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Fail-proof hard boiled eggs recipe for how to boil eggs so they come out perfectly every time. Perfect for appetizers, snacks, salads, and more!
There are a few things I learned in my home economics class in high school that I still remember: how to balance a checkbook, how to care for a baby made out of a five-pound flour sack, and how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs. Come to think about it, that’s probably three more things than I remember from many classes I had in high school and things I use routinely. Well, not the five-pound flour sack baby, but you get the drift.
How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard boiled eggs are one of the things that I could do at least once a week. My family enjoys them in any number of recipes or just to have on hand for a quick snack or to add to salad.
Many times I use the method I’ve shared previously of preparing hard-cooked eggs in the oven or Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs, but I still love cooking them the time-tested way that Mrs. Dickerson showed me in home economics – boiled. Over the years, I’ve slightly adjusted from her teachings as I’ve found how my family prefers them.
Age Your Eggs
I’ve found that hard-boiled eggs are easier to peel if they have been aged for about 5-10 days in the refrigerator before boiling. It’s best to buy your eggs early and store them to make perfect hard-boiled eggs that you won’t have difficulty peeling. Additionally, if you find that once you’ve boiled your eggs and they are difficult to peel, you can simply place them into an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for 3-5 days and then attempt peeling them again.
Use Baking Soda for Hard Boiled Eggs
For those of you who use fresh farm eggs, I also recommend adding about ¼ – ½ teaspoon of baking soda to the water as you cook your eggs in addition to aging them. This will cause your eggs to have more of a smell when cooked but will make them easier to peel.
How Long to Boil Eggs
It can be confusing to know how long it takes to boil hard-boiled eggs, but there is a simple method that works every time for me.
Single layer. Place eggs in a single layer in a heavy-bottomed pan, such as a Dutch oven. If you have too many eggs in your pan, they will not cook perfectly or peel as easily.
Start cold. Cover the eggs, plus add about 2 inches, with fresh cold water and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda.
Boil. Set the pan over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Boil for one minute. Make sure that you time this very carefully.
Remove from heat. Remove your pan from the heat and cover it with a tight-fitting lid. Allow to sit for 12 minutes exactly.
Plunge. Plunge the cooked eggs into a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking any longer.
Peel. Peel the eggs and enjoy!
How Long Will Hard-Boiled Eggs Last in the Refrigerator?
Hard-boiled eggs will last for up to a week in the refrigerator – peeled and unpeeled. I like to go ahead and peel them for easier use and store them in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
For travel, you can also store them in a zip-top container and remove as much air as possible from the bag as you seal it.
Recipes Using Hard-Boiled Eggs:
Here’s how I make perfect hard-boiled eggs. I hope you love them!
How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- To boil eggs, place eggs in a single layer in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Do not add more eggs than a single layer or they will not produce the perfect hard boiled egg.
- Cover the eggs with fresh water, plus about 1 to 2 inches of water. Add baking soda. Place saucepan onto stovetop at medium-low heat and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Cover and remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to sit for 12 minutes.
- Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop all cooking.
- To peel eggs, simply tap them on their sides onto a hard surface such as a counter top. Then, carefully peel the shell away. If the eggs seem hard to peel, I've found peeling them under a slight stream of running, cold water to be helpful. Eggs, once peeled, may stay in an airtight container for 5 to 7 days.
How Long Will Hard-Boiled Eggs Last in the Refrigerator?Hard-boiled eggs will last for up to a week in the refrigerator – peeled and unpeeled. I like to go ahead and peel them for easier use and store them in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid. For travel, you can also store them in a zip-top container and remove as much air as possible from the bag as you seal it.
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Thanks for the “how to” on boiling eggs, we all need a refresher course from good old home “ec” days…now known as consumer science in some circles believe it or not. We made pizza bites with weenies and chili sauce on Ritz crackers in mine…how gourmet! This is good info for all the upcoming Easter recipes…eggzactly what we need!
Conversation with my husband while he was home from TX last weekend:”Honey, how do you hard boil eggs?” Then he looks me in the eye and says “never mind.” Out of everything that I can cook/bake I CANNOT hard boil an egg. My last attempt was about 3 years ago for Easter. We had soft boiled dyed eggs. I don’t know what I do wrong, because I’ve cooked them for 20 minutes before and still got mushy eggs. I told him to just buy them form the grocery store already cooked. I’m going to send him your instructions in case he ever wants to attempt them himself.
This seems like a foolproof way to get perfect hardboiled eggs every time! Thank you!
I love a good hardboiled egg – for breakfast, on green salads, in egg salad! So much protein in that little thing. I have at least one every day!
Yep…I do mine the same way….always come out perfect with NO YUCKY green edges!
Worked like a charm, Robyn! Thanks, once again! 😉
Yay! I’m so glad! xo
i was a terrible hard-boiled egg boiler, until I found your article. I used to be a home economics teacher. But you get away from things and forget. What we had taught was that they are hard-cooked eggs, not hard-boiled, that hard boiled eggs are green. But whatever. The amount of water, and the single layer are crucial, and that I had forgotten. I pour a little vinegar in the water, maybe achieving the same effect as the baking soda, since my eggs are always fresh. Thanks for reminding me how to make them again. They are coming out great.
PS: Low-Medium heat does not work for me. They never boil on my stove at that temperature. I have to turn up to a little hotter than medium.
I just did this trick today. I always forget how to do it and didn’t want to bother my hubby about reminding me. I was a little nervous since a few people seem to have this not work but it worked like a charm. They came out beautifully. I think I will always do it this way from now on. And now I don’t have to always rely on my hubby to remember. Thanks!
I just tried this (using 1/2 tsp baking soda) and it worked very well. The eggs were cooked just right with no green. Tasted great! THANKS!!
One trick for super easy peeling I learned from Nancy Failing while working at the golf course snack bar in the 1970s! We made hard boilded eggs for all the golfers every day. The tip: As soon as you remove the eggs from the hot boiling water, plunge them into an ice water bath for a couple minutes. I put a bunch of ice cubes and cold water in my Tupperware plastic pitcher while the eggs boil so it is very cold by the time the 12 minutes have passed. Let the eggs sit in the ice water until the ice melts. I think the extreme temp change causes the skin to pull away from insdie the shell, but that’s just a guess. If you crack the egg at the hollow end, it will peel easily.
thanks for sharing.
on a side note, about peeling the eggs: My mother taught me that if eggs are hard to peel, use a teaspoon. Simply get shell away in one section, including thin membrane, then slide the spoon in between the membrane and the egg and gently slide the spoon along. The shell just peels away.
What a great trick! Thanks so much for sharing it. I can’t wait to give it a try!
Fool proof way to cook hardboiled eggs…… is to put as many eggs in large sauce pan. Fill with water, 1-2 inches over top. Add the 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (easier to peel). Bring to boil, turn off heat, but leave pan on the hot burner, for 20 minutes. Remove pan. Fill with cold water, let sit a couple minutes, and peel.
Perfect every time, and soooo simple.
That is the way I was taught years ago but I use kosher salt instead of baking soda. Salt is said to make the peeling effort easy.
Robyn I shall try your version sounds quite similar.
Just like my Mother in law taught me and it’s never failed me either, she’s gone now but not forgotten and I’m so grateful for the wisdom she was able to share with me
How long can you keep hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator – in the shell??
Very helpful even for old cooks!