fresh eggs, the best method is instant pot boiled eggs which are easier to peel.

What is the best way to peel eggs?

Start peeling at the thick end of the egg where the air bubble is located to get under the membrane for easy shell removal. Also, peeling eggs under running cold water forces water under the membrane for easier shell removal.

Peeling a boiled egg

Egg-cellent Egg Recipes

Hard-cooked eggs are so versatile and good for you. Here are our favorite ways to use boiled eggs:

Perfect Boiled Eggs (Every Time)

5 from 22 votes
Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Boiled eggs peeled and halved on blue platter
This method for making hard-boiled eggs (or soft boiled eggs) will get you perfect results every time and it's really easy!
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 8 eggs
  • 8 large eggs, (can use 6-12 eggs), cold
  • 8 cups cold water, (for a 3 qt saucepan)

Instructions

  • Place cold eggs in a large 3-quart stainless steel saucepan and cover with cold water so water is 1" above the surface of the eggs. With the lid off, bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
  • Once at a boil, reduce heat to keep at a medium boil and set a timer for your desired doneness (see chart below). 
  • Prepare your ice water bath and as soon as the timer is done, transfer eggs into ice water so they are fully submerged. Refrigerate eggs once cool and peel when ready to use.

Notes

Hard Boiled Eggs Timing Chart: 
  • Boil 2 min: soft boiled with a liquid center
  • Boil 3 min: soft-boiled with a creamy center
  • Boil 4-5 min: medium-boiled with a moist, soft center
  • Boil 6-7 min: hard-boiled eggs with a soft center
  • Boil 8-9 min: hard-boiled eggs with firm dry center

Nutrition Per Serving

63kcal Calories1g Carbs6g Protein4g Fat1g Saturated Fat164mg Cholesterol75mg Sodium61mg Potassium1g Sugar238IU Vitamin A32mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Perfect Boiled Eggs (Every Time)
Amount per Serving
Calories
63
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
4
g
6
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Cholesterol
 
164
mg
55
%
Sodium
 
75
mg
3
%
Potassium
 
61
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
238
IU
5
%
Calcium
 
32
mg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: boiled eggs, how long to boil eggs
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $ cost of the eggs
Calories: 63
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

This tutorial was first published in 2013. We updated the photos and shared more tips for perfect hard-cooked eggs and soft-cooked eggs in April 2022.

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Comments

  • Christine B
    February 9, 2024

    Best instructions for boiled eggs I’ve found and used ever!
    Always boiled them to long and wound up with the green ring around the yolk of the eggs.
    Will definitely be saving this post for future use!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      February 10, 2024

      I’m glad it was helpful, Christine! Thank you.

      Reply

  • Kelly
    October 22, 2023

    Hi Natasha
    I learned that you need to boil the water first, and then add the eggs to the boiling water. I have done it this way three times so far. The eggs have peeled much easier this way every time.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 23, 2023

      Great to hear that, Kelly!

      Reply

  • Theresa Ybarra
    April 9, 2023

    This is my second time using this recipe for boiled eggs. The shell did not peel easy for me and I ended up wasting a lot of egg whites.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 10, 2023

      They peel perfectly for us every time we make this. Feel free to check the comments section at the bottom for more tips.

      Reply

    • Brenda Crowder
      March 30, 2024

      Kelly I do the same thing with my boiled eggs! Putting them in boiling water seizes the membrane to the shell and the ice after boiling keeps in attached to the shell instead of the egg.

      Reply

      • Kelly
        May 20, 2024

        Hi Brenda. Great to hear that someone else does this! That makes sense. Thanks!

        Reply

  • Varash
    March 16, 2023

    Thank you for this recipe. It never came to my mind to search for boiling egg instructions and to be honest this recipe came up when I looked for Easter recipes! I always guessed about timing of boiling egg and it always ended up overcooking! The pictures with timing are very helpful! I never thought 2 min would be enough for soft egg! I just made and true! Now , I can enjoy my egg at home!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 16, 2023

      Hi Varash! you’re very welcome! I’m glad it’s helpful. 🙂

      Reply

  • Debbie
    February 21, 2023

    Question for you Natasha – what is your recommendation for boiling at 4,400 ft? Standard recommendations for any additional time for cooking at this altitude, or do you have anything specific. It always seems to take longer…and I find 12 min for large the best to get the ‘dry’ center.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 22, 2023

      Hi Debbie, I don’t have anything specific and I have to personally try it to give some suggestions. I hope that will work just fine and that you’ll enjoy it!

      Reply

  • Rasma
    September 7, 2022

    I have always added salt to the water when boiling eggs. The reason is that if an egg should crack while cooking it reduces the amount of egg white that leaks out. My son in law was steaming the eggs and he found that all of the eggs peeled very easily every time. Love your recipes

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 7, 2022

      Thank you! So glad you love my recipes. 🙂

      Reply

  • Michael
    September 3, 2022

    From my son: This is for large eggs. Get a pot of water boiling and add a steamer basket of screen mesh. Put in the desired amount of eggs while the water is boiling, put the lid on, and keep boiling for 13 minutes plus 15 seconds. Use an ice bath to prevent overcooking. The eggs are perfectly cooked and the shell is very easy to peel.

    Reply

  • Todd O'Dell
    September 2, 2022

    My perfect eggs are the same boiling procedure but I turn off heat and cover for 15 minutes. Then cool and peel no green yolk anywhere

    Reply

  • Mia
    June 12, 2022

    Don’t boil your eggs for only 6 minutes it doesn’t work waste of eggs don’t try!

    Reply

  • Joanne
    May 30, 2022

    Perfect!
    I crack the eggshells with a spoon before placing in the ice water. Seems easier to peel.

    Reply

  • Kimberly Alti
    May 13, 2022

    Since I started boiling eggs like this, my husband said they’ve been perfect every time! Easy to peel and they are beautiful and delicious!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      May 13, 2022

      Wonderful! I’m glad to hear that.

      Reply

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