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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


  • 12 large eggs, room temperature

Cook's Note

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


  1. Step 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. Step 2

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

      In this step:

Martha Stewart Baby, Special Issue 2000

Reviews (21)

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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 ;-)

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.


  • 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!

  • 17 Jun, 2010

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

  • 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.

  • 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??