Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs Every Time (3 Ways!)

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Plate of halved hard boiled eggs

Ever made hard boiled eggs and couldn’t get them to peel, undercooked the yolks, or overcooked the yolks? This guide is for you!

We tested all the tricks we’ve heard about making perfect hard boiled eggs to see what works and what doesn’t. The result: perfect hard boiled eggs every time! Let us show you how.

Hard boiled eggs in a steamer basket, saucepan, and instant pot for our post on how to make perfect hard boiled eggs

The Methods

We found three methods that worked well for making perfect hard boiled eggs every time. They are:

  1. steaming
  2. boiling
  3. Instant Pot

For all three methods we found that super fresh eggs don’t hard boil as well (the shells are more prone to sticking). So, it’s best to use eggs that are 1-2 weeks old.

Eggs in a steamer basket to show how to steam hard boiled eggs

How to Steam Hard Boiled Eggs

This new-to-us method adapted from this article has quickly become our favorite! Why, you ask?

It’s quick — the water comes to a boil faster than boiling because there is less of it.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Add ~1 inch water to a saucepan.
  2. Add steamer basket and bring water to a boil (make sure water isn’t touching the steamer basket)
  3. Add eggs, cover, and steam on high for 10-12 minutes (for large eggs).
  4. Carefully remove and rinse eggs with cool water.
  5. Peel under running cool water.
Showing how to make Instant Pot hard boiled eggs

Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

This was our second favorite method. It worked very well for producing easy-to-peel eggs, but it does require that you have an Instant Pot.

Here’s how to make hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot:

  1. Add 1 cup water and add the metal trivet.
  2. Place eggs on trivet.
  3. Pressure cook on high for 8-9 minutes (for hard boiled eggs) or 4-5 minutes (for softer yolks).
  4. Press the quick release button to release pressure (and carefully remove lid).
  5. Peel under running cool water.
Eggs in a saucepan for our tutorial on how to make hard boiled eggs

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs: Classic Method

Our third favorite way to make hard boiled eggs is the most classic. It requires simple equipment (just a saucepan!) but takes slightly more time and definitely benefits from using older eggs (otherwise, peeling gets tricky).

Here’s how to make hard boiled eggs in a saucepan:

  1. Add eggs to a saucepan.
  2. Cover with cool or room temperature water (by ~1 inch).
  3. Bring to a rapid boil and boil for 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat, cover, and let rest 10 minutes.
  5. Peel under running cool water.
Showing a partially peeled hard boiled egg

We hope you found this guide helpful!

Hard boiled eggs make a delicious protein-rich snack, are great for meal prep, and work well in dishes such as our Gado Gado with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Roasted Rainbow Vegetable Bowl.

Bowls of perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs made using three methods: boiled, steamed, and in an Instant Pot

Other Helpful How-Tos:

If you try any of these methods, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Plates with halved hard boiled eggs made in the Instant Pot, a saucepan, and a steamer basket

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs Every Time (3 Ways!)

The definitive guide to perfect hard boiled eggs every time! With tips on boiling, steaming, and using an Instant Pot!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Small plate of perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs
4.72 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 (Eggs)
Course Helpful How-to
Cuisine American
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs (preferably free-range, organic whenever possible // works best with eggs that aren't fresh — preferably 1-2 weeks old)
  • Water to cover

FOR SERVING optional

  • Sea salt & black pepper

Instructions

  • NOTE: Super fresh eggs don’t hard boil well as the shells tend to stick. So, it's best to use eggs that are 1-2 weeks old.

METHOD #1: STEAMING

  • To a small saucepan, add ~1 inch water. Place a steamer basket in the pan and bring water to a rapid boil. (The water should not be touching the steamer basket. If it is, remove a little water).
  • Once water is boiling, add eggs to steamer basket, cover, and steam at a rolling boil (on high heat) for 10-12 minutes for large eggs, or 12-14 minutes for extra large eggs.
  • Carefully remove from steamer basket and rinse with cool water. Once cool to the touch, crack at one of the ends and try to get under the membrane beneath the shell. Be patient and work your way around, peeling under running cool water.

METHOD #2: INSTANT POT

  • Add 1 cup of water to your Instant Pot and set the metal trivet over top. Then place eggs on the trivet (they can be touching, but to ensure even cooking, don't stack or overcrowd).
  • Secure lid and select "Pressure Cook – High." Then set to 8-9 minutes for hard boiled eggs with firm whites and yolks (or 4-5 minutes for softer yolks).
  • Once the timer goes off, use a towel or oven mitt to carefully press the quick release button to release pressure. Once pressure has been fully released, remove the lid and carefully remove your eggs.
  • Rinse with cool water. Once cool to the touch, crack at one of the ends and try to get under the membrane beneath the shell. Be patient and work your way around, peeling under running cool water.

METHOD #3: BOILING

  • Add eggs to a medium saucepan and cover by ~1 inch with cool or room temperature water. Then bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Once boiling, boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Drain water from the eggs, then rinse the eggs with cool water. Once cool to the touch, crack at one of the ends and try to get under the membrane beneath the shell. Be patient and work your way around, peeling under running cool water.

STORAGE

  • Store eggs in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to 1 week. They'll keep fresher if you don't peel them until you're ready to eat them.

Video

Notes

*Instant Pot method adapted from Damn Delicious.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated for 1 hard boiled egg without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 78 Carbohydrates: 0.6 g Protein: 6.3 g Fat: 5.3 g Saturated Fat: 1.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 187 mg Sodium: 62 mg Potassium: 63 mg Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 0.6 g Vitamin A: 260 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 25 mg Iron: 0.6 mg

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  1. Radhika Jhaver says

    Tried it for the 1st time with the Instant pot! It was amazing! Thank you for sharing this recipe. Wouldn’t have made it otherwise!!!

  2. Mike says

    The steamed method was new to me and completely life changing. It’s so fast and the eggs peel perfectly every time. I’ve used the exact method in this recipe at least a dozen times now and the only method I’ll ever use in the future. I love a 10-12 minute steamed egg!

  3. Fred Beans says

    There is another method that I use. I’d boil the water, put eggs in a pot, pour the boiling water over them, bring to a rolling boil for 6 minutes, and then run cold water into the pot, and peel when slightly warm to the touch. Easy peeling.

  4. Christina says

    I am a new convert to the steaming method – I don’t even use a steam basket. Just an inch of water, boil then add the eggs. (I do use older eggs). I’ve found that the yolk and white cook more evenly, the shell is less likely to break, and frankly it just takes less time and attention. I’m glad you have included as an option.

  5. Samantha says

    This morning I used the steaming method for two eggs I had lingering in the fridge. 11 minutes in the steaming basket. The peeling process was a success and I’m happy to say the shell came right off with hardly any trouble at all! Steaming eggs for the win!

  6. Kimberlee says

    I tried all Three methods this morning. First steamer, then classic and then instapot. This was also my first try at my instapot. (Received for Christmas) I was excited for the steamer basket as I bought it just for this purpose. And the suggestion of older eggs was nothing I had heard before.

    All older eggs. Classic and steamer resulted in the usual half the egg coming off with the shell.

    I am the go to at all holidays for deviled eggs.

    The instapot rocked it! I am so excited!

    Thank you for the post!

  7. Faith V. says

    I LOVE using my Instant Pot to make hard boiled eggs! I usually put them in for 8 minutes, and they come out perfectly! I use the saucepan method if our Instant Pot is occupied, but I don’t like it because it seems to take forever and they don’t peel as easily. Using the Instant Pot gives superior, consistent results!

  8. BB says

    Thank you so much for support… the eggs boiled PERFECTLY. and thank you so much for helping everybody (not only vegans).

  9. Francesca Roman says

    Don’t know how you all figured out old and new eggs, but I’ve tried both and all stick. I live alone so my eggs stay in the fridge for months before I touch them sometimes and if I boil them, well, they still stick like hell.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Francesca, we’d suggest trying one of the cooking methods described in this post to see if that helps!

  10. Virginia says

    Hello. Ive loved your recipes and posts for years and I thought you were vegan so this seems to be a very confusing post. Why would you do this??

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Virginia, We announced in early 2019 that we’d be adding some meat and eggs back in and will provide vegan options whenever possible. If you’d like to continue seeing our only vegan content, you can subscribe to our vegan-only email list as well as visit our recipe page and select “special diet” “vegan.”

      • Virginia says

        Well that’s very disappointing. Vegan is not a ‘special diet’ it’s a kind diet. I thought you were vegan. Using and promoting animal products for food is unkind and unsustainable. I have been a subscriber for a number of years and have only ever seen vegan content until now.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Virginia, early on we posted meat, dairy, and egg recipes alongside our vegan recipes. While we did post primarily plant-based recipes for the past few years, we announced that we’d be adding some meat and eggs back in in order to be more transparent and to better support Dana’s health. We recognize some people won’t understand, will be upset, and no longer feel aligned with our content. We’re OK with that as we ultimately have to do what feels most honest and authentic moving forward.

          • Marileen says

            You are in the best of company since many people decided in 2019 that the animals and the environment are worthless reasons for staying vegan. Are you also only using eggs and meat from “ethically raised” and “ethically slaughtered” animals?
            I believe that there are some diseases where it is difficult to stay vegan…but also that it isn’t impossible.
            So I am really disappointed…

          • Kimberlee says

            Stop it already, it is literally none of your business. People think they are entitled to stick their nose in everyone’s business.

  11. Jennifer Chelchowski says

    Have you read the book The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-alt? It explains the science of cooking eggs really well. There’s no tricks, it’s just plain science…for example your comment on fresh vs older eggs is actually incorrect. I encourage you take a look at this book.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Jennifer! We tested fresher and older eggs and in our personal experience, we found that older eggs worked better.

  12. Meghan says

    I tried the Instant Pot method which did NOT work for me at all – they turned brown and were rubbery after only a 4 minute cycle so I must have done something wrong… and I was unwilling to waste more eggs trying the other steaming method, but the regular boiling method worked well. However, since I raise chickens and ducks, my eggs are very fresh so I’ve found the most useful method is this:

    Place the refrigerated eggs into a basket that fits into your pot (mine are a set). Set the egg basket on the counter (to warm a bit) and then fill the pot and bring it to a full boil with the lid on. Remove lid and place the basket of eggs into the already boiling water. Bring it back to a boil (about two minutes but watch it because you turn it off as soon as it starts to boil again). Replace the lid and leave it on and let the eggs sit (with no heat on) for 18 minutes for extra large eggs (or duck eggs), 15 minutes for large or medium eggs. Take out the basket and set it aside while you dump the hot water and refill the pot with cold tap water. Place the basket back into the cold water (the shock helps peel fresh eggs). Finally, if you put the lid back on and vigorously shake the pot for a minute or so, it will break the shells and make them even easier to peel. Peel under running water (tepid water so your hands are comfortable :-) .

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! Sorry to hear that was your experience, Meghan! It almost sounds like it was somehow too hot? Thanks for the feedback! We did try the shaking trick, but for us, it actually made them more difficult to peel.

  13. Luana Kay Meyer says

    Boil for 15 minutes, run cold water over them, put ice in water for a few minutes. And voila!! Peel eggs amazingly fast and no egg whites lost!

  14. Betty says

    I have always boiled my eggs. To the water I add a little baking soda and don’t have trouble peeling the eggs. I never measure, just add a little.

  15. Jim Brook says

    I agree with you about using steam and have been using this method for years. I would like to add a few suggestions to make the process even more reliable.
    There are several variables which need to be controlled including the size of the eggs, the number of eggs, the temperature of the eggs (whether out of the fridge or not), and the rate at which steam is delivered to the eggs.
    My method is to do an initial calibration as follows.
    * get the water boiling well then turn the heat down to exactly half. This helps prevent cracking of the shells by having to much steam hit them at once. Wait for 30 seconds for the steam intensity to reduce to a steady state.
    *set a timer… I start with 8 minutes
    * add a small number of room temperature eggs of average size, say 2, making sure they are not touching each other.
    * steam for 8 minutes.
    * put eggs into cold water, cool, crack and peel etc.
    * assess the result. This is your reliable baseline.
    Now you have your baseline, from this point on, you use the baseline but making some time adjustments:
    * if you steam more eggs at once. For example if I cook 5 eggs I would add 1 minute, 8 eggs 2 minutes.
    * if the eggs are out of the fridge add 1-2 minutes
    * if the eggs are smaller or larger than average, subtract or add 1 or two minutes.
    Clearly there is certain amount of judgment required but, because you have a known baseline, you will always get a better result. The key concept is that you establish a steady known rate of heat delivery first and then make adjustments.

  16. Jeffrey Engel says

    Easiest hard boiled eggs: put 1/2″ of water (or even less!) into saucepan, and eggs. Bring to boil over high heat (if pan is not crowded, I roll eggs while water comes to boil to ensure yolks are centered). Cover, and lower heat to barely boiling, boiling 11 min for medium yellow yolks, 10 min gives dark yellow, soft but solid yolks. 7 min 15 sec for soft boiled eggs with solid white, runny yolk. Dump out water, replace with cold tap water for a couple minutes. Eggs peel easily (drop eggs onto counter from 1″ or so and break shell all around to make peeling easy). Note: all the water will not boil away in only 11 min unless you leave it on very very high.

  17. Jessica says

    I find that when I add the eggs, then water then bring both to a boil I always have trouble peeling them. If I boil the water first, then add the eggs (gently) then I rarely have trouble peeling them.

    • Ginger says

      Hi Jessica, I’m with you. I’ve been boiling my eggs for 40+ years, and I’ve always boiled water first, then added eggs. Simmered for 20 mins. set the pan in the sink to run some cool water over the eggs. Let them rest for another 10 mins. or so and then run more cool water over eggs. I have to admit it’s hit or miss if the peeling is easy. Based on this articles, I suspect it may have to do with the freshness of the eggs. I was surprised that the “Classic” version was putting eggs in the pot before boiling the water.

    • Chrissy says

      Yes! Pioneer woman had a post about this several years ago! It is my no fail method and eggs are always easy to peel!