Here's the total scoop on how to make boiled eggs that actually peel easily! This post also covers how to reheat hard-boiled eggs, and if boiled eggs or scrambled are more nutrient-rich. This post also answers the question - is it safe to eat overcooked hard-boiled eggs?
Why You Need This Recipe
I prep different egg snacks each week for my family to have high-protein food we can eat on the go. Previously I shared my egg bake with feta, and muffin cup veggie egg bites. Now I'm sharing how I boil my eggs every single week!
I have tried and tested 5 ways to get your eggs to peel the best, no more struggling with little pieces sticking to your egg white and chunks of egg breaking off, it's time to make the perfect hard-boiled egg.
Whether you are making boiled eggs as meal prep for the week, to have for breakfast or to make easter eggs with, this method is simple and easy.
- Why You Need This Recipe
- What do I need to make a boiled egg?
- Nutrition Of Eggs
- How many minutes in boiling water will make the perfect boiled egg?
- 5 Ways I Tested to Make Eggs Peel Easily
- What to Eat with Soft-Boiled Eggs
- Other Egg Recipes:
- More Healthy Snacks Ideas
- Simple Boiled Eggs (that peel easily)
- Danika Vanderpyl, C.H.N.
What do I need to make a boiled egg?
Here's the overview of what you will need to make the best-boiled eggs:
- Eggs, the older the better (not fresh eggs but ones that have been in your fridge 1-2 weeks!), because they are easier to peel, as the membranes separate!
- Water, to boil eggs in and also cold water to dump the boiled eggs into!
- Ice cubes! This is my tried and true hack to get the eggshells to come right off!
- You will need a pot, a medium bowl, and a slotted spoon or a large spoon.
Nutrition Of Eggs
I am certified in holistic nutrition, and I always like to share some of my knowledge. Let's chat about eggs, they contain:
- choline an important for the brain, specifically giving insulation to nerves.
- biotin (B7), important for skin and nails.
- essential fatty acids (DHA and EPA) which are essential for the brain and nervous system.
- Vitamins D and A are needed for immune function, they also help with the absorption and utilization of minerals in the body.
Boiled eggs are higher in protein than scrambled eggs! Read more about this in the FAQ section down below!
Follow the step-by-step photos from my kitchen to make the perfect boiled eggs in your own kitchen.
Start by boiling a pot of water. Once there are big bubbles, move the pot off the burner. With a large spoon (a slotted spoon is even better) place eggs into the water. Place the pot back on the heat and continue to let boil, use a timer to cook for 8-12 minutes depending on how cooked you like your yolk.
While they cook prepare a bowl of water with lots of ice cubes.
This is the trick for peeling eggs easily! When the timer goes, use a slotted spoon to put the eggs into cold water with ice cubes, we call this an ice bath. They must stay in here until fully cool about 10-15 minutes. When fully cool you can place the eggs back into the egg carton and into the fridge until you want to eat your boiled eggs!
To peel eggs there will be an air bubble at the top or the bottom of the egg, gently tap the egg on the counter to find the air pocket. From here you can remove the shell easily with your fingers, or use a spoon to pry between the egg and shell to make it break away quickly.
Cut the egg open and enjoy with salt and pepper, or make an egg salad with it! Here are some ways to enjoy eggs as a healthy snack!
How many minutes in boiling water will make the perfect boiled egg?
For perfect hard-boiled eggs, add eggs to boiling water (read the recipe card below to get the full instructions) and cook for 8-12 minutes.
This photo shows why it's best to add your uncooked eggs to boiling water instead of cooking them in cold water. Starting with raw eggs in cold water and then bringing the water to a boil them makes them unevenly cook, and become overcooked easily.
Note that if you live at a very different elevation than me this will differ, as higher elevation water will boil at a lower temperature! I live in the mountains at 1,320 meters, if you live closer to sea level they will take less time to become the perfect boiled egg.
You can see the very top egg I tested was a farm-fresh egg, which is why its yolk is practically orange.
5 Ways I Tested to Make Eggs Peel Easily
I tested multiple ways to find the best methods for well-peeling eggs!
Method A) Place the eggs in the pot with cold water and bring it all to a boil. Place eggs in an ice water bath after they have cooked.
Method B) Adding the eggs when the water is boiling. Placing them in ice water after they have cooked.
Method C) Adding baking soda to the water before it boils. (This did not make much of a difference in my test.)
Method D) Shaking the cooked eggs in a glass container. This works well when you want to peel them all together (like when you are making egg salad or peeling the boiled eggs for toddlers!).
Method E) Boiled fresh eggs and older eggs that have sat in my fridge.
Here's what I discovered to peel boiled eggs the best:
- Use 'old eggs' for best peeling results. Eggs that have sat in the fridge for 1-3 weeks will peel better! This is because as time goes on the inner part and the membrane of the egg shrinks a tiny bit so it becomes easier to take the shell off.
- Adding the eggs to boiling water instead of bringing the eggs to a boil did show to be helpful in peeling but even more in cooking the egg evenly to perfection.
- The ice bath makes all the difference. This makes a huge difference, it's the best way! Letting them cool down fully in the ice water before peeling is important!
What to Eat with Soft-Boiled Eggs
Adding a boiled egg to your lunch or snack time is a great way to support your blood sugar levels and give you a constant stream of energy. Here are some things I like to eat with boiled eggs as well as some other exciting ideas to try!
- with avocado on sourdough toast
- with ramen noodles
- with salad, chef salad or Caesar salad
- with a nourish bowl or budda bowl (a salad with grains)
- top it with salt and pepper
- top it with pesto
- top it with tapenade (olive spread, mmmmm)
- top it with hot sauce
- enjoy it with smoked salmon
- wrap it with deli meat like ham or chicken
- sandwich it with slices of tomato
- eat it with other fresh foods in a bento box style (add tomatoes, hummus, crackers)
Other Egg Recipes:
Looking for a healthy high-protein bit to eat? I have combined all the best ideas for eating eggs at snack time here!
I make about 1 dozen boiled eggs almost every week at our house, here's what I know!
It is safe to eat an overcooked hard-boiled egg, however, the texture, and taste may have changed.
An over-boiled egg can be more rubbery, and a ring around the yolk can turn greyish or green this is from the chemical reaction of the iron in the yolk and the sulphur in the egg white reacting.
Overall you will not get sick from eating an overcooked egg it just may not be as enjoyable to eat. For best results boil eggs no longer than 9-12 minutes depending on your preference.
There are a couple of ways to reheat hard-boiled eggs:
- Place boiled eggs back in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
- Microwave boiled eggs to reheat them. First poke holes in the shell, then place in the microwave and heat for 15-25 seconds, repeat this 1-2 times depending on how hot the microwave is. Then remove the eggs from the microwave, peel and eat. If the boiled eggs are not warm enough they can be warmed again without the shell.
- If you have a kettle of hot water but no microwave or stove to warm boiled eggs up here's what to do. Place the boiled eggs you want to warm up in a small bowl and pour boiled water over them, let them sit for 2-4 minutes. Then remove the eggs from the water, peel and eat.
Yes, you can reheat a cold-boiled egg in the microwave.
Method #1 Poke the shell with a fork or a sharp knife to make holes in the egg (so it doesn't explode). Place it on a little plate and cover it with a microwave cover, heat it for 20-30 seconds, then rotate it and heat it for another 20-30 seconds.
Method #2 Remove the shell from the egg. On a small plate cut the egg in half, cover it with a microwave cover, and heat for 20-30 seconds. Check to see how warm the egg is and heat it longer in 20-30 seconds increments as needed.
You will need to take into account a few things to decide if undercooked hard-boiled eggs are safe to eat or not. Firstly take note that undercooked eggs or raw eggs can carry harmful bacteria and diseases like salmonella. However, pasteurized eggs are heat-treated to kill any bacteria.
Secondly, where did the eggs come from, did you farm them or are they a carton of eggs from the grocery store? If you know where the eggs come from and how old the eggs it can make you more confident that they don't carry disease.
Thirdly, are you a vulnerable person (a child, pregnant woman, an older person, or have a weak immune system?
Take these considerations into account as well as how uncooked your egg is to determine if you will eat it. Cooking eggs until they are firm is a good way to be sure the heat has killed any bacteria and they are safe to eat.
If eggs are left out overnight on the kitchen counter they are usually not safe to eat. Doing the food safe course taught me a lot about the growth of bacteria which grows quickly in a slightly warm environment. You can get quite sick from this bacteria that grows on room-temperature eggs.
If they were left out in a warm or humid place chuck those boiled eggs out, you want to err on the side of safety - no one wants food poisoning from a rotten egg, throw them out!
If the boiled eggs were in a cold car or cold garage (remember cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria) I would use my senses to see how the egg looks and smells before eating it (such as paying attention to any foul odour).
Boiled eggs vs scrambled eggs are very similar, one main difference is that scrambled eggs are often fried with oil or butter making them higher in calories and fat.
However, if you compare the nutrition facts of a boiled egg vs a scrambled egg you will notice there is more protein retained when making a boiled egg (12.58 g) compared to scrambled eggs (9.99 g) according to calories-info.com. The small amount of carbohydrates stays the same whether you eat hard-boiled or scrambled eggs.
The micronutrients can change slightly depending on the way you cook eggs, both contain vitamin B12 but hard-boiled will retain more than scrambled eggs.
I like to bring boiled eggs camping all the time as a quick high-protein snack, here's how I do it safely.
Eggs need to be kept cold as much as possible so any bacteria don't grow. The way that I keep my eggs cold is firstly by making sure they are in the fridge a few hours before I bring them (instead of boiling them and packing them right away).
If we are by a lake or a creek I will place the boiled eggs that are in a bag or container right into the cold water and secure them with rocks so the eggs don't float away!
If I am backpacking, at night I will store hard-cooked eggs in the bear cache, and most places I am camping, as it is high up in the mountains, will have quite cool temperatures through the night.
If I am car camping I will bring a cooler with some ice to keep the eggs cold and plan to eat them before the ice is fully melted!
If the shell is on the boiled egg it will last about 7 days in the fridge. They can last longer than 7 days, use your senses to smell and inspect if the egg has any signs of going rotten.
If the shell has been removed from the boiled eggs they are only good for about three days. Make sure to store the peeled egg in an airtight container for maximum freshness.
More Healthy Snacks Ideas
Looking for other wholesome bites to eat like this? My blog is dedicated to wholesome snack ideas and easy recipes to make for snacking. Try these:
Did you make boiled eggs with this method? Let me know down below in the comments section! And give this recipe a star rating. I love hearing your feedback.
Simple Boiled Eggs (that peel easily)
- 6 eggs
- The boiling process: Start by boiling a pot of water, you will need the water to cover the eggs about 1 inch. Once there are big bubbles, move the pot off the burner. With a slotted spoon place eggs into the water. Place the pot back on the heat and continue to let boil, use a timer to cook 9-12 minutes depending on how cooked you like your yolk.
- Ice bath: While the eggs cook, fill a medium bowl with cold water and lots of ice cubes. (Scroll up to blog post for a photo of ice bath.)
- The cooling process: When the timer goes, use the slotted spoon to put the eggs into cold water with ice cubes. They must stay in here until fully cool about 10-15 minutes.
- The peeling process: To peel eggs there will be an air bubble at the top or the bottom of the egg, gently tap to the bottom of the egg on the counter to find the air pocket. From here you can remove the shell easily with your fingers, or use a spoon to pry between the egg and shell to make it break away quickly. (Scroll up to blog post to see all 5 methods I tested for the best peeling eggs.)
- Storage method: Store unpeeled eggs in the fridge for 7 days. If the eggs have been peeled keep them in a container and eat within 3 days.