How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

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Learn how to make hard boiled eggs six different ways. We have methods to hard boil eggs using the stovetop, slow cooker, Instant Pot, microwave, oven, or air fryer. Here are instructions for all six ways to cook them!

hard boiled eggs cut in half and lined up on a rectangle serving plate

Did you know eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet?

Each egg is only 77 calories with 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and all 9 essential amino acids. Eggs are rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium, vitamins like cancer-fighting riboflavin (B2), and other nutrients needed for brain and nervous system health.

Eggs are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. Birds produce eggs, so there are no grains or lactose in this nutritious food.

Is eating eggs or chicken healthier?

Eggs and chicken are both high-quality animal protein sources. Protein is vital for keeping hunger at bay, which means you will feel satisfied for longer. It’s also important to help repair muscles and grow tissues. You may not realize it, but protein actually helps your body produce hormones as well as other body chemicals and enzymes. 

Skinned chicken breasts are more protein-dense, but eggs are more of a complete food with vitamins and other nutrients. Egg yolks are linked to defense against the onset of dementia and decrease the risk of vision degeneration in old age.

Have you worried about cholesterol from eggs? The majority of the cholesterol in our body is produced by our liver and is not acquired from our food. Our current understanding is that most people are healthy when eating an egg a day. Your weekly allotment can be split, having a couple of eggs at a time and having days without eating any eggs. If you have diabetes or if you’re at high risk for heart disease, seek medical advice for a recommendation about adding eggs to your diet.

Are eggs gluten free?

Eggs are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. Birds produce eggs, so there are no grains or lactose in this nutritious food. If someone with Celiac disease or who has a gluten sensitivity reacts to eggs, it is probably from cross contamination. This frequently happens when utensils are used when cooking other items with gluten. Common problems with cross contamination include dishes like French Toast and pancakes. If eggs are fried on the same surface, they are now contaminated.

If you’re concerned about gluten in your diet, hard boiled eggs are a great choice. Cooked in their own shells, there is very little chance of coming in contact with gluten products. We have delicious recipes with eggs that are gluten free.

Are there tricks to make hard boiled eggs easy to peel?

Older eggs peel easier because the pH levels in the white part of the egg (albumen) change. When you cook eggs in water, adding baking soda or salt and vinegar changes the pH level and permeates the shell, breaking it down to make it easier to peel. An added bonus is if an egg cracks, the salt solidifies the egg in the boiling water, and your pot doesn’t boil over.

Another trick is to put your boiled eggs in an ice water bath for about 5 minutes. The icy water stops the cooking process, but it also makes the egg contract away from the shell, helping you peel it easily.

four hard boiled eggs on a plate, one in the shell, one partially peeled, one peeled, and one peeled and cut in half

How do you cook hard boiled eggs?

Methods

You’ll find instructions below for each of these six methods.

  • Stovetop – the traditional way of making hard boiled eggs is in a pot so you can easily watch it as it cooks. The stove can also steam your eggs.
  • Slow Cooker – a great option is to use your crockpot for a hands-off method that cooks without heating your house.
  • Instant Pot – an electric pressure cooker is also hands-off, and there is less evaporation, so you use less water when hard boiling your eggs.
  • Microwave – handy when you want hard boiled eggs fast and don’t want to use the stove.
  • Oven – a great option if you need a large quantity of hard boiled eggs without a lot of fuss.
  • Air Fryer – this is another hands-off method and doesn’t even require water.

How to hard boil eggs on the stovetop

The first method is to cook the eggs in water that has come to a boil.

  1. Place your eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon salt and ¼ c white vinegar.
  3. Cover the saucepan with a lid, and turn the stove to a high temperature, heating until the water is at a roiling boil.
  4. Turn off the heat and let your eggs sit in the hot water.
  5. Cook 3 minutes for soft boiled, 6 minutes for medium boiled, and 12 minutes for hard boiled.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.
  7. Drain and peel.

The second method on the stovetop is to steam your eggs.

  1. Place your steamer basket in your saucepan.
  2. Fill the saucepan with water to the bottom of your steamer basket.
  3. Bring the water to a boil.
  4. Place your eggs on the steamer basket and cover.
  5. Cook 6 minutes for soft boiled, 10 minutes for medium boiled, and 14 minutes for hard boiled.
  6. Use a spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.

How to hard boil eggs in the slow cooker

  1. Place your eggs in a single layer in the slow cooker and cover with water.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of salt.
  3. Cook on high heat for 2 ½ hours and cook on low for 3 ½ hours.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain and peel.

How to hard boil eggs in the Instant Pot

My favorite method for easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs.

  1. Pour in 1 cup water.
  2. Place the trivet in the bottom of the pan.
  3. Place 6-12 eggs on the trivet.
  4. Quick Release Method: Use the manual setting, and set the timer for 7 minutes on high. If you cook using a medium setting, add more time. Do a quick release of the steam as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Natural Release Method: Use the manual setting, and set the timer for 5 minutes on high. If you cook using a medium setting, add more time. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes before releasing steam.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for 5 minutes.
  7. Drain and peel.
Pro Tip

Every Instant Pot is slightly different, so you may find you have to adjust the cooking time to get your eggs cooked as you like them.

How to hard boil eggs in the microwave

  1. Use a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Place the eggs in the bottom and cover with water ½ inch above the eggs.
  3. Add ½ teaspoon salt for each egg to avoid an explosion. An alternate method is to poke a hole in the bottom of the shell.
  4. Microwave on high for 4 minutes for 2 eggs, adding 1 minute for every additional 2 eggs.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.
  6. Drain and peel.
Important Reminder

Microwaves’ wattage varies widely. These instructions are for a higher watt microwave. If your microwave has a lower wattage, cook the eggs longer. It’s worth experimenting for this fast boil method.

How to hard boil eggs in the oven

The oven makes a large quantity of easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs at once.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325º F.
  2. Place one egg in each muffin tin. A silicone muffin tray is a great alternative to avoid heat spots from a metal pan.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain and peel.

How to hard boil eggs in an air fryer

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 250º F. You can skip this step and add a couple of extra minutes to your cooking time.
  2. Place the eggs on the basket provided with your air fryer or a grilling rack.
  3. Cook for 12-17 minutes. Time varies because different air fryers vary in wattage.
  4. Use a spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.
  5. Drain and peel.
Air Frying Notes

These hard boiled eggs don’t require any water. Sometimes the fryer makes the egg shells have bubbles, but this doesn’t affect the final product.

How long can hard boiled eggs be stored?

Hard boiled eggs can be stored for about 7 days. It’s easiest to store hard boiled eggs in the fridge, unpeeled. If you peel your eggs first, store them in a sealed container. A moist cloth on the bottom and top will keep them from drying.

Hard boiled eggs do not freeze well. The whites of the egg become hard and rubbery. If you want to freeze eggs, you can separate the yolk from the whites and store the yolks in the freezer. You can freeze fresh eggs by cracking each one open and putting it in a muffin tin. Eggs can last for about one year in the freezer. 

eight halves of hard boiled eggs lined up on a white rectangular plate

Recipes with Hard Boiled Eggs

And, of course, they are great to pack in lunches for kids or adults!

a rectangular white plate with one hard boiled egg in the shell, one with the shell cracked and partially removed, one peeled, and one peeled and cut in half

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

Learn how to make hard boiled eggs six different ways with methods using the stovetop, slow cooker, Instant Pot, microwave, oven, or air fryer. Here are instructions for all six ways to cook them!
Cook: 5 mins
Servings: 6 -12 eggs

Ingredients

  • 6-12 large eggs

Instructions

How to hard boil eggs on the stovetop

  • Place your eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon salt and ¼ cup white vinegar.
  • Cover the saucepan with a lid, and turn the stove to a high temperature, heating until the water is at a roiling boil.
  • Turn off the heat and let your eggs sit in the hot water.
  • Cook 3 minutes for soft boiled, 6 minutes for medium boiled, and 12 minutes for hard boiled.
  • Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain and peel.

How to steam hard boil eggs on the stovetop

  • Place your steamer basket in your saucepan.
  • Fill the saucepan with water to the bottom of your steamer basket.
  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Place your eggs on the steamer basket and cover.
  • Cook 6 minutes for soft boiled, 10 minutes for medium boiled, and 14 minutes for hard boiled.
  • Use a spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.

How to hard boil eggs in the slow cooker

  • Place your eggs in a single layer in the slow cooker and cover with water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of salt.
  • Cook on high heat for 2 ½ hours and cook on low for 3 ½ hours.
  • Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain and peel.

How to hard boil eggs in the Instant Pot

  • Pourone 1 cup water in the Instant Pot and place the trivet in the bottom of the pan.
  • Place 6-12 eggs on the trivet.
  • Quick Release Method: Use the manual setting, and set the timer for 7 minutes on high. If you cook using a medium setting, add more time. Do a quick release of the steam as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Natural Release Method: Use the manual setting, and set the timer for 5 minutes on high. If you cook using a medium setting, add more time. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes before releasing steam.
  • Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for 5 minutes.
  • Drain and peel.

How to hard boil eggs in the microwave

  • Place the eggs in the bottom of a microwave-safe bowl and cover with water ½ inch above the eggs.
  • Add ½ teaspoon salt for each egg to avoid an explosion. An alternate method is to poke a hole in the bottom of the shell.
  • Microwave on high for 4 minutes for 2 eggs, adding 1 minute for every additional 2 eggs.
  • Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes. Microwaves’ wattage varies widely. These instructions are for a higher watt microwave. If your microwave has a lower wattage, cook the eggs longer.
  • Drain and peel.

How to hard boil eggs in the oven

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
  • Place one egg in each muffin tin. A silicone muffin tray is a great alternative to avoid heat spots from a metal pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain and peel.

How to hard boil eggs in an air fryer

  • Preheat the air fryer to 250ºF. You can skip this step and add a couple of extra minutes to your cooking time.
  • Place the eggs on the basket provided with your air fryer or a grilling rack.
  • Cook for 12-17 minutes. Time varies because different air fryers vary in wattage.
  • Use a spoon to place the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain and peel.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs
Amount Per Serving (1 egg)
Calories 63 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 164mg55%
Sodium 62mg3%
Potassium 61mg2%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 238IU5%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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