After lots of experimenting, this IS the Perfect Instant Pot Hard Boiled Egg recipe every time. A simple three-part process nails it. No more shell cracking while boiling and special tips for high altitude.
Why Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs and Not Traditional?
Maybe it will seem weird but one of the first things that sprang to mind to master when getting my Instant Pot was hard boiled eggs. It’s not that I eat that many hard boiled eggs but they are tricky to make. With Easter coming I knew we’d soon be making lots of them and wondered if making them in the Instant Pot would be easier or with more predictable end results.
For those of you about to click away because you TOO don’t eat hard boiled eggs consider this recipe for Huevos Diablo (spicy Devil Eggs) or this Bacon-and-Egg Salad Sandwich. They will cause the most ardent of non-hard boiled egg eaters to reconsider!
After 15 test batches, and dozens of eggs, I have mastered How to Make Perfect Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs! I’m very excited to share what I learned. First I set my personal criteria for the experiment…..
What Defines Perfect Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
- The eggs are cooked all the way through, white and yolk, without overcooking
- No eggshells crack in the process
- The eggs peel easily without removing any of the cooked egg white
- The three goals above are accomplished in the least amount of time
Before launching my experiment, I had tried a few methods I found online. My first observation was that there are MANY methods to cook Instant Pot hard boiled eggs online, and they are all different. Some maintain you cannot cook the eggs on high pressure or they will crack. There were multiple methods named with three numbers sounding like swim team drills my kids do: 5-5-5, 6-4-2, etc. Some swear by quick release, others by slow release. It was really hard to know where to begin!
The two methods I tried didn’t work to meet my criteria. Both left the egg yolks uncooked fully as well as the peeling wasn’t predictable leaving the eggs looking gnawed on (not something I would want for a hard boiled egg recipe I was serving at a party). After this, I stopped the experimenting and dove into some research. This tidbit changed everything for me:
“For every 1,000 feet above 2,000-foot elevation, you must increase cooking time by 5 percent.” – Mother Earth News
I live at approximately 5,500 feet and though I have not run into issues with altitude affecting prior Instant Pot recipes, the precision of how to make perfect Instant Pot hard boiled eggs seemed possibly affected. This was a game changer in my experiment.
Testing the PERFECT Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe
I’ll spare you my elaborate spreadsheet of testing and results but I tested on low pressure and high pressure, with a quick pressure release and slow release, with an ice bath and without, conventional white eggs and cage-free pasture-raised brown eggs. My results showed cooking eggs on high pressure (I experienced no cracking with white eggs which are more thin-shelled or brown eggs), with a slow release of 5 minutes and another 5 minutes in an ice bath was the golden method.
I was able to cook them on low pressure successfully (for a longer time) to my criteria too though it took longer and they weren’t quite as easy to peel. I think the ice bath serves to both cool the eggs and stop the cooking process as well as improves ‘peel-ability’; they peel like a dream.
I did run into a surprise during this testing, however: that these are the best hard boiled eggs I’ve ever eaten! The white is perfectly cooked without being rubbery. The yolks are light and fluffy with a beautiful flavor. The yolks are a brilliant yellow with no grayish outer ring from over cooking. I’m very excited about how to make the perfect Instant Pot hard boiled eggs!!
The best Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe: