How Long To Boil An Egg [Soft And Hard]

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Boiling eggs is a great way to make a quick and healthy snack. But how long do you need to boil eggs for the perfect result? Let's take a look at the amount of time for both soft-boiled and hard-boiled eggs.

Depending on how hard you like your yolk, you should boil the eggs for 12-16 minutes for hard-boiled eggs. For soft-boiled eggs, boil them for 4-6 minutes. Before cracking the eggs, place them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and make them easier to handle.

There are different cooking methods for making soft and hard-boiled eggs. In this article, we will discuss both methods and the amount of time needed for each. In addition, we will answer other questions about boiled eggs, so let's get started!

Close up half cut over cook bad boiled egg on wooden plate.The green color around the yellow egg showing in been cook too long. Hard boiled egg high protein healthy snack for diet. - How Long To Boil An Egg [Soft And Hard]

How Long To Boil Eggs (Soft And Hard)

No matter if you are making deviled eggs or just want a healthy snack, knowing how to boil eggs perfectly is essential. The two main types of boiled eggs are soft-boiled and hard-boiled.

The cooking time will be different for each type of egg. For example, how long to boil an egg depends on whether you want a soft or hard yolk.

The white should be cooked for a soft-boiled egg, but the yolk should remain runny. Soft-boiled eggs don't take very long to cook—only 4-6 minutes.

For hard-boiled eggs, the yolk should be cooked all the way through and be firm. As a result, hard-boiled eggs will take longer to cook—around 12-16 minutes.

No matter if you are making soft- or hard-boiled eggs, the last step is to place the eggs in an ice bath. Doing this will stop the cooking process and make the eggs easier to handle.

Now the question is: what is the best method for boiling eggs? Let's take a look at two popular methods and find out!

Boiled eggs in a bowl decorated with parsley leaves

Eggs In Cold Water

The first method consists of putting the eggs in a pot of cold water. Let's look at the steps for this method:

  1. Fill a pot with enough water to cover the eggs by 1-2 inches.
  2. Gently place the eggs in the water.
  3. Turn up the heat to medium-high and wait for the water to come to a boil.
  4. Next, turn the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with a lid.
  5. Cook the eggs for 4-6 minutes for soft-boiled eggs and 12-16 minutes for hard-boiled eggs.
  6. Once the eggs are done, carefully remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and place them in an ice bath for 5-10 minutes.

Eggs In Boiling Water

The second method is to start with boiling water. Here are the steps for this method:

  1. Bring the pot of water to a boil.
  2. Turn the heat to low and place the eggs in.
  3. Once the eggs are in the water, bring it back to a boil.
  4. Set the timer for 4-6 minutes for soft-boiled eggs and 12-16 minutes for hard-boiled eggs.
  5. When the timer goes off, carefully remove the eggs from the pot with a slotted spoon and place them in an ice bath.
  6. Let them sit in the ice bath for a few minutes to stop the cooking process.

Now that we know how to boil eggs perfectly, let's answer some common questions about boiled eggs!

How Can You Tell If Boiled Eggs Are Done?

Unfortunately, boiling eggs is tough to get right without a timer. But, you can use a few methods to tell if your eggs are done.

The first method is to gently spin the egg and see if it wobbles. If it wobbles, then the egg is not done and needs to be cooked for longer.

The second method is to crack the egg open and see if the yolk is cooked to your liking. The longer eggs boil, the firmer the yolk will be.

In addition, the color of the yolk will also change as it cooks. For a soft-boiled egg, the yolk will be bright yellow and runny. For a hard-boiled egg, the yolk will be more pale and firm.

What Is The Best Way To Crack A Boiled Egg?

Clean the chicken white egg with your hands. Blue background

There are different methods for cracking a boiled egg. Let's take a look at them below:

Tap The Egg

The first method is to gently tap the egg all around on a hard surface. Then, hold the egg in one hand and use the other hand to peel away the shell.

Roll The Egg

The second method is to roll the egg on a hard surface. Start by placing the egg on its side and then rolling it back and forth until it cracks. Once it cracks, hold the egg in one hand and use the other hand to peel away the shell.

Start With The Large End

The third method is to start on the large end of the egg, as there is typically an air bubble. Gently tap the egg until a small crack forms. Once the small crack forms, hold the egg in one hand and use the other hand to peel away the shell.

Use Older Eggs

Older eggs will peel easier because the pH level in the egg white has changed. This means the membrane has loosened from the shell. As a result, the shell will come off in large pieces.

Peel the eggs

How Should You Store Boiled Eggs?

Storing boiling eggs is easy! All you need to do is place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to one week. However, if the eggs have been peeled, then you need to do an extra step.

Take two damp paper towels and place them on the bottom and top of the peeled eggs. This will help to keep them moist and prevent them from drying out.

By doing this, your hard-boiled eggs should last in the fridge for up to a week, whether they are in the shell or not. In comparison, soft-boiled eggs will only last about two days in the fridge.

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make When Boiling Eggs?

Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when boiling eggs:

Not Using A Timer

As we mentioned before, it is tough to tell if an egg is done without a timer. Therefore, the best way to ensure your eggs are cooked perfectly is to set a timer for the desired cook time.

Not Using Enough Water

If you do not use enough water, then the eggs will not cook evenly. In addition, the water will start to evaporate and could make the pot too hot. As a result, your eggs could get overcooked or even crack.

Using Too Much Water

On the other hand, if you use too much water, then it will take longer for the water to come to a boil. This can make it tough to time the eggs correctly.

Not Using An Ice Bath

An ice bath is important to stop the cooking process. If you do not use an ice bath, your eggs will continue to cook even after being removed from the pot. As a result, they could become overcooked.

Not Using A Slotted Spoon

When removing the eggs from the pot, be sure to use a slotted spoon. Not only will this drain the water but it will also prevent the eggs from cracking.

There you have it! These are some of the most common mistakes people make when boiling eggs. However, you can avoid making these mistakes and ensure your eggs turn out perfect every time by following these tips!

Close up half cut over cook bad boiled egg on wooden plate.The green color around the yellow egg showing in been cook too long. Hard boiled egg high protein healthy snack for diet.

How Do You Know If Boiled Eggs Are Bad?

If your boiled eggs have been in the fridge for almost a week, you might wonder if they are still good. There are some key warning signs you should look for:

The Eggs Float

If the eggs float when placed in water, this is a sign that they have gone bad. This happens because the air cell has increased in size, and the egg is no longer as dense.

Foul Smell

Another sign that the eggs have gone bad is a foul smell. If the eggs smell bad, this is a sign that they have started to rot. The smell will be sulfurous and will become more pronounced as the eggs spoil.

Discoloration

If the eggshells are discolored or the whites of the eggs are greenish, this is another sign that they have gone bad.

Eggs have the risk of bacteria contamination, so it is important to know how to store them correctly and how to tell if they have gone bad. By following these tips, you can enjoy your boiled eggs without any worries!

Final Thoughts

No matter if they are soft- or hard-boiled, eggs are a healthy and delicious snack that can be enjoyed at any time. Try both cooking methods and see which one you like best! Just be sure to use a timer and an ice bath to ensure your eggs are cooked perfectly every time.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

Can You Leave Boiled Eggs Out Overnight?

How To Prevent Eggs From Cracking While Boiling

How To Boil An Egg In A Pressure Cooker Or Instant Pot

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