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Steam, don't boil those hard cooked eggs.

I learned this tip from a foodie friends of mine. She heard about steaming eggs rather than boiling them to make them easier to peel.
I experimented with steaming them also and will never go back to boiling eggs.

Just steam the eggs in a vegetable steamer set over boiling water for 10 minutes. I cooled and peeled mine right away, my friend took hers off the heat and let them set for an additional 10 minutes before peeling. Both ways worked a treat.

I took one egg out of the steamer after 5 minutes and had the perfect soft boiled <steamed> egg.
I found that if I cooled and peeled the eggs right away, rather than waiting the additional 10 minutes they didn't develop grey around the yolk.


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  1. I'm curious, did you try boiling some eggs from the same carton, to see if they were harder to peel than the steamed ones?

    12 Replies
    1. re: jvanderh

      Darn it no, I didn't try boiling some from the same carton, I wish I would have. I will next time just to satisfy my curiosity. The white eggs were older and the brown ones were fresher though.
      I've never been successful at peeling boiled eggs, no matter what little trick worked for anyone else so I was thrilled this worked for me.
      Looks like I have another experiment to do. ;-)

      1. re: starkoch

        I'd be interested to know! I've heard that older eggs are easier to peel in general.

        1. re: jvanderh

          That is true jvanderh... every cook will tell you that older eggs are best for boiling... Since the peel of boiled eggs is such a big "discussion", I wonder what the steaming method will do for "fresh" eggs?

          1. re: gdlemaire

            My egg cooker cooks (steams) old and new eggs perfectly every time, and the shells practically fall off -- no difference between old and new eggs. I'm in love! :)

            1. re: MaineCook

              I don't have an egg steamer. I just use my vegetable steamer or one of those Japanese steamer baskets. Old & new eggs - the shell usually comes off whole or mostly whole. I just crack the ends then roll it on the counter to crack the rest and then, voila! off it comes.

      2. re: jvanderh

        jvanderh, here are the results of the boiling vs steaming experiment.
        I did my regular steam for 10 minutes, remove from heat and cool under running tap water until just cool enough to handle.
        The other eggs I made the way I used to. Place eggs in cold water, bring water to a rolling boil, cover and remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Cool under running tap water until just cool enough to handle.
        The eggs on the left and in the bowl are the steamed eggs. The two on the right are the boiled eggs. The boiled eggs were more tedious to peel and still didn't peel nicely.
        Looks like I'll made some egg salad from the boiled ones, not nice enough for deviled or pickled eggs.

        1. re: starkoch

          Thank you for going to that trouble, starkoch!
          I'll steam 'em next time.

              1. re: starkoch


                Thanks so much for experimenting and posting the pic for us. I'm convinced. I'll steam my eggs next time and see what happens. :)

            1. http://www.hippressurecooking.com/201...

              talks about steaming them in a pressure cooker - at the lower pressure setting. I tried it with the regular pressure, and found that the eggs cracked and leaked excessively. But they did peel easily.

              9 Replies
              1. re: paulj

                I have never seen a pressure cooker that cooks at 6 - 8 psi. Most are 10, 12, 15 psi. What brand pressure cooker cooks that low?

                1. re: momskitchen

                  15 psi is the normal US pressure, but some have a dual pressure setting (e.g. some models of Fagor).

                2. re: paulj

                  I just tried this approach http://tvwbb.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/3... that fully immerses the eggs in the pressure cooker. They came out amazingly good ("fluffiest" hard boiled eggs I have ever cooked). As an added bonus I was able to use high pressure (all I have) and this approach allows me to quick release them, which definitely speeds up the overall time.

                  I did have a couple crack, will probably try separating them next time somehow. Perhaps like this - http://healthyfamilycookin.blogspot.c....

                  1. re: reesd

                    That link seems to have died recently :(, hopefully it comes back because I don't remember the exact details. But here is what I just tried from memory that worked well for hard boiled:

                    Add eggs to pressure cooker
                    Cover eggs with an over an inch of water
                    Run pressure cooker until it locks (vs when it starts to steam)
                    Run for five more minutes
                    Use water to quickly cool and open cooker
                    Put eggs in very cold water to cool
                    Eat (yum :)

                    1. re: reesd

                      Personal experience.
                      Add eggs to a steamer basket set inside the PC. Add 1 cup of water. Bring to pressure (15 psi). Cook at pressure for 5 min then remove from hot burner and do a natural cool down. Immediately place in Ice bath.

                      Shells slide off under running water. Yolks cooked through but just a tad darker in the center on a few due to very slight under cooking.

                      1. re: scubadoo97

                        Do you raise the steamer basket up from the bottom or just set it in on the bottom?

                        1. re: Leepa

                          it's one of those cheap expandable steamers that fit inside a pot and no I don't raise it up

                          1. re: scubadoo97

                            Thanks. My PC came with a steamer basket and I thought that's what you meant. I can put it up on a jar lid to keep it off of the bottom.

                      2. re: reesd

                        Here is an updated link to the same pressure cooked hard boiled eggs recipe. I've also copied the recipe over also in case it moves again...



                        18 eggs will fit in a 4-quart pressure cooker; if cooking more, use a 6- or 8-quart cooker.

                        It is not recommended to use an electric pressure cooker to hard-cook eggs.

                        1. PLACE EGGS in the steamer basket or on the trivet and cover completely with cold water by 1 inch. [6/23/08: Since I posted this I cooked 18 large eggs in a 4-quart cooker. Four or five eggs in the top layer were only 3/4 covered with water. They turned out just fine.


                        2. COOK at high pressure for 3 1/2 minutes
                        ....QUICK-RELEASE. Use the cold water quick-release method.

                        3. COOL EGGS in ICE water, then crack and peel from the round end. Even better, roll the egg under the palm of your hand on the counter to crumble the shell around the egg and admit air under it to loosen it further.

                  2. How long to steam them for hard boiled eggs?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: momskitchen

                      The original post says "Just steam the eggs in a vegetable steamer set over boiling water for 10 minutes. "

                      1. re: momskitchen

                        I've been doing them this way for years. 13 minutes for large eggs and a minute longer for extra large, 2 minutes longer for jumbo. Add or subtract a minute for different sizes. 12 for medium, etc. Make sure you start with room temperature eggs. I take mine out of the fridge and put in warm tap water for at least 5 minutes to bring them to temp. Have ice water on hand to plunge the eggs into when you've finished steaming. I peel mine right away after they've cooled a bit. Running them for a few seconds in hot water will loosen the shells so they peel easier. And as always, use older eggs to help with that, too.

                        1. I just heard about this 2 days ago, and I'm going to give it a try before doing Easter eggs. I read that there's much less shell cracking with this method. I've been cooking for 40+ years, and this dog may learn a new trick.

                          1. Will try this, but will remain skeptical in the meantime. In my experience older eggs are easier to peel, but not always. If I have to come up with one dozen "perfects" I boil 2 dozen eggs.

                            I did learn something new from the link the OP provided though-- I've never heard eggs called "cackleberries" before!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: blue room

                              Yeah, "cackleberries" is a common Missouri term as well as "hen fruit"! I always knew that Dad was in an unhappy mood if he used the term "egg".

                              1. re: SonyBob

                                Born and raised in MO, never heard the term. Can't be that common. ;)

                                (Then again, I'm a city mouse. Maybe it common where chicken come wrapped in feathers instead of plastic.)

                                1. re: Pylon

                                  I think Stephen King used the term in The Stand. Larry's mom made eggs and called them cackleberries when she was in a good mood.
                                  Could be wrong, been a couple years since I read it.

                            2. Steam 'em (covered of course) for about ten minutes, place immediately in ice water for about one minute, crack and put back in ice water for another five minutes, peel.

                              1. Did you start with cold eggs out of the refrigerator, or did you bring them closer to room temp first?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Elysabethe

                                  I started with cold eggs right out of the fridge. After the 10 minutes steaming I ran them under cold tap water until they were cool enough to handle then peeled them.

                                2. I found that if I cooled and peeled the eggs right away, rather than waiting the additional 10 minutes they didn't develop grey around the yolk.
                                  that's because you stopped the cooking process - the ring is usually an indication that the egg is overcooked.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    That grey ring is iron from the yolk and as goodhealthgourmet said, it is an indicator that the egg is overcooked.

                                    1. re: Norm Man

                                      But how do you explain eggs that are boiled, cooled and opened and have no gray ring...then *after refrigeration* when opened they have a gray ring?! (so frustrating)

                                      1. re: Funwithfood

                                        Someone else once explained this to me saying the eggs were not cooled fast enough after cooking before being refrigerated.

                                  2. Just be sure to add enough water to hold up to a 10 min steam. A 10 min steam can evaporate a low level of water and most veggie baskets sit low in the pot under a steam of low level amts. of water.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      I put the steamer basket in the pot then add water just to the bottom of the steamer. Once it comes to a boil I turn the burner down a notch or two but not too low to loose any steam action.

                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        If your heat is reasonable, the water under a steamer basket should be fine for 20 minutes or more. My current basket is a silicone one with inch high legs.

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          I was picturing a shallow pot with shallow pool of water. Dried out in 10. It happens.

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            It happens.
                                            yup. my college roommate *destroyed* one of my pots steaming batches of vegetables for a party we were having...

                                            "Well you didn't TELL me I needed to add more water."

                                      2. I don't know you but thank you so much for posting this.

                                        As I'm sure you've found, there are many posts on CH regarding the dreaded task of hardboiling or simmering eggs to come to perfection. Usually for me, it eludes me altogether.

                                        For some reason, way too many variables. I'll try your trick, thanks again.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                          You are more than welcome and thank you.
                                          I'm like you, hard boiling and peeling eggs has eluded me too. I hope you try steaming them, I'm confident your hard boiled egg woes will be a thing of the past.

                                        2. I've never tried steaming my eggs but I will definitely give it a shot. What I usually do though to avoid ugly peeled eggs is that I crack and roll (don't peel) them after they have cooled in an ice bath for a minute or too then plunge it back into the water for another two or so minutes and it peels just fine. No ugly mess.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Roarasaur

                                            I just boiled 6 eggs by gently laying them down in boiling water. Half cracked. Will try steaming method next time. (not that the eggs were affected, they were going into a tikka masala curry.)

                                            1. re: whs

                                              If you're going to boil them, start them in cold water, bring them to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Never drop eggs into hot water ... they'll crack.

                                              1. re: todao

                                                Not if you follow Jacques Pepin's method, which is to pierce the large end first. They do not crack, even right from the refrigerator. Into the boiling water, cover, turn off heat, wait 12 minutes. However, they DO crack if you pierce them, then start them in cold water. Counterintuitive, but I learned the hard way, no pun intended.

                                                1. re: todao

                                                  I rarely have an egg crack placing them in boiling water. Perhaps it's because I gently add them at a light boil and actually cook them using a very light simmer.

                                              2. re: Roarasaur

                                                That essentially what I do and don't have a problem either. Steaming seems like an option for those who DO have problems but that takes more tending that what we do, doesn't it?

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  I haven't found it to be labor intensive at all. I boil the water, put on my insert with the room temp eggs, cover, start the timer. When the timer goes off I take the insert off and put the eggs in the ice water. Not too fiddly.

                                                  One of the reasons I do it is the tender result. The steamed eggs just seem much more tender than eggs that are cooked in boiling water. YMMV.

                                              3. http://www.chow.com/food-news/78512/h...

                                                CHOW has a recommended method for hard boiled eggs as well.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  I never have a problem peeling eggs. I buy a carton, mark it with the date and keep it in the fridge for 2 weeks. Fresh eggs are very hard to peel but when eggs are a little older the albumin begins to separate from the shell creating an air pocket and the shell just peels right off usually in just a couple of pieces. I use the side of my thumb so I don't pierce the egg.
                                                  I boil them by putting room temp eggs in a pan of water to cover. Bring to a boil then off the heat and leave sit in the pan, covered, for about 15 minutes. Drain, run cold water over the eggs and let them cool completely. Then peel. No ring around the egg either.
                                                  I like the idea of steaming them, never considered doing this but now I think I'll give it a try.

                                                  1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                    we've discussed methods & tricks for cooking & peeling eggs ad nauseum - if you look at the bottom of the page you'll see links to a number of the threads. like you, i use older eggs - i prefer not to bother with them until they've at least reached the date stamped on the carton. and one of the things that i suggest whenever the subject comes up is to "age" the eggs on the counter for at least a day or two before cooking...which also ensures that they'll be at room temp when you're ready to cook them, instead of realizing at the last minute that you forgot to take them out of the fridge ;)

                                                    1. re: The Drama Queen

                                                      This is exactly what I do, too! Never had a problem with peeling with this method!

                                                  2. In reviewing this discussion, it looks to me as if a key factor is whether you boil/steam the eggs straight out of the refrigerator or bring them up to room temperature, either by letting them sit in warm water for a few minutes, or by letting them sit on the counter for a few hours.

                                                    It is interesting that both Starkoch's method and the method in the Chowhound video tell you to use cold eggs. (I had to replay the Chowhound video with the "Sunset Magazine" editor several times to verify this. It is mentioned very much just in passing and is easy to miss.) A few of the posters here, and more in other Chowhound discussions that I have read, emphasize the need to bring the eggs to room temperature before applying heat in some fashion. This makes sense, considering the radical difference in results in grilling steaks straight out of the refrigerator and in grilling steaks that have been allowed to come to room temperature first.

                                                    The post-cooking brief ice-water immersion, cracking, and then five minute second ice water immersion is also interesting and seems essential to easy peeling in many of the recommendations. However, interestingly, Starkoch instructs that you should just reduce the temperature of the eggs for peeling to a "handleable" temperature and then proceeding with cracking and peeling.

                                                    Anyway, nothing I've tried yet has worked very well, so I look forward to trying your steaming recommendation, Starkoch.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: gfr1111

                                                      I use them straight out of the fridge. Always have.

                                                    2. I tried this with 4 old eggs (2 weeks after I bought them at a grocery store) and 4 straight from the farmer eggs and compared it to my traditional egg boiling technique (let eggs reach a boil, cover and let sit for 10 minutes) and the results were mixed. First of all, 10 minutes of steaming left me with a soft boiled egg, not hardboiled, which I needed for the deviled eggs I was making. The correct time for me was 15 minutes of steaming to get a hard boiled egg. Second, the older eggs were much easier to peel than the farm fresh eggs after steaming. Both old and fresh eggs were easier to peel after steaming instead of boiling, however. Since I don't own a pressure cooker that cooks at lower than 10 psi, I couldn't try the pressure cooking technique. The bottom line - steaming old eggs is the best way to go. Thanks for the tip.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: momskitchen

                                                        I tried the steaming, as you did, for 10 minutes and it was almost too soft for me to consider edible. Steamed the rest for 16 minutes total and they were hard enough to make deviled eggs with. Maybe 15 minutes is better. After a few days in the fridge (oh yes, I did the ice bath, too) I got a line around the yolk. Could this be because they were sitting around in the fridge too long?

                                                        1. re: momskitchen

                                                          Thanks for reporting on your comparison. Inspired by this CH post, I have started steaming my eggs. They peel so easily. I have never experienced easy peeling before. I was wondering if the old vs new thing made a huge difference, glad to know that old is better but it still works with newer eggs.

                                                        2. Interesting theory. I'll have to give it a try.

                                                          I can't take personal credit for it (I probably even read it here on chow) but as far as the issue of running out of water mentioned upthread goes .... put a couple of marbles in the water when steaming anything.
                                                          "They" say that as soon as the water is about to run out and potentionally ruin the pot, the marbles bounce around and make quite a racket . - Good for people like me who sometimes forget to turn the burner off.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                            someone once told me about that marble trick...i've never needed to use it for myself, and unfortunately i learned about it *after* the aforementioned roommate ruined my pot ;)

                                                          2. Very timely thread, Starkoch, thank you.
                                                            Here's a variation on a theme from the Boston Globe just this morning:

                                                            1. 2 dozen perfectly peeled steamed eggs for deviled eggs. Thank you!!

                                                              They were fresh eggs, too.

                                                              I had set one of the cartons on its side overnight to centre the yolks and the other I hadn't. Big difference in the location of the yolks. Just another little tip for perfect deviled eggs.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: middydd

                                                                I'm so happy you tried steaming them.
                                                                Thanks for the tip on setting the egg carton in it's side for yolk placement, I'll do that next time.

                                                              2. Am looking forward to trying this.....thanks for sharing!

                                                                1. Sounds great for the 5 minute soft boil. As for hard boiling, I generally favor the incredibly lazy method of letting it boil, removing and sitting; it's just easier not having to worry about the timing.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: ediblover

                                                                    Me too...on this fine Easter morning!

                                                                  2. I rarely have trouble peeling hard cooked eggs using boiling water. Yes it is a fact that older eggs peel easier. And that's what I tend to use when hard cooking eggs. Eggs that have set in the frig at least for a week and as long as two weeks when brought home from market. For years I've used the method from our Better Homes and Gardens 'New Cookbook' and I don't have 'off colored' yolks. At the end of the 15 minute cook period drain the water and flush with several pots of cold water fill one last time and add ice. Viola! No 'off colored' yolks!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: crt

                                                                      Hard cooking is a good way of using the last 2-4 eggs in a carton to make room for a new carton or two.

                                                                    2. just thought I'd post my test results:
                                                                      First, the "warning marbles" trick I mentioned above doesn't work with a steamer basket with "short legs" - not enough water in pan to muffle the sound, so I heard the rattle as soon as the water started to boil and was nowhere near "vanishing".

                                                                      As for the eggs, they peeled perfectly but the yolks were slightly under done - With eggs straight from the fridge then into a bowl of room temp water to quickly make sure they didn't float, and then into the steamer basket, I did ten minutes and then into an ice bath. Next time I will either steam a little longer, or skip the ice and just put the steamed eggs under cold running water.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                                        @Bryan - 10 minutes was too short of a time for me, too. 15 minutes for had boiled eggs worked for me.

                                                                      2. I guess egg steaming is not that new I have the Krups gadget...it is electric and automatically steams to different stages of hardness...I never made fully hard eggs but I will give it a go and see if they do peel easier, and do it automatically.


                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                                          I bought a Chef's Choice egg cooker in the spring -- no need to pierce the shell with this unit, and the slide switch lets you select the level of doneness and beeps to let you know when it's done. I can do 7 eggs (even Jumbo!) at once, no grey rings, no partially cooked or over cooked yolks, and the shells practically fall off when I look at them. My husband has taken it over as 'his' egg cooker...he makes his own poached eggs in the special poaching insert, sparing me from having to deal with runny yolks (yuk). I even bought a second one for our cottage. Eggcellent!

                                                                        2. Thanks for the suggestion. I warmed them for about 5 minutes in a bowl of water first, steamed for 13 minutes at a height of about 3-4 inches above the water, and put into a bowl of cold water. After they cooled, I peeled them. The peel almost jumped off the egg after some judicious tapping. I had started with old eggs, but then, I always start with old eggs, and this was better than usual. I note that 13 minutes seemed a little short for a hard cooked yolk.

                                                                          I suspect if I had done a more thorough job of warming them, 13 minutes would have been a hard yolk, I don't know. But either I had unusual eggs, or they were indeed easier to peel that the cold water start method. Thanks again for the tip!

                                                                          1. City boy turned country and raising chickens for eggs. Found my eggs impossible to peel. Bought electric egg cooker at garage sale. It steams the eggs and automatically shuts off. The eggs peel perfectly every time.
                                                                            I do remove them quickly and cool in water then peel as soon as cool enough to handle. Steaming is definately better than boiling.

                                                                            1. I've read through all the posts and didn't see this particular question addressed. Did anyone peel their eggs a few days later as opposed to immediately? I often boil a week's worth of eggs at one time and eat them throughout the week. I've read that you shouldn't peel them until you're ready to eat them. And it seems that no matter what day it is (and even with older eggs), I always have a problem with the shell sticking to the egg. It would be great if the steaming helped with this issue. I just boiled 7 eggs last night or else I would be trying the steaming!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: goodeatsgal

                                                                                I've peeled my steamed eggs after 4 days in the fridge and they still peeled easily.

                                                                              2. Wow! Don't think I've ever seen so much talk over an egg so now I just have to join in. The reason hard boiled eggs become hard to peel is the over cooling of the whites. This also leads to rubbery whites and green yolks. The term hard BOILED is misstermed. Your ROOM TEMP, eggs should be eased into SIMMERING water (I use my tongs), for 12-14 min. pulled out and ice water bathed. I have done this at home, at work, old eggs, and eggs straight from the nest to my kitchen, and never had a problem. I roll the egg top to bottom to crack, squeeze and the egg pops right out perfecly cooked. It helps if you do this while its still in the water. Steaming works fine but its a unneeded step as the stem acts just as the simmering water. Hope this helps, keep chefn it up.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: JeremiahRain

                                                                                  Tried this @JeremiahRain, and trust me when I tell you that steaming works better. I was a skeptic until I tried it. I make LOTS of hardboiled eggs because I make pickled eggs often and I can tell you that your method sometimes results in hard to peel eggs.

                                                                                2. I'm still at 6,400 feet above sea level, try to save the older (delivered weekly) eggs for hard-cooking and may try steaming them. Meantime many hits and misses have led me to take cold, oldest eggs from the frig, cover them with cold water, bring to a rolling boil and leave them for 12 minutes (because of the altitude). They I immerse them in ice water and peel when they're cool. They're perfectly cooked and the yolks are a perfect yellow.

                                                                                  1. Sounds great, as a HomeEconomist who majored in foods, we learned to call them hard cooked not boiled, as when the water boiled you took them off the heat, and timed for soft cooked or hard cooked, and this prevented the black ring around the egg once peeled!!!!!

                                                                                    1. I read today that cracking the egg before you put it in the ice water to cool helps make peeling easier. (I guess the water gets between the egg and the shell?) I can't remember whether I've tried this. Is it just another old wives tale?

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                        I always run some cold water over the eggs, then drain them and shake them in the pan to crack the shells before adding cold water again. I discovered that this worked fine on boiled eggs, but when steamed, the whites are so tender that cracking too early causes pieces of shell to become embedded in the tender whites. Now when I use my egg cooker I run cold water over the eggs until they are cool enough to handle, then simply crack and peel effortlessly.

                                                                                      2. So, has anyone tried this at altitude (I live at 8500')? How much longer do I need to steam large eggs up here?

                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: travelerjjm

                                                                                          Since water boils at about 198° instead of 212° at 8,500 feet, I don't think there should be a significant time difference for you. The steam is produced at a lower temperature but I think steam is steam. If there is somebody out there with a more extensive background in science than I have has a differen answer I won't be offended.

                                                                                          1. re: travelerjjm

                                                                                            You may have to experiment, but I suspect you need to make the same sort of adjustment as you do when using boiling water. The steam isn't going to get any hotter than the boiling water.

                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                              Is the temperature of steam coming off water boiling at 212° significantly than the temperature of steam coming off water boiling at 198°?

                                                                                              When I steam stuff I don't have the water going at a full boil anyway so I still think there should not be a difference in cooking at a high ekevation since the eggs are not being cooked with boiling water, but steam coming off boiling OR simmering water.

                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                Even if the steam is slightly hotter than the boiling water (I think the highest-energy molecules are the ones leaving the pot, thus theoretically cooling the remaining liquid), the temperature of the steam is lower by the same proportion that the boiling point is depressed. I think that with a non-viscous liquid at a rolling boil, any temperature difference between the steam and the boiling water is negligible. So, I think "the steam isn't any hotter than the boiling point" is a pretty succinct answer.

                                                                                                1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                  You are correct jvanderh. Unless there is added pressure, steam temps decrease with altitude as does the boiling point of water.

                                                                                                  1. re: jvanderh

                                                                                                    Since eggs are not cooked in boiling water but simmering water I think the time difference beyween steamed eggs at sea level vs 8,500 feet would be negligble.

                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                      The average temperature of steam made at high altitude is always lower than the average temperature of steam made at normal altitude. With simmering water, you may be making steam at a slower rate than at a rolling boil, but all the steam you make is the same temperature. The difference is moderate, about 8%.

                                                                                              2. re: travelerjjm

                                                                                                My suggestion is to call the folks at your county extension office. They usually know all sorts of things specific to their particular area that those of us who don't live there can only guess at.

                                                                                                1. re: travelerjjm

                                                                                                  Okay *cracks knuckles* if the specific heat of an egg is 3.7 Joules/gram*Kelvin and the temperature change is from 4 degrees C to 71 degrees C, then the temperature difference is 67 degrees Celsius or Kelvin. The mass of a large egg is 60 grams. This means it takes about 15,000 J of heat to hard boil an egg. If my water is delivering 25 J/sec of heat, and your water is delivering 23 J/sec of heat, I should steam my egg for 10 minutes and you should steam yours for 10.8 minutes.

                                                                                                  You know what, just buy an egg timer.

                                                                                                2. I watched an old Julie Child show yesterday again. I've seen it many many times already.
                                                                                                  It amazed me though that even JC said there are so many ways of doing hard cooked eggs.
                                                                                                  she pronounced how to say it in French. her way was to:
                                                                                                  put them in simmering water
                                                                                                  let cook for so many minutes per egg size
                                                                                                  take them out
                                                                                                  gently crack each one
                                                                                                  put into cold water until you're able to handle them
                                                                                                  run them under a gentle stream of cold water
                                                                                                  start at the end of the fat part of the egg [because it was an area where air bubbles may form making it easier to crack there to start]
                                                                                                  gently peel back the shell
                                                                                                  ^^^^^which eve Julia couldn't do without taking part of the shell with her
                                                                                                  and guess what? they cut to commercial.............no kidding

                                                                                                  1. Room temp eggs.
                                                                                                    Pierce on each side.
                                                                                                    Add to cold water.
                                                                                                    Bring to boil.
                                                                                                    Take off heat.
                                                                                                    Set timer for 10-12 min.
                                                                                                    When pouring out the hot water, bang the eggs against the pot walls to crack.
                                                                                                    Hold under cold running water.
                                                                                                    Et voilá: rocket surgery it ain't.

                                                                                                    1. PEELING vs BLOWING - & STEAMING vs BOILING - my experience;

                                                                                                      After I discovered this guy on YouTube I began adding the baking soda to my water. Voila! No more peeling. Then I heard about steaming, so I tried steaming and added baking soda to the water and voila, same no-peel extraction and eggs more tender.


                                                                                                      Since I get my eggs from a local farmer and they're straight-from-the-chicken fresh, finding the tips about baking soda, steaming, and blowing, has made egg making easy (and fun!). After I watched the YouTube video I had to try it for myself. It works, and I've never peeled another egg.

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: ski_gpsy

                                                                                                        Fine if you're consuming them yourself. I'm not sure my guests would appreciate seeing how the blown eggs come about and then being asked to eat them.

                                                                                                        Cool video, though. I'll be using the baking soda trick.

                                                                                                        1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                          You could always rinse them off....

                                                                                                          And yeah, the baking soda is what makes any type of peeling easier.

                                                                                                        2. re: ski_gpsy

                                                                                                          Egg blower = http://www.eggstractor.net/

                                                                                                          Just so you know, I don't think it works very well. got one as a gag gift.

                                                                                                          1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                            I'm not familiar with the eggstractor but try adding 1tsp baking soda to the water you boil or steam your eggs in and it might make the device work more easily for you.

                                                                                                            1. re: ski_gpsy

                                                                                                              Thanks - steaming my eggs works just fine!

                                                                                                        3. Yayy! Thanks so much for posting this!

                                                                                                          I had been considering myself somewhat of an egg peeling expert as I cook upwards of 8 dozen a week to feed countless canary babies.
                                                                                                          It was only those fresh eggs that still gave me headaches.

                                                                                                          And I steamed and peeled very fresh eggs yesterday and today and they peeled wonderfully!
                                                                                                          And I noticed too that the whites didn't seem as rubbery.

                                                                                                          One thing I always do is to tap tap tap the entire egg so that the membrane is intact but the shell isn't. The eggs just about jump out of the shell----well almost.

                                                                                                          1. I just a pressure cooker steam and it was the best I've ever made. 6 eggs in a steamer basket with 1 cup of water. Bring to pressure (I only have high) and cook for 5 min plus a natural cool down, off the hot burner. Yolk was still a tad wet on the first one cracked. Let the other ones sit while I peeled the first and they were perfect hard boiled eggs. The shell slipped off with no sticking

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                              Were they room temperature when you put them in or cold from the fridge?

                                                                                                            2. This has probably been answered in the 101 posts I'm not going to read all of, but grey eggs are overcooked; they keep cooking in their shells after you remove them, which is why I run them under the cold tap after to cool them. This results in great eggs every time.

                                                                                                              However, I also get great results after cooking (soft boiled) for 5 minutes.

                                                                                                              *edit* seeing the post above, I should also add that my eggs were room temp, as I'm in the UK, and we don't refrigerate eggs. Well, we don't have to at least.

                                                                                                              1. I tried the steam-cooked eggs yesterday and followed the recipe exactly. I steamed the eggs for ten minutes, and put the eggs in cold water just long enough to cool them so could be handled. The eggs peeled beautifully, but were a little undercooked. When I hard cook eggs I want the yolk pretty much cooked, not mostly cooked. Next time I'll steam them for 12 minutes and see what happens. I have successfully hard cooked eggs all the time by simmering them but they are difficult to peel. The steaming process seems to make them much easier to peel.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                  What size eggs? And were they room temperature or cold? I do large room temp eggs for 13 minutes.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                    They were large eggs and they were sitting in the steamer insert for probably 15 minutes before they went on to steam. i've never steamed eggs before and frankly, we don't eat hard cooked eggs too often but I probably will more because this method really does make the egg shells release easily.

                                                                                                                2. May I add my two cents to those who say that older eggs peel better? We were brought up on a farm where we had access to the very freshest eggs, and my mother said that fresh eggs were just impossible to peel. She said to keep them a week or two before boiling them, so that's what I've done ever since.

                                                                                                                  And while I'm at it, there's no difference between brown and white eggs. It just has to do with the breed of the chicken. Most farmers had the the type of chicken that laid brown eggs, so a myth arose that brown eggs are better. They're not. So buy whatever is available at the market.

                                                                                                                  1. I love what I learn from Chowhounds!

                                                                                                                    Someone here mentioned adding baking soda to the steaming water, which I do, and then 'blowing' the cooked eggs out of their shells. Works like a charm! No more peeling.
                                                                                                                    But my daughter in law, who doesn't believe the 'blowing' method, probably because she'll never try it, does say that the baking soda makes a huge difference in peeling, even fresh eggs.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: GrammyM

                                                                                                                      How much baking soda do you add to a pot of say 3-4-5 eggs? Thanks.

                                                                                                                    2. I've been steaming my eggs for years. I try to get anyone I can to switch over to this method. Once they try it, they never go back. I usually only steam them for 15 minutes then take off the fire and let stand 5 minutes then cool quickly in cold water.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: MAPepin

                                                                                                                        Cold out of the fridge or room temperature? What size?

                                                                                                                        It's about time for some egg salad....

                                                                                                                        1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                          I steam mine straight out of the fridge. I usually have L or XL eggs.

                                                                                                                          I used to get SO frustrated peeling hard boiled eggs . This method has worked for me every time with any type of egg (new, old, etc). You do have to experiment with timing though. For example, I have an electric stove which takes longer to come up to a boil than gas would. I usually start a little under on the timing, like 12 mins, take one out and check it and keep steaming the rest, check another one, etc. continue until you get the desired "doneness". from then on, use that amount of time.

                                                                                                                          And I stack them up in the steamer. I've done close to a dozen at once that way. All perfect. It is seriously like magic!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Scirocco

                                                                                                                            I know. I've been doing it for years. But I do warm my eggs up to room temp in a warm water bath for about 5 minutes first.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                              Great idea! At cooking school eggs were always at room temp. At home we don't go through dozens of eggs per day so must refrigerate. Thanks!

                                                                                                                      2. Here's another idea: It's from the 'Pinterest' site. Put the eggs in a muffin tray and put in a 350 F oven for 25-30 minutes. Someone claims these eggs peel perfectly. I'll definitely try the steamed eggs. Do they need to be at room temp. first?

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                          I steam the eggs right out of the refrigerator, but I steam them for at least 12 minutes.

                                                                                                                        2. THANKS SO MUCH! Just steamed 6 eggs for 15 minutes using an old Revere wear stainless steamer that fits inside the pot. So easy. I then did 2 by cracking and peeling the shell in pieces, worked so much better than when I would boil the eggs. But then I tried the roll and press down on the egg on counter and the shells fell off almost in 1 easy piece. WOW, I just love this.

                                                                                                                          1. There is obviously more than one way to cook an egg, and here's one more tip about peeling them!


                                                                                                                            Keeping eggs in water after cooking has some merit. Egg shells in their normal "straight from the chicken to the nest" state are air permeable. That's how the hatching chick breathes before pecking it's way to freedom. However, the eggs we buy in supermarkets have shells that are pretty much sealed by a film of mineral oil or wax of some sort to keep the air out of the egg, thereby extending the egg's "freshess" by about a gazillion years (slight hyperbole). Boiling (or steaming) will melt the seal away, so storing hard boiled eggs in air "fresh from the pot" will allow the membrane that lines the shell to dry out and adhere to the egg, Storing hard boiled eggs in water after cooking makes sense to me!

                                                                                                                            Anyway..... Here's another method for PEELING hard cooked eggs that makes a LOT more sense to me than blowing an egg out of the shell with your mouth, as is done in the youtube video. That method of egg peeling won't pass any restaurant health inspection!! And this method DOES work IF you store the eggs in water. My grandfather did this when I was a child (a gazillion years ago), but as an adult, I forgot he stored the eggs in water! It only works "sometimes" if you dry-store your hard cooked eggs.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                              Because I don't trust myself to leave a bowl of water in the frig while I'm moving things around like the appliance engineer (I am not) I use this method a tad differently. Rather than a bowl of water (which works great) I dampen two paper towels and fold one under and one above the handful of hard boiled eggs. It still keeps the eggs moist. The knock & roll method is how my husband cracks eggs. I'm still a peeler!

                                                                                                                            2. I use my electric steamer. Eggs straight from the refrigerator or room temperature doesn't matter. Old or new or still warm from the chicken doesn't matter. 15 minutes if you are going to let them sit in the steamer after it shuts off. 20 minutes if you like to peel and eat them hot (my favorite). Roll on the countertop and the shell falls off.

                                                                                                                              1. I presume you cooled the eggs before you peeled them. Chilling eggs quickly after cooking helps to eliminate the grey.

                                                                                                                                1. After trying so many ways to cook hard boiled eggs ( with no success ) I came upon this method. I have a graduation party coming up with about 70 attending and I wanted to make pickled eggs. So I thought I would try steaming about a dozen eggs to try out the steaming method. It was a success and I continued to steam a total 4 dozen eggs. Let me tell you not one out of the 4 dozen stuck to the shell and 3 dozen of those eggs were bought the day before. I'm not afraid to make 3 dozen more for deviled eggs now. Thank you so much for a foolproof method for hard boiled eggs. I'll never use another method ever again.

                                                                                                                                  1. I have steamed eggs for years. The method doesn't require exact timing, which is nice.

                                                                                                                                    To peel, I use an open-mouthed water bottle. Put in egg with some water. Shake. Shell comes off. When eggs are warm, the shell just about slides off. If the eggs sit in the fridge, it takes more shaking. Only possible downside is that with cold eggs a few bits of shell may get stuck in the outer surface - because you shake more. Just pull them out. It's like magic. You don't need to crack the egg first with warm eggs: just put in with some water - you'll quickly figure out how much water is needed - and shake for a few seconds.

                                                                                                                                    1. I put them in my rice steamer, set for 20 minutes, rinse in cold water and peel. Will never try to boil again.

                                                                                                                                      1. Timing, especially for soft cooked, is affected by how crowded the eggs are in the steamer. A few eggs, with little contact, cook faster than ones that are crowded together. For best results steam needs to circulate freely around the eggs.

                                                                                                                                        1. gotta do a couple of HBE again today < I'm out... thanks for reminder of how to prepare them