How to CookSteamingTips & TechniquesEggs

Is Steaming the Secret to Perfectly Hard-Cooked Eggs?

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Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. 

Today: How to get the best hard-cooked eggs in no more than 15 minutes.

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A couple weeks ago, we nearly broke the internet with Alton Brown’s method for hard cooking eggs in the oven. Many of you wrote in with other methods for hard cooking eggs besides plunking them in scalding water and hoping the shells don’t crack—the most popular of which was steaming the eggs. As J. Kenzi López-Alt explains over at Serious Eats, steaming results in evenly cooked, tender eggs. While you can't simultaneously cook as many eggs as in the oven method, steaming does take less time.

Here’s how to hard cook eggs in a steamer:

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In a big pot with a metal steamer inside, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add your eggs directly from the fridge to the steamer—we could fit 6 without overcrowding. Cover the pot and let the eggs cook for 12 minutes (6 minutes for soft boiled). If you plan to eat them cold, transfer the eggs to an ice bath, let them chill out until you can handle them, then peel them. 

More: The best way to peel eggs.

In the end, the eggs were indeed perfectly cooked—the whites tender and the yolks anything but chalky. We did find peeling to be a little tricky (we lost a bit of whites in the process), but we overall would use this method when we want a handful of hard-cooked eggs for a springtime salad or a not sad desk lunch.

What's your favorite way to hard cook eggs? Do you like the muffin pan method? Who knows: We may try another method next week!

Photo by James Ransom

Tags: eggs, hard cook, hard boil, hack, how-to, steamer, steam