Okay. If it feels like we’ve done this before, we kind of have. We’ve hard-boiled eggs in water. We’ve done ’em in the oven. But I wanted to add one more trick to your arsenal, because not only is it the fastest, but I really think it gives you your best hardboiled eggs: steaming them up in your pressure cooker.
I’d heard this was a possibility when I bought my InstantPot and all the click-baity social media stories I kept reading were all like, “You won’t BELIEVE what she was able to make in 5 minutes!” Let’s get a few things straight. 1) Clickbait is the worst. 2) You’re not gonna be getting hard-boiled eggs in 5 minutes. 3) It’s still a heck of a lot faster than any other method I’ve tried. I even made all three at the same time and timed them all because I love you guys. In other news, if you live by me and have a jonesing for hardboiled eggs right now, I can probably hook you up.
Anyway. I’ve made a lot of hard-cooked eggs in my pressure cooker and I’ve played around (both intentionally and unintentionally…) with different methods and cook times. A lot of places say 5 minutes and that was not quite long enough for me. But 6 minutes was too long (WHAT?!) One time, I released the pressure and forgot about them and they sat in there for 10 minutes and at first, they were okay, but after sitting in the fridge, the yolks were grey. There was that time that my pot wasn’t sealed and all the steam escaped and those were actually the best eggs EVER, but I’m also pretty sure that’s a big no-no with the Instant Pot, so I haven’t tried that again.
So basically what I’m saying is that I’m going to share what works for me and my pot and my elevation (sea level)– and you may need to mess around with the timing a little to get things where you want them. I’ve found the key to perfect eggs is 5 minutes of pressure cooking, plus hanging out for a few minutes in the pot after you release the pressure. If you’re adjusting for higher elevation, I would still cook them for 5 minutes, I just might add a minute or two to what I have (4 minutes) after you’ve released the pressure.
Place your steamer basket in the bottom of your Instant Pot and add 1/2 cup water. Place as many eggs as you can fit without them touching (I can get 6 if I’m very careful), close and seal the pot, and use the manual setting to cook for 5 minutes.
When the timer goes off, do a quick release of the pressure and then let the eggs hang out in the closed pot for 4 minutes (set a timer.) Fill a bowl with ice water and when you finally open the pot, transfer them to the ice water.
So back to the compare and contrast experiment.
I started all these eggs at about the same time and this is what I found.
I set a timer as soon as I started making them–filling the pot, heating the oven, etc.–and stopped when they hit the ice water. This is how they stack up time-wise:
Instant Pot: 14 minutes (eggs perfectly done)
Oven: 39 minutes (slightly underdone; my oven is a fickle jerk)
Stovetop: 36 minutes (slightly overdone)
So no, you’re not going to get 5 minute eggs with the Instant Pot, but they’re still done in more than half the time of the next shortest method. Not too shabby.
Instant Pot: There was a small amount of cold water in the shell when I peeled them, but otherwise, these eggs were perfect. I had a small hairline crack in one shell.
Oven: These peel like a dream, but the shell and a little bit of the white has unattractive brown marks on the inside. There is also quite a bit of water in the shell when you peel it. In the past, I’ve had good yolks using this method, but I needed to cook these for slightly longer than 20 minutes (which is what I did this time). One very large crack in one shell.
Stovetop: These are difficult to peel, but there isn’t any water in the shell. Also, for my elevation, I need to cook them for slightly less time–it’s hard to see, but there’s a very thin grey ring around the yolk, which will likely get gray-er with time. No cracks in the shells, but this is unusual for me–I usually have the most cracks using the stovetop method.
So if you have an Instant Pot and if you’ve been wondering about the whole hard-boiled egg issue, I hope this clears things up! Overall, it’s my favorite way to make hardboiled eggs, not just because it’s fast but because I legitimately think the yolks are the best that way (plus they’re so easy to peel.) All the methods require a little playing-around-with to figure out what works best for you, but I think this one requires the least amount of guesswork and the most consistent results.
- Up to 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- Place the steamer basket in the base of your Instant Pot. Add 1/2 cup water. Carefully place up to 6 eggs on the basket, making sure they're not touching. Seal the pot and cook on the manual setting for 5 minutes. Quick release the pressure and allow the eggs to stand in the pot for 4 more minutes (you may need to add more resting time, experimenting with adding 1 minute at a time, at higher elevations). While the eggs are resting, fill a bowl with ice water. After 4 minutes, transfer the eggs to the ice water.