How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Hard-boiled eggs make a great snack or addition to salads, sandwiches, or wraps. Although boiling an egg may seem simple, precise timing is needed to yield a perfectly hard-boiled egg with no cracks or unsightly green yolks.

Cooking eggs in batches will save time and effort. Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator, unpeeled, for up to a week. Cook only as many eggs as you plan to eat within one week.

Place the Eggs in a Pot

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Choose the size of your pot based on how many eggs you will be cooking. For even heating, the eggs should be placed in a single layer on the bottom of the pot; do not stack the eggs. The pot must also be able to hold enough water to more than cover the eggs.

Because most people do not keep their eggs on the counter at room temperature, these instructions have been tailored to work with refrigerated eggs.

Cover the Eggs With Water

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Cover the eggs with cold water. To ensure even heating, the water should cover the eggs by at least 1 inch.

Placing 1 tablespoon of vinegar in the water will help keep the egg white from spilling out if a shell cracks but may also add a slight flavor. Salt has the same effect but will raise the boiling point of the water, which can lead to overcooking and a green yolk.

If the eggs are heated properly, the shells should not crack.

Heat the Eggs

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Place the pot over medium-high heat, without a lid, and allow it to come to a rolling boil, which is indicated by large, vigorous bubbles. Bringing the pot to a boil without a lid will slow down the heating process and reduce the likelihood of the shells cracking.

You may see streams of bubbles coming out of the eggs as they heat. This is caused by the pocket of air at the bottom of each egg, which expands as it's heated. The expanding air will escape through the tiny pores in the egg's shell and appear as a trail or stream of bubbles. If the eggs heat too quickly, the air will expand faster than it can escape and the pressure will cause the shell to crack open.

As soon as the pot reaches a full boil, remove it from the heat.

Cover the Pot

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

After removing the pot from the heat, place a lid on top and let it sit undisturbed. This is where your timing needs to be precise. If the eggs sit in the hot water too long, they will overcook and end up with a green yolk.

Extra large eggs will need 18 minutes to fully cook, large eggs need 15 minutes, and medium eggs need 12 minutes. Set a timer to prevent over or undercooking.

For soft-boiled eggs (runny yolks, solid whites), let the eggs sit for 5 minutes less than the time needed to hard-cook the egg.

Ice Bath

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

When the timer goes off, carefully remove the eggs from the pot with a spoon and place them into a bowl full of ice and water. The ice bath will cool the eggs quickly and stop the cooking process. The ice water will also cause the egg to contract and pull away from the shell, which will make it easier to peel. Let the eggs sit in the ice bath for at least 5 minutes.

If you live in a climate where tap water runs very cold, you can run cold water over the eggs for 5 minutes rather than preparing an ice bath.

Peel the Egg

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

To peel the egg, lightly tap it on a hard surface to crack the shell. Once the shell is cracked all the way around, it should easily peel away from the egg. After the shell is removed, briefly rinse the egg under water to remove any small bits of shell that may still be attached.

Any eggs that you do not plan to eat immediately should be left unpeeled and refrigerated. Unpeeled hard-boiled eggs will stay good in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Published: Sep 18, 2017 · Modified: Apr 1, 2021 · 49 Comments · This post may contain affiliate links · This blog generates income via ads.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Okay, raise your hand if you own a rice cooker. Keep your hand up if you don’t use that steamer tray that comes with the cooker and it’s somewhere lost in your cupboard (don’t worry. I’m not looking!). Keep your hand up if you didn’t even know what that tray was for! 🙂

No worries. you are one of MANY who fall into that group and I’ve got a recipe coming to the rescue! I’ll show you one thing you can do with it and it’s actually pretty cool!

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Rice cookers aren’t just for cooking rice. I’m about to show you how to cook eggs in a rice cooker! And you’re going to use that mysterious plastic steamer tray that came with your rice cooker, so you’d better go look for it!

I know – you’re thinking, “What? That doesn’t sound good. “

I had my doubts when I first heard about it, too, and the idea seemed crazy! Cook eggs in a rice cooker?? Seriously?

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

However, as crazy as idea sounds, it works! I was of the old school — put eggs in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for a certain number of minutes to reach the desired doneness. Sounds simple enough. However, boiling eggs in a pot did have its shortcomings.

Sometimes the shells cracks when they’re bouncing around in the boiling water, and some of the egg leaks out. Well, then you’ve got a really messy pot and very unsightly eggs. You know what I’m talking about. It’s like something out of a horror movie. And if you’ve got lumpy unsightly eggs, you can forget about perfect eggs for Easter decorating. Or deviled eggs. Or any dish where you need a nice looking hard-boiled egg.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

But the rice cooker eliminates that problem. The steaming water cooks the eggs while they sit, undisturbed in the steaming tray. I guess you could consider it an egg sauna. 🙂 And because the cooking method is more gentle, it is also easier to achieve the desired doneness. No more unsightly grey color around the yolks from overcooking the eggs.

All you do is put water in the rice pot. Put the eggs in the steamer tray and set it in the pot. Close the lid and press ON. Turn on your timer.

Remove eggs at the appropriate time and place eggs immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Wait a minute before you get cracking! And then you get these!

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Here’s the formula: 20 minutes for hard-cooked eggs. 13-15 minutes for soft-cooked eggs (depending on how soft or runny you like them).

(NOTE: These times are based on my rice cooker and the time starts when put the eggs in and start the rice cooker. Your times may vary a little, give or take, depending on your rice cooker. However, these times are a good reference point and are a good place to start when trying this out.)

It’s so simple, you can’t NOT try this out.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

How To Peel Hard Cooked Eggs

By the way, I’m going to assume that you can all peel an egg, but just in case. There is actually a method that works really well.

Tap on the fat end of the egg (opposite the small, “pointier” end) to crack it first. There is often an air bubble there and that is a good place to start peeling away at the shell, without digging into the egg itself.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Then gently tap on the sides of the egg, rolling as you go. You don’t have to be rough with it. just tap hard enough to crack the shell.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Next step. gently roll the egg back and forth a couple of times on the counter. This helps to loosen the shell and you will feel the shell pull away from the egg as you roll. Then start peeling from that first bottom crack you made at the beginning!

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

You remember I mentioned you can make soft “boiled” eggs in the rice cooker, too, right??

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Being Chinese, it is an assumption that I have a rice cooker. I will happily confirm that the assumption is correct! Of course, you don’t have to be Chinese or of Asian descent to have a rice cooker. But if you don’t have one, you’re missing out on, not only, perfectly cooked rice every time, but also hard- and soft-cooked eggs!

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Are you intrigued?? Seriously, I thought it was a crazy idea when I first heard of it, but it is now my preferred method to make hard cooked eggs. I still know how to do it in a pot, obviously, but I have never had as good as results as I do with the rice cooker. You should definitely cook eggs in a rice cooker if you’ve got one. You will be amazed how easy it is. Give it a try and leave a comment below!

If you’ve ever wondered how to make perfect hard boiled eggs, this post is for you! Easy peel hard boiled eggs can be tricky, but they don’t have to be. From how long to boil eggs, to the best way to peel them, this post will have you on your way to perfect eggs every time!

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

I’m so excited to teach you how to make perfect hard boiled eggs today! My husband is the king of making the perfect hard boiled eggs. I made him write down all of his secrets to share with you today, so take it away Cullen! xoxo

Hey, Cullen here also known as Mr. Picky Palate. I love adding hard boiled eggs to my diet to increase the protein intake. I use boiled eggs in between meals or after a workout. Excited to share my tips with you that can save you tons of time.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

How To Boil Eggs

Talking about how to boil eggs! To get started, set fresh eggs into a medium sized sauce pan. Some say that letting the egg acclimate to room temperature will stop them from cracking. I personally have found no correlation to stopping the crackiness by leaving the eggs out of the fridge. Every once in a while I get a cracked egg, but for the most part they stick together (I discuss more of this further down).

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Step 1: Add Cold Water To Eggs

I like to pour cold water in the pan and completely cover the eggs. Approximately one inch plus of water above the eggs is sufficient for boiling. Additionally, the construction man in me chooses cold water as I prefer not to use hot water coming from the copper pipes in my food, as copper over time disinigrates more with hot water running through it.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Step 2: Bring Eggs To a Boil

Place the eggs with water over high heat and bring to a boil.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Step 3: Boil Your Eggs

For our gas stove, bringing the eggs to a boil takes about 15 minutes in our larger saucepan.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Step 4: Add Ice To Eggs To Stop Cooking

Once you’ve boiled the eggs between 10 to 12 minutes (I use 11 minutes), bring the eggs to your sink and lightly set ice and water on top of the eggs. We want to stop the cooking process and get them ready to devour.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Approximately 10 minutes under ice works for me. Pull an egg out of the water and you can get a feel for it’s readiness. If the egg is warm, keep it in the ice longer.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

How Long Does it Take to Hard Boil Eggs?

When boiling starts, set a timer to 11 min. It’s important to be flexible in this step. Everyone has a different stove, size of pan, types of eggs, and so forth. What I suggest is you start at the guidelines I discuss and adjust from there as batches come out. The time for boiling could be anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes.

I’ve found that white eggs tend to crack more than brown eggs. If you have a problem with cracking eggs, once you bring to a boil, take the heat to medium and add a minute or so to your boiling time. Another way to try, is that once the eggs boil take off the heat, cover and let sit for approximately 12 minutes.

One goal of mine when boiling eggs is to eliminate the green egg yolk. I’m sure we’ve all seen the green egg yolk. Even though this is harmless to us, this recipe aims to avoid or minimize this.

How to Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

I get most annoyed at an egg that doesn’t peel well (see below as why an egg doesn’t peel well). I believe there is an art to cracking an egg. What I like to do is crack it all around the egg by tapping it on a hard surface.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

I then squish the egg shell all around and you feel the shell start to separate from the egg….now this is perfection.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Pure magic as the shell glides off the egg.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Sometimes the shell may not come off this easily. It is known in the egg world that the more fresh the egg, the more difficult it is to peel. When that’s the case, I run water on the egg as I remove the shell. Also, occasionally there is a thin filmy skin between the shell and egg that I remove. I’m particular about removing this so I spend the extra seconds to remove it by running my fingers around the egg while under running water. Don’t ask me why–I just want it gone.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

I’ll cut the egg in half so you can see inside.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

Nicely cooked yolk and whites. Perfect hard boiled eggs.

How to cook hard boiled eggs without cracking

How to Store

I prefer to store my hard boiled eggs in a carton. I mark the carton and keep the eggs in the fridge. They can last in the shell for up to 1 week.