Hard boiled eggs! Hard boiled eggs!  You have to get an Instant Pot just to make hard boiled eggs!  Those are the words I heard over and over again from Instant Pot users as I began my deep dive into testing North America’s trendiest kitchen gadget.


Barf.  O.K. fine, in the name of research I’ll make hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot so I can see how easy they are to peel.

As you may know, fresh eggs are much harder to peel because there’s no air between the shell and the egg.  So you end up chipping away tiny bits of shell until 3 hours later you’ve voluntarily admitted yourself to a mental institution where as luck would have it, they’re serving egg salad sandwiches for lunch.

For my test I used both fresh (laid within the previous 3 days) and old (laid 2 months ago) eggs.

I cooked half of them in a pot on the stove and the other half I cooked in the BBQ.  Just kidding.  I cooked the other half in my Instant Pot (which I bought a month ago to see if this thing is all hype or hoax).

Here’s how it went.

In case you couldn’t understand that, basically all the eggs peeled the same.

The Instant Pot cooked eggs were slightly easier to peel but it was nothing anyone could legally brag about in a midnight infomercial.

These are the 2 cooking methods I used:


How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs in water
  1.  Place eggs in pot of cold water and bring to the boil.
  2. As soon as pot boils, turn off the heat and let them sit until the water cools (around 15 minutes)

This is the method Signe Langford’s uses in her book Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs which features me and my chickens.


How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs in an Instant Pot
  1. Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  2. Put a steam basket or trivet in the Instant Pot and add your eggs.
  3. Close the lid and set the manual timer to 8 minutes.
  4. When done, quick release the steam and handle the eggs when they’re cool enough to touch.
  5. It will take longer than 8 minutes to cook the eggs because the Instant Pot has to come up to pressure before it cooks them.




With the water method all the eggs came out cooked perfectly and were moderately difficult to peel.



With the Instant Pot my first batch of eggs came out perfectly cooked but the second batch was very slightly undercooked (possibly because I peeled them while they were still very hot thinking this would make peeling them easier).  It did not.   The Instant Pot eggs didn’t seem much easier to peel.


A couple of the Instant Pot eggs were slightly easier to peel than the water boiled eggs.  But if I hadn’t had it knocked into my head over and over again about how much easier these eggs would be to peel than regular cooked hard boiled eggs I never, ever would have noticed a difference.

For me it was a fail on both batches that I tried.

I know there are those of you who will dispute this, and I don’t disagree.  I’ve seen the videos! It’s entirely possible that your hard boiled Instant Pot eggs burst right out of their shells and danced directly into the potato salad, but for me that’s not what happened.

My eggs didn’t dance.  Angels didn’t sing and rainbows didn’t fart kittens.

Just when I thought I was leaning towards a recommendation for the Instant Pot this happens.  Next week I will present you with my cheesecake results.  It’s pretty difficult to make a cheesecake that doesn’t fart rainbows AND kittens so …


  1. Nancy Schol says:

    I started using the Instant Pot for hard boiling my eggs and have never had any whites come off with peeling. Usually the shells practically fall of in two or three pieces. I do mine the same method as you, but only have store bought eggs, so age could be quite variable.

    The only difference I can see is in how we crack our shells. You give yours a few taps and peel. I tap mine on both ends and then all the way around the middle. I then place my palm over the egg and gently roll on a hard surface a few times. At this point, most of the shell has already pulled away from the egg. Takes only seconds and shell slips right off.

    Another thing that my be different… Your picture of the cut egg looks great, but if I cooked mine for 9 minutes, it would have a green ring around the yolk. I cook mine for 5 minutes, do a quick release and immediately plunge in ice water. And, I’m in Denver, a mile high, which usually takes longer than folks at lower altitudes.

    I am a total convert, as you can tell. Always used to have problems with hard boiled eggs until I got my Instant Pot. My son lives nearby and he uses the steamed method, which works well for him.

  2. Jennie Lee says:

    I eat a hard boiled egg every day, at breakfast. I also eat them when my stomach is upset. I don’t know why, but for some reason, they make my stomach feel good, which basically means I don’t feel it at all; like I have no stomach. Anyway, your egg cooking essay inspired me to experiment too, and I think I’ve perfected the process. My eggs peel in about 10 seconds. I use a tiny pot, barely big enough to boil 3 eggs, if I want to. I put the egg in the empty pot and spray it 7 times with white vinegar, which I have around to clean house with, anyway. Then I fill it with cold water, and heat it 5 minutes (I use a timer), at which point it is about to boil. As soon as it IS boiling, I set the timer for 7 minutes, and turn the heat down one notch, so it won’t boil over. After 7 minutes, I pour out the water and run cold water over the egg for about 7 seconds. Then I let it sit for 2 minutes, to cool. To peel it, I tap it on each end and pinch the shell off the ends. I then tap it GENTLY 4 times, around its “equator”. The shell peels off like a little coat, in pretty much one piece, and the egg is well-cooked, but not too much. If the egg cracks, it does not leak out. Voila! Perfection! Very rarely does any white come off. And the timer allows you to do something else while it cooks, without forgetting your egg. I wouldn’t send this info, but I honestly have been so pleased with this method, I had to share it!

  3. Never heard of an instant pot… but if you want to hard boil eggs with a 100% peeling success rate, even with eggs laid the day before, pressure cook them for 3 minutes. Put the rack in the pot, and place a vegetable steamer on top of that. Add water to top of rack. Place up to 10 room temperature eggs in steamer. Start counting the time when it reaches pressure. I have an old Presto pressure cooker with a “rocker”. When it starts rocking, the timer is set for 3 minutes. When time is up, immediately drop the pressure by putting the pot under a stream of cold water. Then immediately put eggs in ice water. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, crack the shells all over and return to ice water. Peel when cold. Time may vary according to size and temperature of eggs. Fail-proof peeling.

  4. Cindy McMahan says:

    Boil water….enough to cover the eggs. Prick the fat end of the eggs with a thumb tack. Lower eggs in water with a slotted spoon. When the water just starts to come back to a boil, cover the pot and turn off the burner. Let set for 20 minutes or so. Eggs never crack while cooking. Easy to peel. Never a green ring. And the softest egg white and creamiest yolk you’ll ever taste. I learned this method from Jacques Pepin. The French know eggs!
    Any amount of actual boiling coils up the protein chains in the egg white causing the rubbery texture. Boiling just beats up the white. :)

  5. janeasinner says:

    I just buy already cooked hard boiled eggs at the market when I want egg salad. Problem solved. Your Welcome. p.s. I hate the pressure cooker named Instant Pot too. lolz

  6. Marti says:

    You’ve just made me gloriously happy that I don’t like boiled eggs enough to give a crap. But… it is always a pleasure to take a moment out of my day, pop over here and see you still trying to figure out if Insta-pot is hype or too hip for words. Thanks Karen!

  7. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Karen..your eggs are too pretty to peel…lol…

  8. Linn says:

    I see we all have our favorite ways of peeling eggs, so let me just add to the list!
    I have chickens, and have used eggs right “out of the shute”! Out of hundreds of eggs, I have had maybe 2 that were difficult to peel using this metheod.
    Use your vegetable steamer! Put an inch or so of water in a lidded pan with steamer and how ever many eggs you want. Put it on your stove ( I use a fairly high flame), set your timer for 17 minutes (may vary with taste), when timer goes off, immediately plunge the eggs in to iced water (yes, I use ice cubes). WORKS!

  9. Beth says:

    I recently starting using this trick of my husband’s after 30-odd years of doubting him: cut the boiled egg in half and gently pry out the egg with a spoon. Watch out for small pieces of shell, though. It’s not a pretty result but it’s fine for egg salad.

  10. Maggie Van Sickle says:

    like u I do not like hard boiled eggs. I do poached every time. Egg salad sandwiches are not my favourite but I do like mushed up eggs in my potato salad but a saucepan works. Just sayin. Enjoy yours though Karen.

  11. Sandra Blackwell says:

    I steam my fresh eggs. put them in a pot of water, turn the burner on, set the timer for 20 minutes. then put them in ice water. They peel as good as any eggs. and I dn’t have to figure out where to store an instant pot. Which was gifted to me a couple years ago, and I left behind when I moved out. cause I thought it was stooopid.

  12. Renee Ryz says:

    Man do I want some eggs right now…..

  13. Heather Sykora says:

    My son went through an ” I love hard boiled eggs phase” so I did some experimentation…. after reading an article on serious eats. I compared bringing the water to a boil before adding the eggs vs. after adding the eggs ( with the same pot and same number of store bought eggs). Adding the eggs after the water was boiling made a significant difference in the ease/ success of peeling the eggs. I did give both batches a cold water bath before peeling. That’s how I do hard boiled eggs now. I am intrigued by the steaming suggestion…..

    If, however I want to eat a soft boiled egg straight out of the shell I prefer adding the eggs to cold water and bringing to boil in a cast iron pot with lid on. then I turn off the heat and let them finish cooking in hot water for 9 minutes. This gives them a delightfully soft texture with runny interior, of course I’m not peeling them in this situation.

  14. lemniskate says:

    i’ve tried the aldi brand version of the instant pot for hard boiled eggs and they come out tough, so I’m back to using my cuisinart egg cooker (I’m not bragging, I got it for $4 at goodwill). It steams up to 7 eggs at a time, and when they’re done, I dump three or four at a time into my 4 cup pyrex measuring bowl (you know, the kind with red lettering and a handle?) and then this is what works for me. I shake them in the measuring bowl, and I mean, I shake the heck out of them, knock them hard against each other and the sides of the bowl, and then I run them under warm water and just gently slide the shells off. Works like a charm.

  15. Grammy says:

    Karen, thank you! I was willing to buy the Instant Pot if the stories of peeling eggs were true. Now I’ll wait until you bless us with the rest of your research on the IP to decide.

    But first, your photograph of eggs in the copper vase is stunning. How can you NOT like hard-boiled eggs when you look at your own picture of them? It’s a work of art, sure, but also makes me hungry for an egg.

    Second, and perhaps more important: I know that the ice water shock treatment is probably the more important issue in eggs that peel better, but I’m not going to screw around with a bowl of ice. Putting ice in a bowl requires work, and for me that’s a deal killer. I have always heard that older eggs peel better, so I’ve diligently followed that advice and then run very cold tap water over the eggs as soon as they’re done, and still end up with half (or more) of my eggs coming out with a lot of the white stuck to the shell. So, can you tell me why in your experiment the fresher eggs peeled better (not faster, but nicer) than the older ones? What’s that about?

    Frankly, it just pisses me off that no one has come up with a breed of chickens that produce eggs that are perfect for boiling and will always slip right out of the shell, because now that I’m old I know it isn’t going to happen in time for me to enjoy that miracle.

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