Boiled Eggs 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Hard, Medium, and Soft Boiled Eggs

Learn how to make boiled eggs your favorite way—hard, medium, and soft—with this straightforward explainer.

Photo: Con Poulos

From breakfast to dinner, used in a number of dishes or eaten on their own, there's no question that eggs are a mealtime staple. The fact that they're protein-packed and full of nutrients makes eating eggs a no-brainer. Whether you prefer yours hard boiled and placed in a tasty egg salad, or decadently runny in the middle in the form of our Simple Soft-Cooked Eggs with Toast, making boiled eggs is a quick and easy way to prepare the protein. Despite its name, these eggs shouldn't be boiled (as it will yield rubbery results), but rather immediately removed from the heat once the water comes to a boil.

The Process

To make boiled eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan large enough to accommodate them in a single layer. Next, fill the pan with cold water to cover them by one inch, and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once water begins to boil, turn off the heat and cover. Let it stand 90 seconds to two minutes for soft-boiled eggs, which feature a slightly runny inside. For medium-boiled, let the eggs sit for one minute and 45 seconds to two minutes and 15 seconds, which will produce a gooey center. For a classic hard-boiled egg, 11 to 12 minutes in the hot water will do the trick.

How to Remove the Shell

The next step in making hard-boiled eggs is to remove the shell. Transfer the just-cooked eggs to a bowl of ice water, which will prevent discoloration and facilitate peeling, and let them stand for two minutes before cracking the exterior by gently pressing it against a hard surface. Peel the shell under cold, running water for an easy and efficient removal.

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