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.
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
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
- 12 egg
- 1 cup water plus more for ice bath
- 4 cup ice cubes
- Place the rack inside the pot of the electric pressure cooker. Place the eggs on the rack. Add the water.
- Secure the lid and turn on the pressure valve. Turn on the machine and press the manual button. Set the time to 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile place the ice in a large bowl and add water to create an ice water bath.
- 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.
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!