How to Know if Boiled Eggs Are Done: Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Cooked Eggs

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While it can be hard to figure out how to know if boiled eggs are done, there are a few tricks you can use to get your eggs perfect. In this article, I’ll be walking you through how soft boiling and hard boiling, as well as how long each takes and how to tell when your eggs are ready. So, lets get started!

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How To Know If Boiled Eggs Are Done: Tips And Tricks For Perfectly Cooked Eggs

Table of Contents

How Long Does It Take to Boil Eggs?

Used to cooking your eggs in a toaster oven? Or maybe you’re looking for a frying egg substitute?

Either way, switching to boiled can be tricky! It can be hard to tell how long to boil eggs because everyone’s stove is different, and eggs come in all different sizes. Still, there are some general guidelines you can follow!

If you’re curious about how long it takes to boil quail eggs, or are worried about how to peel them, know that the methods stated below focus on boiling chicken eggs.

chicken eggs

How Long to Boil Eggs on the Stove?

To soft-boil eggs on the stove, for example, you generally want to leave them in for 6 minutes.

For hard-boiled eggs, 8-10 minutes while actively boiling or 10-15 minutes standing in boiled water will do.

Cooking them for the shorter period of time will leave you with a creamier (fully cooked) yolk, whereas the longer periods result in a pale and chalky yolk.

To cook the white completely and leave the yolk runny, cook them for roughly 7 minutes. Boil some water in the kettle, add your egg(s) and the water into the pan, and immediately turn on the heat to bring them back to boiling. Cooking for somewhere between 6 minutes and 30 seconds to 7 minutes will result in these gooey medium boiled eggs.

These guidelines assume the eggs you’re using are medium-medium large. For truly large eggs, add roughly 30 seconds to the cooking times. The opposite goes for small eggs – subtract 30 seconds.

How To Know If Boiled Eggs Are Done: Tips And Tricks For Perfectly Cooked Eggs

How Do You Know When an Egg Is Boiled?

It can be hard to tell if an egg is boiled without breaking it, but it is possible.

There are generally three methods you can use to figure out whether your eggs are boiled without breaking the shell. These could be especially useful if you’re cooking with brown eggs as you won’t be able to see through them like white eggs.

So, here’s everything about how to know when brown eggs are done boiling! And, of course, how to know if white boiled eggs are done.

How to Know if Eggs Are Boiled

Method 1 – Shaking the Egg

After cooking the egg, take it out of the pot. Consider wearing gloves/kitchen mitts, or waiting for it to cool down if needed. Then, carefully shake the egg in your hand.

Pay attention to the feeling – a fully cooked boiled egg will feel like shaking a rock, but you will be able to feel the liquid in a partially cooked or uncooked egg.

Method 2 – Spinning the Egg

Try this method if you couldn’t discern with the first technique.

Take your egg and gently place it on it’s side on a flat, even surface. Then, holding the egg with your thumb and index or middle finger, gently make a ’snapping’ motion to spin the egg.

Once it’s spinning, look at how the egg reacts. If it spins well, looks steady, and has a clear center of gravity, it’s likely thoroughly cooked. If it wobbles a little more, seems unsteady, or is hard to spin at all, it’s very likely raw or undercooked.

Method 3 – White Egg Flashlight Trick

This third method only works with white or pale eggs.

Simply put a flashlight up to the egg. If it’s raw or only partially cooked, the entire egg will light up and look red as you’ll be able to see ‘through’ it. If it does not light, then the egg is either mostly or fully cooked.

How To Know If Boiled Eggs Are Done: Tips And Tricks For Perfectly Cooked Eggs

How to Know Hard Boiled Eggs Are Done

If you want to know how to tell if an egg is hard boiled, there area few different ways of going about it.

The best, in my opinion, is simply to time the cooking of the egg. As the process cooking an egg entails a chemical change (like meat), the rate at which the heat affects the egg is very important to keep in mind. Once your egg gets past a certain point, the only option will be for it to be hard. It doesn’t matter if you boil your egg for 12 minutes or for 20, as they’ll both come out the same. In the event that you want a hard-boiled egg with a slightly softer yolk, a 10 minute boil is the way to go.

You can also use the methods I detailed above just to double check – spinning the egg, shining a light through it and shaking it are great ways to tell whether your egg is fully cooked. It’s a little harder to measure if you’re after a partially cooked egg, though. Your best best in those cases is to go by the time.

However, there is a third option that hasn’t been mentioned anywhere yet… If things are getting tricky and you make boiled eggs often, it may be a good idea to invest in an egg timer. This will tell you exactly when to pull your eggs out, and often has options ranging from soft to medium to hard-boiled!

Below I’ve linked one of these multi-option egg timers for anyone interested.

Tala Colour Changing Egg Timer
Buy on Amazon

Do Hard Boiled Eggs Float When Done?

Whether they’re raw or boiled, it’s actually old or rotten eggs that have a tendency to float.

This is because gasses naturally within the egg leak out through the porous shell over time. This leads to the egg having a higher composition of air, making it more buoyant.

It’s is why this isn’t a reliable method how to know if boiled eggs are done. If your hard-boiled egg is floating after cooking, it’s likely old or rotten – and may be best thrown out.

How to Boil Eggs

Total Time:
10 – 20 minutes

The method used here today was developed by Lisa Brian of YouTube channel Downshiftology. I decided that using this video would be best because of the wide variety between the eggs cooked, as well as the thorough explanations and serving suggestions suggested. I also thought it would be useful to have a full video guide on how to do this.

So, let’s get started!

What You Will Need:

A pot large enough to fit all the eggs
A bowl large enough to fit all the eggs
Ice (optional, best for large batches)
A stainless steel skimmer or spoon
Chicken eggs


  1. Take your chosen pan and fill it with enough water to comfortably cover your eggs, but don’t put your eggs into the pot yet. Take your pot to the stove and turn to high heat to bring your pot (sans eggs) to a boil.
  2. If your eggs are refrigerated, remove them from the fridge at this point. This will let your eggs come to room temperature, making their cooking times more predictable.
  3. Next, you’ll optionally want to prepare an ice water bath for your eggs. This is best if you’re cooking multiple eggs or want them done exactly to the point expected. Like dunking spaghetti in ice water to make better pasta, leaving the eggs in an ice water bath will stop them from cooking past the point you want them. If you decide not to use this, be prepared to have to leave your eggs under running cold water until they cool.

Method for Boiling All Eggs:

  1. Once your water is boiling, you can take steps to begin adding your eggs. First, turn the heat down to low. This will save your eggs from cracking or bouncing. Then, carefully add in the eggs by first placing them onto your skimmer, before slowly lowering into the water. Once you’ve placed the eggs in, you can turn the heat back up again.
  2. Boil the eggs until they’re at the stage that you would like. For a soft boiled egg with a liquid yolk, take out at 6 minutes. This is 8 minutes for an egg with a jammy yolk and fully cooked whites. 10 minutes is best for a hard-boiled egg with a yolk on the softer side, while 12 minutes gets you a firmer, paler yolk. A 14 minute egg will give you the quintessential hard-boiled egg.
  3. After removing your eggs with the skimmer, immediately plunge them into the ice bath. Leave them to cool for a minute or two – it’s important to let them cool completely, otherwise they will continue cooking.
  4. Remove your eggs from the ice water once cooled and carefully peel their shells. You should be extra cautious with softer eggs, as they will be easier to break and spill. To make the peeling easier, Lisa suggests cracking the eggs from the air bubble at their base and peeling them beneath running cold water. After this, you’re done! Serve your eggs however you’d like – I like using the medium-soft eggs in egg bagels with cream cheese. Alternatively, store them in the fridge for later use! If following a keto diet, be sure to check whether eggs are suitable for you first.
How To Know If Boiled Eggs Are Done: Tips And Tricks For Perfectly Cooked Eggs

Which Eggs Should I Use?

6 minute eggs are best left for just making soft boiled egg-in-a-cup. However, other firmer eggs have a little more variety.

For example, 6 & 1/2 minute eggs are absolutely perfect for toast or salads, while hard-boiled 12 minute egg yolks have the ideal consistency for making deviled eggs or potato salad.

Top 5 Boiled Egg Serving Suggestions

  1. Sandwiches And Breads
    • Like mentioned above, boiled eggs make great additions so toast and bagels. What you might not realize though is that they also make a great alternative to scrambled eggs for your air-fryer breakfast sandwich. You can also choose to use chopped or sliced boiled eggs in a breakfast burrito too!
  2. Angeled Eggs?
    • Instead of going for some traditional deviled eggs, try making guac-stuffed eggs instead! Perfectly refreshing and still just as creamy, you can even serve these alongside their classic counterpart. To change it up even more, take a look at these hummus eggs… Bring them all together, and you already have a huge egg-based appetizer game going – just as the Romans intended.
  3. Spicy Salads
    • Once more, like mentioned above, boiled eggs honestly fit into most salads. If you want to switch it up from the potato salad however, consider using this ingredient in a hot salad. Check out this spicy bacon n’ egg salad recipe for some inspiration!
  4. Ramen and Noodle Soups
    • A creamy, jammy, soft egg yolk will absolutely never go wrong with some ramen. Plus, it will make your bowl just that tiiiny bit more Instagrammable. So, if you’re fed up with never having tried the mom from Ponyo’s ramen, test it out by making this fun Ghibli-inspired recipe!
  5. Added to Lasagna
    • While it seems unlikely, boiled eggs can be a great addition to a lasagna. I’m honestly not the biggest fan, but the egg-lasagna-loving sentiment in my family is HUGE, so I couldn’t go without mentioning this once. To make this, simply add in a layer hard-boiled egg slices in every tier of your lasagna. For context, the lasagna I make at home uses sliced cooked ham, minced beef sautéed with garlic and onion in tomato passata, generous helpings white lasagna sauce, and shredded cheddar cheese.


How Do You Know When an Egg Is Boiled?

You can try 3 methods: shaking the egg, spinning the egg, or flashing light through the egg, to know if they’re fully boiled. But usually it takes about 8-15 minutes to fully cook an egg.

Do Hard Boiled Eggs Float When Done?

If your hard-boiled egg is floating after cooking, it’s likely old or rotten – and may be best thrown out.

Boiling Eggs: Perfect Every Time!

While it may seem that you never manage to get your eggs at the right point, with the tricks outlined in this article, it becomes 10 times easier.

The most important thing to keep in mind when boiling eggs is the cooking process. Make sure to cook your eggs in water that was already boiling, leave them in for the correct time, and cool them quickly and thoroughly.

Taking these steps will ensure you have perfectly cooked eggs every-time!

By Anna

Anna Brooks, the voice behind, is a seasoned writer and editor with an insatiable love for food. While not a professional chef, her culinary adventures and unique insights have captivated readers for years. Anna believes in the transformative power of food, stating it "feeds the soul." Dive into her writings for a mix of inspiration, entertainment, and culinary wisdom. Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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