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).
- 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.)
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...