Hard Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot
Posted on December 28, 2020
by David Wayne
In the quest to make life easier, I went on the hunt for the perfect Hard Boiled Egg recipe. HW and HR will eat 8 eggs a day, if we let them. Spoiler: we don’t let them, but they try. Scrambling up eggs every morning isn’t hard. However, imagine my delight when I realized the kids gobbled up eggs that were hard boiled. With the 5-5-5 method I can make a dozen Hard Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot in just over 15 minutes.
The 5-5-5 Method for perfect Hard Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot
As you’ll see in the recipe below, this is an amazingly easy:
- First, 5 minutes in the IP
- Second, 5 minutes natural release (then kick it)
- Third, 5 minutes in ice water
Egg Steamer Rack
- 7-14 Eggs raw
- 1.5 cups Water
Add water to the instant pot
Place egg steamer rack into the instant pot (trivet will work as well)
Place eggs into egg steamer rack
Put the Instant Pot lid on and seal the pressure release valve
Pressure cook for 5 minutes
Let natural pressure release for 5 minutes, I use my kitchen timer, and then release the pressure by opening the pressure release valve
Remove the lid and using long tongs, move the eggs into a pot full of cold water for another 5 minutes, kitchen timer
Crack the shell against a hard surface, like the edge of your sink, rotating the egg around to crack the whole shell into tiny pieces
Peel the egg under warm running water allowing the water to flow between the egg white and the egg shell membrane which will help the shell to slide right off the egg
Cut the hard boiled egg in half and lightly salt and pepper
This is known as the 5-5-5 method of cooking hard boiled eggs in the instant pot. My kids go through a couple dozen eggs a week so this makes it super easy. Have fun!
Nerd Alert: I’m enjoying your wild website. I too am a “pothead” and I wasNerd Alert: I’m enjoying your wild website. I too am a “pothead” and I was looking at your HB egg recipe for the IP here (it’s remarkably similar to what I do to eggs) and… well, I was wondering if your experience or experimentation indicate that there’s some truth (or not) to what my Baba (grandmother) taught me about putting some salt in the pressure cooker to “make the shells easier to peel off”?
Some background: a little over a century ago, my Baba, an 8yo girl, came by steamship freighter from a very tiny Adriatic island devastated by the Influenza to America (holding the hand of her 6yo sister and with just a few dollars sewn into her coat). Together, they then crossed the entire country by train, bus and occasionally hitchhiking (again: two little girls) to find a cousin who was working as a fisherman in the Port of Los Angeles. Every time I think about what a miracle it was for two small girls to survive travelling halfway around the world like that, and how many kind people must have fed them and given them somewhere warm to sleep, I pretty much lose my sh*t.
She was married off to a violent alcoholic at 11yo (yes, in America) and was beaten and probably sexually abused (she didn’t like to talk about that time) for a few years before she escaped (with her sister) and came to San Francisco, where a very kind aunt took them in and put them to work in her bakery. She flourished and turned into a real beauty. Eventually, she married a handsome Russian man (a ship mechanic) who turned out to be one of the very few Romanov (Tsar) children who’d escaped the Bolshevik slaughter of the rest of his family in 1917. He took better care of her, but he was also an alcoholic, though he didn’t beat her. Baba, however, never drank a drop (except for water with a few drops of red wine, which was the beverage of her people, kind of like soda pop to us these days. She was an absolute angel (and looked like one) and her relatives in SF (who lived upstairs from her) took care to ensure her safety.
While she basically had almost zero formal schooling (she learned to read and do arithmetic from a kind priest in a stone church), Baba was a serious Jedi when it came to anything that had anything to do with keeping House. She most resembled Yoda in the Kitchen. You wanna talk about handmade food? Fuhgeddaboudit. During the Depression, she became a grandmaster with her pressure cooker (I still have it, but I keep it more as a museum piece, since I’m a bit afraid to put it on a flame lest it explode on me). Baba kept lots of people, including generations of our family, fed and healthy through the worst of those times, and she took a big pot of soup with breadcrumbs to the little church across the street every day for the Nuns and the elderly priest (paying it forward for the one who’d taught her to read). It’s safe to say that I would never have existed and I and probably a lot of other people would have died very young had it not been for my Baba’s considerable powers as a Domestic Goddess.
So, she always added a pinch or three of salt to her pressure cooker before she put in the water and the eggs she got “fresh from the butts of my chickens”. Even living in a big city on the Left Coast of the US and at each of the four Houses of which she was The Lady, she always had an amazing garden with a chicken coop, made her own small-batch wines (from grapes she grew), made her own herbal medicines (I still have a few bottles sealed with wax and labelled in her faded ink handwriting) and cooked family meals for everyone using only the freshest of ingredients. Everything she made was made by her hands (I still have all of her kitchen tools, worn down by them) and everything, and I do mean everything, was over-the-top delicious.
When I think of all the knowledge that passed away with her when she finally passed (at 94yo, after living/cooking with Parkinson’s for 25 years), it makes me wish there had been smartphones back when she was alive. Today, she would be a YouTube channel unto herself and virally famous, I guarantee it (she was quite a wisecracking character). I just loved sitting in her kitchen, peeling, chopping and grinding whatever she handed me and listening to stories about her “donkey”. Sometimes, she’d drift from a story about her family’s actual donkey back on her island into a story about her first husband… never quite clarifying that it was now a different donkey entirely (which should give you a taste of her delightful sense of Pope-friendly humor).
What a loss to Humanity that so many of the Old Ways disappeared when she and her generation went. I’m so grateful to have spent so many years at her knee, tugging on her apron and asking my little questions. I really miss her.
Hang on… now I’m getting all misty… BRB. So… um… :::dabbing eyes::: >sniff< …where was I? Oh yeah… salt, eggs…
So, I know (from her) that, from a mechanical, Materials Science perspective (file under "Baba's honorary Ph.D."), putting the HB eggs into cold water helps with the peel-ability factor. But I wonder if the Salt (sodium chloride) she used also really did have some sort of chemical effect on eggshells (mostly calcium carbonate), that (in addition to its effect on H2O's boiling point) makes them peel more easily?
Any salty thoughts on this, Perfessers Wild?
PS: yes, that's a real email ^(. )( .)^
PPS: don't even get me started about Baba's skills with a needle and thread… she once sewed up her son-in-law's wounds (my Dad) after he saved my Mom from a knife-wielding mugger… they didn't have ER back in those dark days, so you had to have a Baba of your own around if you wanted to live until morning.