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How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

Get a perfect hard-boiled egg every time with these simple tips on how to hard-boil an egg. Boiled eggs are a convenient and affordable source of protein. With hard-boiled eggs on hand, you have the components of a satisfying breakfast, lunch, snack, appetizer, or dinner. So get cracking!

  • Yield: Makes 1 dozen
How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

Source: Martha Stewart Baby, Special Issue 2000


  • 12 large eggs, room temperature


  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan. Cover them with cool water by 1 inch. Slowly bring water to a boil over medium heat; when the water has reached a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let sit 12 minutes.

  2. Transfer eggs to a colander; place under cool running water to stop the cooking. Eggs can be peeled and served immediately.

Cook's Note

Remaining eggs, with shells on, may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Reviews (31)

  • Penny Pingleton 21 Dec, 2014

    I made egg salad with a variation that most people might think is crazy.
    After preparing the eggs, I removed the shells.
    I placed the shells in a small food processor and pulverized them into a fine powder.
    I mixed the powdered shells into the eggs and made a delicious eggs salad.

  • judyjnow 13 Sep, 2014

    Worked perfectly for me. Added 2 minutes because eggs came directly from refrigerator.

  • Penny Pingleton 21 Dec, 2014

    that doesn't make sense.
    Why would you add two minutes to the cooking time after they came to a boil and you shut them off?

  • egardenut 26 Jul, 2014

    Steam them!!! Put your eggs in a steam basket. Low steam for 12 minutes. Transfer to ice water for 3 minutes. Peel under cold water. Perfect! And they last for a week in the fridge!

  • Meribast Mousesmacker 22 Jul, 2014

    Seriously, you don't have to use a dozen eggs to try this out - its just that the typical package is 12 unless you buy from a warehouse store or restaurant supplier then you might be getting a 36 egg flat or so.

    Jonathan: using water from the tap should be fine (its what most people do, I imagine). You won't be drinking the water, but some may leak into the egg if there are any cracks (it does happen).

  • crispy1186 18 Jul, 2014

    Just used this recipe last night, and the eggs turned out FABULOUS!!! The eggs peeled very well, and had no issues with the egg peeling with the shell! You have to make sure to immediately get them into cold water, and don't let them sit for too long. The idea, is to shock the membrane and cause it to separate from the egg. So the cooler the egg gets, the more chance of the egg peeling with the shell.

  • Jonathan P 5 Jul, 2014

    What kind of water should I use?

  • Katie Kenyon1 14 Jun, 2014

    If you want half or more of your egg to peel with egg, use this method. If you don't, then I suggest you look elsewhere for a recipe. I wasted an entire dozen eggs. Martha Stewart can't cook boiled eggs worth a damn.

  • jlinkels 8 Jun, 2014

    Wow! I am so grateful for this recipe. Finally the secret of boiling eggs has been disclosed. Now I can enjoy my own hard boiled eggs. Who would have guessed that you have to put the eggs in the water and then boil them? So smart, and yet so easy. I am happy web sites like this exist. What would we do without them.

  • Yoenun Nessbiz 25 May, 2014

    Jan Heiser, I disagree. The only way to make hard baked eggs is in a sauce pan with boiling water.

  • monte rosa 24 Sep, 2013

    I use the same basic method, but only leave the eggs 4 to 5 minutes before a cold bath. Americans certainly know how to overcook eggs! I guess it doesn't matter, since most eggs don't taste like much here anyway, alas.

  • Jan Heiser 23 Sep, 2013

    Only way to make hard boiled eggs is in the oven. Put eggs in a muffin in each [filtered word]. Shells on.
    Bake at 325 degrees for 13 minutes............Roll them over and bake for another 13 minutes. Perfect-O

  • amenpi 23 Sep, 2013

    Tried this once and didn't work, what works for me is putting eggs in saucepan covered in water, setting on burner at medium high and setting timer for 20 minutes. Then rinse in cold water. Has never failed me.

  • upnseams 23 Sep, 2013

    I do this all the time but I learned only 8mins and leave them on the heat until it cools off. Then place them under running cold water. And they come out perfect every time.

  • Claire Sebring 6 Jul, 2013

    I used Sheuzz's recipe. They came out perfect. It was so nice for the shells just to fall off. Thank you Sheuzz!!

  • JacsMom1 28 Mar, 2013

    Scroll to sheuzz below for the perfect hard boiled eggs! I've struggled with peeling my HB Eggs forever, but this method did the trick! I will finally have delicious AND beautiful deviled eggs for Easter!

  • Judy Jones 24 Mar, 2013

    In addition to salt and being at room temperature, make sure you buy your eggs well in advance 10 days is ideal, but 7 is ok. This is the tip my Jewish Mom swears by as we prepare for the Seder!

  • scottbutcher 21 Mar, 2013

    To prevent the shell from sticking to the membrane which makes peeling difficult, salt the cooking water with 1 tsp. salt and pierce the broader end of the egg with a thumbtack (drawing pin) before placing in the water. The pinhole also prevents cracking.

  • scottbutcher 21 Mar, 2013

    To prevent the shell from sticking to the membrane which makes peeling difficult, salt the cooking water with 1 tsp. salt and pierce the broader end of the egg with a thumbtack (drawing pin) before placing in the water. The [filtered word] also prevents cracking.

  • Jillie 13 Feb, 2013

    I have always had a problem making hard boiled eggs, go figure such a simple thing. The shells always stick and I wind up ripping them apart. I tried Martha's way and shells still stuck and then I tried shuezz (poster below) way and for the first time my eggs came out perfect! Thank you so much.

  • hardboiledeggs 29 Oct, 2012

    I would tweak this a bit (from ...

    1. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a sauce pan or pot.
    2. Add water until there is one inch of water over the eggs.
    3. Bring the water to a boil (unvcovered).
    4. Remove the pot from heat, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
    5. Run cold water over the eggs until they are cold.

    To avoid an egg cracking while boiling: Remove eggs from the refrigerator and allow them to sit for 20-30 minutes to reach room temp.

  • JoshuaTrent 27 Jun, 2012

    That's the same way we do it at my house shuezz. I don't know what this other method seems to be the "foodie" method but it takes longer and does not come out perfect every time. I had never seen a green yolk until I tried this method, lol!

  • shuezz 25 May, 2012

    for those who have problems getting a perfectly peeled egg, maybe you'd like to try how it's done in my family =)

    1. rinse refrigerated eggs briefly under room temp tap water.
    2. bring a pot of water ( enough to cover all eggs ) to a boil.
    3. gently lower eggs into the boiling water.
    note : cooking too many eggs ( >6 ) at once will significantly lower the water temp at this point.
    4. start timer once water is back to a gentle boil - 5 mins for half cooked yolk, 8 mins for fully cooked
    5. remove pot from heat & pour out the hot water.
    6. fill pot with running tap water to cool the eggs while simultaneously cracking the egg shells all around.
    7. let cracked eggs stand in the cool water for about 7-10 mins.
    8. peel.

    key points if you want to avoid sticky shells :
    1. never bring eggs to boil with the water
    2. crack shells while letting eggs cool in water

  • vou_41 4 Apr, 2012

    I have a simple solution for this problem of the egg white peeling off. All you need to do is crack the entire outer shell against a hard surface and then peel the shell off... works every time ;-)

  • Triplet3 24 Jan, 2011

    I too have experienced the same messy problem and while peeling leaving loosing most of the white of the egg. Very frustrating. I notice that the thin clear membrane does not detach from the egg white which I think is the main problem. I noticed in the instructions that the eggs should be room temperature. I usually take them straight from the fridge to the pot of water. Next time I will leave the eggs on the counter for a while and test the difference and get back to all.

    Eileen A.

  • MaKettle 8 Oct, 2010

    In the last few years our eggs have become very awful to peel. We try all kinds of thricks (use older eggs, salt the water, peel under running water) and we still end up with a mess. Either eggs have changed OR it's our fridge temp or water or something. SOOO Frustrating! Eggs used to be trouble free. What has changed?

  • DrMcGrew 13 Jul, 2010

    Hard boiling eggs which are farm fresh will yield to eggs which are virtually difficult to peel. Buy eggs and store them for 5-10 days before hard boiling farm fresh eggs. This is because as the eggs age, the carbon dioxide present in the albumin seeps out, thereby reducing its acidity. Research reveals that reduced acidity assists in easier peeling process.


  • donnahojo 30 Jun, 2010

    I always add salt to my boiling water and have never had a problem. Not sure if that is the reason, but it's worth a try!

  • bbird 17 Jun, 2010

    I have fresh eggs and they just won't peel when I hard boil them. Do you have any tricks?

  • jenagray 1 May, 2010

    I have problems peeling eggs when they're too cold. Run your eggs under water that is about room temp. or let them sit for a short while. When I do this they peel perfectly.

  • weamond 4 Apr, 2010

    Martha every year it's the same thing. Eggs that don't want to peel. And if you're taking deviled eggs they should be as flawless as possible. I think I may be using too fresh eggs. Other than trying to peel under cold running water are there any other tricks??

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