How To: The Perfect Hard-boiled Egg

Yes, there is in fact a wrong way to hard-boil eggs. And the wrong way results in rubbery whites and yolks with that signature grey/brown coloring on the outside. Follow these simple steps to a perfectly cooked egg every time!

1. Place eggs in saucepan in a single layer.

2. Fill pan with cold water, covering eggs by 1 inch.

3. Place over medium-high heat. Cover; bring to a boil. When you see the water just starting to get tiny bubbles from the heat, add a spoonful of salt and place lid back on.

4. As soon as the eggs come to a rolling boil, turn off heat; let stand, covered (don’t even think about peeking in there or you’ll lose all of the heat), 12 minutes.

5. Transfer eggs to bowl of ice water.

Let stand for about 5 minutes, then remove.  If you’re having trouble getting the shells off nicely, know that the freshness of your eggs impacts that.  The fresher the egg, the harder it is for the shell to come off. 

Slice or dice and use however you please!





  1. I do my eggs the same way! I love it. The yolks come out perfect. A few things I’ve figured out as well – don’t boil eggs the day you buy them. If they’re too fresh (I know that sounds weird, they’re really hard to peel, and the eggs come out looking horrible. Let them sit a few days in the fridge and they’ll peel without looking like they have really bad acne scars) Also if you add some salt to the water it will help you peel those eggs if they are just a little too fresh. I’ve loved the recipes so far! Keep it up! I’m doing the bleu cheese potatoes next week!

  2. yea!! i have always wondered how to make perfect hard boiled eggs. i was actually just thinking about this, then i started reading this week’s posts, and lo and behold you answered my question! do more people know about this technique that aren’t letting onto it? thanks for the help.

  3. This is the best way to hard-boil eggs. The greyish-green color of the yolk is actually the proteins in the yolk burning. Not bad for you, but not nice to look at!

  4. Ahaha!!! I have always wondered how to get perfect hard boiled eggs! I hate it when the yoke has that yucky gray/green look to it. Blech. And I love hard boiled eggs so I'm def going to try this. I'm also super excited to try this and make your egg salad sandwich out of it. Mmm … I'm getting hungry!

  5. I like to pour in just a tiny bit (1/8 teaspoon-ish) of olive oil and it helps the shell come off a little easier too.

  6. NaDell, thank u for the tip on olive oil, i have fresh eggs daily and they are IMPOSSIBLE to peel, i am trying the whole recipe +your tip in the AM. 🙂

  7. I’m excited to try this! But one question – in step #4, after you turn off the heat, do you leave the pot on the hot burner? Or do you take it off?

    1. Technically you should take it off, but honestly I leave mine right there because I’m strangely paranoid about my eggs not being cooked in the middle!

  8. Just used your recipe and it worked perfectly. The yolks got a little green on the first batch, but the second batch was perfect. Thanks!!!!

  9. THANK YOU! I am not a hard-boiled egg fan, but it’s necessary when you need to color eggs with a 3-year old, hee hee! Looking forward to trying this technique tonight.

  10. If you have an electric stove, should I leave the eggs on the stove for 12 minutes, or take them off and place them on trivet for the 12 minutes. The site says, “…turn off heat, let them stand…”


  11. Tried this today and they were perfect! I have glass-top stove that is slow to cool down, but I did everything just like the instructions say and they are the best eggs I have ever cooked! Thank you!!!

  12. I learned a great tip from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, on how to peel your eggs perfectly. She suggested rolling them on top of the counter or table a couple of times, and it loosens the shell from the egg and then you can peel it right off. I tried it and it really works!

  13. Thank you for posting this! It is one of those things that is hard to admit that I did not know how to do! I love your blog! keep it up!

  14. Note for those struggling with Fresh Eggs. Add these steps to the above process:

    Allow the eggs to sit in the ice water for 10 minutes instead of 5. Then place egg back into boiling water for 2-3 minutes more. Remove and place into the ice water for 5-10 minutes until they are cool. Remove to towel to dry. Enjoy!

    I haven’t had much problem with them peeling with these technique. I also peel them under cold running water which seems to further aid the process.

  15. I had tried “turn the heat off” methods before that did not work but I decided to give this a go since it was OBB certified. The eggs were fantastic! The yolks were cooked but not overly dry as sometimes happens to me; and they were no where near grey. Thanks for the wonderful tips and recipes!

    Note: I have an electric stove and I didn’t remove the pan from the stove when I let the eggs stand after turning off the heat and it worked beautifully.

  16. To peel lots of boiled eggs. Empty hot water out and then shake the pan to make eggs crack. Place in cold water then roll egg between your hands and the shell will come off easily unless very fresh.

  17. The other amazing trick you must try (if you can pla ahead). Set the egg carton on its side 24 hours before cooking for perfect centered yolks.

  18. Peeling the eggs under cool running tap water also helps loosen the shell. Btw, I always use the method described in your blog post, Sara…perfect hard-cooked eggs every time! ( notice I said hard-COOKED, not hard-BOILED.)

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