How to Boil Eggs Perfectly (Every Time)

Learn how to boil eggs (both soft boiled and hard boiled) so they turn out perfectly every time. My approach is super easy and allows you to cook a variety of eggs for the entire family – all in one pot together!

Hard boiled and soft boiled eggs on a counter

The Cold Water Approach is Flawed

When it comes to boiling eggs there’s no shortage of tutorials online. And guess what? They’re all pretty similar (i.e. add eggs to a pot of cold water, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat and cook the eggs until they’re hard boiled).

But I find that there’s one big flaw with this method – the type of pot you use.

Aluminum, stainless steel and cast iron are well known for their different rates of bringing water to a boil and retaining heat. That means if your eggs are sitting in a pot of cold water in a cast iron pot and it takes two minutes longer to reach a boil than an aluminum pot (not to mention the water will cool at a much slower rate once removed from the heat), you’ve now inadvertently cooked your eggs a few minutes longer.

That may not be the end of the world for hard-boiled eggs, but it does increase the likelihood of a green tinge around your yolk and a more rubbery white. No thank you! 

On the other hand, soft-boiled eggs require a more precise cook time. That’s why most tutorials have you cooking them in hot water.

So that begs the question – why cook them two different ways?

Boiled eggs on a counter

How to Boil Eggs in Hot Water

Given the reasoning above, I see no reason to cook hard-boiled eggs differently from soft-boiled eggs. Plus, the hot water method, which I’ve used my entire life (thanks mom), is pretty darn foolproof.

Just bring a pot of water to a boil with enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch. By boiling the water first, it also doesn’t matter which type of pot you use as the eggs only hit the water once it’s boiling: 212°F (100°C).

Boiling a pot of water on the stove

Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and use a skimmer to gently place the eggs in the water. By reducing the heat to low, you’ll prevent the eggs from bouncing around and cracking. Then, immediately turn the heat back up to a boil.

Placing eggs into a pot to boil

As soon as the eggs are in the water set a timer. And cook the eggs according to how soft or hard you’d like them.

Setting a timer to boil eggs

How long to boil eggs:

  • 6 minutes: A liquidy yolk and soft white. This is perfect for eggs served in an egg cup.
  • 6 1/2 minutes: A soft, jammy yolk. This is my favorite 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

Place the eggs in an ice-water bath. Once the eggs have reached your desired time, immediately place them in an ice water bath to stop them from cooking and maintain your perfect texture.

Boiled eggs in an ice water bath

Peel the eggs. Tap them gently on the bottom thicker end first, as it’s easier to get under the membrane when you start peeling from the bottom. Then continue to peel the shell off.

Peeling boiled eggs

How do you make eggs easier to peel? The million-dollar question! There are many theories on how to make hard-boiled eggs easier to peel such as using eggs that are at least 10 days old, adding baking soda or vinegar to the water, and placing the eggs in an ice water bath. After trying all those methods, the only thing that works time and again for me is placing the eggs in an ice-water bath!

Tips To Prevent Cracking

Your eggs shouldn’t crack when placing them in the hot water. If they do, here’s a few extra tips to ensure that won’t happen.

  • Allow the eggs to warm up. As you’re waiting for water to boil, don’t forget to take the eggs out of the fridge to let them sit on the counter. This will allow them to come to room temperature.
  • Reduce the heat to low. This is important. Reduce the heat to low while slowly placing the eggs in the hot water. The water should not be boiling or bubbling. Otherwise, the eggs will bounce around and likely crack.
  • Don’t crowd the pot. You want to make sure your eggs have enough room in the pot, so that they’re not stacking or touching. Plus, a crowded pot can start to alter the cook time.
  • Buy a different brand. Sometimes different brands have different thickness of shells. If you’ve done all of the above, switching brands might be the clincher.
Boiled eggs with salt and pepper on top

How Long Can You Store Boiled Eggs

Whether you’re making hard-boiled eggs or soft-boiled eggs, this is how long you can store them in the fridge:

  • Hard Boiled Eggs: up to 1 week
  • Soft Boiled Eggs: up to 3 days

In the shell or peeled? You can store boiled eggs either in their shell or peeled. But if you want maximum freshness and the longest storage time possible in the fridge, store them in their shell.

Helpful Tip: It should also be noted that eggs should never be stored in the refrigerator door, due to frequent temperature changes. Always store your eggs in the main part of the fridge.

How to Boil Eggs Video

Now that you know the basics, watch how I boil eggs in my own kitchen. Click play below!

Favorite Recipes With Boiled Eggs

There’s so much you can make once you’ve mastered boiling eggs. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite cook time is for boiled eggs! I’m quite partial to a 6 1/2-minute jammy egg.

Hard boiled and soft boiled eggs on a counter

How to Boil Eggs Perfectly

4.96 from 143 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 eggs
Author: Lisa Bryan
Learn how to boil eggs (both soft-boiled and hard-boiled) so they turn out perfectly every time. Watch the video above for a quick tutorial!

Recipe Video


  • 1 to 6 large eggs


  • Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Ensure there's enough water in the pot to cover the eggs by about an inch. While you're waiting for the water to boil, remove the eggs from the fridge (set them on the counter).
    Boiling a pot of water
  • Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low (so that there's no bubbles) and use skimmer to gently and slowly add the eggs to the water. Then, turn the heat back up to a boil.
    Placing eggs in boiling water
  • Set a timer and cook the eggs for 6 to 7 minutes for soft-boiled eggs and 12 to 14 minutes for hard-boiled eggs. See the cooking time notes above. While the eggs are cooking, prepare an ice-water bath.
    Setting kitchen timer to boil eggs
  • Once the eggs have cooked to your preferred time, use the skimmer to remove the eggs and immediately submerge them in the ice-water bath to stop their cooking.
    Boiled eggs in an ice water bath
  • Peel the eggs, starting with the bottom end first as it's easier to get under the membrane.
    Boiled egg peeled on a counter

Lisa’s Tips

  • I love this skimmer as it can easily add and remove multiple eggs at the same time.
  • If you’re looking for new egg cups to serve soft boiled eggs, these terra cotta egg cups are cute!
  • I recommend not cooking more than 6 eggs at a time, as a crowded pot can start to alter the cook time.


Calories: 77.5kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.6g, Protein: 6.3g, Fat: 5.3g, Saturated Fat: 1.6g, Cholesterol: 186.5mg, Sodium: 62mg, Sugar: 0.6g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Boiled Eggs, How Long to Boil Eggs, How to Boil Eggs
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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Recipe originally posted March 2018, but updated to include new information and photos.

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412 comments on “How to Boil Eggs Perfectly (Every Time)”

  1. Best Recipe I have ever tried.5 stars

  2. Have tried this several times. Placing the eggs on the counter while waiting for water to boil is not long enough for uncooked eggs to reach room temp. That takes hours. As a result, the still very cold eggs crack when hitting the very hot water…. Even when gently lowered with a soft spoon. Much like pouring a cold drink into a glass still hot from the dishwasher……Thermal shock cracks the raw egg’s shell. So, interesting recipe, but it isn’t working.

    • Hi Fleur – sorry to hear that! I’ve found that sometimes the brand can really make a difference as well. Perhaps try again with a different brand. :)

  3. *Perfect* results!!
    Why did i even bother trying fancy other methods? None of them worked right,and they never made sense anyway!5 stars

  4. This is the method I learned from the Amish community and it works perfect every time. The eggs peel wonderfully5 stars

  5. This is the best deviled egg recipe!!  Thank you for sharing!!  My son found this recipe and made them first and shared it – now the whole family enjoys these deviled eggs!5 stars

  6. Thank you for the tutorial.  5 stars

  7. This the ONLY egg guide I have EVER seen ANYWHERE that has been EXACT!!! YOU RAWK!!!! THANK YOU! I wish I could rank 100 stars. I NEVER do reviews.5 stars

  8. I’ve tried so many recipes for hard boiled eggs but THIS IS THE ONE I’ve been searching for. I have used this recipe at least 5 times and each time the eggs are fully cooked, and easy to peel. Thank you for taking the time to figure this out and post!5 stars

  9. The BEST tutorial on cooking eggs. my egg salad went from dried green egg ball salad  to creamy perfect orange egg eggsalad. This time chart is on point. Thank you for posting 5 stars

  10. I refer to this post often.  Thank you.  ;)5 stars

  11. I keep coming back to this method of boiling eggs bc my eggs reliably turn out so good with all your tips. There is so much helpful information in this post. I love that there are pictures included for each amt of cooking time. My favorite is the 9 minute egg.5 stars

  12. Great way to boil eggs, best I’ve seen. I like around 7 minutes for jammy soft eggs and 12 – 13 for hard boiled. So easy. Thanks5 stars

  13. Perfect hard-boiled eggs!5 stars

  14. Did everything you said…all of my eggs came out soft boiled…ughhh.  What a waste of eggs.  I wanted Hard boiled.  This has never happened to me before.  Going to try again.  Can the eggs be too old?  I just Bought them but thinking maybe the store had them for awhile? 

  15. I have been using this method for the past year and the eggs are perfect every time! I am so grateful for the guidance to master this basic but so important skill!5 stars

  16. Absolutely perfect! Wish I could post a picture, they’re so pretty! I did just as you advised, with a 14 minute boil and then an ice bath for 3 minutes. I’m ready to devil them! 
    Thank you! 5 stars

  17. Just followed this and omg I wish I could send you a pic They are perfect Totally gorgeous yolk and I can’t wait to taste tgem!5 stars

  18. Finally – I can make hard boiled eggs with farm fresh eggs and they are easy to peel. Love this technique.5 stars

  19. Favorite cook time is 8.5 mins, and sometimes 6, depending on what it’s for. It’s extremely common in Sweden to put hard boiled eggs on a piece of bread with caviar on top, which makes me do 8.5 mins most often. It’s hard to slice them in the egg slicer if they’re too soft. If I have bread that will catch and soak up the yolk I can do 6 or 6.5 mins and just cut it in a few pieces with a knife while it’s on the bread 😊 
    I’d say 10.5 mins is almost over cooked, 12 definitely over cooked and 14!! 🫢 no wonder Americans don’t like egg yolks cus they’re so often over cooked 😅5 stars

  20. After you cook them and put into the cold water – crack the shell and also rupture the membrane between shell and egg.

    As the eggs cool they will draw in water between themselves and membrane = easy peel eggs.5 stars

  21. I’m 66 and have used different methods over the years. This worked beautifully!! Thanks!