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Hard Boiled Eggs Three Ways

hard boiled eggsIt never fails that when my children and I are ready to dye Easter eggs, I always have to look up how to properly hard boil an egg. It is the one time a year that I do it, and I can never seem to remember the best method to get a perfectly cooked egg. Hard boiled eggs of my youth were always dropped in a pan of boiling water and left to cook until the entire house smelled of egg. The results were eggs that had a grey ring around the yolk, and a chalky texture. Not appetizing, and probably why I only hard boil eggs once a year.

So this year, I decided to do a little experiment. I looked in two trusty sources, The Joy of Cooking (the cooking bible, in my humble opinion) and The Betty Crocker Cookbook to see what method they suggested. And of course, a Google search. The Google search provided me with pressure cooked hard boiled eggs and eggs with a match floating in the water. The one that intrigued me the most was a baked, hard “boiled” egg. To put these methods to the test, I had to decide what made a good hard boiled egg. The winner had to be easy to peel and that the egg had to be well cooked, without the grey ring to be contender. You ready?

hard boiled eggs 3 ways

Here is what I used to conduct my test:

Safe Eggs
muffin tin
2 saucepans

hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod #1 – The Rolling Boil Method via The Joy of Cooking

Bring 2 to 4 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Gently lower the eggs into the water using a slotted spoon.

Return to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 14 minutes for large eggs, 12 minutes for medium and small eggs, and 15 minutes for jumbo eggs.

Transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod #2 – Quick Boil and Let Sit via The Betty Crocker Cookbook

Place large eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with water, at least 1-inch over eggs. Cover and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and let stand, covered for 15 minutes. (12 for medium and small, and 18 for jumbo)

Drain and rinse with cold water until completely cool.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod #3 – Oven via Lifehacker

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place eggs in a muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes.

The verdict? hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod # 1 – The Rolling Boil

  • Super hard to peel.
  • The membrane stayed on the egg, and it was a big ol’ mess. It completely feel apart and this was the third attempt at peeling. All of the others split open.
  • Eggs were undercooked

hard boiled eggs 3 waysYuck.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod # 2 – The Quick Boil and Let Sit

  • Easy to peel
  • Perfectly cooked

hard boiled eggs 3 waysPretty much a perfect hard boiled egg.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysMethod #3 – The Oven

  • Really easy
  • No mess
  • Easy to peel

hard boiled eggs 3 waysNice, evenly cooked eggs.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysBut, if you are concerned about presentation there is a little brown spot where the egg sits on the muffin tin. If you are making egg salad, if might not matter. But if you were going to be making deviled eggs where you might see it, I might not choose this method.

hard boiled eggs 3 waysWhich method would I say is the best? The most consistent eggs were the Quick Boil and Let Sit eggs. Every egg that I cracked peeled easily and had a perfectly cooked yolk.

There you have it, the best way to hard boiled eggs.

hard boiled eggs 3 ways

Hard Boiled Eggs Three Ways


  • eggs
  • water


Method 1 – Rolling Boil

  1. Bring 2 to 4 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Gently lower the eggs into the water using a slotted spoon. Return to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 14 minutes for large eggs, 12 minutes for medium and small eggs, and 15 minutes for jumbo eggs. Transfer eggs to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking.

Method 2 – Quick Boil and Let Sit

  1. Place large eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with water, at least 1-inch over eggs. Cover and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and let stand, covered for 15 minutes. (12 for medium and small, and 18 for jumbo) Drain and rinse with cold water until completely cool.

Method 3 – Baked in Oven

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place eggs in a muffin tin. Bake for 30 minutes.Transfer to a boil of cold water for 10 minutes.

307**I am a Brand Ambassador for Safe Eggs, and have been paid for this post. All opinions are my own.**

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  1. Camille

    March 20th, 2013 at 8:41 am

    This is great! I always have the hardest time with hard boiled eggs – every time I do them they come out different!! The baked version looks pretty awesome, I never even thought to try something like that!

  2. Nadell

    September 17th, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    It’s all about physics First of all use room temp eggs to keep from cracking. Second start with cold water to cover. Heat on medium high until boiling then boil for four to five minutes (for large eggs). I always test by pulling one out with a spoon and giving it a quick twirl. Well cooked eggs don’t wobble like raw or undercooked. It will probably be a tad underdone but if you drain and let sit for several minutes it should be perfect. I like mine just on the edge of being hard-boiled so I dump all the hot water and fill up with cold tap water a couple of times until the egg is cool or barely warm to touch. Don’t usually have a hard time peeling once they have been in the fridge until well cooled. Physics comes in about starting temps keeping from cracking, using the twirl test and cooling the eggs at the end to keep residual heat from overcooking.

  3. Tieghan

    March 20th, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I always over cook my eggs! This is an awesome post!

  4. Ali | Gimme Some Oven

    March 20th, 2013 at 9:45 am

    This is AWESOME! I just heard about the oven method the other day. You’re like America’s Hard Boiled Egg Test Kitchen! πŸ˜‰

  5. bakedbree

    March 31st, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    I felt like I should have been wearing a lab coat. πŸ™‚

  6. Denise

    March 20th, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I cannot thank you enough for this post. Making hard boiled is so frustrating! πŸ™‚ I saw the oven method on pinterest but haven’t tried it. Now I will.

  7. patsyk

    March 20th, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Too funny that you posted this as I’ve got to send my kids into Hebrew school each with a dozen hard boiled eggs for their Passover meal! I’m partial to the quick boil and let sit method, but loved that you tried several methods I had been curious about. Thanks, for a great post!

  8. aletta

    March 20th, 2013 at 10:28 am

    what is a boil of cold water? Water that’s cold then brought to a boil? Or just a pot of cold water? Please explain to this idiot… thanks.

  9. Lori

    March 20th, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Water that starts cold and is brought to a boil while the eggs are in it, rather than boiling first then drop the eggs in. πŸ™‚

  10. Claire

    March 20th, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I think it is supposed to say “bowl” instead of boil πŸ™‚

  11. bakedbree

    March 31st, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    it was a typo. Bowl.

  12. Sharon

    March 20th, 2013 at 10:32 am

    I always have to look up how to boil eggs too! I just boiled some the other day. I actually have a little egg timer that you put in with the eggs in the water. I do a quick boil with the egg timer than when they are ready (according to the timer), I immediately put them into cold water and let them sit for a while. They were actually pretty easy to peel and were cooked fine. Out of the three ways you experimented with, I think I would prefer the quick boil method. An easy peel is important!

  13. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite

    March 20th, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Ok I am sold on the oven idea. I’m definitely going to try this out.

  14. Kay

    May 10th, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    it works well. i use this method all the time. I also (to not get the burnt dot or mark from muffin tin), i put enough water to cover a thin layer on the bottom of each tin (only where you are putting an egg). It has worked for me well. There will be spots on the shells though; but not on the inside of the egg… If you are going to be making these for presentation… test a few before making a batch for your guests to make sure they look good… baking an cooking is a science; sometimes things do not go as planned.. I love this method though for sure!!!!!!!!!

  15. bakedbree

    May 16th, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks for the water tip!

  16. Susan

    March 20th, 2013 at 11:01 am

    I baked a dozen eggs yesterday as it was easier for me that day to pop them in the oven and walk away for 30 minutes. But I fill the muffin pan with water and my eggs don’t have that dark spot on the side.

  17. Diane {Created by Diane}

    March 20th, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Great post, I use the quick boil method and have for years with great results. I do think the age of the eggs also matters. The older the eggs the better they cook for me. I tried the baking method once, and well I did not have such great results, they weren’t cooked enough, I’ll have to give it another try since you were so successful πŸ™‚

  18. In Katrina's Kitchen (@katrinaskitchen)

    March 20th, 2013 at 11:11 am

    oooh I’ve wanted to make eggs in the oven…never thought about the burn spot on the bottom!

  19. June g.

    March 20th, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Thanks for the terrific, science experiment! I’ve wondered about the oven method but didn’t want to squander a dozen eggs;) appreciate the sacrifice!

  20. ahu

    March 20th, 2013 at 11:56 am

    great post – i always use method #2 but will definitely test out method #3!

  21. Nur Ain

    March 20th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for this great post Bree! I usually boil eggs using method 2. Never know about method 3 before but it’s a good new thing to know. Super easy. I’ll try that πŸ™‚

  22. Katie @ Blonde Ambition

    March 20th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Umm how excited am I that you posted this?! I have been trying to perfect the hard boiled egg for weeks now since I’ve been trying to get more protein in my diet.

    I have actually been using the quick boil method but I’m not sure I put the eggs immediately into cold water…plus I followed some misguided google result that said to add vinegar to the water. The eggs are well cooked but impossible to peel. Thank you for these tips!

  23. Lorie Lindgren

    March 21st, 2013 at 9:19 am

    the vinegar is to keep the broken eggs in-tacked so they don’t run all over the place … has nothing to do with the cooking πŸ˜‰
    … I use method one and then shake them in the open after … they sorta just peel themselves….I’ll have to try 2 it looks sike it would save the most energy too!

  24. Jennifer @ Licious Food

    March 20th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I now have a craving for hard boiled eggs. My friend tried the oven baked egg and advised me of the brown spots. Great experiment!

  25. Rosa

    March 20th, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Great post! I’ve tried the previous two methods but not the oven method. My favourite is also rapid boiling the eggs and then letting them sit for a while.

    Just a thought … if you happened to use very fresh eggs (a day or two old), the shell will be hard to peel off. The older the egg, the easier it is to peel. I just recently learned this myself, so I thought I’d pass the information along. πŸ™‚

  26. Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)

    March 20th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Now I want egg salad! Oh boy. Thanks for this, now I know πŸ™‚

  27. Ashley @Chasing Capers

    March 20th, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    I have chickens, and am often hard boiling eggs that are only a few days old, and this method just does not work for me! I can never get the eggs to peel easily.

    With the fresh eggs, I have had 100% luck with a method from Cook’s Illustrated. Starting them in the pan, but keeping them boiling for the time, then dumping into a bowl of ice water, trying to crack the shells when dropping them in. This gets the cold water under the shell and keeps everything separated. At least for my eggs, this works absolutely perfect every single time.

  28. Gonefishing

    July 19th, 2014 at 9:17 am

    You can use a teaspoon to gently ease In between the shell and the white. The curve of the spoon really helps to get I between the shell and egg white.
    Keep your eggs in the cool water in a bowl or the pan you cooked them in whilst doing this. Use soft running water to gently help you ease the shells away (doing this saves some mess of the egg shells everywhere and seems to aid the de-shelling process too) The shells should slide off easily.

  29. Deb

    March 20th, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    After much trial and error, I’ve found for me, putting the eggs in a pan of water, and once it boils, letting them boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, then letting sit in the hot water a few minutes more gets me perfect eggs that are generally easy to peel. However, judging by your comments and pictures, the yolks wouldn’t be cooked enough for you.

    When I was a kid, I’d put them on to boil, and leave them boiling until almost all the water was gone. What was I thinking?!?

  30. Heather

    March 20th, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve always had success with the quick boil, but I was curious to see the results of the oven method. I think I’ll have to give it a try!

  31. melissa

    March 20th, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Quick boil is what I’ve always used. Lately I’ve been using my pressure cooker though. They turn out perfect and the shells literally pop off the egg. Might not be great for dying eggs though, but wonderful for everything else.

  32. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    March 21st, 2013 at 12:51 am

    What a helpful post! I am constantly boiling eggs but when I peel them, they look like a nightmare! But that’s all about to change very, very soon πŸ™‚

  33. June g.

    March 21st, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I came across this on Pinterest. https://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2008/07/02/how-to-peel-hard-boiled-eggs-without-peeling/

  34. dan

    March 21st, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Just a little something to add, if you rolling boil the eggs, peel them submerged in the bowl of cold water, helps separate the egg shell from the flesh easily, keeps it all in one place to collect (rather than bouncing around the kitchen) and easier to brush off smaller fragments of shell.

    Also rather than essentially crush the shell into thousands of fragments, run a line around the middle by tapping it on the rim of the bowl and use your thumb and pick along the line. With practice you end up two shell pieces you can tease off

  35. Beth

    April 7th, 2013 at 1:14 am

    My brother recently tried the baked method and he said it worked great for him. I’m encouraged to try it. Was thinking that I might try salt or raw rice in the muffin cups to keep the eggshell from getting that brown spot due to contact with the pan.

  36. bakedbree

    April 7th, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I have read that a little water works too. πŸ™‚

  37. Anne

    April 16th, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I wonder if you’d still get the dark spot in the oven of you used a silicone muffin pan? Or silicone muffin liners in a normal metal pan? Thanks for this post!

  38. bakedbree

    April 22nd, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Someone suggested to put a little water in the bottom, that might work too.

  39. Catharine B.

    June 19th, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    Ha, I love the scientific approach you took here! Great post. I’ve heard good things about the oven method but the quick boil looks best here.

  40. bakedbree

    June 24th, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    lol. Thank you!

  41. carolann

    September 4th, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Have just used the quick method and it was perfect, not only that though, I am going to save on fuel. Thank you so much for your taking the trouble to do the testing.

  42. bakedbree

    September 10th, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    You are welcome!

  43. Ginger

    December 31st, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Great experiment Bree! I have always boiled my eggs but I put them in right away with the water. When it starts boiling I would turn it down to “power 7” (medium high) for 10 minutes. Then I cool them under cold running water. They turn out really well. I’ve also read that adding some vinegar to the water helps eggs be easy to peel.

  44. bakedbree

    January 5th, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Thanks Ginger!

  45. Gonefishing

    July 19th, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Hi everyone. I’m from the UK and here at home we eat eggs boiled with soldiers for breakfast regularly or every day, alternating with fried, scrambled or poached eggs. This has got to be the simplest thing to cook in the world. Nothing complicated at all about it.

    It’s 2 minutes rolling boil for runny boiled eggs
    It’s 3 minutes rolling boil for soft boiled eggs
    It’s 10 minutes (or less if small size) for hard boiled and then plunge in cold or iced water (this stops the yolks turning grey or dull).
    By overcooking for 14 minutes no wonder they couldn’t be peeled let alone turn a funny unpalatable shade. That’s far too long in the pan! Also it’s a waste of electricity to spend so long boiling them and also inside the oven.
    Just boil for 9-10 minutes instead on the stove to get regular hard boiled eggs.

    Did you know you can also make your own delicious, additive free butter?
    Buy full fat cream. Or get it from the farmer.
    Whisk it or blend it with an electric appliance until it thickens to a glue type consistency, there will be water there which has separated from the cream. Drain this away and discard.
    It will also have turned a much deeper yellow as you are blending/whipping/whisking it.
    Add salt to taste. By stirring it through with a wooden spoon until desired flavour is obtained.
    It will only keep for a day or so in the fridge so don’t make too much.
    It’s really easy and takes minutes to make whilst being much healthier!

  46. bakedbree

    July 20th, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    You sure have a lot to say on the subject. I guess to each his own, everyone has their own methods.

  47. Gonefishing

    July 20th, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Blimey that’s very rude of you considering you wrote all that tripe anyway. Just sayin….

  48. Gonefishing

    July 20th, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Blimey how rude of you.

  49. Leasa Moffatt

    June 4th, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Older eggs perl away cleanly. Newer eggs have the membrane stll wel secured. If preparing for deviled eggs, buy eggs ahead of time. This could be why the first group was hard to peel.

  50. bakedbree

    July 23rd, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Good to know!

  51. Jenn Sanders

    March 31st, 2018 at 4:37 am

    I baked the eggs at 375 for 30 minutes using silicone muffin “pans” and got perfect eggs. The only tiny brown spots were on the top of the eggs (maybe oven needs cleaning?) and came off in the cold water. I can’t attest to ease of peeling yet, I’m using them for Easter coloring tomorrow, but I’m so glad I didn’t have to do it all on the stove!

  52. bakedbree

    April 5th, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Glad that it helped you out!

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