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Apr 8, 2011 08:01 AM

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. :)


              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 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.