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How long do you let hard-boiled eggs sit in ice water?

Hard-boiled eggs are a quick and easy source of protein and are a staple in many people’s diets. Whether you eat them on their own, add them to salads, or make deviled eggs, one thing you should know is that the key to easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs is to give them a cold water bath after cooking. But how long should the eggs sit in ice water? In this blog post, we’ll answer that question and provide some tips for perfectly boiled eggs.

Why Should You Use Ice Water?

Before getting into the ideal amount of time to let hard-boiled eggs sit in ice water, it’s essential to understand why you should use an ice bath in the first place. When you cook eggs, the heat causes the proteins to tighten and stick to the inside of the shell. This is what makes it difficult to peel hard-boiled eggs. However, when you chill the eggs in ice water, it creates a temperature shock that causes the proteins to loosen, making them easier to peel. Not only that, but cooling the eggs helps prevent overcooking and ensures that the yolks stay bright yellow.

How Long Should You Let Hard-Boiled Eggs Sit in Ice Water?

Now for the main question: how long should you let hard-boiled eggs sit in ice water? Generally speaking, you should give the eggs at least five minutes in the ice bath before attempting to peel them. However, feel free to let them sit longer if you want them to cool further. The longer the eggs sit in the ice water, the easier they will be to peel.

Something to note is that it’s best to transfer the eggs to the ice water bath immediately after boiling. If you let them sit in the pot after cooking, they will continue to cook, making the yolks less creamy and more likely to turn gray and chalky-looking.

Other Tips for Perfectly Hard-Boiled Eggs

Along with using an ice water bath, there are a few other tips to ensure perfectly hard-boiled eggs.

1. Use room temperature eggs. If you use eggs straight from the fridge, they’ll take longer to come to a boil, which can lead to overcooking. Let them sit out for about 30 minutes before boiling.

2. Boil the eggs gently. Rapid boiling can cause the eggs to bounce around and crack. Instead, bring the water to a gentle boil and then reduce the heat to low.

3. Don’t overcrowd the pot. If you try to boil too many eggs at once in a small pot, it can cause them to cook unevenly.

4. Use a timer. Set a timer for the cooking time to ensure that you don’t under or overcook the eggs.

5. Peel them under running water. After letting the eggs sit in the ice water, peel them under running water. This will help wash away any small shell fragments and make the process even easier.


In conclusion, the ideal amount of time to let hard-boiled eggs sit in ice water is at least five minutes. However, you can let the eggs cool further for even easier peeling. Using an ice water bath is essential for easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs, and following the other tips provided can help ensure perfectly cooked eggs every time.


Is it better to start hard-boiled eggs in cold or boiling water?

Hard-boiled eggs are a great addition to many dishes, from salads to sandwiches, and they are also a healthy snack on their own. However, making them can sometimes result in a peeling nightmare. One common question that arises when cooking eggs is whether it is better to start them in cold or boiling water.

Starting eggs in cold water is often the recommended method in many recipes. The idea behind it is that as the water heats up slowly, it allows the proteins in the egg to coagulate gradually, preventing cracking in the shells. However, according to tests conducted by Serious Eats, starting eggs in cold water greatly increases the chances of shell-sticking. Even with two-week-old eggs, which are easier to peel, starting cold resulted in eggs that had just over a 50% success rate for clean peeling.

On the other hand, eggs started in boiling water or steam came out well above 90%. The high temperature causes the protein in the egg to coagulate quickly, adhering the egg white to the inner shell membrane and creating a separation between the egg white and the shell. This makes for an easy-to-peel egg.

It should be noted that there are a few tips for boiling eggs that will result in perfect peeling, regardless of starting temperature. Firstly, use older eggs; they are easier to peel than fresh ones because the egg white shrinks away from the shell as the egg ages. Secondly, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water during boiling, as this will help raise the pH level of the albumen, causing it to set more firmly and making it easier to separate from the shell. Lastly, once the eggs are boiled, transfer them into ice-cold water to cool down quickly. This also helps to contract the egg white, creating an additional separation between the white and the shell.

Based on the tests conducted by Serious Eats, it is better to start hard-boiled eggs in boiling water or steam if you want to ensure easy peeling. However, it is important to keep in mind that using older eggs, adding baking soda, and cooling the eggs quickly are also important factors in achieving perfectly boiled and easy-to-peel eggs.

Do eggs peel easier after refrigeration?

Eggs are commonly used in many recipes and add a lot of nutritional value to our diets. Boiled eggs are a popular option to consume eggs, as they make a quick and healthy breakfast or a protein-packed snack. However, a common issue that people face when making boiled eggs is peeling them easily. Some argue that refrigerating boiled eggs before peeling them can make them easier to peel. So, do eggs peel easier after refrigeration?

The answer is yes, refrigerated boiled eggs are easier to peel than those that are not refrigerated. When boiled, an egg’s proteins denature and coagulate or solidify. This process causes a chemical bond to form between the egg white and the inner lining of the eggshell, and together they make up the egg’s membrane. This membrane makes it difficult to remove the shell cleanly and effortlessly. However, when the egg is stored in the refrigerator, it allows more time for water molecules to move in between the eggshell and membrane. This process, known as osmosis, helps to loosen the membrane from the egg white and makes it easier to peel.

To make the peeling process even more comfortable, here’s a tip. Once the eggs have been boiled, shock them by transferring them to a bowl of cold water immediately. This will help the membrane to separate further and make the eggs easier to peel once refrigerated. Also, fresh eggs can be more challenging to peel than older ones. Therefore, it is better to use eggs that are at least a week old to achieve easier peeling.

Refrigerated boiled eggs are easier to peel than those that are not refrigerated. So, if you want to make peeling eggs a breeze, store them in the refrigerator once they have been boiled. Remember to shock them in cold water before refrigerating, and use slightly older eggs for better results.