Food & Drink

How Long To Boil Eggs?

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 | 0 Comments
four eggs boiling in a pan

Have you ever wondered how long to boil eggs? This question is an important one. If we don’t boil eggs correctly or for the right amount of time, we might get a boiled egg that is not perfect to eat. 

Personal preferences do come in. Some may want soft-boiled eggs; others perhaps want the boiled egg to be hard. But the question remains, how long do you boil eggs?


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How Long To Boil Eggs?

Many factors shape how long to boil eggs. We have already touched upon personal preference and that there are many different types of cooked eggs. But the altitude at which you are cooking, whether the egg has been refrigerated or not, the size of the eggs and the pan you use are all factors in how long to boil eggs. For example, eggs in the fridge and larger eggs may need to be cooked for longer.

What is a perfect boiled egg? The whites should be firm but not rubbery. In addition, if you want to dip bread into the yolk, you’ll want the yolk to be well-cooked but still creamy. If it is not runny, then you can forget dipping bread into your eggs.

We'll give you clear instructions on how long to boil eggs, taking into account personal and environmental factors.

soft-boiled egg with bread
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How To Boil Eggs on the Stovetop

It would not be very helpful if we knew how long to boil eggs for but not how to boil them. To guide you in achieving the perfect boiled egg, we've created a list of instructions that not only cover the necessary steps but also provide recommended boiling times tailored to individual preferences.

  1. Place your egg(s) in the saucepan and cover them with cold water. Putting the eggs in the pan before the water will mean it is less likely the eggs will crack.
  2. Quickly add a pinch of salt and turn the heat on high. Don't forget to start your timer!
  3. Cook to a rolling boil. This is because you want your eggs to cook in almost boiling water. If your eggs cook in boiling water for too long, the yolk will turn green (ironically, you do not want to actually boil eggs).
  4. Gently stir the eggs just before the water boils. You might need to turn down the heat to make sure the water does not boil rapidly.
  5. Drain the eggs promptly when they have cooked for the appropriate time and place them in a bowl of cold water.
  6. Peel the eggs underwater, from their base. Keeping them underwater makes peeling eggs a lot easier.

But the question remains, how long to boil eggs? Here are the timings to boil perfect eggs.

  • Soft and runny whites and yolk: 2-4 minutes
  • Firm whites and soft but set yolk: 6-8 minutes
  • Hard, fully set whites and yolks: 10-15 minutes

If you like slightly runny eggs, you should boil them near the four-minute mark. If you want a hard-boiled egg, cook near the 15-minute mark. 

How long to boil eggs for depends on environmental factors. If your eggs have been in the fridge for a while, are particularly large or you are at a high altitude, then cook them near the maximum length of the time for your preferred type of boiled egg. Water boils at a lower temperature if you are at a high altitude. Therefore, eggs will take longer to boil.

how long to boil eggs
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How To Hard Boil Eggs

There are many ways to hard boil eggs, from on the stovetop, in the oven and in the pressure cooker. The method you use will likely change the answer to how long to hard boil eggs for. On the stovetop, you should cook eggs fresh out of the fridge for about 15 minutes for truly hard-boiled eggs. If you have very fresh eggs, cook them in a pressure cooker as through this method, they become easy to peel. Cooking eggs in an oven can be easier if you are cooking lots of eggs as it requires zero water.

hard-boiled eggs
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How To Store Boiled Eggs

Now that you know how long to boil eggs, you will need to know how long you can store them for. We will explain two methods:

  • For eggs with shells: cooled and stored in a container within the fridge for up to a week.
  • For peeled eggs: stored in water and eaten within two to three days. Peeled eggs don't stay fresh as long as unpeeled eggs because unpeeled eggs are protected by their shells in the fridge. 
eggs in the fridge
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Boiled Egg Recipes

Boiled eggs can be used in many different recipes. Here we have listed a few of our favorites so you can apply your new knowledge of how long to boil eggs. 

How long to boil eggs for is an important question, allowing us to cook the perfect egg according to our personal preferences and environmental factors. If you want a perfect, tender egg with firm whites and a soft but set yolk, boiling for seven minutes should provide you with this. But as we have mentioned, this will be lower if you want eggs with a runny yolk to dip your bread with or higher if you want hard-boiled eggs.

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