How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs

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Learn how to make hard boiled eggs six different ways. Here you’ll find 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

How To Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

We are going to briefly go over the different ways to make hard boiled eggs. The post goes over each of these six methods, but be sure to scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the detailed instructions.

Methods to Boil Eggs

  • Stovetop – the traditional way of making hard boiled eggs is in a pot so you can easily watch it as it cooks. You can also use a steamer basket and steam your eggs on the stove.
  • 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 Stove

  • Add the eggs. Place your eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with water with salt white vinegar.
  • Boil the eggs. Cover the saucepan with a lid, and turn the stove to high to bring it to a roiling boil. Turn off the heat and let your eggs sit in the hot water for 3 minutes for soft boiled, 6 minutes for medium boiled, and 12 minutes for hard boiled.
  • Cool and peel. Transfer the eggs to an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes. Drain and peel the eggs.

How to Steam Eggs on the Stove

  • Add the eggs. Place a steamer basket in a saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil, then add the eggs.
  • Steam the eggs. Cover and steam for 6 minutes for soft boiled, 10 minutes for medium boiled, and 14 minutes for hard boiled.
  • Cool and peel. Transfer the eggs to an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes. Drain and peel the eggs.

How to Hard Boil Eggs in the Slow Cooker

  • Add the eggs. Add eggs in a single layer in the slow cooker. Cover with water and add salt.
  • Slow cook the eggs. Cook on high heat for 2 ½ hours and cook on low for 3 ½ hours.
  • Cool and peel. Transfer the eggs to an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes. Drain and peel the eggs.

How to Hard Boil Eggs in the Instant Pot

  • Add the eggs. Pour water in the Instant Pot and place the trivet inside. Place 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.
  • Cool and peel. Transfer the eggs to an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes. Drain and peel the eggs.

How to Hard Boil Eggs in the Microwave

  • Add the eggs. Add very hot water and eggs in a microwave-safe bowl. Use salt or poke a hole in each egg to prevent the eggs from bursting.
  • Microwave the eggs. Microwave on high for 4 minutes for 2 eggs, adding 1 minute for every additional 2 eggs. While it is cooking, make sure the water has come to a rolling boil. Otherwise, add another 30 seconds to 1 minute. After the cooking time is up, leave the eggs in the hot water in the microwave for an additional 3-6 minutes. You can remove them sooner if you want a runny yolk.
  • Cool and peel. Transfer the eggs to an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes. Drain and peel the eggs.

How to Hard Boil Eggs in the Oven

  • Add the eggs. Preheat the oven to 325º F. Place one egg in each well of a muffin tin.
  • Cook the eggs. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Cool and peel. Transfer the eggs to an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes. Drain and peel the eggs.

How to Hard Boil Eggs in the Air Fryer

  • Add the eggs. Preheat the air fryer to 250º F. Place the eggs in the air fryer, on a basket or rack if included with your model of air fryer.
  • Air fry the eggs. Cook for 12-17 minutes. Time varies because different air fryers vary in wattage.
  • Cool and peel. Transfer the eggs to an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes. Drain and peel the eggs.

Tips for the Best Hard Boiled Eggs

Here are a few things to keep in mind for some of these cooking methods:
  • Instant Pot. 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.
  • Microwave. 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.
  • Oven. The oven makes a large quantity of easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs at once.
  • Air Fryer. 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.
four hard boiled eggs on a plate, one in the shell, one partially peeled, one peeled, and one peeled and cut in half

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs Easy to Peel

  • Hard boil older eggs. Older eggs peel easier because the pH levels in the white part of the egg (albumen) change.
  • Change the pH. 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.
  • Use an ice bath. 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.

Storing Hard Boiled Eggs

  • Fridge: 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.
  • Freezer: 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. 

Common Questions about Eggs

How many calories are in eggs?

Each egg is only around 70 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. Source: Healthline.

What are the benefits of eating eggs?

Eggs 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. They are also linked to eye and brain health, and, surprisingly, show cardiac benefits. Source: WebMD

Are eggs gluten free?

Eggs are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. Birds produce eggs, so there are no grains or lactose. 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. If eggs are fried on the same surface as a gluten-containing food like pancakes or French toast, they are now contaminated.

If you’re concerned about gluten, hard boiled eggs are a great choice. Cooked in their own shells, there is very little chance of coming in contact with gluten products.

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

Recipes with Hard Boiled Eggs

While hard boiled eggs are perfect for snacking or packing in lunches for kids or adults, there are plenty of other ways to use them!

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
4.3 from 45 votes

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 minutes
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

  • Start running the ater in your sink to get it very hot. Place the eggs in the bottom of a microwave-safe bowl and cover with hot 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. While it is cooking, make sure the water has come to a rolling boil. Otherwise, add another 30 seconds to 1 minute. These instructions are for a higher watt microwave. If your microwave has a lower wattage, cook the eggs longer. Microwaves’ wattage varies widely.
  • After the cooking time is up, leave the eggs in the hot water in the microwave for an additional 3-6 minutes. You can remove them sooner if you want a runny yolk.
  • 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 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.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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29 Comments
  1. Susan

    5 stars
    I tried to make hard boiled eggs in the microwave. I learned that my 4 cup Pyrex measuring bowl cracked in my 1000 watt microwave trying to boil water in 4 minutes. So to make 4 hard boiled eggs, I had to time the microwave in 2 minute increments so my bowl wouldn’t crack. After 8 minutes, I had very nice hard boiled eggs.

  2. Clarence

    5 stars
    Just commenting to say that the updated microwave instructions do work – I used them just now to do 8 eggs and they came out perfectly hard-boiled. It’s important to know the wattage of your microwave though, most recipes are based on a 1000w microwave so you might have to do some math to make it work properly.

    I only have a 700w microwave so I basically just added a third to the cooking times (6 minutes for two eggs and 1:20 for every extra 2 after that). So I put 8 eggs in my 700w microwave for 10 minutes, then just left them in there for the full 6 minutes after before giving them a cold water bath. Came out perfectly, no mishaps or explosions 🙂

  3. Candace M

    Do not microwave eggs! I found out the hard way they will explode. Completely shattered my microwave turntable plate and left a few tiny shards of glass to clean up in addition to the big pieces of glass and mostly raw egg. Cost me $50 to replace the turntable plate. Don’t make a costly mistake like I did. Brianne I request you remove this method from your post.

    1. Sorry you had bad results. As mentioned in the recipe, you really need to make sure it comes to a rolling boil. That will depend on the temperature of your water when you start. So if it isn’t fully boiling, add additional time. Also, letting it sit in the hot water is critical to finish cooking too.

  4. Kaitlyn Kelly

    Yo mentioned you updated the microwave one in the comments. Where can I find this? I did 7 minutes for 4 eggs (because I had read the comments) and they were still a little runny so obviously 5 minutes would have not worked at all. Thanks

        1. It might be the power/wattage level of your microwave, so you might have to try extra time, plus being sure to let it sit in the hot water when it is done. All microwaves are a little different. Just like popping popcorn seems to take a different amount of time in each microwave.

  5. Denise

    I tried the microwave. Didn’t work. I’ll stick with the traditional way and cook them in a pot of boiling water. I wasted 2 eggs.

  6. TerryF

    1 star
    I used the microwave method and left the 2 eggs I was cooking in the water for about 7 minutes after removing from the microwave – they were still pretty much raw.

    1. Gary

      Ughhhh

      Turned out like crap after 4 minutes and pissed me off after peeling the 1st one. It was raw as mentioned here. The second one I decided to cook an additional 2.5 minutes after it was refrigerated and it was better.

      I think 8-9 minutes would be better but if I’m going to spend that much time microwaving I may as well do the oven bake method. Never went wrong for me.

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