How to Hard Boil Eggs in a Pressure Cooker

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.

pressure cooker hard boiled eggs-6 copy

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.

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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.

pressure cooker hard boiled eggs

So back to the compare and contrast experiment.

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I started all these eggs at about the same time and this is what I found.

timing

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.

overall impressions

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. 

pressure cooker hard boiled eggs-4
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.pressure cooker hard boiled eggs-5 copy

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.

How to Hard Boil Eggs in a Pressure Cooker

The fastest and most consistent way to hard-boil your eggs--plus we show you how it stacks up to other methods

Ingredients

  • Up to 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. 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.

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29 comments

  1. I love sciencey posts! I always make them on the stovetop, but now I think that an insta pot would be fun to try too. Thanks!

  2. Besides being electric and able to saute, etc., is an Instant Pot different from a traditional pressure cooker? Can they be used interchangeably?

    Thanks!

    1. There ARE differences–and I’m not a total pro in what all of them are–but I believe the general rule of thumb is if you’re adapting a traditional slow cooker recipe, you add 20% time and if you’re adapting an electric pressure cooker recipe (like this one), you cut down the time by 20%. I hope that helps!

        1. The thing that takes the time that no one accounts for in ANY pressure cooker is getting the cooker up to pressure, so I imagine it’s actually going to be fairly comparable when it comes to overall time. But I can’t say for sure because I don’t have (and am terrified of, haha!) traditional pressure cookers. 🙂

  3. I’m so excited to try this next week. I’m sad I can’t try it sooner because I just did a dozen stovetop hard boiled eggs last night. Thanks for another instant pot recipe!

  4. I love that you did all 3 methods and timed them and compared results!

    Quick question: If I have a different kind of pressure cooker that didn’t come with a steamer basket, do I just need to rig up a way for the eggs to sit above the water so they are just steaming the whole time? I have a steamer basket from another pot that I think would fit inside and I could put balls of foil under it to keep it above the water. That’s the goal, right?

  5. I put mine in for 6 minutes, quick release, and straight into ice water. Exactly how I like them. I also use my cardboard egg carton on top of the rack to do 9 eggs. (18 egg carton use tongs to get the eggs out)

  6. I had some Crack open. What does “manual setting” mean? Low pressure? High pressure? I remembered wrong and turned off the cooker after the 5 minutes but didn’t quick release the pressure until after the 4 minutes of rest, so maybe that was it?

    1. With manual, it’s just one setting (or at least I haven’t been able to change the pressure). I’m betting that’s it–do the quick release and then let them hang out for four minutes. Hope that helps! 🙂

        1. Manual does allow to you to change the pressure…It’s not just one setting. I press manual and then the pressure button alternates between high and low pressure.

  7. Hmm, I like this idea, mainly because it seems like the easiest and most consistent. But when I hard-boil eggs I get out my huge stockpot and am making 2 dozen at a time. I don’t think I want to go through 4 Instant pot cycles! (I made two dozen Sunday night and we only have 5 left right now. My family loves eggs!)

  8. What’s worked best for me is to use the silicone cupcake liners. I place one egg inside each cupcake liner on the rack along with about a cup of water in the bottom of the pot. After it’s up to pressure, I cook on manual for 9 minutes. I then do a quick release and immediately transfer the eggs to ice water. Cooked perfectly and peel like a dream!

  9. I do this exactly as you described but I use the “steam” setting as opposed to the “manual”–not sure what the difference is (if there is one) but it’s what the Instant Pot website said to do. 5 minutes was perfect and I didn’t let the hang out in the pot. Straight into the ice water after the quick release.

  10. “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.”

    If the pot isn’t sealed, it’s just like leaving the valve open – you’re steaming instead of pressure cooking and there’s nothing wrong with that! I like them steamed better than pressure cooked, and I get more consistent results. I think you had a happy accident!

  11. Stove top hard boiled eggs don’t need to be hard to peel! There’s a trick to it. And it even works with eggs as fresh as a few days old.
    Simply bring water to a rolling boil and then carefully set eggs in so they don’t crack. Boil for 13 to 15 minutes (depending on how done you like the yolks) and then remove the eggs to ice water to cool. They should peel quite easily.
    As for the grey surrounding the yolk there are several factors but the fresher the (raw) egg, the less likely it’ll be grey is what I’ve discovered from many experiments on this particular topic.

  12. I just made two batches of these, and they worked perfectly! Thanks for more Instant Pot recipes. I’m addicted to mine!

  13. Thanks for the tips! I made these today and they were perfect and so easy. I’m dieting and am looking to have healthy snacks in the fridge. This was perfect. Please more instant pot recipes!

  14. When doing the stove top method for eggs, add a tbs of salt to the water to keep the shells from sticking. It works like a charm! My Dad, who was a cook in the Navy shared that trick with me and I haven’t had a shell stick since. Also to avoid the gray/green ring I boil for 12 min after they come to a boil then straight to the ice water. The longer they over cook the more gray/green they become.

  15. No reason to stop at only 6 eggs using this method – I’ve done 18 at a time in my Instant Pot. It is amazing!

  16. I just wanted to thank you for mentioning that you were testing this at sea level. I live at almost 5,000 feet elevation, so I need to adjust cooking times when the original times were tested at sea level. But it seems that most blog posts about pressure cooker recipes do not mention what elevation the recipes were created and tested at, which leaves me at a loss as to if/how I need to adjust.

  17. I just tried this in a different brand of pressure cooker (Power Pressure Cooker XL) got it randomly at Costco. I followed the same instructions except I cooked it for 6 minutes and let it set for 2 min after pressure release. It worked great even with a dozen eggs. I am at high altitude (Utah) as well. Thanks for the idea!

  18. A friend shared with me that she crumples up some foil at the bottom of her Instant Pot and creates a little cradle for each egg. That way they won’t accidentally roll or move and you can prevent any cracks. I tried it and did a double layer of eggs and they were perfect!

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