How to Boil Eggs

It's easy to make mistakes when boiling eggs. For instance, cracked shells, difficulty peeling, hard-boiled when you want soft or soft-boiled when you want hard are all clues that you could use a refresher course in how to boil eggs.

Things You'll Need

  • Eggs
  • Small sauce pan
  • Salt
  • Straight pin
  • Spoon


    • 1

      Select eggs for boiling which are a few days old, as freshly laid eggs are extremely hard to peel. Make sure that your eggs are at room temperature before you boil them as well, both for predictable boiling times and ease of peeling.

    • 2

      Fill a small sauce pan with enough water so that it just covers the eggs; however, do not place the eggs into the water until it has come to a rolling boil. Additionally, the sauce pan should be just large enough to hold the eggs, as too much space can cause the eggs to bounce around and crack while cooking.

    • 3

      Add a bit of salt to the water and allow it to boil. In the meantime, poke a small hole with a straight pin in the wide, rounded end of each egg. The hole will not allow the contents to escape, but it will allow steam to escape. This will ensure even cooking and perfect, uncracked eggs while boiling.

    • 4

      Place the eggs into the boiling water carefully with a spoon and then begin timing the cooking once the water returns to a boil. For soft boiled eggs, leave them in the water for 6 minutes, and for hard boiled eggs, 8 minutes.

    • 5

      Remove the pan from heat as soon as the time is up and place the pan under cold, running water in the sink. Allow the eggs to rest in cold water for 2 minutes before you serve or peel them.

    • 6

      Serve soft-boiled eggs in the shell in an eggcup. You can then crack the top with a teaspoon and scoop out the contents. Peel hard-boiled eggs by first cracking the entire shell and then submerging the egg in water as you peel from the wide end to the narrow end.

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