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.
Total time: 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. 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!