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How to Boil Eggs the Right Way (Including Tips for Easy Peeling)

Find the best tips to make boiled eggs the way you like them: from soft-boiled to hard-boiled and everything in between. You will get answers about everything on how to boil eggs and peel them quickly in this article.
How to Boil Eggs the Right Way (Including Tips for Easy Peeling)
How to Boil Eggs the Right Way (Including Tips for Easy Peeling)
Anna at SideChef
Content Specialist. Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.
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Anna at SideChef
Content Specialist. Bitten by curiosity bug. Obsessed with words. Fuelled by coffee. Powered by Google. Love cheese, chocolate, and cherries. Don’t judge your taco by its price.

Boiled eggs are a fantastic ingredient to use in many delicious dishes that can be put together in minutes. We use them to make a classic egg sandwich for lunch, an egg bagelwich for breakfast; deviled eggs are a great appetizer that you can customize any way you’d like, and everyone loves a good egg salad. You can even make Scotch eggs, fried boiled eggs; you can pickle boiled eggs or make them Chinese-style - the options are truly endless. Not to mention boiled eggs are just good on their own as well.

So, let’s dive in and learn how to boil eggs the way you like them. How not to overcook the hard-boiled eggs. And what can you do to make the peeling process easier?

2 Methods to Boil Eggs

There are two popular methods to make boiled eggs - the cold water method and the hot water method.

Cold Water Method

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

Step 1: Place the eggs into a pot.
Step 2: Fill the pot with cold water to completely cover the eggs.
Step 3: Bring to a boil.
Step 4: Cover the pot, lower the heat, and let the eggs cook the time depending on your desired outcome.
Step 5: Transfer the boiled eggs into a bowl of ice water straight after and let them cool off.

Hot Water Method

Step 1: Bring water to a boil.
Step 2: Add eggs into the boiling water using a ladle or a spoon.
Step 3: Cover the pot, lower the heat, and let the eggs cook the time depending on your desired outcome.
Step 4: Transfer the boiled eggs into a bowl of ice water straight after and let them cool off.

Make sure to use room-temperature eggs; otherwise, they might crack.

As easy as both methods are, we find the hot water method gets slightly better results than the cold water one. Especially when you’re trying to boil the eggs to specific doneness, this brings us to our next point.

How Long to Boil an Egg

Cooking time for eggs varies depending on doneness. Some egg enthusiasts are very particular about how they want their eggs, referring to their doneness as a “3-minute egg” or “4-minute egg”, etc.

Generally, there are several levels of doneness of boiled eggs, and here’s how long each of them needs to be cooked for:

3-minute egg: is boiled for 3 minutes. This type of soft-boiled egg will still have a little bit of egg white slightly unset.

Soft boiled egg: is boiled for 4 minutes. The egg white around the yolk should be completely set.

Medium boiled egg: is boiled for 7 to 8 minutes. The yolk should stay slightly unset.

Hard-boiled egg: is boiled for 10 to 11 minutes. Both the egg white and the yolk are
completely set.

These are general times needed for different types of boiled eggs. Make sure to adjust slightly depending on the size of the eggs you are using.

Can You Boil an Egg for Too Long?

Yes, you can overboil an egg. You should never boil eggs for more than 13 minutes.

If you boil eggs for too long, the yolk will form a green-tinted circle around it, and the eggs will have a solid sulfurous smell. This happens due to a chemical reaction that produces iron sulfide, which can make you sick if consumed in large amounts. So don’t overcook your eggs.

How to Get Boiled Eggs to Peel Easily

One essential thing to get your eggs to peel easily is to transfer them into a bowl of ice-cold water immediately after taking them off the heat. This makes the egg white shrink and detach from the shell, making peeling easier.

There are several other tricks you can use for easy-to-peel boiled eggs:

Peel underwater: after the eggs have chilled in the iced water, proceed to peel them
directly inside the bowl.

Add vinegar: adding a little bit of vinegar to the water will weaken the eggshells and
make the eggs significantly easier to peel.

Add baking soda: mixing a bit of baking soda into the water has a similar effect to
vinegar.

Crack and roll: after the eggs have chilled in the ice bath, gently tap an egg on the
kitchen counter and roll it back and forth across the surface, slightly
pressing it down. This will create many tiny cracks on the shell and make
the peeling process much easier.

Watch our ultimate video guide for cooking eggs to get more tips and tricks.

Learn everything you need to know about making perfect scrambled eggs.

Find out how to fry eggs perfectly every time.

Find other interesting ways to make eggs in this recipe collection - 12 Interesting Ways to Cook Eggs for Breakfast When You Are Bored.

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