How to Hard Boil Eggs So They Peel Perfectly Every Time!

How to hard boil eggs so they peel perfectly every time! Learn how to boil eggs the easy way with these step by step directions.

how to hard boil eggs small pot with lid

How to Boil Eggs…the easy way!

Have you ever boiled a pan of eggs and had a terrible time peeling them? There you are, getting ready to make that batch of deviled eggs, only to have most of your egg come off with the shell. It’s one of the most frustrating things ever! The method I’m sharing today gives step-by-step directions and will take the mystery out of boiling eggs.

how to hard boil eggs on blue plate

I don’t remember when I started using this method or where I found the directions. Like most of you, I’ve boiled eggs for many years. When my daughter was young, she loved tuna fish sandwiches. Since it was one thing I knew she would always eat, I made it fairly often. I always put hard boiled eggs in it, so I was making them quite a bit. When my son was in high school, he used to eat just the egg whites of 2 or 3 boiled eggs for part of his breakfast. I felt like I was boiling eggs all the time, so I had plenty of opportunities to fine-tune my procedure! 

Does this method work with farm fresh eggs?

Update: I had a few questions asking if this method would work for farm fresh eggs. I have never used them, but evidently they are very hard to peel after they are boiled. I did some research and here’s what I found:

Follow the method in the recipe card until you get to step #13. For farm fresh eggs, let them sit in the ice water for ten minutes instead of just one minute. This should do the trick, and make the eggs easy to peel.

Boiled Eggs Peeling Tip

Just under the shell of the egg is a thin, milky membrane. After the egg is cracked, and as you are beginning to tear away the shell, find this membrane and pull it off with the shell. The shell sticks to the membrane like glue, but if you grab the membrane, they both come off together with ease.

2 eggs cut in half on blue plate
how to hard boil eggs on blue plate fi

How to Hard Boil Eggs

How to hard boil eggs so they peel perfectly every time! Learn how to boil eggs the easy way with these step by step directions.
5 from 16 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 eggs
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4-12 fresh eggs

Instructions

  • Gently lay your eggs in a sauce pan that has a lid.
  • Try to fill the pan with enough eggs so there is minimal movement while boiling.
  • Cover with cold water.
  • Put the lid on and heat on high.
  • Watch closely and when it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low/medium and crack the lid.
  • Boil for exactly 10 minutes. The water should be boiling constantly but not hard enough to overflow.
  • Remove from heat and empty as much boiling water as you can into your sink.
  • Set the pot down and stream very cold water so the pan overflows.
  • Let the water stream for about a minute. Turn the water off.
  • Immediately add ice cubes to the pan of cold water and eggs.
  • Use as many ice cubes as you can fit.
  • Gently push each egg into the bottom of the pan to crack the shell. This will let a little water in and aids the peeling process.
  • Let sit for another minute. FOR FARM FRESH EGGS: LET SIT FOR 10 MINUTES.
  • Start removing the eggs one at a time and peel them immediately.
  • THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. DO NOT WAIT TO PEEL YOUR EGGS!
  • Eggs can be stored in an air-tight container in refrigerator for 3 – 5 days.
Like this recipe?Follow me at @onsuttonplace

If you tried this method for boiling eggs, and love it, I would be grateful if you would come back and leave a 5 star review. It would help me so much!

I realize that most of you reading this already know how to do this, or have your own method. I wanted to share it because you just might learn something that you didn’t know. Plus, there’s a whole generation of would-be cooks out there who don’t know anything about boiled eggs, and might find it useful. My two kids would be part of that generation! Now it’s here for them if they ever need it.

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62 Comments

  1. Organized cabinets, I love, but most of my upper shelves are empty. I like to be able to reach items and step stools are no longer an option. Sometimes a grabber works. Age plays a role in kitchen organization.

  2. Denise Hopkins says:

    The best way to cook eggs is with an egg cooker. They hold up to six eggs, you don’t have to make the hole like the directuons suggest, they peel like a charm, and get the one with the auto shut off. Best $20 you will spend if you cook a lot of eggs.

    Ann, keep up the great blog! I paired down a lot of emails bc I don’t have time to read them but I’ve kept yours! Enjoy those grandkids!

  3. 5 stars
    Excellent instructions. This how my husband showed me how to make hardboiled eggs long time ago! An extra tip that always works for us is to tap the egg to make a lot of cracks and then run a teaspoon between the membrane and the egg.

  4. 5 stars
    i liked your advice of cracking the eggs while in the cold water
    It makes great sence
    This is a great tutorial

  5. Debra Funkhouser says:

    5 stars
    Thanks, Ann! I always enjoy your kitchen tips and recipes.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve boiled eggs for 60 years. Lately, they never turn out right until THIS. Thank You

  7. I cheat,I have an egg cooker, does 7 hard boiled eggs or three poached,.Hard , medium , soft.Hard boiled, take them out , put them in ice cube water, leave 2 min.Peel easy.perfect every time.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      This isn’t cheating…it’s brilliant!

  8. 5 stars
    Hard boiled eggs…easiest peeling!
    Thanks for this recipe. The deviled eggs will be beautiful.

  9. Anne Marie Gorman says:

    I’ve used your method for boiling the eggs and then putting them through the ice water process. BUT did not realize I could peel the eggs immediately after that process. Usually put them in the fridge to cool and then peel. They usually peeled quite well. Will do that the next time I boil my eggs. Thanks for all your tips.

  10. 5 stars
    I have been using your method ever since you first posted on your blog. Works like a charm!

  11. Ann, I guess I am not the only one who uses your technique and what a good one it is. Thanks a bunch!

    1. Dottie Driscoll says:

      5 stars
      Works like a charm! Thanks for sharing. I learned a great tip.

      1. Debbie Grant says:

        I’ve been using your perfect boiled egg method for a few years now with great results. Thank you for updating it for fresh eggs. My youngest son just got eleven hens, so you have perfect timing. :-)

  12. Kristin G Hildabrand says:

    5 stars
    I made perfectly boiled eggs thanks to all your advice and tips! Thank you! I also really love your blog and look forward to reading more about recipes, gardening, and decorating!

  13. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing, I needed a trick or two. I can never peel off the shell in one piece.

  14. I recently discovered my issues with hard boiling eggs, which I’ve always been able to do had to do with one of my burners not being as high in temperature as my other burners. It’s an old old stove. So funny you say farm fresh eggs don’t peel as well. It seems I have less trouble hard boiling and peeling farm fresh eggs than store bought eggs. I never seem to mess up my farm fresh eggs. Ha!

  15. Thanks for sharing ♥️

    1. 5 stars
      This works great! One addition if you have issues with egg shells cracking add salt to the cold water when boiling.

  16. Sounds pretty close to how I used to boil my eggs and it is a good method. I thought you might want to try the method I use now. In this method, only the first step is time sensitive. I bring the eggs to a full boil for one minute. Turn the heat off, cover the pan and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. If it sits a little longer it won’t hurt them but must be at least 15 minutes. Then I pretty much follow the same directions you listed except that, when I peel my eggs, I place one egg at a time in a mason jar with about 2 tbsp water and shake with the lid on until the egg very quickly cracks all over. The shell slides right off. The mason jar method works with eggs that have been stored in the refrigerator and also with very fresh, very cold eggs.
    Never hurts to have more than one trick in your repertoire!
    I love all of the blue and white you use in your home! So pretty.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Thank you so much for the mason jar trick!

  17. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Looking forward to giving this a try! Thank you.

    Is you contact information correct? I tried emailing you a private message and it would not recognize addressee.

  18. Shelia P. says:

    Hi Ann! Thanks for the secret to boiling perfect hard boiled eggs! I’ve been cooking for 30 years and mostly my eggs would come out right but then there would be times it was hit or miss. I had everything right that you do except I never put a lid on them and I left them to cool down a little after running cold water on them for about a minute. Now I know what I was doing wrong so thank you for that! You CAN teach an old dog new tricks, haha! Yes, you’re right, this needed to be posted because there’s a whole new generation of kids that need this information. Thank you for the post, it’s much appreciated! Have a good day! 😊.

  19. Arthur Davies-Patrick says:

    Great reading — tip to stop egg cracking at start add salt to water with eggs —- just look forward you emails full of information–
    Arthur

  20. I appreciate you taking the time to write and post about how to hard boil eggs! I am 50 “something” and feel like I really didn’t know how to boil eggs properly until about 10 years ago. When I was a newlywed (35 years ago), my groom came home from school to find me asleep on the couch and eggs on the ceiling!!! Over the past year, I have been diligently recording all my recipes to be published only by me for my twins, who recently turned 18. I’m not sure how much longer they will be at home, but I do know that I want to send them out with love and their favorite food recipes, whether they can cook or not! I’m also including important things like “how to knead bread” and “how to soak beans & sprouts”. How to boil eggs will also be included!
    BTW, I enjoy seeing your food displayed on the beautiful Liberty Blue dishes!

  21. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Ann, you always have such great tips! When you first posted this, I made some hard boiled eggs and followed your instructions! They were great and turned out so well! I have shared this tip with many of our friends. Thanks, Ann, for always making our life a little easier! We appreciate you so much, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

  22. Peeling hard boiled eggs can be frustrating. Thank you for the tips and I’m going to do it this way next time I boil eggs. The bit about adding ice cubes was new to me. Hope that makes the difference. Thank you.

  23. I was anxious to try this, because yes it is so frustrating when the shell won’t come off, but I live in California and we can’t just run water for a minute. We live in a drought and have to be very conscious of our water use. I have found fresh eggs are hard to peel but if I wait a few days after buying, no problem.

  24. For years I haven’t been able to make deviled eggs because I could never seem to boil an egg without half the egg coming off with the shell. I have tried pricking the shell with a pin before boiling, adding baking soda to the water, and following some well known cooks who say to bring the water to a boil and immediately turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water. It wasn’t until I decided to let the eggs boil for a full 10 minutes and add ice to the cold water afterwards did I have any luck whatsoever. I will try your method for peeling, especially since I didn’t usually peel immediately after cooking. Thanks for the tips!

  25. Pat Stoughton says:

    Like this a lot! Thanks.

  26. THANK YOUUUUU !!!
    Yes, I am one that needed help in that area, even after 50 years in the kitchen!
    Can’t wait to try this!
    : )

  27. Thanks so much for these directions. I have never added ice cubes to the boiled eggs but have always followed the first few steps. It is exasperating to have shells that won’t peel easily. I too cook a lot of eggs so this is a great step by step for me. Thanks again for the post.

  28. I am SO glad you shared this … I’m an empty nester and didn’t know this secret :) … Love your blog thanks again!

  29. Thanks for this! Funny that my husband and I were recently discussing how frustrating it is to peel a pretty egg for deviled eggs. 😂
    I appreciate your tips and enjoy your blog very much.

  30. Ann Sanger says:

    Anne, What a great idea! Never heard about the ice, but I can see how it would work.

  31. Deborah Meyer says:

    I am definitely going to try this method of making hard-boiled eggs. Been a wife for 40 years and have tried them all, and I hit or miss on occasion. I heard it has a lot to do with the age of the eggs as well, but I’m going to try your method. I have never peeled them right away, so this is different for me as well. Thank you so much for the tutorial! I’m going to go give it a try!!

  32. Leigh Powell Hines says:

    I think this is great information.

  33. Used your perfected egg cooking instructions when asked last minute to bring deviled eggs to a party. It was the fastest I’ve ever made them. Love this method and thanks for sharing.

  34. Barbara Burns says:

    Ann,
    I tried the egg boiling technique that you have perfected. Worked like a charm. My husband and I wanted egg salad for lunch, I told him I read On Sutton Place blog about boiling eggs. He said give it a try. I followed exactly, even emptied the ice maker that was frozen up, still made ice but wouldn’t eject them. Now it works again. Easy peasy eggs. Love your blog.
    Barbara Burns.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Yay Barbara! Oh my gosh egg salad sounds so good. I’ll be making it this week!

  35. I live at high altitude and Never have perfected a hard boiled egg. Your instructions worked perfectly and I am so grateful! ! !

  36. Lorraine Nolte says:

    Love your tips….just not sure if this would work with farm fresh eggs. I’ll have to try it sometime. Thanks!

  37. MJ Maffie says:

    just add a bit of baking soda to the water and they peal very easily….works every time!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Thank you for this tip! Do you happen to know if this works on farm fresh eggs? From what I understand they don’t peel well at all.

      1. MJ Maffie says:

        i’m not sure about farm fresh, but it works perfectly on the eggs I buy from the store and its easy!

      2. You need to add lots of salt to water when boiling. This seems to help.

        Ann

  38. Kris Turner says:

    Thanks so much for this. My husband and I were making deviled eggs for Christmas and, while I thought I remembered how to boil them, they came out as you described – potholes and missing pieces. Still made the deviled eggs and they were gobbled up -just blamed the dog for getting into them – ha! Thanks for this information for a not-so-young cook who can now pass down the right technique! (PS: Live in NE Ohio – definitely blessed to have a cozy home and furnace that works! Praying for all those whose home is the street – that they find shelter and warmth to get them through the next few days!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I’m so glad you were warm and cozy! It’s 19 degrees right now and feels almost like a heat wave!

  39. Are you boiling store bought eggs? I ask this question because I have hens and the eggs are so fresh, they will not peel. I have read that some of the eggs we buy from stores are 45 days old when they reach the store. They peel pretty good using the ice water, but that does not make mine peel. Help please. I have even waited three weeks, but they just do not peel well.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      I had a comment earlier that also said that farm fresh eggs don’t peel well. One reader commented that a little baking soda added to the boiling water works well. You could try that. I don’t have access to farm fresh eggs so I buy mine in the grocery. If you try the baking soda let me know if it works and I’ll add it to my post. Thanks!

  40. Ann, love your tips. I just started using the ice trick to cool and peel the eggs recently. It has worked for me every time it’s so much easier. Though my fingers did get pretty cold, but so worth it. :)

  41. Seems if I’m making tuna or egg salad, the eggs peel beautifully. If I’m making deviled eggs, not so much! Thanks for the tip. Stay warm. Bitterly cold in TN too, but no snow.

  42. MaryJean (Sweet Dreams Child) says:

    I use a similar method, but instead I empty the boiling water from the pot and then whack the eggs around (yes, I did say “whack”) in the pot so the shells crack, fill the pot with the eggs until overflowing with cold water for a minute or two and let them sit. The water gets under the cracked egg shell and then the shell just slips right off. Works every time! Added bonus: I get my frustrations out at the same time! ;)

    1. Ann Drake says:

      This makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing!

  43. Jill Flory says:

    I’ve tried many different methods and it seems I never get one that works every time. Of course it may be me deviating a bit from the exact directions or something! I’ll have to try this one!

    1. My mom always taught me to add just a small amount of apple cider vinegar to the water before you boil the eggs. If one of your eggs cracks while boiling, it will keep it in the shell and not let it cook all in the water. You can’t taste the vinegar in the eggs. Since I got an instant pot-it makes cooking and shelling so easy that I have never looked back. Especially since you can cook the potatoes and eggs at the same time for potato salad. But-you need to know this method too because you might not always have your modern conveniences-so thanks for the tricks! Love your blog!

  44. Charlotte says:

    Thanks for the info…..sometimes I can peel my boiled eggs….sometimes I have no whites left when I peel the eggs…will definitely give this helpful information a try. Thanks, and stay warm. It’s cold here in Mississippi, but nothing to compare with what you have going on.

  45. Very helpful ….thanks :)

  46. Angela Ryder says:

    You know, I’ve been boiling eggs for years and I love this post as I never really knew the right way to do it! Sometimes they would peel easy and turn out great and other times, I ended up throwing half of them away! Thanks, Ann!!!

  47. I’ve never used ice cubes, just the streaming cold water. I bet there are lots of people out there who will find this helpful! I’m pinning it for them :)

  48. Ann a farm fresh egg never peels well, but I have never had difficulty with store bough eggs. I do similar to you, I use ice cold water. Beautiful photos :) Stay warm!