How to Boil Eggs

Last Update: September 28, 2022

At Thrive HQ, we recently had a passionate conversation about hard-boiled eggs during a weekly meeting. From cooking times to cooking techniques, there are loads of preferences among our food-focused staff, so we’re excited to dive in and learn more about the seemingly simple egg.

The Best Way to Cook Hard Boil Eggs

As you might imagine, there’s more than one way to cook a hard-boiled egg. The best way will ultimately come down to personal preference, so it’s important to explore all the options and figure out what works for you and your taste buds.

The most common wisdom involves boiling eggs for anywhere between 6 and 10 minutes (depending on the yolk consistency you’re looking for). But even within this instruction, there are different methods to try—take a look.

How to boil

Every minute counts! Here are some guidelines that’ll help you cook perfect hard-boiled eggs. And here’s a tip: older eggs are less likely to crack! Use your fresh eggs for cooking up breakfast or baked goods, and save older eggs for boiling.

  • For a runnier yolk: If you’re serving eggs with ramen or a dish where you’d like a poached-quality (without the fuss), aim for five or six minutes. The exact time will depend on the size of your eggs. If they’re smaller, veer more toward the five-minute mark, and larger eggs can take six minutes. You’ll get a feel for it after a few tries.
  • For a medium yolk: Eggs that boil for between seven and eight minutes (again, depending on your egg size) will result in a more soft-boiled egg that’s not too runny but not too firm. These are perfect for eating on their own with a little salt and pepper, or adding to salads or breakfast and brunch platters.
  • For a firmer yolk: Deviled egg lovers (or anyone who wants to make sure there’s no disputing whether or not the yolk is cooked), aim for nine or ten minutes.

For boiling, there are two methods to choose from, and not to sound like a broken record, but it all comes down to your personal preference. Try them both, get to know your eggs, and you’ll have a go-to game plan in no time.

  • Boil water, then add eggs: For this technique, fill a large stock pot three-fourths of the way with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly, then lower eggs into the pot with a slotted spoon. Allow the eggs to gently boil until desired cook time is reached.
  • Add eggs, then boil water: In this method, add eggs to a stock pot and cover by at least an inch of water. When the water’s boiling, remove pan from heat and allow eggs to sit, covered, until desired doneness is reached.

How to bake eggs in the oven

Yes, you can bake hard-boiled eggs in the oven! Just preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and arrange eggs in a muffin tin to keep them from rolling around. Bake 30 minutes, then carefully remove eggs and add them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. That’s it! Since every oven is different, do a test run with two eggs before baking the whole carton.

How to microwave eggs

If the microwave is your muse, hard-boiled eggs can be made there, too. Start by microwaving a bowl of water (deep enough to submerge an egg) for two to three minutes, or until hot. To keep your eggs from exploding (have some cleaner handy just in case), lightly prick the bottom of an egg with a safety pin. Add egg into the bowl, cover with a place, and microwave at 50 percent power for four minutes. For runnier yolks, that’s all you need. For a firmer texture, leave the egg in the water for two additional minutes. When Good Housekeeping tried this experiment, the microwave was on 100 percent power and the egg exploded, so learn from this mistake and check your settings!

How to cook eggs with ACV

Sure, you could just boil your eggs sans apple cider vinegar, but this fermented liquid actually helps make the peeling process easier. Follow the same guidelines as above, just add ¼ cup ACV into the pot before boiling.

Tips for Peeling Hard-Boiled Eggs

We’ll save you from going down the Google rabbit hole: there are lots of hacks for peeling hard-boiled eggs, but we think simple is best. Be sure your eggs are chilled (they’re much harder to peel right out of the boiling liquid), then lightly crack the shell on a cutting board or counter. A gentle rolling method should help loosen skin so it comes off in larger pieces, rather than small shards.

5 Recipes For Hard-Boiled Eggs

With a batch of ready-to-eat eggs, it’s time to add ‘em to recipes. From salads to ramen, here are some tasty ideas.

Grilled Romaine Salad With Avocado-Lime Dressing

If you haven’t tried grilling salad greens, you’re missing out on big flavor! Drizzle romaine hearts with an avocado-lime dressing, and scatter halved hard-boiled eggs along the perimeter of the bowl for a show-stopping meal.

Gluten-Free Ramen

Custardy eggs take center stage atop a savory broth made with fish sauce, ginger, and garlic. Use wonder noodles for a gluten-free bowl everyone will love.

Boiled Eggs With Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus Soldiers

In this classic British breakfast, runny eggs are served alongside buttered toast, but we freshened up our dippers with asparagus spears wrapped in bacon for a gluten-free and Paleo spin on the first meal of the day.

Cobb Chicken Salad

Save money on your meals and pack a lunch made with canned chicken. This cobb salad mixes a chopped, hard-boiled egg with salty bacon, sweet tomatoes, parsley, and a dab of mayo. Perfect for topping crackers!

Tahini Avocado Egg Salad

Say so long to mayo and hello to nutty tahini! Its sesame flavor pairs beautifully with eggs, and a rainbow mix of avocados, roma tomatoes, and radishes add freshness and texture to this quick, energizing lunch.

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Nicole Gulotta

Nicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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