Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs Instant Pot

I would never recommend pressure cooking something unless this cooking method improves the food or recipe in some way. For example, I didn’t publish a pressure cooker frittata recipe – it takes twice as long as the original, discolors badly, and acquires a rubbery consistency – not an improvement (flans, on the other hand, are divine)!You can imagine my suspicions about making hard-boiled eggs in the pressure cooker, given that there is no time savings.

The real magic of pressure steaming an egg in the pressure cooker is the ability of using FRESH eggs and getting easy-to-peel hard boiled eggs – instead of old, musty 7-10 day old eggs!  The result looks better, tastes better and is totally worth pulling out the pressure cooker to do.

pressure cooker eggs
Pressure Cooker Soft Boiled Eggs

An innocent blogger peeled away the mystery by noting a little technical tidbit he uncovered in a book:

Per Jeff Potter in Cooking for Geeeks pg. 183, eggs that are hard boiled commercially are steamed at 7.5 PSI for ease of peeling.

This blogger was great at connecting the dots but not very clear with his

marking eggs for pressure cooker timing

methods so, armed with resident 5-year-old egg-spert Vittorio, lots of eggs and inspiration from online previews of the scientific culinary epitome, Modernist Cuisine, we set out to perform our own experiments.

Even though the pressure cooker was invented at the end of the Renaissance (1679), it’s a cooking appliance that has become a must for any Modernist, or in our case, hip cook!

The style of this “recipe” might be a little different than what you usually find here, since it was heavily inspired by the aforementioned, book. Even the step-by-step photos are not immune, featuring our most beaker-like containers and surgical-looking tongs!


Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs
Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs


“Hard Boiling” Fresh Eggs

Why are fresh hard boiled eggs so difficult to peel? Eggs have an air cell at the wider end of the egg, between the shell and the white (albumin).

anatomy of an egg

When the egg is freshly laid this air pocket is very small and only located at the bottom – the rest of the white remains in close contact with the shell.  If a fresh egg is boiled using conventional cooking methods and peeled, much of the white will come away with the shell in uneven chunks leaving an unattractive hard boiled egg. Culinary experts recommend aging an egg for at least  week in the refrigerator prior to boiling to achieve an easy peel.

Aging the egg increases the air pocket to include the areas around the whites creating a distance from the shell that results in an easy peel. Unfortunately, as the egg ages, the size of the air cell at the bottom also increases resulting in a hard boiled egg with a flat area in the whites, reducing the quality of the egg and negatively affecting the color of the yolk.

Pressure Steaming A Fresh Egg

Steaming a fresh egg at low pressure, creates a pressure difference between the exterior of the egg and the air pocket – inflating it and separating the white from the shell. Making a pressure steamed fresh egg, easy to peel.

pressure cooker egg shells

When we are referring to low pressure we mean 6 to 8 PSI (40 to 55 kPa, or .4 to .55 Bar). Pressure steaming an egg at higher pressure, will result in the cracking of the shell prematurely, causing the whites to ooze out and be immediately cooked as they exit the shell – resulting in an unattractive, but still very usable and easy to peel egg.

Best Bets for Pressure Steamed Eggs
soft, medium and hard-boiled pressure cooker eggs

EGGSINSTANTPOT
/ELECTRIC *
pressure
cooker
(10-12psi)
stovetop
pressure
cooker
(13-15psi)
pressure
selection
opening
method
Egg, Hardboiled56LowNormal
Egg, Medium-boiled45LowNormal
Egg, Soft-boiled33LowNormal
Egg, Bakedseeinstructions
Egg, Poachedseeinstructions
egg, Marbled Chineseseeinstructions
*Electric pressure cookers may use high pressure if low pressure is not available.
Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
4 L or larger steamer basket 5-6 min. Low(1) Normal

4.5 from 25 reviews
Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs
 
Author: 
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: 1-6
  • Serving size: 1 egg
  • Calories: 78
  • TOTAL Fat: 5.3g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 0.6g
  • Sugar Carbs: 0.6g
  • Sodium: 62mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 0g
  • Protein: 6.3g
  • Cholesterol: 186mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cook time: 
Total time: 
The same procedure and cooking times can be used for up to 6 soft and medium-boiled eggs or as many hard-boiled eggs as can comfortably sit in the steamer basket. Refer to the timing table above for cooking times for soft boiled and medium boiled eggs
INGREDIENTS
  • 1-6 XL Fresh Egg, chilled (from the refrigerator)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Fill the pressure cooker with one cup of cold water. Add the steamer basket, or trivet and steamer basket, egg stand (if using) and egg.
  2. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  3. Electric pressure cookers: Cook for 5 minutes at low pressure (if your pressure cooker does not have this setting, try do a test egg at the pressure cooker setitng it has.
    Stovetop pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached low pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 6 minutes low pressure cooking time.
  4. When time is up, open the pressure cooker with the Normal release - release pressure through the valve.
  5. Open the pressure cooker and place the egg(s) in a container filled with cold water. Keep the water cool by bringing the container to the sink and running more cold water into the container for 1 more minute, to serve warm, or 3 minutes to cool down completely.
  6. Tap the two ends and the middle of the egg and peel delicately.

Special Equipment: Heat Proof Egg Stand

Although poaching pans for the pressure cooker are readily available. Egg-stands for pressure steaming eggs are not – they do not exist! We found an Olive Oil Cap (with the plastic insert removed) to be the perfect heat-proof,  food-grade egg stand to be used in the pressure cooker.

pressure cooker egg stands

NOTE: Children can assist in the preparation of pressure cooker but should not be involved in the cooking, monitoring and opening of the pressure cooker.
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330 Comments

  1. I’m wondering if the soft or medium boiled eggs would come out okay if using the “normal” release method after the timer goes off (on my pressure cooker, turn the dial to release the steam)? I think a few readers might be too scared to run cold water over the pressure cooker lid! Would the “normal” release method crack the egg shells?

    1. Absolutely, I haven’t worked out the timing but you should cut down the pressure cooking time because the eggs will keep cooking during the pressure release. Try saving off two minutes from the recommended pressure cooking time and come back to let us know how it goes!

      Ciao,

      L

      1. I think David was asking about regular Quick Release, not Natural Release.

        1. Yes the regular quick release – not cold water. Some pressure cookers may take longer to release all the pressure, as long as 2 minutes! If that’s the case, the eggs are still cooking during those 2 minutes (or however long it takes).

          Thankfully, my pressure cooker can release all the pressure (steam) quickly. I would not be happy standing there holding down a button or holding something whilst the pressure slowly releases, as is the case with some pressure cookers!

      2. No problems when using the “normal” pressure release (not cold water).

        I cooked two eggs for 3 minutes (soft boiled eggs). After 3 minutes of steaming the eggs in the pressure cooker, I turned the dial to release the pressure. The eggs were great and the yolks were runny. You couldn’t tell if these eggs were boiled in a saucepan or steamed in the pressure cooker.

        It is MUCH QUICKER to use the pressure cooker for ‘boiled’ eggs. Use the bare minimum amount of liquid, to steam the eggs (I can use as little as 200ml of boiled water from the kettle). I will never boil eggs in a saucepan again, now I know the pressure cooker can do the same job much quicker! As for clearing up, because the eggs have been steamed, the pressure cooker just needs a quick wipe and it can be used again.

  2. In the past I would NEVER ask for a soft boiled egg as 9 out of 10 times it would come with the whites around the yolk undercooked, jiggly ….then I could not eat it.

    Well miracle of all miracles. I use the Instant Pot to steam my eggs for 3 minutes, then leave them in the PC for 3 to 4 minutes, remove, peel and the egg is the most delicious thing I have ever eaten….I CRAVE it. The center is soft and slightly liquidy and the white is NOT JIGGLY. Delicious. Of course the less it sits, the more liquid the yolk, the more it sits, the yolk sets.
    Make it to your liking….so, so, tasty!!!!!!

  3. Pressure cooking as any cooking has to be practiced to make perfect. I find I use less liquid than recipes call for and less cooking time.
    Vegetables take very little time……some PC cookbooks call for way too much time and the veggies are so mushy I cannot eat them.
    I have it down to an art for myself. And I love it.

  4. I made 4 hard boiled eggs in my electric pressure cooker and they came out so well. I was sure I would open the lid and they had blown up all over the inside. But, they literally fell out of their shell. My only question is, there was a green ring around the yolk. What causes this and how do I not do that again? Love this way to boil eggs, want to do this way always now. Just don’t love the green ring. Thank you for your informative site!

    1. Nancy, the green ring means the egg is overcooked. If your electric pressure cooker has a “low” setting, be sure to use that. Otherwise cut down the pressure cooking time by a minute or two.

      Ciao,

      L

  5. This will be my third try hard cooking eggs. The first two tries were in a Presto stove top PC. Both times the eggs came out the color of caramel. I think two things were going on. First, the Presto was aluminum and may have been reacting with the eggs to change their color. Second problem was the heat source. In the first instance I used my glass top range and the cooker took 30 minutes to come to pressure. Yikes! I then tried the gas burner on our outdoor grill. Got to pressure in 5 minutes. Either way – it wasn’t right…Hubby bought me the Instant Pot for Christmas to eliminate the cook top problems! We’ve made the Ligurian Chicken, Chicken Noodle Soup (with the noodles pressure cooked – not cooked separately), Minestrone Soup, several batches of yogurt, and rice pudding. Now I’m back to the hard cooked eggs. I have 6 of them in my silicone steamer basket, cooking on low pressure. Will post an update after they’re done. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

  6. Absolutely marvelous! Thank you for sharing a perfect way to cook eggs in the shell that will peel very easily and cook exactly as stated in the recipe. I am a good cook (as many people have stated). However eggs have not been my best dish. I followed the recipe in my electric pressure cooker, 6 minutes on low, then 5 minutes natural release. I can’t wait to try some of the other recipes on this site.

  7. I did pressure cooks some eggs in Dec when I first bought my Fagor stovetop. They turned out well except for the peeling part. They were still a pain to peel!
    After reading your post on eggs this morning I decided to try HB eggs in my Instant Pot which I’ve had for about one month.
    I pressure cooked the eggs on low for 6 minutes & released the pressure after 5 minutes. The eggs were barely cooked. Possibly the reason was I put the eggs in silicone cupcake cups. I cooked the eggs again for 2 minutes & they were cooked just a tad more.
    Any suggestions other than use my stovetop PC to hardboil eggs?
    Thanks!

    1. Arelene, I have not tried eggs in the Instant Pot yet – but others had great success with this method. I can confirm that the silicone cups slowed down the cooking. Anything that stops the steam from reaching the egg will also stop the steam from cooking the egg.

      Instant Pot does not come with a decent steamer basket, so try using cookie cutters on which to balance the eggs on the handled rack.

      To make your eggs easy-to-peel make sure they are refrigerated before pressure cooking and then dunked in cold water after pressure cooking- somehow these two temperature shocks help the process along.

      Keep trying – you’ll find the right set-up and timing for your pressure cooker eggs!

      Ciao,

      L

      1. Thanks, Laura, for your suggestions. Will definitely try PCing hardboiled eggs again!

  8. I did a dozen eggs in the Instant Pot Duo 6 this morning (no stands — I just used the trivet and put the eggs in a steamer basket on top of the trivet). 6 minutes on low with natural release was not long enough. The yolks were still semi soft. I will still be able to use these eggs in my morning smoothie, but I’m going to have to adjust either the pressure or the time (or both). Fortunately, I have 4 dozen eggs in the fridge with which to experiment (thanks to our lovely hens).

    1. Were the eggs taken straight from the fridge?
      I wonder if eggs kept in the fridge – at the coldest part – will cool them too much and require longer in the pressure cooker? Is there a compartment on the fridge door to store the eggs, so they are not too cold?

      With nothing insulating the eggs from the steam of the pressure cooker, they should cook fine in steamer basket, since the holes of the basket will allow the steam through.

      1. David, yes, they were just out of the refrigerator, so they very cold. That may have definitely impacted the outcome. This morning I tried 2 cups of water, the trivet, and 8 eggs in the steamer basket on high pressure for 5 minutes with a 10 minute natural release and then immediately plunged them in ice water. They were just a tad overdone based on the tell tale (but barely there) grey ring around the yolks but they were a breeze to peel (and they were fresh from my hens too). The next time I might try 4 minutes on high with natural release and reserve the low pressure egg cooking for soft and medium boiled eggs.

        1. I have a new Instant Pot, this morning I put 2 dozen cold eggs in the cooker. Half in a steamer basket and the rest on top in silicone muffin cups used 1 1/2 cups water. Set it for low pressure for 7 minutes, unplugged it and then 1 minute later, released the pressure. Gave them an ice water bath and they were hard boiled to perfection with no ring around the yolk. Have most of them in a pickle brine and the rest for egg salad sandwiches.
          This is a great way to have my boiled eggs done quickly.
          Thank you for helping us do such neat things in our new age pressure cookers. My old stove top cookers are in storage.

  9. I received a suggestion via e-mail t to post specific cooking times for “very cold” refrigerators. Here is why you should first test an egg with the recommended time and then work from that:

    There is an infinite combination of pressure cooker types, models, sizes, the pressure they reach, cooktops, refrigerator temperatures, egg sizes and altitudes- each of these affects cooking time. It is just not possible to cover them all in a systematic way.

    The reason this (and most of my recipes) work for most people from the start is that I write instructions and cooking times that cover the most common pressure cooker size, using the average pressure on the most common cooktop.

    Since eggs are particularly sensitive and can vary greatly in size and quality I stick to my recommendation to try a test egg, first, and then adjusting from there before doing large batches.

    I still haven’t had a chance to test eggs in the Instant Pot – but I see that a few readers have already tried with success.

    Writing and posting these recipes and techniques is only half the fun for me – the rest comes from reading your comments, experiments, photos and results!!

    Ciao,

    L

  10. I always take my eggs out of the fridge for at least an hour before cooking them in the pressure cooker. When I first tried this method, I did it straight from the fridge, and that didn’t work for me.

  11. Sorry, it took me a while to get back and post my results! The six eggs I cooked in the silicone steamer basket in the Instant Pot came out well. Firm, yet not overdone. I was really pleased. Then I tried to do a dozen. They were extremely under cooked – not even soft boiled, the whites were still clear… I think there were too many eggs in the basket and the steam couldn’t do it’s thing. I’m going to go back to 6 or maybe 9 at a time.

    1. Maybe a dozen eggs are too many because the steam cannot circulate around them all, which under-cooks them? Try to increase the space between eggs so steam can circulate around all parts of the eggs.

    2. As I posted below, I did 18 in my 6 qt. electric Fagor. Even the ones that were stacked on top of the others came out perfect. I increased the amount of water (not sure that it would matter), and increased the time to 7 minutes. So … you may want to experiment with increasing the time a bit.

  12. I just purchased my 1st pressure cooker, the new InstantPot Duo 6 (2014 model) and tried making hard boiled eggs. I used 3 XL brown eggs in the steamer basket. The expiration date is 5 weeks from now, so they are quite fresh and have been in the fridge for a few days. I put in 1 cup of water, put the eggs on the steamer basket laying on their sides, hit “Manual” mode at low pressure for 6 minutes cook time. When done, I did natural release (less than 10 minutes when the valve dropped) and then ran under cold water for a minute. Consistency was perfect, yolk just the right firmness, but still very difficult to peel. The shell was peeling off the white membrane (between the whites and the yolk), not off the whites itself. Any thoughts on the peeling issue? Thanks in advance!

  13. Hi! I just pressure cooked 6 large eggs on low pressure for 6 minutes. They look perfect, but 4 of the eggs cracked wide open. Is there a way to prevent this happening?
    Thanks,

    1. Ciao Ellen, Can you give me a little more information? What does cracked wide open, mean? What kind of cooker do you have? Did the cooker go into over-pressure while you were building to low pressure?

      Ciao,

      L

      1. HI! I am new to this and I’m not sure I know what over-pressure means. Does this mean I brought it to pressure too quickly? I have a Fagor Futuro 4 qt. with a gas burner. Assuming you meant I reached pressure too quickly, I just tried it again–this time I brought to pressure over medium instead of high heat. This helped a lot as only one egg cracked this time. I am amazed at how easily these peeled! I’m going to keep trying till I have perfected. Thanks so much.

  14. Hi Ellen,
    Going into over pressure means having the pressure too high. Normally it means the PC will vent through its emergency valve, but in this case as you are aiming for low pressure Laura probably means taking the pressure up to high. Bringing the PC to pressure on medium heat will help prevent this as it will ramp up slower giving you a longer window of opportunity to adjust the pressure when low is reached. It may alter the timing though as you are applying heat longer. The eggs may be cooked a little more than you expect

    Also with a Gas burner, you should avoid having the flame lick up the sides of the PC. I need to bring my PC up to pressure on medium heat to avoid this. But it will depend on the size of the burner, and the size of the base of the PC. This won’t affect the eggs, but it may discolor the metal of the PC.

  15. I read where you said to tack on about 3 mins. Is that for a standard cooking tops or induction? I have standard myself and just want to be clear on this?

  16. Can you tell me if this would work with Quail eggs? I want a medium yolk? They are always much harder to peal than hens eggs.

    1. Scroll-up the comments to August 17th, 2013 a reader was able to successfully pressure cook quail eggs and we discuss the details, there.

      Ciao,

      L

  17. I bought my pressure cooker (not electric) for the sole purpose of making hard “boiled” eggs. I was having such a problem peeling them. Well, they came out perfect and peeled easier than I have ever seen. Now that I have used the cooker a few times, I am not intimidated by it anymore and will try some other things. Thanks for the article that helped me make the perfect egg!!
    Tina

    1. Thank you, Tina for sharing your story. Now I shall call the easy-peel egg the “gateway recipe to pressure cooking”! ; )

      Ciao,

      L

  18. Am just beginning to experiment with my new Instant Pot. I always steam very fresh eggs on the stovetop and they peel perfectly. Looking forward to moving on to the PC now since I can use less water. ~Pogonia

  19. I finally got to this one as I need LOTS of eggs for a function tomorrow. For me that means around a dozen eggs. Normally I only boil one or two at a time and my open pot method is fine for that. I also rarely peel them, preferring to just eat the contents out of the shell.

    Tomorrow though its devilled eggs all the way as we need finger food. So I put this to the test. I tried one earlier: 6 min and quick release. It came out just the way I like them. Just a shade less cooked than your “medium” shot above. Not suitable for tomorrow though, So I then put the remaining eleven in for 6 Min and Natural release. I also forgot LOW pressure, so they cooked part of the time at high. Only one cracked and that one not disastrously – just a hairline fracture end to end and nothing escaping.

    On to peeling. They all peeled near perfectly. I bought them from the farm gate yesterday, so they were very fresh. Two had minor divots at the far end from the nearly non existent air bubble. Unheard of for eggs this fresh. Usually I allow for 50% fail rate, and the bar is set much lower.

    Like another Aussie, I used Stelvin caps off wine bottles. Worked a charm. Now I have yet another excuse to open a bottle of wine. Not that I need one :)

    I weighed my eggs before I cooked them. Around 68g each. Not sure how that compares to your “XL” measure. I suspect bigger. Also I am at around 1,000m altitude, so the correction for that probably explains my less cooked first trial,

    Cheers Greg

  20. Thank you so much for this great idea! The method worked absolutely perfectly.

    I don’t have a flat steaming rack, so I used my “regular” stainless steel collapsible vegetable steamer. I also did 18 eggs in the batch, since my family goes through a lot of hard boiled eggs. For my 6 quart Fagor electric cooker, I used 2 cups of water and cooked at low pressure for 7 minutes. Then I let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes before releasing the rest of the pressure and cooling the eggs. None of us could believe how easy the eggs were to peel.

    Thanks again.

  21. I use these up side down as egg stands. If you have a cracked egg, turn right side up and add a pat of butter to prevent sticking.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002GWWH8S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1&tag=vi

  22. I have the new Instant Pot. I didn’t have any steamer tray that fit, so I just put the eggs on the trivet that comes with it. I’ve then followed the instructions you gave for making hard-boiled eggs in the pressure cooker and they came out great.

  23. This is the coolest thing EVER!
    I absolutely HATE peeling eggs where the shell sticks to the egg and the egg ends up looking mangled and a lot of it is wasted.

    I’ve tried all kinds of “Home Remedies” and nothing but aging the eggs has ever worked.

    When I learned this method and tried it in our Kuhn Rikon PC, AAAHHHH (angelic singing), I was sooooooo, excited!

    This is the best thing since sliced bread!

    I especially appreciate the explanation of what the aging / pressure cooking does to create an easy-to-peel egg.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Robert

  24. It is sure great to make 1/2 dozen hard boiled eggs in the morning before I head into the office. Hardly any time at all, and peeling is a non-issue. It WAS a big issue since I have low to no patience syndrome. The quality is way up; whites are softer and moist, the yolks at 6 minutes have a small dark spot in the center indicating they are exactly right! Great taste.

    In Step 4 – still says Cold Water Release for soft and medium cooked eggs Laura. I know you’re looking for any of these that still exist!

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Kolekamp, yes this recipe is trickier to change because it will require the cooking times to change. At least, the major concern for this release method – that there could be a bubble of heat in thick food – does not apply here. But thanks for pointing out that at some point I will need to revisit the cooking times with my local eggspert.

      Let’s have it for custardy dark-spots in hardboiled eggs!

      Ciao,

      L

  25. Have you had a chance to soft, medium, and hard boiled eggs in the new InsantnPot? I have read several posts indicating problems with your times 1, 3, 6 minute on low pressure.

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