How to Cook Perfectly Boiled Eggs Every Time

Eggs. They’re nutritious, delicious and cheap! Cooking them properly is quite simple, provided you know a few secrets.


A perfectly boiled egg has a yolk that is set all the way to the center and it is clean, beautiful yellow color with no hint of ugly green where the yolk and white meet. A perfectly boiled egg slides smoothly away from the cracked shell.

Simmer method

Because this is a tedious process, the maximum number of eggs that should be boiled at one time is twelve. Bring a pot of water to boil. Lower the prepared eggs into the boiling water and bring the water back to a simmer and set the timer: 12 minutes for large chilled eggs and 13 minutes for extra large ones. Keep the water at a low simmer that produces small bubbles and a very slight movement among the eggs.

Coddle method

Some great cooks prefer to coddle eggs rather than simmer because the results are more reliable. Place the chilled eggs in a pot of cold water (6-7 cups for 1-4 eggs and an additional cup for each additional egg). Bring the water to a full rolling boil, remove from heat and cover it. Set the time for exactly 17 minutes (or 18 for jumbo or extra large eggs).

Instant Pot method

If you have an Instant Pot, rejoice. You have exactly what you need to make perfectly boiled, easy-peel eggs super fast, every time (and enjoy so many cooking miracles, too).

  1. Place the trivet that came with your IP in the bottom of the inner pot.instant-pot-8-in-1-duo
  2. Pour in 1 cup hot tap water.
  3. Place eggs (any number from one to all that will fit in a single layer) on the trivet.
  4. Apply lid, set vent to “Sealing.”
  5. Pressure cook on HIGH for five minutes, then release as follows:

Soft boiled: Quick release immediately
Medium boiled:* Natural release for 2 minutes, then quick release
Hard boiled: Natural release for 7 minutes, then quick release


READ: Super Useful Gadgets for Home and Kitchen

More boiled egg tips

Prick the shell

Use a push-pin or needle, push it right into the large end of the uncooked egg, in about 1/4 inch, and into the egg itself. This will pierce the tiny air bubble (present in every egg) that in an un-pricked egg expands as the egg is heated and cracks the shell. This tiny hole allows an escape route for the air.

Peel hard-cooked eggs

Tap the egg gently so as to break the shell in many places all around the egg. Start peeling the egg by first placing it under a small stream of cold water and begin removing the shell from the large bottom side.

If the shell is resistant and wants to take part of the white with it, simply drop three eggs at a time into boiling water, wait 10 seconds and immediately transfer them to ice water.

This will expand and contract the shell quickly and will release the shell easily.

No more ugly green ring

This change of color occurs when eggs are allowed to remain warm beyond proper cooking. A chemical reaction between the yolk and the white occurs, causing this discoloration.

The way to prevent this is to chill the eggs as quickly as possible. Once the eggs have completed cooking, quickly pour off the hot water and add a tray of ice into the pan, quickly filling with cold water so they are completely covered.

RELATED: Incredibly Edible Eggs

Store cooked eggs properly

If you’ve cooked eggs with a week’s worth of lunches in mind, leave them in the shell. The shell is the best form of protection a hard-cooked egg has, according to the American Egg Board.

Stored dry and refrigerated, the eggs will keep for about 1 week. Once peeled, they should be used immediately.

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6 replies
  1. Betty says:

    My eggs always were cooked perfectly. My problem was peeling an egg without it looking like a monster in a scary movie. Making deviled eggs out of my hard boiled eggs was truly unapeeling, see what I did there? LOL! I tried all the tricks, adding baking soda to the water while cooking, using older eggs, shaking them until the shell is cracked, all led to perfectly ugly, torn up eggs. Then I got an Instant Pot. I haven’t had an ugly egg since so for me that was the solution!

  2. Linda A says:

    This is my favorite: 4 eggs at a time, 8 minutes and easy peel. Easy and perfect every time.

  3. kcjmc says:

    For me — and I got this from The Pioneer Woman — transferring the boiled eggs with either tongs or a slotted spoon to ice-cold water for just a minute makes them easy-as-pie to peel.


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