How to Know When Hard Boiled Eggs Are Done

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Boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Boiling eggs seems like such as simple task, but it often ends in frustration, with half- or over-cooked eggs. Methods vary wildly when it comes to boiling eggs. Some people follow methods that their family has been doing for years. Others take advice from famous chefs who all have their own methods. Others just boil the egg for as long as possible out of fear of bacteria. The best method to determine a perfectly cooked egg is simply to watch the time.

Place eggs in a pot in a single layer.

Add enough water to fully cover the eggs with an inch of water above the tops of the eggs.

Bring the eggs to a rapid boil over high heat.

Remove the pan from the heat, cover it and let the eggs sit in the hot water for about 12 to 17 minutes depending on the size of the eggs. Large and extra-large eggs will need a few minutes more than small or medium eggs.

Drain the hot water and pour in cold water to allow the eggs to stop cooking and cool. You may peel the fully cooked eggs when cool.

Tips & Warnings

  • For easy peeling, choose eggs that are at least three to five days old. Fresher eggs are difficult to peel because the membrane sticks to the shell.
  • Bring eggs to room temperature before boiling.

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