How to boil an egg

Learn the tips and tricks to boiling perfect eggs every time with step by step instructions.
Published 21 December 2019 | Updated 1 July 2024
Recipe: Protein grain bowls

How do I boil an egg?

Boiling eggs is supposed to be simple, right? Not eggs-actly! A range of factors can affect the end result so follow these handy tips to crack the secret to better boiled eggs every time.

1. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat (the water should be deep enough to cover egg/s by 1cm when you add them). Reduce heat to a simmer.

2. Using a slotted spoon, lower egg/s into water and simmer for the time required to achieve your desired firmness.

3. Drain the hot water and run egg/s under cold water until cool enough to handle.

Top tips for boiling eggs

  1. Always use a kitchen timer when boiling eggs as even 30 seconds can make a difference to how firm they are.

  2. If you gently stir your eggs as they boil, this will help to centre the yolk.

  3. Eggs straight from the fridge are more likely to crack when you boil them (due to the temperature shock). If you need to use cold eggs, place them in the water before bringing it to the boil and cook for slightly less time.

  4. Rapidly boiling water will also cause cracking as it makes the eggs bounce up and down – aim for a gentle simmer.

  5. Fresh eggs are harder to peel than older eggs. This is because the albumen (white) has not yet begun to shrink away from the shell.

  6. When placed in a container of water, a fresh egg will sink, an older egg will stand on one end and rotten eggs will float.

Store eggs in the carton

Egg shells are porous so they can absorb odours from other foods (blue cheese eggs anyone?). That’s why you should store them in the original cardboard carton they’re sold in rather than open egg moulds in your fridge door.

The best way to remove the eggshell

Does peeling eggs do your head in? Try this method. After draining, roll the eggs around in the saucepan to crack the shells all over. Fill the pan with cold water and set aside for several minutes. Holding each egg under running water, starting peeling at the large end (where the air sac is). Holding the egg underwater helps ease off the shell and removes any shell grit as you go.

Hard-boiled eggs make a great snack

Hard-boiled eggs are the perfect weight-loss snack as they fill you up, are jam-packed with nutrients. Boil a few at once and store them in their shells in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.