Thursday, March 20, 2008

How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs and Recipes Using Hard-Boiled Eggs

How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
This easy method will guarantee that your hard-boiled eggs are always perfect!

(Updated March 2008 with many more ideas from bloggers for using hard-boiled eggs.) It's close to Easter, and all over America that means families will be boiling eggs until they are cooked hard and then dying them bright colors to go in Easter baskets. For years I just put eggs in a pan, added some water, and boiled them, often with mixed results. Imagine my surprise when I learned last year there's a right and wrong way to make hard-boiled eggs. If you use the correct method, your eggs will turn out perfectly every time, with firm yellow yolks, and no tinge of green or gray to the yolks.

After I read many, many, many, many, different opinions about the best method for making perfect boiled eggs, I experimented a bit, and here's my easy method, which gives great results. Don't miss the huge list of interesting ideas from other bloggers for using hard boiled eggs.


  • Eggs that are too fresh are difficult to peel, so always keep eggs in the refrigerator for a week or two before making boiled eggs.
  • For best results, take eggs out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature before cooking.
  • Put eggs in a pan large enough to hold all the eggs in a single layer, with water to cover eggs by at least an inch.
  • Bring water to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn off heat and cover eggs. Set timer for 12 minutes.
  • After 12 minutes, drain eggs, and add cold water with a couple of ice cubes. Let eggs cool at least 10 minutes in cold water, then drain and store in refrigerator.

Contrary to what you may have heard, adding baking soda to the water doesn't help eggs peel more easily!

Now, what to do with those hard-boiled eggs that are left over after Easter morning?  There really isn't any doubt that deviled eggs are my favorite things to make with boiled eggs, and these are My Favorite Recipes for Deviled eggs.

I love this Tomato, Egg, and Olive Salad with Gorgonzola Vinaigrette, which is fabulous, even when you have to buy the tomatoes at Costco.

A reader shared this idea for Egg Salad and Cheese Quesadillas, which is another great way to use leftover boiled eggs.

When I taught school, I'd often boil eggs and keep them in the fridge. Then in the morning, I'd peel two eggs and put them in a baggie with Vege-Sal, to eat on the way to work. (In the car! I know you're shocked! Not the greatest breakfast, but better than no breakfast at all when you're having a busy week.)

Here are lots more ideas for boiled eggs that I've been collecting through the years.  (Let us know in the comments if you have another great idea for using boiled eggs.)

Fun Ideas for Easter Eggs:
Shaped Hard Boiled Eggs from Coffee and Vanilla
Hard-Boiled Ruby Eggs from A Veggie Venture
Hard Cooked Egg Cookies from Baking Bites (formerly Bakingsheet)
Marbled Beetroot Eggs from Nami Nami
Colorful Cinnamon Easter Egg Macarons from Ms. Adventures in Italy
How to Make Golden Chocolate Easter Eggs from The Kitchn
Natural Easter Egg Dyes from Just Braise
Tsoureki (Easter Bread with Boiled Eggs) from Pro Bono Baker
Chinese Tea Leaf Eggs from Nook and Pantry
Tips for Prepping Easter Eggs from Baking Bites

Deviled Eggs of Every Type:
My Favorite Recipes for Deviled eggs from Kalyn
Deviled Eggs from The Domestic Goddess
Eggs Stuffed with Smoked Salmon and Caviar from Amuse Bouche
Asparagus and Pesto Filled Eggs from Lucullian Delights
Wasabi Deviled Eggs from Coconut and Lime
Curry Deviled Eggs from Cooking with Amy
Shrimp Deviled Eggs from Bitten
Pesto Deviled Eggs from What Did You Eat

Egg Curries from Around the World:
Sri Lankan Egg Curry from One Hot Stove
Curried Eggs from The Old Foodie
Indonesian Egg Sambal from Morsels and Musings
Hard-Boiled Eggs in Red Lentil Curry from Limes and Lycopene

Delicious Egg Salad Variations:
Ham and Egg Salad Rolls from The Passionate Cook
Egg Salad Sandwich from Simply Recipes
Easy Egg Salad from Pinch My Salt
Egg Salad Sandwich from 101 Cookbooks
Curried Egg Salad from 101 Cookbooks
Stinky Tuna and Egg Salad from Nosheteria
Deviled Egg Salad from A Fridge Full of Food
Spiced Egg Salad from Field to Feast
A Lighter Egg Spread from A Wee Bit of Cooking

Salads that Include Boiled Eggs:
Balsamic Spinach Salad with Gorgonzola and Hard Boiled Eggs
Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Salad from Simply Recipes
Fennel Salad with Boiled Eggs from A Veggie Venture
Beet Carpaccio from A Veggie Venture

More Creative Recipes from Food Bloggers Using Boiled Eggs:
Four ideas for boiled eggs from Family Food
Leeks with Hard-Boiled Eggs and Olives from Something in Season
Kedgeree from Nami-Nami
Niko Niku Ramen with Boiled Eggs from Chubby Panda
Son-in-Law Eggs from Real Thai Recipes
Son-in-Law Eggs from Rasa Malaysia
Jac's Meatloaf with Boiled Eggs from The Food Pornographer
Boiled Eggs with Green Onions, Bell Peppers, and Ginger from Cookthink
Egg Pakoras from Lisa's Kitchen
Lazy Easy Tea Eggs from Just Bento

More from BlogHer:
I wrote about What to Make from Leftover Hard-Boiled Eggs at BlogHer.
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!


  1. Hey Kalyn,

    Here's a deviled egg recipe that is a big hit at my church's pot luck breakfasts!

    dozen hard boiled eggs
    2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed and chopped fine.
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    Salt and pepper to taste.

    Cut eggs in half and remove yolks. Using a fork, mash egg yolks and rest of the ingredients together. Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture. (I use a pastry tool with a star tip to do this.)

    These are spicy and delicious!

  2. I love egg salad sandwiches. You need really crusty Italian bread, then add a good dollop of mayo, thinly sliced onions and celery for crunch and lots of salt and pepper. Sometimes I take them to work and eat them just on their own with salt and pepper, great instant protein!

  3. Hey Rachel and Katerina, thanks for sharing your boiled egg recipes. They both sound great. I love boiled eggs!

  4. Kalyn, those were some great tips. Happy Easter!!!!

  5. I love hard boiled eggs--so that's a great, and efficient, breafast. Beautiful eggs, by the way.

  6. I wish I could remember where I learned how to do hard boiled eggs. Might have been in the Joy of Cooking but I'm not at home to look. You're doing it pretty much the way I've done it for a long time except I bring them to a boil, cover and let sit 10 minutes. I did some to bring with us on this plane trip. It's such a joy when they peel cleanly!

  7. Hi Kalyn!

    What a fun egg recipe hunt! :-)

    And thanks for mentioning my curried stuffed eggs - I will have to make some soon. My newest tweak to the filling is to use Trader Joe's Wasabi Mayo. Now you're talking kicked up.

    Hugs from windy New Mexico,


  8. oo..I want some devil eggs now :P

  9. Mmm, mmm, mmm -- boiled eggs are good! I haven't had a deviled egg in so long, I think I might have to make some this weekend.

  10. Thanks for the hard boiled egg tutorial -- a great reminder that even the simplest things can be tricky sometimes.

  11. Since being pregnant I have discovered a real love for hard boiled eggs so keep those delicious ideas coming!!!

  12. Hi kalyn,
    I was not sure that this was worth it - getting eggs to room temp, waiting so long, etc, but I can say that it works. I am not sure that it is worth it for a couple of hard boiled eggs for breakfast/sandwich (takes far too long compared to boiling - but anyway, I prefer soft boiled for breakfast) but for a mass batch, I would consider this method!

  13. Hi Kalyn,

    Thanks for the link! I just linked back to this from my egg salad because I hadn't bothered to give instructions for hard-boiled eggs! Great post!

  14. I am one of those who just plonk my eggs in boiling water and boil and boil for 10 minutes :O

    Thanks for this post and tips.

  15. Hi Kalyn,
    I followed your guide for hard boiled eggs for potato salad and it was great! Thanks.

  16. Hi Kalyn,

    Don't be embarassed about showing your hardboiled egg breakfast in a bag! People out there are skipping breakfast, stopping at McDonalds, or eating those horrible breakfast bars from the grocery store. They need healthful alternatives for breakfast on the go.


  17. Anne, I am glad you approve of my boiled egg breakfast. It's easy to eat in the car, another plus!

  18. Who ever imagined when I wrote about how to make perfect boiled eggs and shared ideas for using boiled eggs in April of 2007 that it would be one of my most popular posts ever? Comments before this one are before I updated the post in 2008 with even more boiled egg ideas.

  19. I fowarded this to my mother in lawf for Easter. Big revelation coming from me but I don't like eggs...only in baked goods. I tolerate egg whites omelettes but that's about it. I know, totaly weird!!

  20. I have a sister who has hated eggs from the time she was a tiny girl. Never changed her feelings about it either!

  21. Hah... isn't it funny how we all have our own "fail-proof" method to hard-boil eggs? Mine is (a) bring to boil in salted water, about 1" depth over top of eggs; (b) once water comes to a full rolling boil, turn off heat and allow to sit 15 minutes; (c) remove and immediately peel under cold running water, or, cool and refrigerate for future use.

    For years I couldn't eat eggs, from about age 12 or 14 through about age 27. They did horrible, gassy things to me. And even though I always LOVED eggs, I could only eat maybe 1/2 egg every once in a while... if I ate more than that, I suffered miserably. And just as suddenly it was gone, and I could eat eggs again. Go figure.

    And what's wrong with eating an egg in the car on the way to work? I used to bring HB eggs to work for breakfast or lunch, and peel them there. So yummy sprinkled with salt!

  22. Thanks for this post! I saw an episode of "The Secret life of...Easter" on the Food Network and I remember them showing this process...I forgot how long to let the eggs set in the water, so I was going to google it...But before I did, I decided to run through my fave blogs...and then I read this post all about eggs! You saved me so much time! Thanks!

  23. I use this technique as well and you are right...they come out perfect every time!! Thanks for all the great links:)

  24. One think I like to do with hard cooked egg is pickle them. But not with red beets like you might think. I take a large jar of pepperoncini and a dozen whole, hard cooked eggs. Mix together and keep in fridge for a couple of days. Yowza! The heat of the spicy peppers and the cool of the egg are just a fantastic combination. Everyone who has tried them has raved about them. If you like spicy, you really should give them a try. One further tip, if your pepperoncini are not juicy enough, you may need to get another jar, just for the liquid.

  25. Mary Jean, I love that idea of pickled eggs! Thanks for sharing.

  26. These really are the perfect instructions. I often come back to this post. Thank!

  27. Gemma, thanks! So glad it's useful.

  28. Kalyn,

    If you get bored eating eggs with just salt, you should try sprinking them with soy sauce. The flavors blend together so well, and Chinese people eat eggs like that all the time!

    Just a suggestion! My boyfriend was really skeptical and then I had him try it, and he was surprised at how yummy it was!

  29. Crystal, I love that idea! Thanks so much for sharing.

  30. I finally found and bought and tried Vegesal last week! It was at Sunflower Market. OMG you are right, it is the bomb!

    I will probably mimic your baggie to work for breakfast recipe/idea, but add pepper to it.

    Easter's coming!!

  31. Isn't Vege-Sal just great on eggs! I notice now they are labeling the jars Spike Vege-Sal, I guess capitalizing on the popularity of Spike Seasoning made by the same company.

  32. I'm so happy I found this again. My computer died and I lost all my favorites, one of which was this method of cooking hardboiled eggs. I'd never been able to cook them until I found this site.
    Thank you for taking all the guessing out of it for me.

  33. Sonia, glad it's working well for you.

  34. I prefer hard boiled egg than the fried ones, but I've never seen or eaten hard boiled eggs like you have here, they look fantastic and sure taste great. Thanks to you now I can have my eggs flavored differently from my the usual plain one. :) This is my first visit to your lovely blog by the way and I'm sure be back to dig more of your posts. Thanks ~Claire

  35. Claire, thanks! Glad you're enjoying the recipes.

  36. For this method, what size of egg is appropriate? (medium, large, x-large?)

  37. Tara I don't think the egg size will make much difference in cooking time.

  38. I eat a lot of hard boiled eggs, especially in order to jazz up salads. I season mine with sea salt, ground pepper, and... lemon juice! I accidentally drizzled lemon juice on my eggs when I was dressing up a salad, but was pleasantly surprised when I ate them!

  39. This is AMAZING!!!!! I love, love, love pretty much plan to go through your whole list.


    Check out my site if you like for a recent fave: Soft-Boiled Eggs with Anchovy Mayonnaise

  40. Glad you like the ideas, and I think anchovy mayonnaise sounds great in deviled eggs!

  41. Again...I wasn't sure where to post this...I am trying to convert my eggs to organic. There are so many brands out there that is confusing!! I went to my local Sam's club (no Costco) and they have EB eggs for a really good price. I read the package and they seem good but I was wondering what type of eggs you recommend?

  42. I buy Oakdell Farms high omega 3. They're a Utah product, sold at Costco here. I don't really know much about other brands.

  43. Hi Kalyn,
    I'm glad you thought to post this on your site. I have had no luck boiling eggs since moving back to Utah from Las Vegas. I am learning that baking has to have adjustments for altitude so I thought maybe it affected the eggs. Apparently it does, but yours is the only site I found that had a procedure used in Utah. I have my eggs setting out and can't wait to get them done!

  44. Oopsali, hope these tips will help. I think the freshness of the eggs is one of the biggest factors though; when eggs are too fresh, they just won't peel well.

  45. I am such a dunce when it comes to boiling eggs... Wouldn't it make a difference if it's a gas stove vs. electric? With gas, the burner would cool down very fast. My electric stove will keep that water boiling for a long time if I cover a pan and turn it off. Am I supposed to remove the pan from the burner? I am laughing at myself for what is probably a stupid question here, so feel free to laugh along. :-)

  46. I don't think it will matter. I have a gas stove though, so for electric you might take the pan off the heat.

  47. Missed, totally, the MOST IMPORTANT
    aspect - how to shell easily!!!

  48. I said "Eggs that are too fresh won't peel easily" which I think is the most important trick to removing the shells easily. If you know other tricks besides that, please share.


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