High Altitude Hard Boiled Eggs
This is my tried-and-true method for making High Altitude Hard Boiled Eggs. Truth be told it was my husband who showed me how to make them this way so I can’t take all the credit but it’s the only way I make them now. Thanks babe 🙂
ADJUSTING FOR HIGH ALTITUDE
High altitude doesn’t just effect baking in the kitchen. While baked goods are certainly where I have to make the most adjustments in the kitchen, I’ve learned over the years that I have to make adjustments with cooking too. Hard boiled eggs (and rice) used to be my nemesis but I’ve learned how to make them work for me. You can see a some of my tips for high altitude cooking and baking—> HERE.
MAKING HARD BOILED EGGS
Everyone has their own tried and true method for making hard boiled eggs. If you don’t believe me, just read all the comments below. Who knew that people were so dedicated to their own way of making eggs? I take it with a grain of salt and will be the first to admit that this isn’t the only way to hard boil eggs at high altitude. It’s simply what I’ve found works for me! And, if you read all the comments you’ll see that this works for lots of other folks, too!
THE BEST KIND OF EGGS TO USE FOR HARD BOILING
The best kind of eggs to use for boiling are older ones. Don’t ask me why because I don’t have the hard answer. I just know that it works. I’ve heard it before so just do it. They cook more evenly and peel so much easier when they’re not fresh. I like to use eggs that are a week or even 10 days old.
PEELING HARD BOILED EGGS
Eggs are the easiest to peel when they are room temperature. So, don’t peel them right after you hard boil them and don’t peel them straight from the fridge. Hard boiled eggs can be temperamental and nothing is more annoying than peeling eggs and taking off have the white so you’re left with a sliver of an egg. As tedious as it might sound, plan ahead for easy peeling.
MY TIPS FOR BOILING EGGS AT HIGH ALTITUDE:
1. Use older eggs. 1-2 weeks old are ideal.
2. Let the eggs come to room temperature before you boil them. 10-15 minutes on the counter is perfect.
3. Because of the higher altitude, cook the eggs a few minutes longer and at a roaring boil.
4. Don’t cover the pot.
MY FAVORITE RECIPES USING HARD BOILED EGGS
Dilly Green Bean Egg Salad
Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon-Mushroom Vinaigrette
Hard Boiled Egg Avocado Toast
photos by Kellie Hatcher/ recipe by Mountain Mama Cooks
High Altitude Hard Boiled Eggs
- One dozen (12) organic eggs, preferably 10-14 days old
- Set eggs on counter 10-15 minutes before you intend to cook them. Cold eggs straight from the fridge are more likely to crack when you’re cooking them.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (Make sure you have enough water to cover the eggs completely and that the pot is big enough for the eggs to be in a single layer.)
- Using a large spoon, slowly and carefully lower the eggs down into the boiling water. Cook eggs for 15 minutes. Turn burner off and let eggs sit another 3 minutes.
- Drain off the hot water and add cold water to cover the eggs. I let the water cold water run a minute or two over the eggs before taking them out of the pan and letting them cool completely back in the egg carton.
- Store cooled eggs in the refrigerator.
Who knew that hard-boiling eggs up in Park City could be so challenging?! Great tips, Kelley.
And yeah, people need to ‘fess up when they’ve mess up. A little apology never hurt anyone.
Ladies this is how its done at 6998 ft. I like my eggs with the yoke slightly soft and the white done. Fill pot with water. Take eggs out of fridge. Puncture the large end of the egg with a egg puncture needle.
It barley punctures the shell. This stops the egg from cracking. Put eggs into the pot. Turn on the stove on high. put lid on pot. when you have a nice boiling role. Start your timer. remove lid partially. If you want a soft center its 12 minutes. hard 15 minutes. Take out immediately and cut in half and spoon out your egg for a soft ready to eat breakfast. same for hard ready to eat. No green or discoloring. These eggs are anywhere from 1 week old to three weeks. Good Luck
6998’ ? Alright flat lander….see you at 10,200.
High altitude is high altitude……just saying.
I live in Aurora 6,000 latitude and I have tried so many recipes and they have all had challenges. I used my electric boiler and put the eggs on my counter for 15 minutes. Then I gently put the eggs in the 400 degree full boiling water and boiled for 15 minutes. Turned off the boil but let them to sit in the hot water for 10 minutes. I cooled off right away by running cold water on the eggs and tested one by peeing it right away. The shell came off in about 4 pieces and the yolk was perfect. Thank God for your advice. I now have written on a post it note in my drawer.
Absolutely love puncturing my eggs prior to boiling! If nothing else, it is a great trick to center the yolk. Beautiful deviled eggs that way! One of Alton Brown’s suggestions from years ago.
Since I purchased an instant pot, boiled eggs are a breeze at 9,800 ft as well as 600 ft! 5, 5, and 5! 5 min pressure, 5 min natural release, 5 min ice bath! Fresh & old eggs are a breeze to peel!
Ahhh, wish I’d read this before I ruined a dozen eggs. Who knew??? Visiting my brother in park city.
Oops! Good thing eggs are cheap! Enjoy your time here!
I don’t know, but I live at 6900 level and I just put my eggs In the pot with the water, bring it all to a boil then turn off, cover the pot and let sit for about 15 minutes. They come out perfect. No green or discoloration.
That is how I make them in Florida!!
Do you keep the pan on the burner after you turn it off, or put it on a cooler part of the stovetop?
I have an induction range and leave it on the same burner when I turn my stovetop off.
This is the easiest way I ‘ve used too. Saves time, heat and worry.
Works reliably for me at 7325 ft in Colorado Springs. I do add salt to the water. While that will lower the boiling temp, it will also congeal the whites if there’s a crack early on. I do start my eggs right from the refrigerator, but into cold well water, and bring them up to a boil. Since I rotate the eggs in the fridge every couple of days (move the carton to its side or upside down), yolks stay centered pretty well.
I am @ 9500’ altitude. Water boils at a lower temp up here. I boil them for 15 min, turn off burner and let them sit for 5 min then drain and add cold water and lots of ice to cool. They peel great.
Thanks for sharing!
I live at 8,000′ and work at 9,000′ (I works nights in winter (6 months of the year) and cook at my toolbox). At home water boils at 196 degrees and at work it boils at 194 degrees. Of course, this depends on weather, but seems to be pretty accurate as I have a digitally controlled electric tea pot on my tool box and I set it for 195 degrees and the water starts to boil just before it shuts off.
Add a pinch of baking soda to the water before you boil. The shells will come off super easy in one piece. If you add too much though, they become way harder to peel than before.
Oh no I just added a heaping tablespoon of baking soda to my water. Thought it might be easier.
Sorry you had a frustrating night. If it makes you feel any better – if I were your tennis opponent…you would totally kick my butt. 😀
are these super dee duper hard boiled eggs? I like mine mostly hard boiled with the slightest of soft texture…and I can never ever achieve it. It’s always too soft boiled..or too hard – achieving that chalky yolk texture..yuck! I’ll have to give this a go 🙂 thanks!
I don’t know if I could kick anyones butt! But I sure like to try 🙂
I had to hunt down your recipe again today because the first time I followed your recipe, I made my first successful hard boiled eggs of my life!! I LOVE hard boiled eggs and have been devastated to not been able to make them well so far. I discovered your site when trying to find yet another website/recipe to try and will never go back. Thank you for being a high altitude food blogger….no one knows our struggles! :-p Thank you SO SO SO much!!! Looking forward to my next batch, and to trying some of your other FANTASTIC recipes!!
I’m so glad you found my site. Enjoy the recipes and let me know if you have any questions!!
I was thrilled to find your post as I have lived at 8,000 ft for 5 years and still can’t get hard boiled eggs that are fully cooked, don’t stick to the egg shell, etc. I just followed your instructions and am worried that I may have goofed. I let the eggs sit on the counter for 20 minutes. As I slowly lowered the eggs into the boiling water, 4 of the 10 eggs all cracked!!! Any suggestions? Thank you so much!!
Oh no!!! Every once in a while I have an egg crack if it hits the bottom or side of the pan too hard but never 4 at once. I use a slotted spoon to gently lower them into the boiling water and only do one egg at a time. Hope that helps!
I add salt to water to reduce cracking. If a crack occurs the salt slows the leaking white. (vinegar is supposed to help stop cracking as well.)
Successful eggs at 7800 ft (Granby, CO). It was a LONG process so if you need quick eggs, this isn’t your best option. We were on vacation from So CA where altitude is zippo. After reading several recipes (and failing after trying one to the T), we took the longest process from each and combined them to try the following. Good luck and hope it works for you!
Let sit on the counter for 20 minutes so they get room temp. Fill pot with cold water and place eggs in it. Make sure there is about an inch of water above the eggs. Turn on stove and start to heat. Once the water begins to boil, set the timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove pot from the heat and cover for approx. 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, rinse under cold water and place in the fridge. The next morning we had perfect, not one shell cracked, easy peel with no “peel damage” hard boiled eggs!
Honestly, I am going to try this same technique when I get home. Thanksgiving deviled eggs will never be the same!
I have lived at 8,150 elev for years. Take fresh eggs out of refrigerator. Place in boiling water for 21 minutes. Run cold water over boiled eggs for several minutes until cool to touch. Put them in the refrigerator. Very simple. They peel great.
I’ve lived at 7000 ft for 50 years. Achieving easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs has been one of my biggest challenges (and I’ve tried all the tricks) until 3 years ago when I came across the advice to STEAM the eggs. I had given up making deviled eggs. I don’t know why it works, but I have steamed dozens of eggs, even fresh ones, in the past 3 years and only had two that were tough to peel without taking chunks out of them.
Place the eggs in a single layer on your steaming basket over about 1 inch of water. They can be cold from the fridge. Set the timer for 21 minutes. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. I hate partially cooked “hard” boiled eggs, so I probably overcook them a bit. You can adjust the timing to your preference and altitude. Immediately, after the timer goes off, plunge the eggs into ice water. When cold, roll each egg around on the counter to crack. The shells slip right off.
I had given up on hard boiled eggs many years ago. Shell removal was painstakingly tedious. Until, in desperation for an egg recipe cause that’s what I have available, I tried this recipe tonight. The shells came off exceedingly easily and the eggs are cooked perfectly! Insert happy dance. Now I’m off to finish making your version of the egg salad sandwich for my kids’ lunches. So, cheers! to my high-altitude-hard-boiled-egg heroes, you and your husband. Thank you for sharing!
YES!!!! I’m so glad. Welcome back to the world of hard boiled eggs!
Ugh! This was a complete disaster for the eggs I had intended for coloring for Easter. Most of them cracked. Back to the store…and a different method!
Older eggs tend to work better. I never use fresh eggs for hard boiling. Sorry it didn’t work out- works for me every time!
As eggs get older, they produce a bigger bubble marking them easier to peel.
That’s why the egg in water test tells you how fresh an egg is. As the egg ages, it produces gas inside. If an egg lays on it’s side, it’s fresh. If it stays vertical on the bottom, it’s good to eat and best for hard boiling, but if it floats, especially all the way to the top, don’t eat it.
I put the eggs in cold water and bring to a boil. No shock on the egg shell. Everything else I follow to the letter including Ice Water. Elevation 6000′.
Nice! Thanks for the comment.
THANK YOU for this recipe! We moved to CO from the Midwest a little over 4-years ago, and my husband always makes fun of me for pulling out my mom’s recipe to make hardboiled eggs. But I’ve never been able to get a good result with her recipe here. This is the first recipe of yours I’ve tried and it worked perfectly! I was finally able to peel an egg in only 2 pieces and it was a perfect yellow inside. Almost ate the entire batch I made! 🙂 Thanks! 🙂
Yes!!! So glad I could help!
Thanks for the recipe. I have been using a slight different recipe that was about 80% successful. This recipe got me to 100%. I’ve used it a bunch of times now and every egg has been perfect every time. I’m at 7200′ and have been baking and cooking up here a long time. It takes a fair amount longer than 15 min to get my eggs to room temperature here but its worth the wait. Thanks again.
Hi, Kelley! I moved from Dallas to the Denver area a little over a year ago and made several attempts at boiled eggs before they were cooked to my liking with the yellow cooked all the way through but with no green ring. I have found that twelve minutes at a rolling boil works perfectly at my house in Parker, which sits at 6000 feet above sea level. I used the Elevation app on my Android phone to find the elevation of my house, which is slightly higher than the official elevation of Parker.
Why do you recommend leaving the pot uncovered? Is it to prevent boil-overs or cracking the eggs?
This is the 4th time I’ve used this hard boiled egg recipe and I tend to never cook the same recipe more than 1-2 times. This is perfect! Even my husband commented on how successful my eggs turn out now. Thanks for thinking about us high altitude cooks!
Worked like a charm…thank you so much!
So great! These tricks always work. I used to hate doing hard boiled eggs here in Colorado. Mountain Mama’s steps work like a charm!
I live at 6,000 ft and found to start older eggs covered with cold water. Add 1/2 tsp soda and some salt. Salt helps to keep shells whole and soda helps the peeling. Bring cold water to rapid boil/turning it down some to maintain boil but not so frantic. Set timer to 15 minutes and when timer goes off remove from heat and soak in cold water. Keep changing water until water is cold to touch. Let egg sit in cold water several min. until you feel the eggs are cold. Crack shell several times and peel under cold running water. Voila! perfectly hard boiled eggs and no green line. Works for me every time
Salt also raises the boiling point, which is only 196 degrees where I live at 8,000′.
OMG – my eggs came out perfectly done. Thank you so much for this way to make hard boiled eggs. And the shells came off so easily. Although one of my eggs did crack – so I think I need to leave my eggs out a little longer next time before boiling them. Thank you again!
You’re so welcome! Glad they worked so well for you. I feel like hard boiled eggs are one of the hardest things to make at higher altitudes!!
I don’t understand why you started off talking about tennis. I clicked on this to see how long to boil eggs at a higher altitude.
I talk about tennis because this is a personal blog where I not only share recipes but talk about whatever I want. If you scroll down to the recipe, it will tell you how long to boil the eggs. Thanks for stopping by!
Worked perfectly while visiting Snowmass Village, Colorado. Thank you!
So glad they worked out for you. Enjoy the skiing!
Always have had problems with eggs sticking to the shells, trying this recipe right now. 2 of my eggs (out of 7) have cracked open. One actually exploded out the bottom of the shell. No bumping or rolling around to cause it. I’m wondering the rolling, raging boil is too much? I’m in Fort Collins.
Perhaps you need to use a pan that is proportionate to the number of eggs you use. Too much space between the eggs will make them rattle and roll around. Also, turn your heat back just a bit and have the water at a high simmer instead of raging boil.
Can’t wait to try this for our Easter egg dying. In wondering what altitude this recipe is for and how to adjust it for my altitude of 4500 feet?
You could follow the directions as written!
YOU have made my Easter dinner a success! Moved to Monument, CO (7400 ft) in 1998 and have tried EVERY trick to make HBE … some success, yet pieces of shells remained a problem. Followed your recipe (admit to adding a bit of kosher salt and baking soda to the boiling water … forgive me) with the rolling boil/15 min/3 min followed by a cold soak. Results ~ 18/18 PERFECT eggs! Thank you for making my culinary life less complicated. I am removing all other HBE techniques from my Pinterest page and wrote yours into the cover of my family cookbook = FINISHED.
I’m so glad!!! Thanks for coming back and commenting!
I’m in Utah, though not quite as high as PC. I’ve recently started using my electric pressure cooker for making my hard “boiled” eggs and it works like magic. It doesn’t matter if the eggs are older, from the market or right out of the nesting box, 6 minutes on low pressure followed by an ice bath and the shells come off in 2 or 3 pieces!????
This is my experience, too, Lynn. I live at 6,000 feet. I get the water boiling in the PC before steaming the eggs, then add the eggs, seal the PC, and start the timer for 8 minutes when the PC comes up to low pressure. (Getting the PC hot first eliminates the variation in heat time with the eggs.) After the 8 minutes, I turn off the PC and prepare an ice bath, leaving the eggs in the PC 5 more minutes as the pressure comes down. After the ice bath, they peel well.
Oh my gosh, bless this blog! I just moved to CO from MN, and I’m having trouble in the kitchen like you wouldn’t believe. Baking has been the worst, but even something that seems as simple as hard boiled eggs has been a nightmare. I just used your directions to a T for HBEs, and they’re ALL PERFECT! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
You’re so welcome!!!!!
My significant other “taught” me how to hard boil eggs, too. The first time I made HBEs for him, he wouldn’t eat them because of the green ring around the yolk. Having been raised with the green ring around the yolk, I had no idea there this was the wrong way to make a hard-boiled egg. (My mother was a terrific cook, but I guess with her HBE’s, not so much.) So after some indignant protesting, I realized he was right and I figured out how to make good HBEs at sea level. But now I’m going through the learning curve all over again at 7900 ft. Everything seems to take longer up here! And lately I’ve been experimenting with sous vide egg cooking, with which you should theoretically get exceptionally perfect eggs every time. (All those lovely pics on the Internet…sigh) So far it has been a disaster. I’m so glad I found your site and that you’re here to help the new-high-altitude cook, but I sure wish there were more recipes out there that included high-altitude adjustments!
I have never mastered this…until today!! Perfect eggs that peeled like a dream. Thank you so much for this!!
Thank you for this! I couldn’t remember how long to cook them for as I usually cook them in my electric kettle. My mom used this method, but only for 10 minutes for soft boiled. We are about 5,000 feet here on the front range on northern Colorado. I would have bugged my mom, but she is home sick and knowing hey probably went to bed already.
It’s coming as I type this and so far no cracked eggs!
You are so welcome!!
Glad you were able to make them! Hope your mom feels better!
Thanks for the recipe!! One thing though: one should never put hard cooked eggs back in the carton because the carton itself may retain bacteria.
Just made these for dyeing. I did have one crack, but I used it as my tester to see how they turned out. I added vinegar and salt to the water, but otherwise did them exactly as written and they turned out great!
My husband was out of town on business and I decided to make a few hard boiled eggs. At 6500 ft, this has been an ongoing challenge. I haven’t made them in a while and decided to try this. Because I have a radiant glass electric stove, I have to watch while I boil as the heat does not go down quickly if you turn the heat down. Also, my Cuisinart stainless pans have a thick bottom which tends to intensify heat. I followed the instructions except that #1 I let the eggs sit at room temp for about 30 minutes (they still seemed very cold to the touch), and #2, I added a couple of pinches of kosher salt to the water. At the end of the process, none of the eggs had cracked. I tried one several hours after they had been in the fridge, and it seemed great, peeled easily, and the yolk was a good color. My husband came home last night and just texted me at work. He said “The eggs are perfect. And peeled so very easy!” I never mentioned to him that I used a new technique. I will have to try again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. 🙂
I live at 9,200′ in Colorado. Finally, a success for hard-cookef eggs! No cracks, no green, easy peeling, and perfectly cooked yolks. My only variance was that when I removed them from the heat, I let them sit for an additional 3 minutes and I added ice to the cold water bath in which I let them sit until they were cold before peeling.
I follow these instructions exactly (give or take a few minutes for letting the eggs get to room temperature. I have a three year old so nothing is properly planned) and they provide perfect results. I think I get better results with this method than when I lived at sea level.
I have bookmarked this page and will return frequently.
Awesome! And, I feel you…..kids make planning anything difficult!
First year living near Breckenridge at 10,500 feet. These instructions worked perfectly for our Easter eggs this year! Thank you so much!
Finally a way to do hard boiled eggs at high altitude! Easy to peel, perfectly cooked. Thank you!
DO NOT USE FRESH EGGS! 10-14 DAYS OLD EGGS IS ACTUALLY THE KEY HERE FOR RELIABLE PEELING.
AT 7,000FT/2150M water boils at only 190 degrees F/88C.
Adding 2 TBSP salt/sodium chloride to 4 cups of water will raise the boiling point to 203F/95C. The baking soda/sodium bicarbonate often mentioned here does the same thing of raising the boiling point.
Use room temperature eggs placed in cold water and bring to a boil.
Adjust the cooking time 12-15 minutes from the time the water comes to a rolling boil to get the yolk set you want. Remove pan from heat. Let eggs sit in the pan about 5 minutes. Then cool with cold or ice water.
I have tried so many different “recipes” for hard boiled eggs, and they always turn out undercooked or with gray around the yolk. I live in Fort Collins, CO, at 5003′ and these turned out perfect! I’m so glad I tried this, even though I don’t live THAT high up. Thanks for letting me retire my search for the perfect hard boiled egg recipe!!
I found the perfect way to hard boil eggs in Denver, CO using a pressure cooker/multi cooker. Then my cooker conked out.While I’m waiting, I discovered your method. It really works! Thank you for saving many “experiments” and eggs until my multi cooker replacement arrives. For whatever it’s worth, I am really happy with my Zavor LUX LCD cooker. Thank you!
If you want cracked eggs and to start over go with this process. 1/2 the eggs cracked as soon as they went into boiling water. This is why every other site recommends starting with the eggs in water before boiling
Did you bring your eggs to room temperature? That’s crucial. It’s also important to gently put the eggs in the boiling water!
I live up the mountain in Manitou Springs going on 10 years now. Prior to that I was just down the way in C. Springs for almost 30 years. With huge gratitude, I found your recipe about 6 years and have never had a problem since. My family of 6, whom love deviled eggs and plain hard boiled eggs, are forever grateful for you and tips and tricks to make these eggs perfect! Every time! ❤❤❤
I’m just so pleased to know I’m not alone & that there’s other humans out there who’ve spent hours, days, years and eggs nerding the “hard boiled eggs at altitude” conundrum!
Taught my g-daughter this recipe to teach her how to read a recipe and cook it. Came out delicious.
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Thank you, Kelley!
Works every time and I keep coming back to this page!
Great recipe. I’m at 9,300 and this worked perfectly Thanks.
Thank you for a spot on recipe. Living in Denver my entire adult life, I have always struggled with hard boiled eggs. NO MORE! They were perfect and peeled so smoothly!
I’m in the Denver Metro area– I had SO MUCH trouble getting hardboiled eggs just right! Either ended up with green yolks, or the whites sticking to the shell.
This recipe works every time; perfect yolk, and the shell just slides off. Thank you!
Mancos. CO – 7,000 feet
I used days old eggs, unwashed. Washed, set on counter for about an hour. Poked small hole in the end, put in pot, covered with room temp water and a good splash white vinegar. Brought to boil, turned to simmer for 12 minutes, turned and let sit for 3 minutes. Poured off hot water, added cold from tap then ice for 5 minutes. Perfect
I eat 2 eggs a day, this is very informative.
This totally works! After years of frustration, I finally got the bright idea to turn to the interwebs where I found this recipe. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am for this! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!