How to Know If Boiled Eggs Are Done?

Learn how you can tell when eggs are hard boiled or soft boiled.

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on How to Know If Boiled Eggs Are Done

Eggs are very nutritious and healthy, and besides, when boiled, they can become an ideal addition to your breakfast or lunch to make you feel full faster and keep this feeling longer. Finally, boiling eggs is very simple and the whole process takes only a few minutes. This is why hard boiled eggs are so popular on our tables!

However, if you don’t boil eggs often enough, you might be wondering how to know when boiled eggs are done. When shall you take them out of the pot? How long do you need to boil eggs to have them hard boiled?

How to test boiled eggs for readiness?

In this article, we will try to answer all these and other questions that are related to the boiling eggs theme.

How to Know If My Boiled Eggs Are Done?

Of course, when you are going to boil eggs for breakfast or for lunch, you need to be sure that they are hard boiled (unless you want them to come out of the pot being soft boiled, of course). And this check can be done in several different ways.

  • You can test boiled eggs for readiness
  • You can use special devices for checking the level or boiled eggs readiness

As for the devices we mentioned, they are created and used for identifying when boiled eggs reach the point of the ideal readiness. Usually, these devices are immersed into the pot and they have a scale where different levels of egg readiness are specified. Like this, while boiling your eggs, you can see at what level of readiness they are right now. That’s convenient, of course, but what if you don’t have such a device?

In this case, you need to opt for one of the old-fashioned methods of identifying a boiled egg level or readiness.

Fortunately, these methods are very simple and they will not require any special appliances, tools, or knowledge from you.

However, they do have one significant disadvantage: you can check your boiled eggs using these methods only after you actually finished boiling them. Which means that, if you wanted soft boiled eggs, but you kept them in a pot for a bit longer, you will get hard boiled ones instead, and this will not be possible to fix.

Anyway, even though these old-fashioned egg-readiness methods may have certain flaws, we recommend you familiarize yourself with them.

How to Know If My Boiled Eggs Are Done
Credits: Jakub Kapusnak, via

Spin the Egg

How to know if boiled eggs are done? Simply spin them! To do this correctly, you will need any hard and even surface with no curves or cracks/holes. A tabletop or a counter will do perfectly, as well as a good cutting board.

This is the fastest way of distinguishing between a hard boiled egg and an uncooked egg, by the way. Just place the egg onto the surface and spin them. A raw egg will wobble and spin slowly. The reason is simple: it is filled with liquid when not boiled. On the contrary, if you spin a solid boiled egg, it will spin very quickly and very easily in comparison to its raw “relative”.

Spin the Egg
Credits: sasapanchenko, via

Related: How Long Does It Take to Boil Water?

Hold the Egg Up to the Light

How to tell when boiled eggs are done if not spinning them? Try this alternative way of figuring it out, simply hold the eggs up to the light. You just need a bright lamp and the eggs that are going to be tested.

The thin shell of a raw egg should let some light through, and you will even be able to see the yolk on the inside.

In comparison, a boiled egg will be completely solid and you will not be able to see anything inside behind its shell. If you don’t have a lamp that is bright enough to do such a test, feel free to use a flashlight.

In each case, you need to hold the egg between your eyes and the source of light, and move it back and forth slowly to be able to see the yolk.

Hold the Egg Up to the Light
Credits: 3283197d_273, via

Drop the Egg Into Warm Water And Look For Bubbles

If you need to figure out how to know if hard boiled eggs are done ready, simply drop them into a bowl with warm water.

And look for bubbles. Raw eggs will have tiny air bubbles coming up from their shells as soon as you submerge them in water.

However, this method can only be used when the water itself is not being heated or boiling.

Drop the Egg Into Warm Water And Look For Bubbles
Credits: Klaus Nielsen, via

Otherwise, you will hardly notice those tiny air bubbles among the big bubbles of a rolling water!

Except for this nuance, this method is a very easy way to distinguish whether the eggs are boiled or not.

How to Know if Hard Boiled Eggs Are DoneHow to Know if Hard Boiled Eggs Are Done

Shake the Egg

Shaking an egg is a very fast and effective way of telling whether it is boiled or not. You just need to take an egg out of the pot and shake it gently holding it with your fingertips. What do you feel from the egg?

If the egg feels very solid, then it means that it is hard boiled properly. However, if you feel that there is still some swooshing inside, it is not done yet!

What you are sensing in this case is the movement of the remaining liquid inside the uncooked egg.

Toss it back to the pot to complete the cooking process.

Shake the Egg
Credits: nicolas_, via

Crack It Open, If All Else Fails

In case you are boiling several eggs at once, and you can’t tell whether all of them are ready and cooked, there is one method you can use if you need to learn how to tell if boiled eggs are done.

All you need to do in this case is to take one of the eggs out of the pot (take a random one), run it under cold water, and quickly crack it open to check. Simply cut it in half and examine the yolk. In case it is where you want it to be, take the rest of the eggs out since they are also ready and well boiled for sure.

However, if you see that the yolk is not where it should be, leave all the other eggs in for another few minutes to boil. Like this, you will only have to sacrifice one.

So these were the fastest and the simplest ways you can make use of in case you need to figure out how to know if your boiled eggs are done. You can use one of these if you are not in a hurry and you have plenty of time. However, in case you can’t stay in the kitchen while your eggs are being boiled, we would suggest you make use of one of those devices that are designed for defining whether eggs are ready to eat or not.

Crack It Open, If All Else Fails
Credits: Ravsky, via

How to Boil Eggs Properly

If you consume boiled eggs (even if you do it rarely enough), you surely know that it is important to boil them correctly if you want to have nicely cooked hard boiled eggs.

In order to achieve such a result, you have to learn a few easy yet very effective tricks that will allow you to boil eggs properly.

A correct egg boiling procedure will take you a few steps, so remember the sequence of actions:

  • Cover the eggs with cold water
  • Turn off the heat as soon as the water boils
  • Watch the clock for more specific yolks
  • Consider adding either salt or vinegar to the water where you are boiling eggs
  • Simmer them, don’t actually boil!
  • Use the slow cool-down in case you lost the track of time

And now let us explain in detail what exactly each of these steps implies. So first of all, when boiling eggs, start with loading the pot correctly.

How to Boil Eggs Properly
Credits: 13-Smile, via

Take however many raw eggs you want to boil and put them into a heavy-bottomed pot. Gently, fill the pot with cold water. Make sure you don’t jostle the delicate eggshell too much! You need to use enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch. After you do all this, put the uncovered pot over medium-high heat, and bring it to a boil.

Depending on how you need your eggs to be cooked, you can remove the pot at different times. However, the universal rule of thumb is to remove the pot with boiling eggs from the heat just after it reaches the boil. Also, you will have to leave the eggs in the water until it cools down.

When boiling eggs this way, you can be sure that they will be hard boiled and perfectly solid.

How to Boil Eggs Properly (3)
Credits: Ockra, via

As for adding salt or vinegar, it will help to boil the eggs properly. In particular, when adding salt, you will season it and thus affect the eggs’ flavor. And if you add a teaspoon of vinegar, it will help to keep the white intact, should the shall crack and during the boiling process. And if you are afraid that vinegar may affect the taste or flavor of the eggs, don’t worry: it will not influence them at all.

Also, you need to remember that eggs should be simmered, not literally boiled. That means you must not drop them into the boiling water directly or cook them at a very high temperature.

Finally, if you put your eggs into boiling water or if you forgot to watch the time, don’t be alarmed.

Just make sure they have been in the water for at least five minutes. Then cover the pot and remove the eggs from the heat. Wait for ten more minutes, and the eggs will be done every time!

How to Boil Eggs Properly (2)
Credits: clubfoto, via

How to Tell If Your Boiled Eggs Are Done? Extra Tips For Perfectly Boiled Eggs

We know that we have already provided you with a full guide on how to boil eggs and how to check whether they are cooked or not. However, there are still a few handy tips that we would like you to be aware of.

These tips will help you to better define when the eggs must be taken out of the pot to not overboil them, as well as not to leave them undercooked.

  • Never add raw eggs to the boiling water. Boiling water first results in the most inconsistent cooking process. As a result, the eggs may have cracked shells, become leaky, or have greenish yolks.
  • Boil eggs in a pot with the lid on.
  • Add eggs to cool water and heat it to boiling over medium-high heat.
  • To avoid having boiled eggs with greenish yolks, bring the eggs up gradually and remove them from the heat in time.

With all this in mind, you will be able to cook perfectly solid eggs quickly without damaging their texture, color, or taste!

How to Tell If Your Boiled Eggs Are Done Extra Tips For Perfectly Boiled Eggs
Credits: jreika, via

Eggs are healthy and nutritious, besides, they are super easy to cook and store. Boiled eggs can last in your fridge for up to one week providing you with healthy food daily whenever you don’t feel like cooking a great meal.

In addition, boiled eggs can be used in multiple dishes from simple salads to sandwiches, etc. It makes them very handy each time we need to eat something to keep ourselves up during the day.

But even though boiling eggs takes little time, it is important to know how to do it properly.

And with the guide that we have shared with you today, you will easily be able to cook perfectly boiled eggs with no effort.

Just follow the tips we provided you with, and you will always have perfectly boiled solid eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Is it ok to return one of the eggs to the pot with others if it’s not boiled completely?

Yes, it’s fine.

⭐ Are quail eggs boiled the same way as hen eggs?

Yes, they are.

⭐ If I need to use boiled eggs around 10 hours after I boiled them, do I need to keep them shelled?

Yes, you do.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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How to Tell When an Egg Is BoiledHow to Tell When an Egg Is Boiled