How to Tell if an Egg Is Hard-Boiled (Without Breaking Them)

Here's a simple trick that you'll be using all the time to test your hard-boiled eggs.
Michael Michael (130)
1 minute

When I was young, I dreamed of being a world-famous chef whose knowledge of cooking was as endless as the sea. Needless to say, that didn't quite happen. (I haven't heard of me, have you?)

But what I did gain from watching countless Food Network shows were little tips and tricks that served me when cooking as an adult. I believe I first saw this egg trick on Alton Brown's old show, Good Eats.

I've boiled eggs so many times that I feel like I have developed a sixth sense when it comes to knowing when to take them off of the stove. Heck, we even have a guide on how to boil eggs. But I'm sometimes wrong. You don't want to undercook eggs for certain recipes like deviled eggs. And you certainly don't want to overcook eggs, otherwise, you'll get that dry, gray yolk.

Here's the trick I use to test my hard-boiled eggs to see if they're fully cooked.

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Spoon egg out of boiling water

Use a tablespoon to scoop the egg out of the boiling water.

The egg will be hot, so don't hold on to it for long.

  • Spin the egg.
  • Abruptly stop the spinning.

If the egg continues to spin, then it's not completely cooked. In the GIF above, you can see that the egg still spins after I stop it. It's not done yet.

If it stops fully, then you have yourself a fully cooked hard-boiled egg!

In case you're interested...what's actually happening is that you're causing the yolk inside to spin. When you stop the egg, the yolk continues to spin (if uncooked), creating a centripetal force that causes the whole egg to start spinning again.

Want help peeling it? We've got a great trick for perfectly peeled hard-boiled eggs!

Make simple, perfectly poached eggs with a golden, liquid center!
10 minutes

When I was first on my own, seventeen, and trying to cook meals that didn't include instant noodles or powdered cheese, I found that, like the literature and art classes I loved so much, food was a wonderful, creative outlet. I fell in love with the art of cooking, with the colors and smells that filled our humble kitchen, and have since then mastered many of the classics: lasagna, roasted chicken and vegetables, and spaghetti bolognese, but I have never been able to poach an egg with any success. With all these different factors, what really is the "best" way? Poached eggs are commonly thought of as the most difficult way to cook an egg. I've loved poached eggs since my first time eating eggs benedict when I was nine years old, and since my passion for cooking started, I have tried to poach eggs a handful of times and failed. Either they came out overcooked, the whites didn't bind together in the cooking process, or I ended up with a glob of eggs in a whirling pot of water. This year, I finally decided to tackle the poached egg. With every new year, I create a cooking goal. Last year, I bought six New York strip steaks and challenged myself to make the perfectly seared steak. This year, I finally decided to tackle the poached egg. The problem with learning to make the perfect poached egg is that every chef and online cooking guru has a different preference, and they all claim their way is the "best" way. They all have strict guidelines about using either saucepan or skillet, using seasoned or unseasoned water, adding vinegar or not adding vinegar, cooking it for ninety seconds on the burner, or taking it off the heat and cooking it for anywhere from three to seven minutes. With all these different factors, what really is the "best" way? I've tried every egg poaching recipe and tip I could find to create one simple guide for poached eggs with a golden, liquid center that any at-home cook can do!