How long to hard boil eggs?

Updated July 05, 2018

A hard-boiled egg is an egg that has been cooked until the inside is no longer wet or gooey. Hard-boiled eggs are used to make egg salad and devilled eggs. They are also cut up and thrown in green salads and potato salads. At Easter time, eggs are hard boiled and dyed to make Easter eggs. Learn the proper technique for hard boiling eggs.


If you want the perfect hard-boiled egg, you must begin by examining the eggs at your grocery store. Look for the sell date on the eggs. Just above it will be a long number. The last three digits will reveal the packing date. The numbers go from 001 (the first day of the year) to 365 (the last day of the year). You want an egg that is at least 5 days old. Any earlier than that and it will be too hard to peel. Once you find a good date, check to make sure none of the eggs is broken.

When you are ready to use the eggs, bring them to room temperature before cooking. This reduces the chances that the eggs will crack during the boiling process.

Cooking the Egg

Place eggs in a pot and cover them completely with water. Try to only have one layer of eggs in each pot. Stacking the eggs can throw off cooking time and leave some eggs undone. Set your pot on the stove and turn the heat setting to high.

Watch for your water to begin boiling. Once it starts boiling at a good pace, you will need to take it off the heat and place a lid over it. Set your timer. Small or medium-sized eggs need to sit in the hot water for 17 minutes. Large or extra-large eggs will need to sit for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, proceed to the next section.

After Care

Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes. As soon as the eggs are done, place them in the bowl with the ice-cold water. This will stop the cooking process so that the eggs don't end up overcooked and dry.

Leave the eggs in the bowl for 10 minutes, and then you can begin peeling them. To do this, just crack the egg on the edge of your bowl. That will open up the shell and you can just peel the shell off from there. Rinse off any shell pieces and your eggs are all done.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.