Getting Perfect Boiled Eggs – Not as simple as you might think!

soft hard perfect boiled eggs

Getting the perfect boiled eggs is not that easy as it seems. For many, you might think that it is just a piece of cake, but the timing in combination with the right amount of water ratio, and pot thickness all play an important part. Even famous TV Shows such as Master Chef take on the challenge for the perfect egg! Right, it is actually much more difficult as it seems. Furthermore, a lot of discussions alongside fellow chefs are happening as well. I will tell you some of the little known secrets of how to get your perfect boiled eggs.


The egg yolk and egg white do settle at different degrees. As the egg white is on the outer level and much closer to the boiling water, it will start to settle at around 70 degrees. In comparison, the egg yolk is nestled safely in the middle of the egg. Of course, the heat from the boiling water needs much longer to reach the yolk as the egg white.


pefect boiled eggs timing

Depending on your personal reference, a normal egg needs to boil between 3 to 11 minutes. To get your perfect boiled egg, timing is everything. As a matter of fact, there is only a very narrow window to get it right. Not only the temperature of the egg but also the size does play a very important role in your timing. Here is a quick summary of a Medium Sized Egg’s boiling times:

  • 0 – 3 minutes = the egg white and yolk is totally raw and not edible
  • 3 – 6 minutes = The white is firm with a yolk still in a liquid state
  • 7 – 9 minutes = The white is firm with a creamy yolk
  • 10 minutes and up: The white & yolk both are fully firm


As I have mentioned earlier, many factors does influence the timing of the eggs. I will explain some of the major factors:

  • TEMPERATURE: Do the eggs come straight out of the fridge or are they be already at room temperature? Both scenarios will influence the cooking time. In case the eggs come from the fridge, please allow one more minute for the boiling time for your perfect boiled egg. It is best to develop a habit to either use them straight out of the fridge or boil them at room temperature.
  • EGG SIZE: Try to develop a habit to use always the same size of eggs. As eggs from size S to XL can have up to 10g of weight difference, this as well influences the boiling time. The bigger the size, the longer the eggs need to boil for perfection. For example bigger size eggs do needs an additional 30 to 60 seconds longer as smaller ones.
  • WATER TO EGG RATIO: The more water you add into the pot, the longer the water needs to boil the uncooked eggs. Depending on how many eggs you like to boil, always add 4 centimeter more water on top the height of the eggs.
  • POT MATERIAL: This also plays an important role as every material has its own unique heating properties. To illustrate better, a thicker pot tends to keep the heat better on the inside as a thinner pot.
  • KIND OF STOVE: Also, using a electric stove vs. a gas stove influences the water boiling time. Some stoves have a much stronger heat output and are more efficient as others.
  • ALTITUDE: The higher your living altitude, the lower the boiling temperature becomes. This will affect your boiling times of the eggs as well.


Do you like boiling the eggs inside a pot or use a kettle instead? My recommendation is using the classic way to boil the eggs inside a pot. I, do not like the kettle method for various reasons at all.

The next question that comes into mind is how to add the eggs into the water. Should you add the eggs into cold water and let both heat up the same time? I let the water boil first and then carefully add each egg one by one with a spoon.

Now, put the lid onto the pot as eggs boil better with a closed lid. This method will give you the most accurate boiling time as earlier mentioned.

Next, I use my telephone timer app to keep an eye on the exact boiling time. Once the alarm rings, it is time to take off the pot from the stove.

Finally, I drain all the hot water out of the pot and place all the eggs into a cold water bowl. Make sure the bowl is large to fit all the eggs. Your Perfect Boiled Egg is Ready!


In case you are not able to boil the eggs on a stove, here are some alternative methods:

  • KETTLE: As I have mentioned earlier, not the perfect method, but it can work. Firstly, do not boil the eggs right over the heating elements as the eggs will crack. Once the kettle turns off automatically, press the button all over again until the egg is perfectly boiled for your taste.
  • STEAMER: Not only vegetables or fish can be steamed, it is also suitable for eggs. Prepare the steamer as usual and simply place the eggs onto it and let the eggs steam to perfection. The normal steaming time for eggs range between 4 to 11 minutes.
  • EGG COOKER: This is the lazy method as the egg cooker will do everything for you. Just do all the setting prior, put the eggs into it, and now it is time to lean back and relax.


Does piercing the egg help to keep the shell from cracking?

WRONG: Many people think that piercing a egg prior boiling will prevent the shell from cracking. The fine shell structure of the egg will get effected during the boiling process.

As eggshells are made out of calcium, the increased tension due to the rising temperature makes the structure weak. The result, the shell starts to crack. In summary, if you get a weak shell, it will crack no matter what.

TIP: Add a drop or two of vinegar into the boiling water. It will help to contain the escaping egg whites

How to recognize bad eggs?

At some point, you might loose the overview and cannot tell which egg is old and which one is new. With a simple trick you can tell and sort out the bad seeds from the good ones:

  • Shaking-Test: Shake the egg and see if you can hear some gurgling noises. If this is the case, the egg is bad and needs to be disposed.
  • Water-test: Fill up a carafe or pot with water. Slowly, place one egg into the water and see of what is happening. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it is still good. On the other hand, if the egg is bad it will float in the middle of the water and will never sink to the bottom

How long can I keep the boiled eggs?

Perfect boiled eggs can last for as long as one or two months. However, proper handling and food safety is required. It is a must to store the eggs in a cool place like the fridge. As bacteria do not like cold conditions, the egg is perfectly safe. By all means, make sure that the eggshell has no cracks and is intact. Even a slightly cracked shell can invite bacteria even inside the fridge.

TIP: Do not place the eggs in cold water in case you like to store them for long-term. The risk of cracks in the eggshell increases when cold water is poured over the eggs after boiling

How to peal perfect boiled eggs?

Indeed, there are many different methods, but one tested method has been proven over and over again:

  • Firstly, older boiled eggs are much easier to peel as freshly ones due to the reduced water content. The longer the eggs have been boiled, the better and easier the peeling goes.

TIP: Do not peel freshly boiled eggs right away and wait for 2 or 3 days.

  • In case you need to peel the egg right away, please wait until the egg is fully cooled off. As the egg whites are not as soft anymore, it will not stick to the eggshell as much as a warm egg.

TIP: Add running cold water over the eggs speeds up the cooling process

Use 6 -8 medium-sized eggs depending on the pot size


  • Take the eggs out of the fridge
  • Use a big enough pot and fill up with water. The water level should be 4cm higher as the eggs
  • Let the water boil until bubbles start to show up
  • Use a spoon and carefully place the eggs one by one into the boiling water pot
  • Set your timer and wait
  • Once the desired boiling time is reached, remove the eggs from the water
  • Place all the eggs in a cold water

Peeling the eggs:

  • Wait until the eggs are completely cold
  • Start to peel the eggshell with ease

Boiling Time for 6 medium-sized Eggs:

  • 0 – 3 minutes = the egg white and yolk is totally raw and not edible
  • 3 – 6 minutes = The white is firm with a yolk still in a liquid state
  • 7 – 9 minutes = The white is firm with a creamy yolk
  • 10 minutes and up: The white & yolk both are fully firm
pefect boiled eggs timing

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