Instant Pot

How to Make Perfect Eggs in an Instant Pot

May 14, 2018

Every time I want to cook eggs in the Instant Pot—whether I'm aiming for hard-boiled, soft-boiled, or somewhere in that fuzzy borderland we call "medium-boiled"—I have to Google it.

After skimming endless blog posts, all of which offer different instructions (low pressure or high pressure, natural release or quick release or some combination of the two), I inevitably choose at random and end up with... hard-boiled eggs. Every single time. (But since they peel so easily, I'm rarely that mad about it.)

So once and for all, here is a reliable, easy-to-remember formula that takes all the guesswork out of Instant Pot eggies, whether you want them soupy on the inside (to float in congee) or just on the cusp of chalkiness (to scoop and devil).

The 411:

  • You can make as many eggs as you want (...within reason). I've cooked a single soft-boiled egg in the Instant Pot (for the sake of experimentation), but you can cook up to a dozen—or as many will nestle comfortably on the steaming insert, with some space around them—at a time.
  • Don't forget to pour in water. The eggs are actually steaming (not boiling) when they cook in the Instant Pot—and you'll need water to achieve that steam heat. Pour in 1 to 2 cups of water before sealing the machine.
  • Cook on low pressure. It might not be good for much, but the low pressure setting comes in handy here.
  • Use the quick release. Not only does this decrease your wait-time, but it gives you greater control of the texture of your finished eggs (otherwise, they'll continue to cook as the pressure naturally falls).
  • And if you're frightened of the quick release (like I am), here's a saving grace: To keep your hands at a safe distance from the jets of steam, employ the end of a wooden spoon to maneuver nozzle (I also often drape a dish towel over the vent as to avoid turning the kitchen into a rainforest).
  • Plunge the eggs into an ice bath. The same principle applies here: You want to stop the residual cooking that will make all of your eggs hard-boiled. Plus, it's easiest to peel eggs under water. (The best way to get an Instant Pot egg primed to shed its peel? Tap it on the top, on the bottom, and firmly in the middle.)
Left to right: 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes.

Baby, this is what you came for:

Okay, let's hit the hard numbers.

  • For soft-boiled eggs (runny yolks): Cook on low pressure for 4 minutes, then quick-release the machine, and plunge into an ice bath. Peel when cool. (I also tried cooking eggs for 3 minutes—they were too soft to peel, with very slimy whites.)
  • For medium-boiled eggs (yolks with no spillage, but with enough moisture to leave residue on your knife): Same process, but for 5 minutes.
  • For hard-boiled eggs (no goo, little knife residue): Same process, but for at least 7 minutes (you can, of course, go longer for even drier eggs).

That's it—so easy to remember that even I won't have to look it up next time. And now that you've found yourself with a dozen immaculately hard-boiled eggs...

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • HS
  • Liza
  • Lisa Case
    Lisa Case
  • cyanpineapple
  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


HS December 12, 2019
I have used this method daily (sitting on an egg steamer insert, 4 minutes, low pressure, quick release) for over a year on large eggs, except I stick them immediately into the fridge uncovered vs an ice bath. I find that my results vary, carton to carton. The yolks won't be chalky, which is good (for me), but range from soft-medium to medium-hard. When I've tried to bring the temp down quickly by submerging the eggs in cold (not ice) water in an attempt to get more consistent yolks, the whites are often not set.
Liza August 19, 2018

5/5/5: 5 minutes on HIGH, 5 minutes Natural Pressure Release, then 5 minutes ice bath. (Plus 7-8 minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure.) You don't need low pressure at all. Just set it for 5 minutes then come back 5 minutes *after* you get the tone that cooking has finished. Simple and perfect hard-boiled aggs.
Lisa C. May 14, 2018
Does this assume you are starting with refrigerated eggs?
Author Comment
Sarah J. May 14, 2018
cyanpineapple May 14, 2018
I also like using the instant pot to make poached eggs with none of the mess and technique required of making them in a pan (plus you can make more of them at a time and you can do other things while they cook). But it takes a little experimentation to nail down the timing with whatever vessel you're using, as different vessel sizes and materials will give you different results.
Author Comment
Sarah J. May 14, 2018
Wow—fascinating! How do you poach them? What's your method?
cyanpineapple May 14, 2018
I just lightly spray a container, like a tiny glass bowl (whatever I have around), add the eggs, lightly salt, and steam for 5-ish mins, just like you have here. Google around and you'll find all sorts of instructions using various vessels. Unless you get some of those nice silicone egg cups, they're never going to look as pretty as conventionally poached eggs, but it sure does the trick.