How to Make the Best Instant Pot Boiled Eggs

Achieve perfect soft, medium, and hard-boiled eggs in your Instant Pot—no guesswork required.

January 19, 2021
Photo by Mark Weinberg

Perfectly cooked eggs seem like one of those goals the Instant Pot was designed to vanquish from the stove top forever, but the truth is that Instant Pot boiled eggs aren't always as consistent as we might hope. Every time I want to cook eggs in the Instant Pot—whether I'm aiming for hard-boiled, soft-boiled, or somewhere in that jammy borderland we call "medium-boiled," I have to look up the cooking time.

After skimming endless blog posts, all of which offer different instructions (low pressure or high pressure, natural release, 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're easier to peel, I'm rarely that upset.

Because of the sheer volume of variables involved—the number of eggs being cooked, the precise amount of water used, the exact texture of yolk desired, the temperature of the eggs when the Instant Pot is sealed—it can be a challenge to churn out uniform boiled eggs every time. Nobody likes to be surprised or disappointed when they slice into an egg and see its yolk.

So once and for all, here is a reliable, easy-to-remember order of operations that takes all the guesswork out of Instant Pot boiled eggs, whether you want them soupy on the inside (to float in congee or perch on asparagus salad) or just on the cusp of chalkiness to scoop and devil with ease.

Tips for Instant Pot Boiled Eggs

  1. 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.
  2. Always add water. The eggs are actually steaming (not boiling) when they cook in the Instant Pot, and you'll need to pour in water to provide that steam heat. Pour in 1 to 2 cups of water before sealing the machine.
  3. Cook on low pressure. It might not be good for much, but the low pressure setting comes in handy here. High pressure will also cook your eggs, but the yolks are more likely to come out chalky if overcooked (and boiled eggs tend to overcook quickly). Low pressure is much more forgiving here.
  4. Use the quick release. Not only does using the quick release decrease your wait time, it gives you more precise control over the texture of your finished eggs. The eggs will continue to cook as the pressure naturally falls, since there's no way to remove them immediately to an ice bath, so consider than when determining total cook time. To keep your hands at a safe distance from the jets of steam, use the end of a wooden spoon to maneuver the nozzle into the release position. I also often drape a dish towel over the vent so as to avoid plunging the kitchen into humidity.
  5. Plunge the eggs into an ice bath. Once the pressure has been released, stop the residual cooking that will make all your eggs hard-boiled in just a few minutes by transferring them immediately to an ice bath. Plus, it's easiest to peel eggs under water.
  6. Prime for peeling 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. This will help the shell slide right off.
Left to right: 4 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes.

How Long To Cook Instant Pot Boiled Eggs

  • For soft-boiled eggs (runny yolks): Cook on low pressure for 4 minutes, then quick-release the machine, and plunge the eggs into an ice bath. Peel when cool. I also tried cooking eggs for 3 minutes. They ended up being too soft to peel, with undercooked whites.
  • For medium-boiled eggs (jammy yolks): Same process, but for 5 minutes.
  • For hard-boiled eggs (cooked yolks with little knife residue): Same process, but for at least 7 minutes (you can, of course, go longer for very firm eggs).

Now that I've made this my usual routine when making boiled eggs (which I do very often), it's so easy to remember that even I won't have to look it up next time.

grab a spatula & cook with us:

Use Your Boiled Egg Bounty

Any tips for boiling eggs in an Instant Pot? How do you use your Instant Pot boiled eggs? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • chrisdls
  • HS
  • Liza
  • Lisa Case
    Lisa Case
  • cyanpineapple
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.


chrisdls January 21, 2021
We eat a LOT of hard boiled eggs. I have been doing 5 minutes at high pressure, 2 minutes 'natural' release, then quick release and into the ice bath. Results this way have been pretty consistent, but I'm definitely going to try your way -- I like the idea of being able to skip that one extra step (where I have to be set a 2 minute timer as soon as the Instant Pot timer goes off).
chrisdls February 2, 2021
OK - I tried this today. 7 minutes at low pressure, quick release, then into the ice bath. Perfect!! And still super easy to peel (which is my favorite thing about cooking eggs in the Instant Pot vs. boiling on the stove). Now I have to try soft-boiled, too!
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?
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.
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.