Simple Hard Cooked Eggs (Stovetop and Instant Pot Directions)

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Eggs are a delicious and frugal protein. Learn how easy it is to make simple hard cooked eggs perfect every time with both stovetop and instant pot directions.

Simple Hard Cooked Eggs (Stovetop and Instant Pot Directions) | Good Cheap Eats

Pan Bagnat

One of our favorite ways to enjoy eggs is hard cooked. I love to serve hard cooked eggs on salads and in sandwiches, and the rest of the family gobbles them down with a bit of salt. I regularly cook a dozen each week to have on hand for quick fix meals.

Contrary to popular belief, the best eggs are hard cooked, not hard boiled. Boiling eggs or even leaving them in the water too long will make the whites rubbery and the yolks start to green. They’re not bad for you. Just not as pretty as the ones pictured above.

And ever wonder why some eggs peel really easily while others fight to keep their shell? I’m not an egg-ologist, nor do I play one on TV, but my cooking magazine reading has told me that the older the egg, the more oxygen inside it, the easier it will release the shell.

Remember the float test? A floating egg is bad; too much oxygen has permeated the shell and it has gone started to go bad. The eggs that stand up (rather than the ones that lie down) should make better hard cooked eggs. The very freshest eggs are the hardest to peel if they’ve been hard cooked.

Years ago, Julia Child published a multi-step recipe for cooking the perfect hard cooked egg. It was multiple steps more than either you nor I want to take. But, a good hard cooked egg is not hard to come by.

Simple Hard Cooked Eggs (Stovetop and Instant Pot Directions) | Good Cheap Eats

Chef’s Salad

Simple Hard Cooked Eggs

Here’s what I do:

  • Place eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling.
  • Remove from burner. Cover pan. Let eggs stand in hot water about 15 minutes for Large eggs (12 minutes for Medium eggs; 18 for Extra Large).
  • Cool completely under cold running water or in a bowl of ice water. Peel and eat, or store unpeeled in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Well, actually, that’s how I used to do it. Before I got an Instant Pot.

Yes, you can live without an electric pressure cooker. Which is why I’m also sharing the stovetop directions here.

But, if you have an electric pressure cooker you don’t use, eggs are a good thing to get started with! Not only does it cook them perfectly, but it also makes them super easy to peel. No matter how fresh the eggs are.

Simple Hard Cooked Eggs (Stovetop and Instant Pot Directions) | Good Cheap Eats

Simple Hard Cooked Eggs
Prep Time
2 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Pressure time
15 mins
Total Time
7 mins
 

Make perfect hard cooked eggs every time in the electric pressure cooker.

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American, French
Servings: 12
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup water plus more for ice bath
  • 4 cups ice
Instructions
  1. Place the rack inside the pot of the electric pressure cooker. Place the eggs on the rack. Add the water.

  2. Secure the lid and turn on the pressure valve. Turn on the machine and press the manual button. Set the time to 5 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile place the ice in a large bowl and add water to create an ice water bath.

  4. When the machine beeps, release the pressure immediately. Remove the eggs from the pot and place them in the bowl of ice water. Once the eggs are cooled, use them in recipes. Refrigerate for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

To cook on the stovetop: Place the eggs in a pot large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Heat over high heat just to boiling. Remove the pot from the burner. Cover the pot and let the eggs stand in the hot water about 12 minutes. When the timer rings, proceed with the ice water bath directions.

 

Something new here on Good Cheap Eats that I’m slowly rolling out is the option to rate the recipes you try. After you’ve made Simple Hard Cooked Eggs, I’d love for you to come back and tell me how you liked the recipe. Be sure to give it a starred rating in the comments. Thank so much!

Simple Hard Cooked Eggs (Stovetop and Instant Pot Directions) | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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Comments

  1. I’ve always fully boiled my eggs. will try this. thanks.

  2. I’ve done it this way a few times, but I had a lot of trouble peeling them with older and younger eggs. I’ll test them next time though and try it again. I love them too, and so do my husband and son. My 4YO loves egg salad, which I find strange since I hated it so much as a kid. I like it now though. 🙂

  3. I will try this way. I have had tough luck making good hard boiled eggs and I love and need them since we get about 6 a day from our chickens.

  4. we eat a lot of eggs in this family. Scrambled, hard cooked you name it. Love egg salad. love eggs in my salad. the only thing I dislike about eggs is the struggle with the shells. Come off already, will ya!

  5. Eva Lynn says:

    As far as peeling — it helps to add a pinch of salt to the water. I’ve heard a bit of baking soda can also help, but haven’t tried that. Adding one more step to the process also seems to help with mine: prepare a bowl of ice water, and once the eggs are done, dip each one into the ice water for a few seconds, then take it out right away. It stops the cooking process and also seems to help pull the egg away from the shell a bit. Hope that improves the peeling process for someone aside from me!

  6. What makes you store them with the shell? As long as they are eaten within a week, is there any reason not to peel them as soon as they are done cooking? I usually run mine under cold water and then peel them all. I keep them in containers in my fridge and I usually go through 18-36 per week, just for munching for a family of six.

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