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

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
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
  • 1-6 XL Fresh Egg, chilled (from the refrigerator)
  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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  1. For all of you who are having a hard boiled time with this.

    This is the recipe that works without a pressure cooker:
    6 large eggs 1. Add 1/2″ water to a medium-saucepan. Set over high burner and bring to a rolling boil 2. Carefully set eggs in the saucepan with boiling water. Cover and reduce burner to medium-low; maintaining a boil; and cooking for 15 minutes. 3. Combine 2-cups of ice cubes with 2-cups of told tap water into a medium bowl. 4. When eggs are ready use tongs or slotted spoon to move eggs into the ice bath; allowing to stand for 10 minutes before peeling.

    So, If you add one cup to a pressure cooker and heat the water until it is producing steam or boiling and add the trivet or steamer basket to the pressure cooker and the eggs on the basket and close the lid and set it to low pressure steam for 10 to 15 minutes you should get the same or better result. Make sure as soon as the time is up you quick release the steam and move the eggs to an ice bath for 10 minutes.

    The difference between the pressure cooker and stove top should be less time necessary because pressure allows for quicker cooking and pressure also helps make the eggs peel better. So using the pressure cooker is preferred. I just think adding the eggs after the water is heated is the way to go and why so many on here are having trouble. Then you can figure the least amount of time for the eggs you want over time. For you, it may be 8 minutes or 10. Who knows, but if you start a little higher and each time you do it just take a minute away until you have what you think is the perfect egg, because it will make the perfect egg.

    1. Hi Rich, just a heads up…. Pressure Cooking an egg (even on the low pressure setting) for 10-15 minutes is far too long. You will end up with a badly overcooked egg. A telltale sign of overdone-ness is when the yoke has dulled in color or the outside of it is grey. I hope this helps.

  2. Easy way to peel hard boiled eggs. I did this after pressure cooking them. It saves a lot of mess:

    Watch from 30 seconds in.

  3. Normally every recipe from this site works great… But not this time. I had a dozen eggs, maybe 2 weeks old, that I wanted to hard boil. I put them on low pressure, 5 minutes, instant release… And what came out was barely soft boiled. The center was completely liquid.

    1. 5 minutes at low pressure is not long enough. Try 10 minutes at low pressure next time and quick (instant) release; if 10 minutes overcooks them, try 9 minutes and if still overcooked (green yolks), try plunging the cooked eggs into an ice bath i.e. cold water with plenty of ice cubes. Please don’t give up. You will find the perfect time and cooling method for hard boiling eggs in the size you buy.

      1. To each his own. 5 minutes at low pressure cooks the perfect hard boiled egg. I cook a dozen at a time this way and has never failed.

      2. I do low pressure per Laura,, but do 2 minutes cook time with total NPR till valve pin drops. They are still cooking while pressure is coming down,, never have a green ring and the egg whites are much more tender!

    2. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out. Since every egg size and pressure cooker pressure differs, it’s important to try a “sacrificial” egg to see if anything needs to be adjusted.



    3. I do 6 minutes on the legume setting on my power pressure cooker XL with about 20 eggs at a time. Like the Hip book details, I use a 5 minute natural release and then cool them.

      Perfect eggs every time.

      I think the recipe in the Hip book says 5 minutes at pressure, but my eggs were a touch soft, so I added one minute.

      1. I always have some H.B. peeled eggs in the fridge for a snack. 6 min. is my time too. I just throw enough cold water in when the lid comes off to stop the cooking and peel when cool enough to handle. The eggs almost jump out of the shell when peeled under water in a bowl. Don’t worry about cholesterol. That theory was wrong from the start.

        1. It depends on your genetics.

    4. Rafaello, it might have been the size of your eggs. I’m making them now and just noticed the table says to open with natural release. Could that have been the issue? Hope mine turn out!

    5. The recipe says “normal” release, not quick release. I think that was your problem. Normal release allows for the extra cooking time necessary. You are right, 5 min then a quick release to stop the cooking is NOT long enough.

      1. “Normal” release from this 2011 article, per the instructions elsewhere on this site in 2017 article, is more commonly today called “Quick Release” , but a natural release may indeed be called for

  4. I’m working towards a method for soft or medium/soft boiled eggs in my Sage/Breville Fast Slow Pro. I am not far off sea level.

    Attempt 1 :

    2 eggs, from room temp, 2 cups cold water, 50 KPa (7.2 PSI), quick release, quick cold water bath. Result: medium-hard boiled.

    Attempt 2 :

    1 egg, from fridge, 2 cups of boiled water, 40 KPa (5.8 PSI), quick release, longer cold water bath. Result: Still medium-hard boiled!

    Attempt 3 :

    1 egg from room temp (had run out of ones in fridge), 2 cups boiled water, 40 KPa, quick release, even longer cold water bath. Result: Finally approaching soft boiled, but more medium/medium-soft than soft … also cold after all that time in the cold water!

    So, a work in progress, but to still be medium after only 3 minutes at lower-than-usual pressure for a single egg using pre-boiled water is surprising by all accounts. I suspect that the long “time to pressure” for the Sage FSP is what’s causing these results, and it’s particularly frustrating that you can’t set the UK (or apparently the AUS) model to less than 5 minutes until it has reached pressure, so you have to manually intervene halfway through.

    Also, I generally want to eat my soft boiled eggs when still hot/warm, so I need to come up with a method that works with minimal time in the cold water bath. Will update if I ever crack it!

    1. Realise I stupidly left the times off!

      Attempts 1 and 2 were both 5 mins (the minimum you can set my PC to), attempt 3 was 3 mins (had to manually turn the time down once it reached pressure).

    2. I have found that an ice bath is not needed. Just throw in some cold water and peel as soon as you can handle the eggs. They are very flexible when hot and less likely to split when rolled and cracked.

  5. How does the size of eggs and number of eggs effect the time needed under pressure? Also the size of the cooker?
    I want to cook extra lge eggs in 8 qt, as many as fit at one time. I want cook about 4 dozen for dying Easter eggs.

  6. Just to be super clear, by ‘natural release’ do you mean that once the pressure cooking time (5 min on low) has elapsed that we wait for the IP to cool down which takes a few minutes more? Thanks!

    1. Start counting 5 minutes from the time the cooker beeps that it’s finished. You can leave the keep-warm on to keep track of the time. Don’t worry it won’t actually start keeping warm until the cooker reaches a certain temperature below boiling.



  7. I have chickens and ducks and have ALWAYS had problem with hardboiled eggs. Not anymore! 6 minutes with my old stove top pressure cooker and they are perfect every time! I’ve shared this with many of my friends and they are also getting great results. I live at an altitude of 7,000 feet so maybe the altitude effects the time needed to cook.

  8. I’ve been making my hard boiled eggs by steaming them for the last 4 years, a dozen at a time. I’ve either used them at room temp or if I forgot to take them out, rinsed them in hot water for about 30 seconds. The shells have always come off easily. After the steaming I put them in ice water for less than a minute and the shells slip off. I always bring deviled eggs to pot luck events as it’s a very easy thing to do.

    1. Hi Kathy, do you mean you’ve been steaming them using this method, or without pressure? Either way, I definitely think the “shocking” of the eggs has something to do with the shells coming off quickly!



  9. I have been cooking hard boiled eggs for years in my electric pc. 5 minutes at high pressure followed by an ice water bath always works — until the last time. Several eggs came out with green yolks. Never had this problem before. Any thoughts?

    1. Alfred, eggs can vary in size and also in shell consistency. The green yolks happen when they’re overcooked so I think it was a case of a slightly smaller egg or thinner shell (which would have cooked faster).



  10. Perfect recipe for hard boiled organic eggs room temperature. 5 minutes low pressure on manual plus 3 minutes natural release. I live in Britain on sea level. Thank you. X

  11. I tried boiling eggs as an intro to cooking with my new pot. Eggs were not fresh. Eggs were not cooked.
    I put them in the cooker for another four minutes (after the initial five). Eggs still runny; whites not cooked. What do I try now?

    1. Did you slow release or quick release your cooker? I’m guessing you instant released and, as a result, shorted your cooking time

  12. Hi, I just got my instant pot and am having a heck of a time working it. i tried to boil some soft boiled eggs but failed miserably. Firstly, I don’t understand what they mean when they say to use the “manual”setting??? How , exactly do I do that? Do I choose pressure cook? If I do, it seems to go to 30 min automatically and I don’t know how to change the time to 3 min or 5 min? Help!!! Please :-) . I really want to start using this pot and enjoying it.
    Thank You , all

    1. Helps to read the instruction manual before you begin using your IP.

    2. Sounds like you have the Instant Pot Mini since the “mini” does not have a manual button. You can use “pressure cook” button instead and adjust time with “+/-“ buttons. Or, you can hit egg button and, for soft boiled eggs, hit adjust button to get it to “less” mode. You may also have to adjust time down.
      I just tried to make 2 soft boiled doing this and I had it on 3 minutes. Too much. They were almost hard boiled; maybe a little soft in the middle. Next time I’m doing one minute. It takes about 5 minutes to get up to pressure so they’re almost soft boiled by the time the timer starts.

    3. Manual is the same as high pressure. Some PC don’t have a Pressure Cook button. Manual is the same.

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