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How to Boil Eggs on the Stove: The Complete Guide

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If you’ve ever struggled with making a hard boiled egg on your stovetop and thought to yourself, “there must be a better way,” you’re in luck! This comprehensive guide will show you how to make perfect hard boiled eggs on your stovetop, every time!

overhead shot of sliced hard boiled eggs reading "how to boil eggs on the stove".

Stovetop Hard Boiled Eggs

While the general premise of hard boiling eggs is easy: pot, boiling water, eggs, timer – there are a few things that can make or break your eggsperience. 

You’ve got to watch for that “just right” rolling boil, play a game of roulette with the doneness of your egg, and then hope that you can peel it without losing half the egg with the shell. But don’t worry, I’ve got you!

In this post, I’ll walk you through the different cooking times for each level of doneness, from soft boiled to the hardest of the hard.

So, whether you like your yolks runny or solid, I have you covered. Let’s get started!

The different types of Hard-Boiled Eggs

When most people think of hard boiled eggs, they think of the classic, hard-cooked yolk. But there are actually a few different types of hard boiled eggs, each with their own distinct texture, and some even say flavor. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular types of hard boiled eggs:

  • Soft boiled egg: The yolk is cooked just enough so that it’s starting to set up, but is still soft and runny in the center. The white is also cooked but is very tender.
  • Medium-soft boiled: The yolk is cooked just enough so that it’s starting to set up, but is still soft and runny in the center. The white is also cooked but is very tender.
  • Medium boiled: The yolk is cooked all the way through but is still moist. The white is also cooked all the way through but is softer than the yolk.
  • Classic hard boiled egg: The yolk is cooked all the way through and is solid, but not dry. The white is also cooked all the way through and is firm.
  • Extra-firm (Very) hard-boiled egg:  The yolk and white are both cooked all the way through and are very dry.

Now that you know the different types of hard boiled eggs, it’s time to learn how to make them!

overhead shot of peeled, sliced, and peppered hard boiled eggs.

Equipment & Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Stove Top Boiled Eggs

Alright, so your main ingredient is, of course, eggs! Brown, white, blue…whatever you like. But you’ll also need some water and a pot. That’s it!

I like to use a medium-sized saucepan for my eggs, but really any pot will do as long as it can fit all the eggs you want to cook in a single layer.

You’ll also want to make sure that your eggs are fresh. This may seem like a no-brainer, but fresh eggs will give you the best results. Older eggs are more likely to crack during cooking, and their shells can be harder to peel.

brown eggs, salt, and pot laid out to boil eggs.

How To Make Hard Boiled Eggs On Your Stove Top

Making hard boiled eggs is easy, but there are a few things you need to know in order to make them perfectly. Here are the steps for making perfect hard boiled eggs on your stovetop:

  1. Place your eggs in the bottom of your saucepan in a single layer – do not crowd. Fill your pot with enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch or two. You don’t need to use a lot of water, just enough so that the eggs are submerged. Add in some salt.
  1. Bring the pot of water to a rolling boil. A “rolling boil” is when the water is boiling so vigorously that it’s still boiling even when you stir it.
  1. Once the water is at a rolling boil, cover with a lid and remove from heat. Let the eggs sit in the hot water for the desired cook time, according to the chart below.
  1. After the eggs have cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and make them easier to handle.
  1. Let the eggs cool in the ice water for at least five minutes before peeling.

And that’s it! You’ve now made perfect hard boiled eggs on your stovetop.

collage of 4 photos showing the process of boiling eggs on the stove.

Now that you know how to make them, here’s a chart with the different cook times for each level of doneness:

Cook Time Chart For Stove Top Boiled Eggs

  • Soft boiled – 6 minutes
  • Medium-soft boiled – 8 minutes
  • Medium boiled – 10 minutes
  • Hard Boiled – 12 minutes
  • Very Hard Boiled – 14 minutes
overhead shot of labeled chart showing the yolks and cook times of hard boiled eggs.

How long do you usually boil eggs on the stove?

As you can see, the cook times for each type of hard boiled egg vary depending on how cooked you want the yolk to be. I personally like my yolks on the medium to hard side, but it’s really up to you. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

How to Store Hard Boiled Eggs

Once your eggs are cooked, you can store them in the fridge in a covered container for up to one week. I like to keep mine in a glass jar with a lid so that they’re easy to grab when I’m making breakfast or need a quick snack. 

Hard Boiling Eggs On A Gas Stove Vs. Electric Stove

Now, you may be wondering if there’s a difference between hard boiling eggs on a gas stove vs. an electric stove. The answer is yes – but it’s not a big one. It really comes down to two things: heat and time.

Gas stoves tend to have more powerful burners than electric stoves so they can heat up a pot of water faster. They also stop admitting heat once the burner is turned off so you can leave your eggs on the same eye that you heated them up with.

On the other hand, electric stoves have less powerful burners, and they continue to emit heat even after you turn them off. This means that you’ll need to not only turn off the heat but place the pot on a cool burner.

Other than that, the process for hard boiling eggs on a gas stove vs. an electric stove is the same. The best way to figure out the perfect cook time for your stove is to experiment a bit. Start with the cook times in the chart above and adjust as needed.

Hard Boiled Eggs Tips & Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make the perfect hard boiled eggs:

  • If your eggs are fresh, there’s no need to add vinegar or salt to the water. Older eggs, on the other hand, benefit from the addition of a little bit of vinegar or salt to help them hold their shape.
  • Adding salt to the water does a few thing – first, it increases the boiling point of water so the water is hotter. Second, it helps seal any cracks/breaks in the egg. And finally, it helps make peeling them easier.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to the ice water bath so that you don’t crack them.
  • To make peeling hard boiled eggs easier, give them a gentle tap all over before you start peeling. This will help to loosen the shell.
  •  If you’re having trouble peeling the eggs, try using a spoon instead of your fingers.

Now that you know how to make hard boiled eggs on your stovetop, go forth and experiment! Try making them with different eggs or cooking them for different times to see what you like best. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, try making some soft boiled eggs! They’re a bit trickier to make but are so worth it.

Recipes To Make Using Hard Boiled Eggs

Cobb Salad
Potato Salad
Easter Eggs

You can also try making them in the crockpot!

More ways to cook with eggs

Slow Cooker Eggs Benedict Casserole
Bird’s Nest Breakfast Cups
Crescent Roll Breakfast Pizza

Click here for all of my breakfast recipes.

overhead shot of sliced hard boiled eggs on white marble.

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overhead shot of sliced hard boiled eggs reading "how to boil eggs on the stove".

How to Boil Eggs on the Stove

Melissa Williams
Perfect hard boiled eggs on your stovetop, every time!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chill Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 143 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of salt optional

Instructions
 

  • Set eggs in the bottom of a large saucepan or pot. Do not crowd.
  • Cover eggs with cold water, at least 1 inch above the eggs. Sprinkle in salt.
  • Bring the water to a hard boil over high heat. Cover with a lid and remove from the heat.
  • Set a timer for the desired length of time. 6 to 14 minutes. (See notes)
  • When the eggs have cooked for the desired time, remove them from the hot water and place them in an ice bath for 5-10 minutes to stop the cooking process.
  • Peel and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

Cook Times
  • Soft boiled – 6 minutes
  • Medium-soft boiled – 8 minutes
  • Medium boiled – 10 minutes
  • Hard Boiled – 12 minutes
  • Very Hard Boiled – 14 minutes

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 13gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 372mgSodium: 1305mgPotassium: 138mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 540IUCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. James Hannah says

    What causes the yolks to start turning green when hard boiled?

    • Melissa Williams says

      They were likely boiled too long or there was a large amount of iron in the cooking water.

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