how to boil an egg

I know this is basic, but what's the right way?

Lindsey Swedick


Kristin E. April 14, 2019
I put my eggs in a steamer, fill pot with water to bottom of steamer, bring the water to a boil, cover and turn off and let sit for 10 minutes, transfer to cold water.
dr T. April 14, 2019
Tsje a pot large enough for the eggs to rest on the bottom, fully cover eggs with cold water. Bring to boil, as boiling begins, set time for 2 mins. After 2 mins, remove from heat & cover the pot to rest. Let rest for: 4 mins soft boiled, 5-6 mins for gooey, 6 - 8 for hard. While timer counts down, make ice bath. When time is up, quickly place eggs in bath. Check that it’s cold, adding more ice if it melts. Cool down takes a few mins. You can put the cooked eggs back into the hot water of the pot. The shock of cold back to hot will assist in peeling. Experiment with a dozen eggs to get the resting time right with your pot, your preferred size of egg & the altitude you’re at. No grey rings with this method. Coloradans, add extra time just to the resting times, about 2 mins more.
Farrah April 12, 2019
For awesome boiled eggs, check out the stellar Ami's Aloo Anday recipe on this site:

Disregard the curry sauce prep in the recipe and just note the instructions in Step 4: "...Bring [a] pot of water to a boil; add the eggs, boil for 8 minutes, then transfer to an ice bath. Once cool, peel and halve."

I like this method because the egg yolk is creamy but not crazy runny and the white of the egg isn't all pockmarked or missing by the time I am done peeling it. Yes, the ice bath is an extra effort, but I think it is well worth it.

Hope this helps!
Nancy April 11, 2019
A general good tip, but especially useful if all you have are new(ish) eggs and still need to boil some...add a couple tsp of vinegar to the boiling water. It will help you peel new eggs (notoriously hard & messy), and help give a nice bright color to the cooked yolks.
Megan G. April 10, 2019
The way I do it is I place eggs in the pot and add cold water and cover the eggs about an inch. I bring the pot to a boil, uncovered. Once it's at a rolling boil, I turn the burner off and cover the pot, and start a timer for 9-10 minutes (depending how long I let the eggs boil in the water before turning it off). After the timer is done, I pour out the hot water and run cold water over the eggs. This method for me makes hard boiled eggs where the yolk is still bright in color and just cooked through where it's still moist.
Megan G. April 10, 2019
But this is by no means "the right way" :)
tia April 10, 2019
You know you're going to get a bout 5,000 different answers to this, right? There's no One True Way to boil an egg (I'm assuming you mean in-shell, not, like poached). I usually start eggs in cold water, covered by an inch or two. I bring the whole pot to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Once it's reached a full, rolling boil (you can hear the eggs bouncing around), I let them boil for another 7 minutes for eating out of hand, 8-9 for making deviled eggs, and then drain them, and pour the eggs into an ice bath.

I've found that using older eggs lets me peel them reliably.
HalfPint April 10, 2019
There is no one "right" way. However, if you want to peel eggs easily, you can go a number of routes. The easiest for me is to add the egg to boiling water and then time it to your preference. Some people like a 7 minute egg. I'm more of a 6-minute egg person myself. For hard-cooked, ie. solid yolk, and easy to peel, you can steam or pressure cook.

You can start eggs in cold water, but most of the time the eggs (especially the fresher eggs) are impossible to peel (without mangling and losing the smooth shiny surface) when cooked using this method.

The right way is what works for you.
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