How to Tell When a Hard Boiled Egg Is Cooked

By Louise Balle

If a cook wrote a book on easy recipes, the process of making a hard-boiled egg would probably come in at number two right after boiling water. Cooking a hard-boiled egg is simple, but one challenge is knowing when it's fully cooked to hard (not soft or medium). Telling if the egg is hard-boiled is a quick and painless task.

Step 1

Allow the hard-boiled egg to come to a rapid boil. Turn off the burner and move the pot away.

Step 2

Cover the pot with a fitting lid, and then let the egg sit in the hot water for at least 15 minutes. If you let it cook in the hot water for too long, an unattractive green color might start to form around the yolk.

Step 3

Remove the egg from the pot, and lay it on parchment or waxed paper. Hold the egg upright on the paper (on its bottom) and spin it carefully in a clockwise direction. If the egg spins without wobbling or falling over, it's fully hard-boiled. If it topples and wobbles, it is not finished cooking --- reset it in the hot water and cover for about three to five more minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • You also can crack the shell a bit with a spoon so that you can place a toothpick through it to test to see if liquid yolk is still inside. If the toothpick is moist or has a yellow color, the egg still is at the soft- or medium-cooked stage.