These easy techniques for how to boil eggs will make you an eggs-pert in no time. We’ll also share tips on peeling hard-boiled eggs, storing eggs and more.
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Hard-boiled eggs are just about the best recipe around. Whether you’re making them for deviled eggs, a picnic-ready potato and egg salad or enjoying as a snack on their own, knowing how to boil eggs is a must.
You know the basics, right? Water, eggs, boil. But how to boil eggs properly takes a little more know-how. To make things simple, we’ve outlined five effortless methods for hard-boiling eggs: on the stovetop, in an Instant Pot, in the oven, in a slow cooker and in an air fryer.
Bonus: For something different, check out this trending penguin egg holder—it makes boiling eggs super easy and fun.
Before you dive in, read these tips from our Taste of Home Test Kitchen pros:
Remove your eggs from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you plan to cook them. This will help them cook evenly and prevent the shell from cracking.
Older eggs are best for hard-boiling. Eggs that are close to their best-by date will peel much easier than fresh eggs.
Avoid a green ring around your yolks by diligently timing how long the eggs cook. No more leaving eggs on the stove and walking away!
Don’t skip the ice bath. Not only does the ice bath prevent your eggs from overcooking, but it also helps loosen the shell and make them easier to peel.
Usually, cracked eggs are a result of turbulent cooking. A rapid boil could knock eggs against the side of your cooking instrument and crack the eggshells. Egg whites might then leak out and allow the egg to overcook.
Another reason could be that your eggs are too cold when they’re added to the cooking appliance. To prevent this, take your eggs out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you start cooking. Be sure to avoid these other common mistakes you might be making with eggs.
How do you know when boiled eggs are done?
The best way to know when hard-boiled eggs are done is to use a timer and follow the cooking method. If you’re worried about overcooking your eggs, pull one out a minute or two early and cut open the egg to check the yolk’s consistency.
Do you have to let hard-boiled eggs cool before refrigerating?
Yes, you should let hard-boiled eggs cool down completely before refrigerating them. You can speed this process up by placing cooked eggs in a bath of ice water, as indicated in the cooking methods above.
Why are my hard-boiled eggs hard to peel?
The most likely culprit for eggs being hard to peel is that the eggs are too fresh. The shells of fresh eggs will chip much more than eggs that have been in your fridge for a few days. So, always use older eggs for easier peeling. If you’re still having a tough time peeling eggs, take a look at these three ways to peel a hard-boiled egg.
How long can you keep hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator?
Hard-boiled eggs with the shell last about a week in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. Peeled hard-boiled eggs should be enjoyed the same day. Just make sure you don’t store eggs in this part of the fridge.
How do you keep hard-boiled eggs from smelling in the fridge?
To prevent hard-boiled eggs from stinking up your fridge, stick to the recommended shelf life of one week. If they smell, they are probably past their prime. Also, make sure you are storing them in the shell (unpeeled), so they don’t pick up other refrigerator flavors or odors.
I grew up eating ramen and love it to this day. A fun spin on my favorite type of noodle soup, these sliders are topped with an egg and kimchi. —Julie Teramoto, Los Angeles, California
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Psst! Do you dread when it’s time to peel hard-boiled eggs? This egg peeler might just be what you need. And if you like this, you’ll love this adorable penguin egg holder, too. Talk about must-have genius kitchen gadgets!
Totally scrumptious and packed with nutrition, this salad was my response to friends who asked how they could incorporate kale into their diets without sacrificing taste. It is also wonderful made with collard or mustard greens, prepared in the same fashion as the kale, or with a mix of spinach & arugula or watercress. —Elizabeth Warren, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Featuring all the fun fixings for a BLT chicken sandwich, this salad is so lovable. I can prep the ingredients ahead of time and just throw it together at the last minute. Barbecue sauce in the dressing gives it unexpected flavor. Even picky eaters love my chicken salads. —Cindy Moore, Mooresville, North Carolina
This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and your family will love it. The sweet pickle relish gives it its signature taste. I like to use a thick, crusty oat bread for this sandwich. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
These little sandwiches with zingy toppings are super simple to pull together. This classic version originated in a deli in Prague, where they’re a really popular winter party food. —Cara McDonald, Winter Park, Colorado
After finding this vintage macaroni salad recipe years ago, I tweaked the flavor and bumped up the pickles. Tuck this dill pickle pasta salad inside your picnic basket. —Elizabeth Kirchgatter, Maysville, Kentucky
My sister-in-law served this special dish for Easter breakfast one year, and our whole family loved the mix of bacon, eggs, noodles and cheese. Now I sometimes assemble it the night before and bake it in the morning for a terrific hassle-free brunch entree. —Dianne Meyer, Graniteville, Vermont
More and more people in my workplace are becoming vegetarians. When we cook or eat together, the focus is on fresh produce. This salad combines some of our favorite ingredients in one dish—and with the hard-boiled eggs and kidney beans, it delivers enough protein to satisfy those who are skeptical of vegetarian fare. —Elizabeth Kelley, Chicago, Illinois
In college, my best friend and I debated whose mom made the best potato salad. Turns out they were almost identical! Even though I’ve since tweaked our recipe, this gluten-free potato salad still takes me home again. —Ellie Martin Cliffe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I came across this unique grilled combo when I was digging in my mom’s recipe box. The crisp bacon, hard-boiled eggs and crunchy green onions make these cozy sandwiches look impressive when company drops by for lunch. Best of all, they’re a snap to assemble. —Ann Fuemmeler, Glasgow, Missouri
My spinach salad with a comforting bacon dressing is a recipe I turn to again and again in winter. It’s quick, elegant and so delicious. I can always count on compliments. —Sandy Davis, Prescott, Arizona
My mother-in-law was from the Bahamas and famous for her cooking, including this warm potato salad. Everyone knew her affectionately as ‘Momma’. Every Sunday after church she set out a feast not just for her family, but for anyone who was hungry in her neighborhood. —Pamela Vitti Knowles, Hendersonville, North Carolina
For much of the year, I can use my garden’s produce when I make this cool salad. In spring, the salad mix and radishes come from my crop. In summer, I use the tomatoes, cabbage and carrots. What a good feeling! —Evelyn Gubernath, Bucyrus, Ohio
Everyone has a favorite potato salad, and this is mine. As a young bride, I was eager to learn how to cook and make things that my husband would love. I combined my mom’s and his mom’s recipes, and this potato and egg salad the delicious result. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsville, Virginia
Formerly Taste of Home’s Deputy Editor, Culinary, James oversaw the Food Editor team, recipe contests and Bakeable, and managed all food content for Trusted Media Brands. He has also worked in the kitchen of Williams-Sonoma and at Southern Living. An honor graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, James has traveled the world searching for great food in all corners of life.
Liz is an unapologetic homebody who loves bowling and beers almost as much as food and fitness. The highlight of her week is making cheesy popcorn for her family on movie night. She’s been hooked on Taste of Home since interning for the magazine in 2010.