Can You Boil Eggs Too Long? See The Answer

Here’s a straight-up answer, yes, it is possible to boil eggs for too long.

As easy as boiling eggs sounds, many people have gotten it wrong many times. At some point, you may have taken the eggs off the stove because you thought they were well-cooked.

At other times also, you thought it better to allow them to boil properly but the eggs came out hard and with a greyish yolk. Maybe you forgot about the eggs you were boiling and remembered 10 minutes later.

If boiling eggs posed a herculean task before you, then you certainly need to read this article.  

Can you boil eggs for too long?

Yes. It is possible to boil eggs for too long.

Boiling eggs for 10 to 12 minutes makes them overcooked, and they’ll become hard-boiled eggs. Cooking eggs beyond this time can make them toxic to your health.

How long should you boil eggs?

Boil eggs for 5 to 8 minutes. How long you boil eggs depends on the size of the eggs and the result you want to get. That is, it depends on how soft or hard you want the eggs to be.

Boiling medium-sized eggs for 5 to 6 minutes will give you a runny yolk that is perfect for dipping or garnishing a crunchy salad.

Boiling eggs for 7 to 8 minutes gives you a sticky or jammy yolk with a firm white. This type of egg is great for toast, ramen, and salad.

After 8 minutes, the eggs become firmer, hard-boiled, and perfect for a snack, slicing over meals and refrigerating for later use.

How do you know eggs are done boiling?

Any of the following ways can help you identify well-cooked eggs. You need only one out of the eggs you’re boiling.

1. The spin method

Take the egg out of the boiling water and allow it to cool a little. Afterward, place it on a flat surface like the kitchen counter and give it a spin.

If the egg spins easily without wobbling, it’s done boiling. If it wobbles, it means there’s still some liquid in the egg and you may need to boil it again, if you want firm eggs.

2. Read the temperature of the egg

Get an instant-read thermometer and check the temperature of the egg. When eggs are firm and ready to eat, they should have an internal temperature of 158°F or 160°F.

However, before you use this method, allow the egg to rest for 15 to 30 seconds.

3. The light test

When you hold a raw egg up to the light, the light passes through and allows you to see the yolk in the egg.

But a cooked egg is solid and does not allow light through it. If you can see through an egg that you’ve been boiling, you need to cook it again.

4. Test for bubbles in the water

When you drop a raw egg in warm water, small bubbles form in the water. On the other hand, a cooked egg will not cause any bubbles to form.

5. Peel the egg

This is the most reliable method but before you go for this option, you have to be confident that you have boiled the eggs well. Otherwise, you risk losing or wasting an egg. Moreover, this should be your go-to method if you’re in doubt.

Cool the egg in cold water and peel off the shell. You can cut it open to see if the yolk is firm enough. If you’re satisfied, you can take out the remaining eggs.

What should you do if you have boiled eggs for too long?

If you realize that you have boiled eggs too long, remove the pot from the heat, take out the eggs, and plunge them into a bowl of cold water or ice.

This will stop the cooking process and may prevent eggs from developing a grey hue around the yolk.

However, if you don’t like what you see when you crack the eggs, turn them into new meals. For instance, you can use them to make an egg salad sandwich.

How do you know eggs are overboiled?

When you crack overboiled eggs, they feel very firm, and the yolks have a grey coating.

This color is a result of a toxic compound, ferrous sulfide, that forms from the compounds released from the egg’s white and yolk.

When eggs boil too long, they release these compounds – hydrogen sulfide and iron – which are responsible for the formation of ferrous sulfide. Ferrous sulfide is what forms the greyish hue you see over the yolk or hard-boiled and overcooked eggs.

Can you eat overboiled eggs?

Yes, you can.

Eating eggs that have boiled for too long is quite normal, especially because some people prefer their eggs this way – hard-boiled and moderately overcooked.

However, it is not advisable to consume too much of it because too much ferrous sulfide can be toxic.

How to boil eggs perfectly

On a stovetop

  • Put the eggs into a saucepan and cover them with water
  • Boil the eggs for 5 to 10 minutes based on how soft or hard you want them to be
  • When you’re done boiling the eggs, take them out of the hot water and allow them to cool in a bowl of chilled water or ice
  • Also, you may crack them open a little to speed up the cooling process and stop them from cooking further

In an oven

  • Get a muffin tin and preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Afterward, put each egg in each cup of the muffin tin
  • Then, bake
  • If you want a soft and runny or jammy yolk, bake for 20 to 22 minutes
  • For moderately hard-boiled egg, bake for 30 minutes


Is it possible to undercook eggs?

Yes. Some people would rather have their eggs slightly undercooked.

However, the over-consumption of undercooked eggs increases the risk of salmonella infection.

How long should you cook hard-boiled eggs?

Hard-boiled eggs should boil for 8 to 10 minutes.

Is it possible to boil hard-boiled eggs for too long?

Yes, it is. It is quite easy to accidentally boil hard-boiled eggs for too long, especially if you aren’t working with a timer.

Also, forgetting to put the eggs into cold water or a bowl of ice immediately after boiling can result in overcooking them.

The longer the eggs boil, the more ferrous sulfide buildup. Consequently, the yolk becomes darker, and the egg white becomes harder.

What happens when you boil eggs for 30 minutes?

When you boil eggs for up to 30 minutes, they become chewy and rubbery.


Overcooking or undercooking eggs is a common mistake. It could be due to your desire to cook eggs perfectly soft, or you forgot about the pot of eggs on the stove. Boil eggs for 5 to 8 minutes, based on the size of the eggs.

When eggs overcook by just a few minutes, they become hard-boiled. The longer you cook them, the more rubbery and greyish they become.

Although there aren’t so many cases of poisoning resulting from eating overcooked eggs, you should avoid it as much as possible.

I’ll recommend you take a look at this article on the shelf life and preservation of hard-boiled eggs.

Thanks for reading.