It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet

What is the best way to cook hard boiled eggs?

I am trying to prepare the best hard boiled eggs for friends. My procedure is to boil them for at least 10 minutes over a medium flame, then I let them sit and cool down so I can peel them. Now isn't that the best procedure to use?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

hard boiled eggs, one sliced in half

There are dozens of ways to boil an egg and your email piqued my interest. I searched the internet and found many people who claim to have the perfect method. While many of them sound good, there are often multiple steps involving heating, reheating, ice water, and cool running water.

The method that I use is pretty simple and very similar to yours. Place the eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. The water should be at least two inches over the top of the eggs. Bring the water to a boil. Start your timer and boil the eggs for 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let stand in the water for 12 minutes.

Run cold water into the pan until all the water is cold, then remove and shell the eggs (they will still be warm). Let them stand for about 5 - 10 minutes before putting in the refrigerator.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet