How can you tell if an egg is hard boiled? Foolproof methods!

Eggs are a popular food item that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Whether you like your eggs scrambled, sunny-side-up, or hard-boiled, it’s essential to know how to tell when they’re done. In this article, we’ll focus on hard-boiled eggs and provide you with some foolproof methods to check if they’re ready.

How to Boil an Egg?

Before we discuss how to tell if an egg is hard-boiled, let’s first look at how to boil an egg correctly.

Follow these simple steps:

  • Place the eggs in a saucepan with enough water to cover them.
  • Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the eggs cook for 9-12 minutes.
  • Remove the eggs from the hot water and transfer them to a bowl of cold water to stop them from cooking further.
  • Peel and enjoy your perfectly boiled eggs!

How to Tell if an Egg is Hard Boiled?

Now that we know how to boil an egg, let’s discuss how to tell if it’s hard-boiled or not.

Spin the Egg

One of the easiest ways to tell if an egg is hard-boiled is to spin it. Place the egg on a flat surface and spin it. If it spins smoothly, it’s hard-boiled. If it wobbles, it’s raw or partially cooked.

Candle Test

The candle test is an old-fashioned method of checking if an egg is hard-boiled. All you need is a lit candle and a dark room. Hold the egg near the flame of the candle, and if the egg is hard-boiled, the inside will be solid white. If it’s raw or partially cooked, you’ll be able to see the yolk and some of the egg white through the shell.

Float Test

The float test is another simple method to determine if an egg is hard-boiled or not. Fill a bowl with water and place the egg in it. If it sinks to the bottom and lies flat, it’s fresh. If it floats to the surface, it’s not fresh, but it’s still edible. If it stands on one end at the bottom, it’s starting to age and should be eaten soon. However, if it floats to the top, it’s gone bad and should not be eaten.

Shell Test

The shell test is a bit of a gamble because it involves cracking open the egg. Tap the egg on a flat surface and gently remove the shell. If the egg yolk and white are firm and solid, it’s hard-boiled. If the yolk is gooey and the egg white is runny, the egg is raw or undercooked.

Why is it Important to Know if an Egg is Hard-Boiled?

Knowing if an egg is hard-boiled can prevent accidents in the kitchen. When you’re cooking multiple eggs, it’s easy to forget which ones you’ve already boiled. Consequently, you might accidentally crack open a raw egg, making a mess and contaminating your other ingredients.


In conclusion, there are several foolproof methods to tell if an egg is hard-boiled. You can spin the egg, perform a candle test, do a float test, or crack it open and inspect the yolk and white. These methods will ensure that your eggs are cooked to perfection and help you avoid accidents when cooking multiple eggs.

Common Questions:

  • Q. How long do you boil eggs for hard-boiled?
    • A. You should boil the eggs for 9-12 minutes for hard-boiled eggs.
  • Q. How do you peel hard-boiled eggs easily?
    • A. Place the cooked eggs in cold water for a few minutes before peeling them. This will help the shell come off more easily.
  • Q. Can you reuse the water used to boil eggs?
    • A. No, it’s not recommended to reuse the water used to boil eggs as it may contain bacteria from the eggshell.
  • Q. How long can hard-boiled eggs be kept in the refrigerator?
    • A. Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.


1. Jacobsen, S. S., & Hart, J. (2016). The Good Egg: More than 200 Fresh Approaches from Breakfast to Dessert. San Francisco, CA: Weldon Owen.

2. Bon Appétit (2018). How to Boil Eggs Perfectly Every Time. Retrieved from

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