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The Kitchn: How to hard boil eggs perfectly every time

By Faith Durand, on

3. Cool the eggs completely. Chill eggs in the ice bath for at least one minute, but it’s best to cool them completely — about 15 minutes — before peeling. The temperature shock forces the egg white to contract, separating it from the shell. Quick cooling also firms the egg white making the eggs easier to peel.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Makes 6 eggs

6 large eggs

Cold water


1. Place 6 cold large eggs in a medium saucepan and fill with cold water, covering the eggs by an inch.

2. Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to a full, rolling boil uncovered. Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath.

3. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and add water to cover.


4. As soon as the water comes to a boil, remove the pan from heat and cover the pan.

5. Leave the eggs in the covered pan for the right amount of time. How long? Depends on whether you want soft-boiled or hard-boiled eggs. Here’s how long each will take:

6. After your selected time is up, remove the cooked eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and tap each gently on the countertop to crack the shell in a few places. Skip this step if your eggs are very soft-boiled with runny yolks.

7. Transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice water and leave them there for at least 1 minute.

8. When ready to eat, peel the eggs and enjoy.

Recipe notes: You can of course do fewer eggs (or more!), but we like to do six at once. Refrigerate any unused eggs, still in their shells, within 2 hours. They can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.

(Faith Durand is editor-in-chief of, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to




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