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How Long to Boil Eggs?

It’s a common question – how long to boil eggs? The answer, unfortunately, is not as simple as it seems. It depends on the size of the egg, the type of egg, and even the altitude at which you are boiling them.

Let’s say you’re making soy-marinated eggs, which require hard-boiled eggs. But you keep on ending up with gooey soft eggs. One by one, you waste all the six eggs from the carton and do not even get to enjoy the tangy flavor of soy-marinated eggs. Tragic! Isn’t it?

Not many of us pay attention to a very vital question when it comes to boiling eggs, i.e., How long to boil eggs? And when we don’t, we fail to get the results we seek. For the very same reason, it is highly important to know how long it takes to boil what sort of egg. And so, we have formulated a comprehensive guide on the subject. Read on!

How Long to Boil Eggs?

So, if you have got the egg already on the stove and are here to check how much time to give it to boil, then here:

Average Time to Boil an Egg = 6-7 minutes

However, if you have not yet started cooking, we suggest you take out five minutes and understand how different lengths of time can bring about different results. This informative read can upgrade your entire egg-boiling game!

To begin with, let us consider the aspects of dependency first. Primarily, the time to be given for an egg to boil depends on your purpose of boiling or taste preferences. It depends on whether you like to have a soft center, a runny yolk, or a complete hard yolk and white. Or perhaps, whether your recipe asks for a gooey egg to blend in with other sauces and ingredients or if it asks you to slice a hard-boiled egg for sandwich stuffing.

So, let’s have a look at what you can get at different lengths of time.

Boiling Time  Egg Condition
6-7 minutes Firm white with a soft and runny yolk
8 minutes Firm white with a jammy yolk.
10 minutes Hard white part with a slightly soft center
11-12 minutes Thoroughly hard-boiled (not over-cooked)

If you prefer savoring a boiled egg that’s still somewhat translucent in the center, then it’s advisable to boil it only for five to six minutes.

How to Identify an Over-Cooked Egg?

At a point or two in life, you must have committed a crime that mums often yell about: placed something on the stove and forgot about it. The thought of it only crosses your mind again, when the kitchen starts rumbling, or an unpleasant smell makes way to your nose.

Well, if something like that happens with eggs, we have a piece of good news: you can still eat them! Unless you’ve boiled the egg for more than two hours, of course.

Any egg that gets boiled for more than 15 minutes or until two hours becomes a hard-boiled egg and is still edible when you take it off the stove. You may need to give it a good amount of time to cool down.

Also, identifying this egg is super easy. When you peel the shell and break the white part to reveal the yolk, you will notice that the white separates from the central yolk easily. The yolk develops the same thickness and hardness as the white part. Moreover, the outer part of the yolk has a greenish hue. This sickly shade is only a result of reactions of sulfur and iron compounds on the yolk surface. Although it appears a bit unappetizing, it surely is edible, delicious, and nutritious. You need not waste a perfectly edible egg only based on its color.

Factors Affecting Boiling Time

In most cases, the standard time for boiling an egg remains the same as mentioned in the section: How long to boil eggs. However, you might have to increase or decrease a minute, depending on several factors. The following are some factors that influence the boiling time:

  • Number & Size of Eggs: While the number of eggs has no impact on boiling time, the size of eggs sure does affect the time required for boiling. Smaller eggs boil far more quickly.
  • Altitude: At higher altitudes, the atmospheric pressure is low. Thus, water takes longer to boil. So, if you reside at 3000 feet or above, you should increase one minute for every 1000 feet rise.

Flame: When the gas supply malfunctions, you might not be able to benefit from the advantages of medium or high flame. Thus, at low flame, you will need to add two minutes or so to the boiling time. Similarly, at high flame, you may need to decrease a minute or two. Do check if the egg got appropriately boiled, according to the hacks given below.

How to Tell if an Egg is Done?

how to tell if an egg is done

You can boil an egg exactly according to the time mentioned above. For accuracy, you can even use a stopwatch. But when you pull out the egg from the pot, you might as well have second thoughts. What if it didn’t get boiled properly and still needs more time? How can you tell that?

Well, there are a few hacks to figure that out. Firstly, try spinning the egg on a flat surface. A boiled egg will spin quickly and effortlessly, while a raw egg will spin slightly or only wobble. That’s because it’s filled with liquid.

Secondly, you can try identifying the yolk by casting light from behind. Light up a torch, place it behind the egg, and try to locate the yolk. The thin and translucent shell of the raw egg will allow the light to pass through, while the solid exterior and interior of the boiled egg will not. Even if that doesn’t seem to work, try submerging the egg into a bowl of water at room temperature. A boiled egg will show no difference, while a raw egg will result in the formation of tiny bubbles.

These hacks will also prove to be of great benefit to you if sometimes you accidentally place both raw and boiled eggs together.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should you boil eggs for them to be perfectly cooked?

If you’re looking for perfectly cooked eggs, then boiling them for six minutes should do the trick. This will ensure that the whites are cooked through and the yolks are nice and set – perfect for making deviled eggs or enjoying on their own.

Are there any specific types of eggs that you need to boil differently?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the cooking time for eggs can vary depending on their size, type, and freshness. If you’re boiling eggs that are particularly large or fresh, you may need to increase the cooking time by a minute or two. Conversely, if your eggs are on the small side or they’re starting to get a bit old, you can reduce the boiling time accordingly.

Do you think the method of boiling eggs has changed over the years?

It’s hard to say for sure whether the method of boiling eggs has changed over the years. It seems like every time we think we’ve got it down, a new study comes out that says something different. For instance, some experts now recommend not boiling eggs at all but instead cooking them in a steamer.


Precision and accuracy always yield phenomenal results. Be it in terms of baking a cake or boiling an egg. So, now that you know how long to boil eggs, we hope you attain your desired result. And we hope you never encounter a failed attempt! Good luck!

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