hard boiled eggs lined up on an Easter platter with a white rabbit in the center.
Breakfast, Holiday favorites

Perfect hard boiled eggs (no green ring)


Getting perfect hard boiled eggs with no green ring around them is as easy as 1-2-3! Once you know the simple technique for cooking them, you’ll never have funny green tinged hard boiled eggs again. The egg is truly a marvel of nature. It is an energy packed source of protein. Hard boiled eggs are a tasty addition to a salad or make a great snack on their own. They’re most appetizing when they have a beautiful yellow yolk with no discoloration or funny green ring around the yolk.

hard boiled eggs lined up on an Easter platter with a white rabbit in the center.
Perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs

The green ring is a chemical reaction

“Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham.”

Green eggs and ham might be a fun idea from Dr. Seuss, but in reality there’s nothing very pretty about a hard boiled egg with a green ring around it. Did you know the perfect egg is actually hard cooked rather than hard boiled? The green discoloration (green ring around the yolk) is a chemical reaction that occurs involving sulfur from the egg white interacting with the iron in the yolk. The reaction occurs when the egg is cooked too long at too high a temperature.

A long platter of hard boiled eggs with no green ring.

How to get perfect hard boiled eggs with no green ring

To avoid this chemical reaction, after bringing the eggs to a boil, cover the saucepan and remove it from the heat. Allow the eggs to sit for 12 minutes. Set a timer. I have even found that the eggs are perfect at 10 minutes, but I live at sea level. If you live at a higher elevation, (inland or mountain) the amount of time needed will increase accordingly. Some chefs say to cook them up to a maximum of 15 minutes. I recommend starting at 12 and timing no longer than 15 minutes until you discover the sweet spot for your perfect hard boiled eggs.

Shocking the cooked eggs in ice water. Peeling eggs under running water.

After the cook time has passed, immediately transfer the eggs to a large bowl of ice water. The shock of the ice cold temperature stops the eggs from cooking. Then peel the eggs under cold running water. This allows you to get underneath the membrane and peel the eggs easier. The water helps the membrane separate and release.

A bowl of six hard boiled eggs.
Great for breakfast or deviled egg recipes

“Not in a box. Not with a fox. Not in a house. Not with a mouse. I would not eat them here or there. I would not eat them anywhere. I would not eat green eggs and ham. I would not eat them Sam-I-am.”

And voila! No more green eggs. Follow these easy steps and you’ll have perfect hard boiled eggs ready for snacks, salads, egg salad sandwiches and deviled eggs.

Delicious deviled egg recipes

Whipped deviled eggs with smoked salmon
Easter deviled egg chicks

I hope you’ve enjoyed this cooking tutorial about how to get the perfect hard boiled egg.

Happy cooking!


Quotes above are from “Green eggs and ham” by Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 1960, Random House, Inc. New York.

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Perfect hard boiled eggs (no green ring)

Recipe by Michelle BarsnessCourse: Breakfast, Holiday favoritesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Getting perfect hard boiled eggs every time is easy as 1-2-3! Follow these steps for perfect yellow yolks with no green discoloration or ring around the yolk.


  • 12 large eggs


  • Place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover them with cool water. Make sure they are completely submerged. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once the water boils, cover the sauce pan and remove it from the heat. Let the eggs sit 12 minutes. Set a timer.
  • Gently transfer the eggs to a large bowl of ice water to cool.This stops the cooking process. Let them sit for a couple minutes.
  • Peel the eggs under cold running water. This helps to get underneath the membrane and makes it easier to peel the eggs.


  • Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about your experience. Please leave me a comment on this recipe’s blog page. Also, subscribe to my weekly email newsletter. No spam, just great recipes. https://northwestspoon.com


  1. 5 stars
    Oh wonderful!!! We love boiled eggs. I loved them since I was little and now my little girl love it too, but I can’t make it perfect all the time because mama always did it before. Must give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 5 stars
    What an interesting post, I have to confess I very rarely cook hard boiled eggs I prefer mine jammy or runny.

  3. 5 stars
    Those eggs look perfect! I had no idea why the discolouration happens! Now I can avoid it.

  4. 5 stars
    I love hard boiled eggs especially with my salads. I would never had thought the trick was shock it in ice, I’m going to try that from now on. I usually boil mine for 10 minutes because I’m at sea level like you. Thanks for sharing Michelle!

  5. 5 stars
    This is the only way I’ve ever been able to boil perfect eggs! Love all your tips!

  6. 5 stars
    I’m always looking for new ways to hard boil eggs! Can’t wait to try this!

  7. 5 stars
    Love these hard-boiled egg tips. I hate when I get that green ring, now I can avoid it. Thank you for the wonderful post!

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve never gotten that green ring on my eggs, and now I know why. Thank you for your tips!

  9. 5 stars
    What a great tutorial! I usually just throw the eggs in and hope for the best, but I’ll definitely be trying your trick next time!

  10. 5 stars
    I made the boiled eggs as suggested and they turned out perfect. I left them for 15 minutes in the hot water as I live at a high elevation. This is embarrassing because I’m a senior and just now learned how to boil a perfect egg!! I’m making egg salad tomorrow from extra eggs I made. Thanks Michelle.

  11. 5 stars
    I remember our school canteen always served eggs with a green ring! These are great tips !

  12. Do start with room temperature eggs or right out of refrigerator?

    • Hi Tiffaney, Ah, yes another factor to consider. I always just go with the eggs straight from the fridge, since I’m usually in a rush. If the eggs are already at room temperature, it may be 9 minutes or so in the hot water (longer for higher elevation).


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