From Stovetop to Instant Pot: Every Way to Hard-Boil an Egg

updated May 29, 2019
How To Hard-Boil Eggs

A perfect, foolproof way to make boiled eggs perfectly every single time, with timing and methods for both hard boiled and soft boiled eggs.

Makes6 eggs

Cook8 minutes to 20 minutes

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Of all the ways to cook an egg, there’s nothing quite as convenient and versatile as a hard-boiled egg. This make-ahead, portable, peel-and-eat wonder makes for a quick and easy breakfast, simple solution for bulking up lunch, and a satisfying mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

If they’re as big a part of your week as they are mine, you’re likely well-acquainted with the tried-and-true method of boiling eggs on the stovetop, but that is far from the only way to make them. From the classic stovetop method to appliances like your slow cooker, Instant Pot, and air fryer, here’s a rundown of every single way to make hard-boiled (okay, and “boiled”) eggs.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Let’s start with the classic. This simple, straightforward method for hard-boiling eggs on the stovetop is foolproof. At a minimum all you need is a saucepan and a timer.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

For anyone who has a new Instant Pot, eggs are always the first thing I suggest you make. This method isn’t significantly faster than the stovetop, but it’s an easy way to cook a lot of eggs at once and, best of all, it makes for the absolute creamiest hard-cooked eggs.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

For those times all the burners on the stovetop are in use (hello, weekend meal prep) and other appliances aren’t an option, you can also use the oven to make a batch of hard-cooked eggs. You’ll need a muffin tin and about 30 minutes, and will get easy-to-peel eggs mostly similar to those cooked on the stovetop.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

4. How To Cook Hard-Boiled Eggs in a Slow Cooker

When time isn’t of the essence or you’d prefer a set-it-and-forget-it method, you can also use your slow cooker to make hard-cooked eggs. It’s an especially useful method for making a lot of eggs at once. It’s simply a matter of covering a single layer of eggs with water and cooking on the HIGH setting for about two-and-a-half hours.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

5. How To Cook Hard-Boiled Eggs in an Air Fryer

Hard-cooked eggs are just one more thing you can make in your air fryer. Similar to other methods, since the are eggs are cooked in a single layer, the size of the air fryer will dictate the maximum number of eggs that can be cooked at once. Once the fryer is heated to 250°F, add the eggs to the basket in a single layer and cook for 16 minutes, then cool them in an ice bath. The result is a tender white and firm, creamy yolk just like you’d get from the stovetop.

And here’s a handy cheat sheet to pin for later.

(Image credit: Kath Nash)

More Tips on Hard-Boiled Eggs

How To Hard-Boil Eggs

A perfect, foolproof way to make boiled eggs perfectly every single time, with timing and methods for both hard boiled and soft boiled eggs.

Cook time 8 minutes to 20 minutes

Makes 6 eggs

Nutritional Info


  • 6

    large eggs

  • Cold water

  • Ice


  • Medium saucepan

  • Timer

  • Slotted spoon

  • Bowl


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  1. Put the eggs in a saucepan of cold water. Place 6 cold large eggs in a medium saucepan and fill with cold water, covering the eggs by an inch.

  2. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to a full, rolling boil uncovered. Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath.

  3. Prepare an ice bath. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and add water to cover.

  4. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. As soon as the water comes to a boil, remove the pan from heat and cover the pan. Don't forget about the pan on the stove and let the eggs boil for too long or they will overcook!

  5. Set your timer for the desired time. Leave the eggs in the covered pan for the right amount of time. How long? Depends on whether you want soft-boiled or hard-boiled eggs. Here's how long each will take: • For runny soft-boiled eggs (barely set whites): 3 minutes • For slightly runny soft-boiled eggs: 4 minutes • For custardy yet firm soft-boiled eggs: 6 minutes • For firm-yet-still-creamy hard-boiled eggs: 10 minutes • For very firm hard-boiled eggs: 15 minutes

  6. Crack the cooked eggs gently. After your selected time is up, remove the cooked eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and tap each gently on the countertop to crack the shell in a few places. Skip this step if your eggs are very soft-boiled with runny yolks or if you're planning to dye your eggs for Easter.

  7. Place the eggs in a bowl of ice water. Transfer the eggs to the bowl of ice water and leave them there for at least 1 minute.

  8. Peel and eat! When ready to eat, peel the eggs and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

Quantity: You can of course do fewer eggs (or more!), but we like to do 6 at once.

Storage: Refrigerate any unused eggs, still in their shells, within 2 hours. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.