How To Tell If Hard Boiled Eggs Are Done? – Know The Tricks!

Written by Patricia Jones

An egg is a good source of high protein, vitamins and minerals. Its whites are low in calorie and fat-free. However, it is important to monitor the cooking process to avoid undercooking or overcooking possibilities.

In this article, I have come up with the ideal solution of how to tell if hard boiled eggs are done. This ensures that you get the real advantage of eating appropriate food items by preparing in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Want to eliminate the guess work while hard-boiling eggs? You cannot miss this device review I have already written which gives you a perfectly boiled egg every time.

How To Tell If Hard Boiled Eggs Done?

Surprisingly, there are no hard and fast rules for preparing eggs and tell that it is ready. Only you have to follow the ideal procedure of cooking to get the desired result.

Step-By-Step Procedure

  • Gently place a layer of eggs in the saucepan
  • Keep enough space between them
  • Pour water into the saucepan up to an inch above egg
  • Put some salt to avoid cracking of shells
  • Heat it up for about 12 – 15 minutes
  • Turn off the burner

As soon as you stop heating, change the water and fill the saucepan with cold water. This will stop eggs from further cooking due to residual hot water.

Close the lid and keep it for two minutes more. Now, peel them and enjoy your food.

This is the appropriate answer of “When are hard boiled eggs ready to eat?” You can use this step for preparing any recipe for boiled eggs without having a second thought.


  • Size of eggs may vary the time of cooking
  • Number of pieces may vary the time required for cooking
  • Heating temperature may also vary the cooking time

Suppose you consider 165o F/ 74o C for cooking, you get exact hard-boiled eggs, where the effect of size and number of pieces are almost negligible.

The best thing is that hard-boiled ones are much easier to peel after cooling.

Why Do Eggs Turn Solid When Cooked?

As we all know that eggs are rich in protein content, this takes part in forming new bonds while heating. This leads to turning them solid from liquid when cooked.

How Does It Work?

In eggs, proteins are amino-acid strings held together by non-covalent (weak) bonds. On heating, these strings break and denature the protein to form new but stronger bonds.

During this process, the water molecules surround the protein are forced out. However, some portions of water still remain there (initially) that leads to turning them solid over time.

In other words, it is just alteration of the structure of proteins that significantly leads to make the entire egg solid when cooked.

Can You Over Boil An Egg?

Yes, Of Course! But it is not recommended at all.

Overcooking can be done in several different ways. I have mentioned two main overcooking ways or reasons in the next section-

  • Cooked For Over 15 Minutes

Suppose eggs are boiled for more than the usual time limit, it becomes terribly overcooked and turns hard. Interestingly, it is safe to eat.

  • Do Not Change The Boiled Water

If you don’t change the boiled water after cooking, it overcooks them. This is because of the residual heat present in the hot water.

Certainly, this is the ideal solution for queries such as, “Can eggs be over boiled, how?” Not to mention, it is still perfectly safe to eat.

What Happens If You Boil Eggs Too Long?

When they are boiled for too long or overcooked, it turns the yolk into greenish color. This is due to the presence of hydrogen sulfide in the whites and iron in the yolk.

Due to high heat generation (overcooking condition), the release of iron and hydrogen sulfide results in chemical reaction to form iron sulfide. This turns the color of the yolk into greenish or gray-green yolk.

Particularly, hydrogen sulfide is flammable and a toxic gas what you make when you over boil an egg. Thus, it is recommended to avoid such situation by putting the eggs in cold water and stop the residual heat.

Bottom Line

If you want to store the leftover hard-boiled eggs, you can keep it safe to eat for up to a week in the fridge. Just remember to keep it in an airtight container for its ideal storage!

This process can keep both peeled and unpeeled ones safe to eat for up to 7 days long from its date of boiling. (It is recommended to label the date on the pack for safety reasons)

I hope this guide on how to tell if hard boiled eggs are done and other essential facts have taken you to a comfort zone for ideal preparation in the home kitchen.

Particularly, eating boiled eggs is not only good for health but also helps in controlling hunger. If you prefer hard-boiled eggs, it can refuel your body to a great extent.

If you need any other suggestions or have any query, just comment in the below box.

About the author

Patricia Jones

Patricia is a fine dining chef at Wake Forest, North Carolina. She is also a caring mom and a lovely sister. Her heart and passion lies in the art of cooking great dishes for her family and customers.

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