Boiling an egg is a fundamental cooking skill, yet many people don’t know how to boil an egg. It can seem intimidating and tricky at first, but boiling eggs is actually pretty simple, once you get the hang of it. Check out these step-by-step instructions, and you’ll be boiling eggs like a pro in no time! Note that you can use this same method for hard-boiled eggs or soft-boiled eggs—all you’ll change is the amount of time your eggs cook.
How to Boil Eggs
- 4 eggs
- Place eggs in a pot and cover with cold waterYour eggs should be in a single layer along the bottom of the pot. Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the eggs by about 1 inch.
- Bring water to a boilTurn your stove on high and bring the water to a boil. This should only take a couple minutes, so watch your pot carefully!
- Remove pot from heat and coverTake your pot off the hot burner as soon as your water starts boiling and put a lid on it. Don’t worry—the hot water will continue to boil the eggs.
- Set a timer and waitThe amount of time your eggs need to cook depends on how you want them done. If you want soft-boiled eggs, which will have a runny yolk, set your timer for 3 minutes. If you want medium boiled eggs, set your timer for 6 minutes. For a perfect hard-boiled egg, set your timer for at least 10 minutes. Everyone prefers their boiled eggs cooked differently. Once you’ve practiced a few times, you’ll figure out the perfect amount of cooking time for your tastes.
- Crack the shellsNow that your boiled eggs are cooked, it’s time to peel them! This step is tricky. First, tap the eggs carefully to crack the shells in a few places.
- Place eggs in ice waterPlace your eggs in a bowl of ice water. Submerge each egg completely, and leave them in the ice water for at least a minute. This cools the eggs and makes peeling the shells easier.
- Peel the shellsOnce your eggs have cooled off, they’re ready to peel. Take an egg out of the ice water and simply lift the shells off. You may not get the whole shell in one piece, but it should peel off cleanly.
That’s all it takes to make a perfect boiled egg! You can eat your boiled eggs plain, or use them in a recipe, such as devilled eggs. Hard-boiled eggs make a great addition to salads and are a healthy, protein-rich snack, too.