Boil Eggs FAQ

All Questions Answered

Frequently Asked Boiled Eggs FAQ

Have an Egg question? Ask here or see below for an answer.

Crack the shell to make it easier to peel

Q: How To Easily Peel A Hard-Boiled Egg?

A: Hard-boiled eggs peel easily when you peel them in water. Peel in an ice bath or under running water. Start with the larger end of the egg, as this is where the air pocket is. Crack the top of the egg and start peeling the shell off and then work around the egg in water to help the yolk slide off the shell. Eggs also peel easier when you place them in an ice bath for a few minutes to cool after cooking.

Eggs in ice bath

Q: What is an ice bath?

A: An ice bath is a bowl of cold water with ice cubes. An ice bath helps a hot boiled egg cool quickly and the egg white will shrink from the shell, making it easier to peel.

Q: Does the color of the egg shell matter?

A: There is no difference between white or brown egg shells. The quality of the egg is the same. Different hens lay different color egg shells. Boiled eggs do not change color when they are boiled.

Q: How long do eggs last?

A: For uncooked fresh eggs. Check the date on the carton when you buy them. You want the date to be use by date to be the furthest from the current date and the packed date to be as close to the current date. Eggs will last the longest if kept in the refrigerator. Eggs will last on average for 3 to 5 weeks. For boiled eggs, they will last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

eggs in the refrigerator door

Q: Should I keep fresh eggs in the egg holder on the refrigerator door

A: Fresh eggs keep best located further in the refrigerator and in their own carton. Eggs kept in the egg containers in the refrigerator door are exposed to temperature fluctuations every time the door is opened. The heat will deteriorate eggs quicker. Stable cool temperature with eggs kept in their protective carton towards the back of the refrigerator keeps them fresher longer.

Fresh egg

Q: How to know if an uncooked egg is fresh

A: When you crack an egg the white will look like one of three ways

  1. If the egg white is a little cloudy – the egg is fresh
  2. If the egg white is clear – the egg is a little older but still edible
  3. If the egg white is iridescent – the egg has more than likely gone off and should be thrown away
over cooked eggs

Q: Why did I get a green ring around the egg yolk when I cooked it?

A: If you cook an egg and cut it open and you see a green ring, it simply means the egg was over cooked. The egg is fine to eat.

farm fresh

Q: Should I use farm fresh or store bought eggs

A: Both will work for you, however if you use farm fresh eggs, it is better to keep them for at least one week before you boil eggs and this will help to peel them better when they are hard boiled.

cooking eggs

Q: Does it matter how many eggs I cook at the same time?

A: As long as the eggs are in the pot in a single layer, you can boil eggs one or 10 at the same time and they will all cook the same, for the same time.

egg carton

Q: Which way should an egg be stored – large end up or down?

A: If you notice when you buy store bought fresh eggs, they will have the smaller point of the egg nestled into the egg carton and the larger top of the egg exposed. This is because the air pocket is located at the top of the egg. This is the ideal way to store eggs, especially if you get them farm fresh and they come packed both ways, you can re pack them with the smaller pointer ends down and will help them maintain their shape longer.

eggs in basket

Q: Is it necessary to keep eggs in the refrigerator

A: In the USA, yes it is necessary to keep fresh eggs in the refrigerator. The reason is that eggs are washed and required to be stored at a temperature less than 45 degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep them fresh and keep for a longer period. Eggs are hatched with and have a protective coating, to ensure cleanliness, the eggs undergo a washing process but unfortunately that leaves them open to bacteria if left out of the refrigerator for a long period of time.

egg in water

Q: How to test if an egg is fresh

A: Fill a bowl, pot or glass with water, place the egg in the water. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it is fresh. If not, it is not a fresh egg.

egg in pot

Q: Why does an egg float in water?

A: Even though the egg shell is hard, it continues to breath. A fresh egg will have limited space for air inside the shell, but over time the egg white and yolk shrink allowing for more air to build up inside the shell and this is why it is able to float in water.

chicken and egg

Q: How to tell if an egg is hard boiled or raw?

A: Take the spin test. Take two eggs, one you know to be either fresh or hard boiled and the other you are not sure about. Spin both eggs at the same time, the egg that spins the fastest is the hard boiled egg. The reason is that the egg is solid inside and has a more fixed gravity, yet a uncooked fresh egg that is liquid will move as it is spun, slowing the speed down.

over cooked eggs

Q: Why do I have a grey ring around my egg?

A: The grey ring is from overcooking. The solution is to not leave the egg in the water for so long. Placing the cooked boiled egg in cold water or an ice bath, will stop the egg from continuing to cook after you remove it from the pot.

Q: How to easily peel eggs

A: Eggs peel easier if I start to peel them as soon as they are cool enough to touch. This means they may still be quite warm. When the egg is hot, it is harder to get a clean peel and will come apart as you peel

Add water to cover eggs

Q: Should the water be hot or cold to start with?

A: As you would see from other areas on our website, we tried both methods — starting with cold water was the best way. Also, eggs peel better when they start with cold water.

Eggs in bowl

Q: Are eggs healthy for you?

A: Eggs are a nutrient gold mind. One large egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, in just 70 calories. According to the American Egg Board.

The American Heart Association, in 2000 updated their guidelines after decades of results showed that eggs are not a cause for heart disease. Eggs are full of vitamins and high in protein. Eggs also contain other benefits to enhance memory and brain health (choline), and may lower the risk of age-related blindness (macular degeneration) because of nutrients (lutein and zeaxanthin).

salt to boiled water

Q: What should I add to the water to boil a perfect egg

A: Usually nothing. Julia Child recommended salt, others try vinegar or baking soda, but they all achieve the same result. So we believe less is best.

Eggs in carton

Q: Why do my eggs smell like sulfur?

A: When boiled eggs are over cooked they can sometimes smell like sulfur, they are still edible

egg timer

Q: How long to cook 2 dozen eggs at the same time?

A: The time is the same, you dont need to extend the time, if you are boiling more eggs that are on a single layer of a pot.

boiling water

Q: What setting should I use to bring the water to boil

A: Medium-high is usually a good setting to bring the water to a boil when boiling eggs.

egg shell

Q: Is it better to peel eggs straight after you cook them or after they have been in the refrigerator for a while?

A: If you place eggs in an ice bath for about 5 minutes the egg white will shrink a little from the egg shell, making it easier to peel. It is the quick hot – cold reaction to the egg that helps the boiled egg peel easier. In contrast to the refrigerator, which is a slow cool, if you place hot eggs into the refrigerator and leave it there, the eggs are harder to peel when you take them out, say a few days later.

Q: Does altitude affect cooking time?

A: Altitude does affect cooking time a little, water boils at different temperatures at different altitudes. If you are located by the sea, the water will boil quicker than if you were located in the mountains. The time is only needs to be adjusted a little though.

Q: Will adding salt help?

A: Adding salt may help to prevent the shell from cracking when boiling eggs.

cracked egg

Q: My egg cracked while it was boiling, should I throw it away?

A: The boiled egg is perfectly fine. You can use it in other recipes or eat it and there is nothing wrong with it. What happened is that the small air pocket in the egg, usually located at the large top end of the egg, expanded due to the heat, to the point that the pressure in the egg cracked the shell. Julia Child recommended piercing a small hole at the large top end before cooking. Here is the link to the page and video. Julia Child Straight Boiled Eggs and Coddling Method

stove boil

Q: Is boiling eggs better on a gas or electric stove?

A: The type of stove does not matter, as it is the length of time that you leave the eggs in the pot after the water boils that matters. After the water reaches a roiling boil, you remove the pot from the heat and cover the eggs. To see the best way to boil eggs, visit our front page > Boil Egg.

storing eggs

Q: How to store hard boiled eggs?

A: Cooled and peeled hard boiled eggs will last up to 5 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator – this is a great way to make ahead of time for use in a few days.

eggs in a bowl

Q: Can the yolks be centered perfectly when cooking a hard boiled egg?

A: Some people suggest turning the egg carton up side down 24 hours before cooking the eggs.


Q: Where can I find the nutrition facts of eggs?

A: There are several places to locate nutritional facts on eggs. The FDA has a wealth of knowledge and information Visit FDA site. There is also the Egg Nutrition Center Visit ENC site. Web MD has a great article, Visit WebMD site. The Incredible Egg has a great visual, visit Incredible Egg site. Finally the American Egg Board covers the quick facts, Visit AEB site.