How-To Hard Boil Eggs

Whether you are making them for breakfast, just a snack or delicious deviled eggs, hard boiling the perfect egg is not difficult, but we all know the frustrating problems that can arise. Sometimes they are near impossible to peel and other times there is a gross greenish layer on the outside of the yolk that is completely harmless, but makes deviled eggs not so pretty. Have no fear, there are some tricks of the trade that solve these annoying problems that shouldn’t be ignored in order to achieve not only a delicious, but a perfectly simple hard boiled egg.


  • Eggs (preferably not super fresh for peeling purposes)
  • Pot of water (enough to cover single layer of eggs by 1 inch)


  1. Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling. Remove from burner. Cover pan.
  2. Let eggs stand in hot water about 12 minutes for large eggs (9 minutes for medium eggs; 15 minutes for extra large).
  3. Drain immediately and serve warm, or cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water, then refrigerate.

Recipe Tips

  1. Banish the Greenish Ring – This harmless but unsightly discoloration that sometimes forms around hard-boiled yolks results from a reaction between sulfur in the egg white and iron in the yolk. It occurs when eggs have been cooked for too long or at too high a temperature. Our method – cooking eggs in hot, not boiling, water, then cooling immediately – minimizes this.
  2. Don’t Use Fresh Eggs – Very fresh eggs can be difficult to peel. To ensure easily peeled eggs, buy and refrigerate them a week to 10 days in advance of cooking. This brief “breather” allows the eggs time to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shell.
  3. Peel Cooled Eggs – Hard-boiled eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling. Cooling causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell.
  4. To Peel a Hard Boiled Egg – Gently tap egg on countertop until shell is finely crackled all over. Roll egg between hands to loosen shell. Starting peeling at large end, holding egg under cold running water to help ease the shell off.
  5. Storage Time: 
    • In the shell: Hard boiled eggs can be refrigerated safely up to one week. Refrigerate in their original carton to prevent odor absorption.
    • Once peeled: Eggs should be eaten that day.
  6. High Altitude Cooking – It’s almost impossible to hard-cook eggs above 10,000 feet.


  1. I keep my eggs in the fridge…should I keep them at room temperature instead? Is this why I can never seem to get the timing right?

    • No I would not recommend keeping your eggs at room temperature. They should definitely be refrigerated both before you cook them and after if you do not eat them right way. Eggs are very perishable!

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