How To Make Hard Boiled Eggs – 13 Ways Of Making The Perfect Boiled Eggs

By Barbara | October 10, 2019

Introduction

Hard boiling or hard cooking an egg in its shell requires the least amount of skill. Simply add eggs and water to a pot and let it cook.

Boiling an egg, however, is the harshest way to cook it. The boiling water causes the eggs to bump against each other or the side of the pan. The shells can crack and the whites will leak out, becoming overcooked.

You’ll be happy to know that in addition to boiling it on the stove, there are a variety of ways to achieve a hardboiled egg. As our kitchen counters become more cluttered with the latest in kitchen technology, it’s welcome news when one of them can be used for something not previously thought of.

What is a Perfect Hardboiled Egg?

Although our tastes can vary, there is a general agreement of what a perfect hardboiled egg is. A perfect hard-cooked egg is easy to peel. The yolk remains in the center of the egg while cooking and is yellow, with no gray or green ring around it. The whites aren’t rubbery or hard.

Timing the egg while its cooking will ensure that it is the perfect color and texture.

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13 Ways to Make Hardboiled Eggs

#1 The Stovetop Method

Making a hardboiled egg on the stove top isn’t rocket science, but there are some essential ingredients.

You need a saucepan, an egg, water, and a stove top.

I’ve been making hardboiled eggs using the stove top method for many years, but I was still curious about different ways people were using these basic ingredients.

I was surprised that people add salt or vinegar to the water when boiling eggs. I wasn’t surprised, however, to find that not everyone agreed on WHY they added salt or vinegar:

  • some think that adding salt makes eggs peel more easily,
  • others think it raises the temperature of the water and aids in cooking,
  • others think it helps the white to congeal in case the eggs crack while cooking, and
  • still others think it will keep the eggs from cracking.

I have never added salt or vinegar to water used for boiling eggs and I see no reason to start.

I read about one other addition: baking soda. The only noticeable difference was that the boiled eggs had a stronger sulphur smell. No, I won’t be adding that either.

Let’s use the basic ingredients for cooking hardboiled eggs in the stove top method: saucepan, egg, water, and a stovetop.

Eggs are usually refrigerated, which can affect cooking time. If you have time to plan before cooking, you can set the eggs out at room temperature for a while.

five eggs boiling in the pot on stovetop

Cooking room temperature eggs

  1. Carefully place the eggs in the bottom of a clean saucepan or pot from you best cookware set.
  2. Add enough water to cover the eggs, plus a little more.
  3. Place the saucepan on the stove and set the heat to medium.
  4. Once the water starts to boil, time the cooking for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour off the hot water.
  6. Add cold water to the pan and let the eggs sit for 7 or 8 minutes.
  7. Peel and enjoy.

Cooking cold eggs directly from the refrigerator

  1. Carefully place the eggs in the bottom of a clean saucepan or pot.
  2. Add enough water to cover the eggs, plus a little more.
  3. Place the saucepan on the stove and set the heat to medium.
  4. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, turn the heat off and cover the pan.
  5. Allow the eggs to steep, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. Carefully pour off the hot water.
  7. Add cold water to the pan and let the eggs sit for 7 or 8 minutes.
  8. Peel and enjoy.

Cooking eggs in already boiling water

  1. Add water to your saucepan or pot until it’s about 3/4 full.
  2. Place the pan on the stove bring the water to a boil.
  3. Carefully add the eggs, one at a time, used a slotted spoon.
  4. Once all of the eggs are added, cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour off the hot water.
  6. Add cold water to the pan and let the eggs sit for 7 or 8 minutes.
  7. Peel and enjoy

#2 Using the Oven

Cooking hard boiled eggs in toaster oven is very easy, but also takes a little time. You only need eggs, a muffin tin, and an oven.

You can cook 12 eggs at a time in a standard muffin tin.

  1. Preheat the best toaster oven to 325°F/160°C
  2. Place one egg in each cup of the muffin tin.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and immediately place the eggs in cold water to cool and prevent them from cooking further.
  5. Allow to cool before peeling.

#3 Using the Microwave

I used to only picture exploding eggs when thinking of cooking eggs in the microwave. It’s possible, however, to hard boil eggs in the microwave using a deep bowl and water.

  1. Carefully place a few eggs in a large microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Add enough water to cover the eggs and keep them from exploding.
  3. Place the bowl in the microwave.
  4. Cooking time will depend on your microwave wattage. A 1000W microwave will take 4-7 minutes. An 800W microwave will take 6-10 minutes.
  5. The water and bowl will both be very hot, so carefully remove the bowl from the microwave.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to lift the eggs from the water and gently place them into a separate bowl of cold water.
  7. Allow to cool before peeling.

#4 In an Electric Pressure Cooker

Hardboiled eggs in an electric pressure cooker is fast and easy.

My electric pressure cooker has a steaming basket that fits into the top of the pot.

If yours doesn’t attach that way, you will need to place a trivet or metal rack in the bottom of the pressure cooker and then a steamer basket on top of that.

The eggs should be above the water.

  1. Add 1.5 cups of water to the pressure cooker
  2. Place your steamer basket in the cooker.
  3. Gently place your eggs in the basket.
  4. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and seal it. Make sure the vent is closed.
  5. Select the Low Pressure function and set the time for 5 minutes.
  6. When the 5 minutes are up, allow the pot to sit for an additional five minutes.
  7. Release the pressure.
  8. Gently remove the eggs from the pressure cooker and place them in cold water for 5 minutes.
  9. Peel and enjoy.

#5 In an Instant Pot

I’ve heard that you could fill the Instant Pot to the maximum fill line with eggs and they will all cook perfectly. I don’t have an Instant Pot, so I can’t attest to that.

Using an Instant Pot is exactly like using a pressure cooker, except the Instant Pot has more specialty settings.

If your Instant Pot doesn’t have a steam setting, use the rice setting instead.

  1. Place your trivet or metal rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot. If your rack doesn’t keep the eggs off the bottom of the pot, you will need to add a steamer basket.
  2. Gently place your eggs on the rack.
  3. Add 1.5 cups of water.
  4. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and seal it. Make sure the vent is closed.
  5. Select the Steam function and set the time for 5 minutes.
  6. When the 5 minutes are up, allow the pot to sit for an additional five minutes.
  7. Release the pressure.
  8. Gently remove the eggs from the Instant Pot and place them in cold water for 5 minutes.
  9. Peel and enjoy.

cooked eggs in the instant pot

#6 In a Stovetop Pressure Cooker

Although it requires more attention, you can also make perfect hardboiled eggs in a stovetop pressure cooker.

My stovetop pressure cooker only has a trivet, so I use a separate steamer basket that I place on the trivet.

The important thing is that the eggs are above the water.

  1. Add 1.5 cups of water to the pressure cooker
  2. Place your trivet and steamer basket in the cooker.
  3. Gently place your eggs in the basket.
  4. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and seal it. Make sure the vent is closed.
  5. Turn the heat on high until the low pressure indicator is active. Reduce the heat to maintain low pressure. Cook at low pressure for 6 minute.
  6. When the 6 minutes are up, allow the pot to sit for an additional six minutes.
  7. Release the pressure.
  8. Gently remove the eggs from the pressure cooker and place them in cold water for 6 minutes.
  9. Peel and enjoy.

#7 In an Air Fryer 

I recently received an air fryer as a gift. I’ve been trying different foods in the air fryer, and decided to try eggs.

I couldn’t find any information in my air fryer’s manual about eggs, so I did a little research.

Some air fryers have an egg rack included when you buy it. Others, like mine, just have the air fryer basket. It was suggested that if there is no rack, to use a small baking dish.

I didn’t have anything that would fit, so I just lined the basket bottom with some aluminum foil. I wanted the air to circulate as much as possible, but wanted to guard against any messy failures.

This was the first time I used my air fryer’s lower temperature settings and the first time I cooked a food that did not require removing and shaking the basket during the cook time

  1. Carefully place a single layer of eggs in the air fryer basket.
  2. Gently insert the basket into the air fryer.
  3. Set the temperature to 250°F/120°C. For 6 hard cooked eggs, set the timer for 19 minutes. Do not shake the basket during the cooking time.
  4. When the timer stops, remove the eggs from the basket and submerge them in cold water. This stops the cooking process.
  5. Once the eggs have cooled, peel and enjoy

If you do not place the eggs in cold water, they will continue cooking and get that green ring around the yolk.

 

#8 In a Crock Pot

Yes, it’s even possible to cook hardboiled eggs in a crock pot. This is a great option if you have a timer on your crock pot and want to wake up to hardboiled eggs.

  1. Carefully place a single layer of eggs in the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Add enough water to cover the eggs by about one inch.
  3. Set the temperature to high and cook for about 2.5 hours.
  4. Turn the crock pot off and allow the eggs to cool completely before removing.
  5. Peel and enjoy

#9 In a Steamer

Steaming eggs in their shells is a gentle and economical method of cooking them. This method uses less water than boiling and the less energy because the heat is contained inside the covered pot.

Since there are a variety of steamers available and have different setups, you should become familiar with how yours works.

  1. Set up your steamer. Carefully place a single layer of eggs on the steamer rack.
  2. Add enough water to the pot so that it can boil without touching the eggs. Generally not more than an inch is needed.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and cover the pan.
  4. Allow the eggs to steam
  5. Peel and enjoy

#10 In a Rice Cooker

If you want to use a rice cooker, there are two methods.

If your rice cooker has a steamer basket, you can steam your eggs. If there is no steamer basket, you will use the rice cooker as a pressure cooker.

Rice cooker as a steamer

  1. Carefully place a single layer of eggs in the bottom of the rice cooker.
  2. Add enough water to cover the eggs by about one inch.
  3. Set the temperature to high and cook for about 2.5 hours.
  4. Turn the crock pot off and allow the eggs to cool completely before removing.
  5. Peel and enjoy

Rice cooker as a pressure cooker

  1. Carefully place a single layer of eggs in the bottom of the rice cooker.
  2. Add enough water to cover the eggs by about one inch.
  3. Set the temperature to high and cook for about 2.5 hours.
  4. Turn the crock pot off and allow the eggs to cool completely before removing.
  5. Peel and enjoy

Steaming

#11 In a Coffee Maker

It is entirely possible to make hardboiled eggs (and other things) in a coffee maker, but it depends on the type of coffee maker you have.

If your coffee maker has a hot plate that will stay hot until turned off, then you can definitely make hardboiled eggs in your coffee maker.

If, like me, your coffee maker doesn’t have a hot plate, the best you can achieve is medium-boiled eggs.

In a coffee maker with a hot plate

  1. Gently place your eggs in the bottom of your coffee maker carafe. Add enough water to cover them.
  2. Pour that water off and add it to the coffee maker’s water reservoir.
  3. Push the start button to activate the water brewing.
  4. Allow the water to drop through the basket onto the eggs.
  5. Once the water has reached the point that it covers the eggs, start your timer.
  6. Leave the eggs in the hot water on the hot plate for a total of about 30 minutes for hardboiled eggs.

In a coffee maker without a hot plate

In order to keep the egg in contact with the hot water as long as possible, add a coffee filter and enough coffee grounds to make a pot of coffee to the basket.

Again, the best result I could get from my 10-cup coffee maker using this method was a medium cooked egg.

  1. Place one egg in the coffee filter. Add your coffee grounds on top of the egg.
  2. Add enough water to the reservoir to make a full pot of coffee.
  3. Push the start button to activate the water brewing.
  4. Allow the pot of coffee to brew.
  5. Once all of the water has brewed into coffee, open the filter basket and remove your egg.
  6. Rinse the egg and peel it. Enjoy your medium-cooked egg.

boiling eggs in MrCoffee coffeemaker

#12 In an Electric Water Kettle

You can boil eggs in an electric water kettle, but only the kind that doesn’t have the heating element inside the kettle itself.

  1. Carefully one or two eggs in the bottom of the electric kettle.
  2. Add enough water to cover the eggs.
  3. Turn the water kettle on and allow it to boil the water and switch off.
  4. Let the eggs sit for a couple of minutes and then do the boil process again. You may need to repeat this two or three times.
  5. Pour the hot water off and submerge the eggs in cold water.
  6. Once the eggs have cooled, peel and enjoy

#13 In an Egg Cooker

The final method for hard-cooked eggs is a dedicated egg cooker.

I have owned one of these and I used it a lot. The problem with that one was a painted metal base that peeled and rusted over time.

There are more modern versions now, just make sure that you look for something that won’t peel and rust.

The egg cooker comes with a measuring cup that has indicators for the number of eggs and desired level of doneness. The cup has a tiny spike on the bottom for piercing the eggs before cooking. It’s very easy to use.

  1. Carefully pierce the bottom of each egg and place it in the egg cooker.
  2. Add water to the measuring cup up to the line that coordinates the number of eggs and degree of doneness.
  3. Pour the water into the egg cooker where indicated. Cover the cooker and turn it on.
  4. When the water has all evaporated, your eggs are done. Your cooker may have an alert or you may have to check it yourself.
  5. Submerge the eggs into cold water to stop the cooking.
  6. Once the eggs have cooled, peel and enjoy

 

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How To Peel Hard Boiled Eggs Without Destroying Egg?

Now that we’ve found our favorite method for hard boiling eggs, we need to do at least one more thing to make them edible: we have to peel them without destroying them. After we peel them, we can eat them or slice them or use them in other recipes.

 

Let’s look at the methods of peeling eggs.

You could just boil your egg and then peel it, but the shell rarely comes off cleanly without damaging the egg.

I’ve read about many methods of removing the shell. I’ve watched a lot of videos of eggs being peeled. I’ve tried these different methods myself and will let you benefit from my experience.

You don’t have to experiment, because I’ve done it for you!

There are several methods for peeling, but all of them start with eggs that have been allowed to cool in cold water. I’ve found this to be absolutely necessary to not damaging the eggs during the peeling process.

#1 Hand Rolling Method

 This is the least complicated method of peeling an egg and requires no special equipment or additional steps.

  1. Gently tap the egg on a hard surface to make the initial crack.
  2. With the flat of your hand, roll the egg across the surface. Keep the pressure constant so the shell will continue to crack as it rolls.
  3. The egg should peel easily.

#2 Shaking the egg in a glass of water

For this method, you will need an egg, a glass or jar, and water.

  1. Place the egg in a glass or jar and cover with water.
  2. Place your hand over the top of the jar and vigorously shake the jar for a few seconds.
  3. Remove the egg from the jar. The peel should fall off. Note: the egg can get damaged using this method.

#3 Spoon technique

For this method, you will need an egg and a spoon.

  1. Tap the egg on a hard surface and make cracks all over the egg.
  2. Find the biggest crack and gently insert a spoon between the shell and the egg.
  3. Rotate the spoon around the egg, loosening the shell.
  4. The shell should come off easily without damaging the egg.

This may require a little practice to feel where to move the spoon, but it does work nicely.

#4 Peeling the egg under cold water

For this method, you will need an egg and a bowl of water. You could also hold the egg under running water.

  1. Tap the egg on a hard surface and make cracks all over the egg.
  2. Place the egg in the bowl of water or hold it under running water.
  3. Peel the egg. The shell should come off easily without damaging the egg.

#5 Crack and Blow

This method of peeling starts before boiling the egg. Add a dash of baking soda to the water. Allow to cool completely after boiling.

  1. Crack the top and bottom of the shell then removed them. Make sure the bottom of the egg is completely clear of the shell.
  2. Place your mouth on the top of the egg and BLOW. The egg will pop out the bottom of the shell.

This was fun and took a couple of tries to perfect. I don’t recommend using this method on any eggs that you are serving to other people.

#6 Peel from the air sack

This method doesn’t require any special equipment, only that you pay special attention.

  1. Tap the egg on a hard surface, cracking the entire shell.
  2. Gently press on the shell to locate the air sack.
  3. Peel from the air sack. The shell some come off without damaging the egg.

This takes a little practice since the air sack isn’t always in the same place.

#7 Add vinegar to the water

This method also starts before the eggs are cooked. Add a little vinegar to the water before boiling the eggs.

  1. After boiling the egg in water with vinegar, allow to cool in cold water.
  2. Gently crack the egg on a hard surface, making cracks all over the egg.
  3. Peel the egg. The shell should come off without damaging the egg.

In spite of the odor, this was the only method that made the egg shell feel different. When I took the egg from the cooling bath, it felt slippery. When I cracked it on a hard surface, the shell felt more brittle and cracked more easily than any other egg I had cooked.

#8 Cracking the egg prior to cooling

This method starts immediately after the eggs are removed from the boiling water.

  1. Being careful not to burn yourself, make cracks all over the surface of the eggs.
  2. Place the eggs in cold water to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the eggs from the water bath and peel.

This method worked very well. The shells peeled off easily and didn’t damage the eggs.

How to cut hard boiled eggs?

My favorite way to eat a hardboiled egg is to just bite into it. I also like to use hardboiled eggs in dishes I prepare. Depending on the intended use, the egg will often need to be chopped, sliced, cut into wedges, or even mashed with a fork. Cutting eggs can be problematic because they can roll or slip. There is also the problem of the yolk sticking to the knife.

We’ve looked at so many methods of cooking and peeling eggs they are aren’t overcooked or damaged. We should take equal care when cutting or chopping them for use.

Here are some methods of slicing or chopping eggs.

#1 Using a Wet Knife

I tried wetting both a steel knife and a ceramic knife with water. Egg yolk stuck to both blades.

#2 Using an Oiled Knife

I sprayed both a steel knife and a ceramic knife with cooking spray. The egg yolk didn’t stick to the blades, but I didn’t care for the flavor of the spray on the eggs. Olive oil or some neutral-flavored oil would work and not leave the bad taste.

#3 Using Dental Floss, Fishing Line, or Guitar String

It has been suggested that dental floss, fishing line, or guitar string can be used to slice eggs. I haven’t tried this myself because I don’t see how it would be a better method than using a knife to cut or chop the egg. Dental floss is flat, which would make it difficult to get a clean cut through the egg. Fishing line is more fine and would probably do a great job of cutting. The same with thinner guitar strings. There is one problem: it takes two hands to hold the ends of the string. Eggs are usually oval and slippery,  with a  tendency to move around if not held in place. If you have a way of keeping the egg from sliding around and you want to try cutting it with fishing line, go ahead.

#4 Using an egg slicer

There are a variety of egg slicers available. The basic slicer is plastic with 6 or 7 wires stretched across a frame. The frame is attached to the base by a hinge, which allows the egg to be placed on the base while the frame is lifted. As the frame is lowered over the egg, it creates slices of egg. Sometimes the wires don’t cut all the way through the egg. If this happens, just squeeze the egg slices together and lift the frame. Press the bottom of the egg with your finger until the wires break through and the slices are complete. You can now use the egg slices as desired. Some egg slicers have two frames: one for creating slices and another for creating wedges. They both work the same way.

Note: egg slicers also make a perfect pat of butter.

#5 Mashing with a fork

When I am adding eggs to my tuna salad, I always mash them with a fork. I hold the egg with one hand and cut it in half with a fork held in the other hand. After the egg is cut in half, I can easily mash it with the tines of the fork. I can make the pieces as large or as small as I like.

Outtakes (unexpected results)

I cooked and peeled a lot of eggs during my research. I watched a lot of videos and read a lot of articles. I felt like I knew what to expect from each experiment, but there were a few surprises.

During my coffee maker research, I saw an egg cooked in the water from a Keurig coffee capsule machine. I don’t have a Keurig, but I do have a Nespresso brand machine. I placed my egg in a heat-proof glass and allowed the hot water to drip over it. For good measure, I covered the glass and left the egg in the hot water for 15 minutes. After the “cooking” time, I drained the water and cracked the egg. Raw egg went everywhere! Upon further research, I discovered that Keurig brews water at a higher temperature than Nepresso.

My second cautionary tale is related to adding vinegar to the water before cooking. I did this in the dead of winter when the house was sealed up tight. Even though I used the exhaust fan over the stove, the smell went throughout the house. Our eyes were watering and we couldn’t get away from the stench. Proceed with caution!

Frequently Asked Questions About Hard-Boiled Eggs

Q: What is the best way to store hard boiled eggs?
A: Hard-boiled eggs should be stored in the refrigerator. They can be store with or without their peels.

Q: How long do boiled eggs last in the fridge?
A: If still in the shell, hard-boiled eggs can be left in the fridge for up to a week.
If the eggs are peeled, they can be left in the fridge for up to a week, but should be in water inside a sealed container. The water should be changed daily.

Q: How long do hard boiled eggs last unrefrigerated?
A: Hard-boiled eggs should not be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours, whether peeled or in the shell.
After two hours, they should be eaten, refrigerated, or thrown out.

Q: How can I tell if hard boiled eggs are bad?
A: If the hard-boiled egg smells bad at all, don’t eat it! The smell of a bad egg can range from unpleasant to rotten.
If the egg is still in the shell, it may be necessary to peel it before you can smell it.

Q: Why do hard boiled eggs turn green?
A: If the egg has been overcooked, the yolk will have a green ring around the outside. Try reducing the cooking time or the temperature to avoid the green ring.

Q: What goes well with hard boiled eggs?
A: There are so many possibilities!

  • Sliced on top of warm buttered toast or on top of cold smoked salmon and rye bread.
  • They are delicious mixed with a little mayo and mustard to make a quick egg salad and then spread on bread.
  • Hard-boiled eggs are the perfect complement to creamy spinach soup.
  • A light sprinkle of salt makes a hard-boiled egg the perfect quick snack.
  • Hard-boiled eggs go exceptionally well in a salad with a creamy dressing.

Q: I had to reschedule an evening with guests after already preparing some of the food. Now I have a lot of hard-boiled eggs. Can hard-boiled eggs be frozen?
A: Egg yolks can be frozen for up to three months.
Egg whites, however, do not freeze well. In this case, I would make some double-stuffed deviled eggs. Freeze the extra yolks then add some of the extra egg whites to the deviled mixture. They will last for two days in the fridge.

Q: Can cats and dogs eat hard-boiled eggs?
A: Both cats and dogs can eat hard-boiled eggs. Eggs should be served as an occasional treat. While they do contain protein, they do not provide the balanced nutrition that cats and dogs require.

Q: Can eggs absorb flavor as they are being hard-boiled?
A: Raw eggs have a porous shell and can absorb flavors. As the eggs cook, the shell becomes less porous and will absorb less flavor.
If you want the eggs to absorb flavor, do it after they are cooked to ensure the flavor is evenly absorbed.

Q: Is it better to cook a week’s worth of hard-boiled eggs at once or cook what I need each day?
A: Because eggs can stay in the fridge for up to a week, this will depend entirely on personal preference. I often cook a week’s supply for snacking and salads, but I really love a freshly hard-boiled egg. If I have the time, I will cook what I need for just the day.

Q: I usually write the date on my eggs after I boil them, but I forgot this time. How can I tell if an egg is hard-boiled or raw?
A: It’s actually really easy to tell. Place the egg on a smooth surface and give it a little spin. Gently place your finger on it and then pull away.
A cooked egg will stop spinning immediately.
A raw egg will continue to spin because the liquid inside is unbalanced.

Q: How many weight watchers points is a hard boiled egg?
A: Eggs are now a zero Points® food!

Q: How many calories in a hard-boiled egg?
A: It depends on the size of the egg:
small egg – 54 calories
large egg – 78 calories
jumbo egg – 90 calories

Q: How many calories in a boiled egg white?
A: Around 12 calories.

Q: How much protein in a hardboiled egg?
A: There are 6 grams protein in one large egg – 3 grams in egg white and 3 grams in the yolk.

Q: How many carbs in a hard boiled egg?
A: There are only trace amounts of carbs (next to nothing).

Best Hard Boiled Egg Recipes

Traditional Czech dill gravy with hardboiled eggs

Coming soon! I am working on recipes section and will add them to my blog as soon as possible!

Conclusion

Coming soon!