How to Tell an Egg Is Hard Boiled (and Other Egg Tips)

A bubbling pot of water on the stovetop filled with a half dozen eggs is common sight in my kitchen. Stocking a supply of hard cooked eggs makes it easy to add a protein boost to everyday meals. I pop them into lunch boxes, slice them into dinner salad, and hand them off for breakfast as my kids head out the door. If you’ve not been on the hard boiled egg bandwagon, here are a few tips to get you started.

How To Hard Boil an Egg

To hard boil four eggs, put them into a medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the eggs by one inch. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, cover the pot with a lid, turn off the heat, and set a timer for 12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot to cool and peel. 

How to Tell an Egg is Cooked

Since hard boiled eggs look no different than raw ones it’s easy to mix them up, with potentially messy results. If you’re wondering how to tell an egg is hard boiled, set it on the counter and give a quick spin. Once it’s moving, tap your finger on it to stop the spinning. Eggs that are cooked will spin easily and rapidly and stop quickly. Raw eggs take a bit of momentum to get going and don’t stop so quickly with the touch of your finger.

Hard boiled eggs

Label Your Eggs

To avoid the raw versus cooked conundrum, identify eggs that have been hard boiled with a permanent marker before storing them in the fridge.

Peeling Eggs

Know that the fresher the egg, the harder it is to peel. Keep eggs in the fridge for seven to 10 days before boiling and the job of peeling will go that much easier. Peeling is easiest once eggs have cooled and their is a little pocket of air at the narrow end of the egg. Tap that first and peel from there.

Egg Storage

Unpeeled, hard boiled eggs will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Egg Recipes

Below you’ll find some favorite uses for those hard boiled eggs

Best Avocado Toast

Speedy Deviled Eggs

3-Ingredient Lunch

Healthy Egg Salad by the Domestic Dietitian

Egg Salad Wrap by Ellie Krieger


01.09.2013 at7:44 AM #


oh yes, eggs are ok on the whole foods program~~have you any cold cereals with less than 5 ingredients? thanks

01.09.2013 at7:44 AM #


I believe Shredded Wheat and Uncle Sams both meet the criteria. I imagine there are others, but will have to check out the cereal aisle.

01.11.2013 at8:47 AM #


About boiling fresh eggs…there is another tutorial somewhere that I’ve been following as I get my eggs nearly right out of the chicken! The primary difference between the link you referenced is plunging the eggs directly into an ice bath after the boiling:

Boil water
Add eggs carefully – with slotted spoon to boiling water
Boil 15 minutes
Put eggs gently in colander in ice bath
Stir gently until they are cool

I don’t do the “stir gently” part, just let them sit in the ice bath until they are cool and then into the frig or use immediately. I have been getting perfect hard boiled eggs from VERY fresh eggs. Tap them on the bottom to start and I have had no problems peeling them.

Cold cereal: Perky’s Nutty Rice Cereal. It is gluten-free and I am fairly sure comes in at 5 ingredients using rice sugar as the sweetener. I call it adult rice krispies but better as it stays crunchy in milk. I mix in my own granola and/or dried fruit and sometimes a dollop of homemade nut butter. Also can be layered with yogurt and fruit for a “parfait”. My grocery has it in the bulk bins but I’ve also seen it in boxes and of course, on Amazon. Downside is I think it is a bit spendy for a family in boxes.

I’m a whole food/buy local and seasonal follower with limited use of Wheat Montana (I live in Montana) white flour mixed with whole grain but very limited as I have moderated grains very much. A lot of inflammation/sore joints and skin issues (rosecea) have cleared, lost-losing weight, more energy, mitigated most menopause stuff (I think…maybe just timing…I’m 57) – I just feel very good. I did make the transition gradually as I learned and I love to cook AND no kids or husband – all making it much easier, I’m sure.

01.11.2013 at8:47 AM #


Thanks for the egg tips…and the inspiration. I love stories of dietary changes making such a positive impact on health and quality of life.

09.19.2020 at10:18 AM #

Bob Wilson

can you put your hot boiled eggs in cold water to eat them sooner?

09.19.2020 at10:18 AM #



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