Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

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When it comes to perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs, your Instant Pot / electric pressure cooker is your best friend. Here is everything you need to know about making foolproof Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs that are just as easy to peel as they are to make.  

Overhead of a grey ceramic plate with four halves of perfectly cooked Instant Pot / pressure cooker hard-boiled eggs sprinkled with salt and black pepper on a white, grey and yellow striped cloth dishtowel.

Eggs are such a versatile, tasty, and easy-to-prepare food. My boys have always loved hard-boiled eggs. They’re tasty and healthy, so I’ve always been happy to keep them supplied with plenty of their favorite snack. Except that I used to hate cooking eggs, especially at the quantity my boys would gobble them up. 

When I cooked eggs on the stovetop, I always felt the need to watch the eggs closely. I was worried about them boiling so hard they cracked or cooking for so long the yolks became chalky.  Not to mention the difficulty of peeling stovetop hard-boiled eggs. The whites always stick to the shell, which is so frustrating. 

Side view of a grey ceramic plate with four halves of hard-cooked eggs with an Instant Pot and a large wooden tray of eggs in the background.

That’s why I’ve worked hard to find the best way to make hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. This method is quick, easy and results in perfectly cooked, easy to peel snacks. 

Update: I use the Instant Pot to make hard-boiled eggs every week, and many of you have taken up the pressure cooker method too! So I updated this post to answer your questions, include your helpful comments and added some tricks I’ve learned along the way.  

Overhead of An Instant Pot with a steamer basket inside with seven white eggs ready to be hard-boiled with a carton of eggs nearby.

How To Make Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs

This hard-boiled egg method will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

It’s quite simple to make hard boil eggs in the Instant Pot. The only special equipment you need is a wire rack or steamer basket that fits inside your pressure cooker pot.

Using a steamer basket is a little easier than a rack or trivet when it comes to removing the eggs from the pressure cooker pot. To remove, I recommend tongs with a nonslip grip, or these handy mini mitts

Overhead of a round wooden board with many perfectly cooked Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs cut in half with yellow yolks and firm egg whites.

Once the steamer is in place, add 1 cup of cold water. Then place as many eggs as you’d like to cook in the steamer basket. 

Use High Pressure and a 6-minute cook. After the cook time ends, a 6-minute natural pressure release followed by a quick release will reveal perfectly cooked Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs that are ready and easy to peel.

I recommend having an ice bath on hand when you open the pressure cooker. Dunking your freshly cooked eggs in ice-cold water prevents them from getting overcooked and cools them down so they’re easier to peel. 

Close up of a white hard-boiled egg coming out of an Instant Pot with black and silver tongs.

How Many Hard Boiled Eggs Can I Make at Once In The Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker?

When I first started making Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs, I would make no more than 8 eggs at a time. I was told they would crack if the eggs were to close together. 

However, as demand for these perfectly hard-boiled eggs grew in my household, I slowly added more and more eggs to the pressure cooker. I’ve found that they cook just as well. Occasionally, one egg may crack while cooking, but I think that’s because the egg had a hairline crack before I even placed it in my pressure cooker. 

OVerhead of a round wooden board with Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs cut in half on a white and yellow striped dishcloth.

So feel free to load up your steamer basket with as many eggs as you can fit. Even a dozen or more! If you’re very worried about cracking, you can use an egg tray to keep the eggs apart. We used to use canning lids to separate the eggs, and others use silicone cupcake wrappers or egg cups. 

There’s no need to change the cooking time or pressure release time, whether you’re cooking one or a dozen eggs. 

Since hard-boiled eggs keep well in the refrigerator for a few days, this is a great way to cook a big batch of protein-packed snacks to have on hand. 

Close up on black and silver tongs holding a white hard-boiled egg over an ice bath after cooking in a pressure cooker / Instant Pot.

What Is the 6-6-6 Method for Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs?

Pressure cooking fans can have strong opinions about hard-boiled eggs. Some people swear by the 6-6-6 method, other people prefer 5-5-5. But what do those numbers mean?

The 6-6-6 method simply means cooking your eggs for 6 minutes at high pressure followed by a 6-minute natural pressure release (then a quick release), and 6 minutes in an ice bath.

People who prefer a softer egg use the 4-4-4 or 5-5-5 method, which follows the same high pressure-natural release-ice bath formula. 

There isn’t just one right way to pressure cook eggs. 6-6-6 and 5-5-5 are common methods that result in nicely cooked eggs, so if you’re new to pressure cooking eggs, start there. You may find a different formula that works for your pressure cooker and desired egg texture, so use the method you like best. 

Overhead of a grey ceramic plate with four halves of perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs with black pepper on a grey slate background with an Instant Pot and tray of more eggs in the background.

Factors that Affect Instant Pot Hard Boiled Egg Cooking Time

There are several factors that may change the cooking time necessary for fully hard-boiled eggs. 

If you use a silicone steamer, rather than a stainless steel basket or trivet, your pressure cooker may need a longer cook time. 

Also, if you used your Instant Pot right before making hard-boiled eggs, the pressure cooker pot may still be warm. That means the pressure cooker will come to pressure faster, so you’ll need to keep it at pressure for longer to allow your eggs the full cook time. 

If your eggs are very cold or very large, they will also need an extra minute or so at high pressure. The opposite is true for warm or smaller eggs. 

Altitude can also certainly affect your pressure cooker. The 6-6-6 method works well for me here at 5,000 feet. However, readers at lower elevations have good luck with the 5-5-5 method. 

Best Instant Pot Egg Recipes

Check out the delicious ways your family can make them in your Instant Pot / pressure cooker:

🐰 Speaking of Easter, here’s everything you need to know about making Easter Eggs in the Instant Pot / pressure cooker.

Overhead of a grey ceramic plate with four halves of perfectly cooked Instant Pot / pressure cooker hard-boiled eggs sprinkled with salt and black pepper on a white, grey and yellow striped cloth dishtowel.
Yield: 12 eggs

Pressure Cooker Hard Boiled Eggs

Cook Time 6 minutes
Additional Time 12 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes

Love hard-boiled eggs? Then get out your pressure cooker and load it up to make perfectly cooked, easy to peel Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs in minutes.

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Place a steamer basket* in the pressure cooker pot. Add the water and place the eggs inside the steamer. Lock the lid in place and select High Pressure and 6 minutes cook time.
  2. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 6 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Remove the steamer basket from the pressure cooking pot. Place the eggs into ice-cold water for 6 minutes to stop the cooking process.

Notes

*You can put the eggs on a rack or trivet as well, but I prefer the basket so the eggs are easier to remove from the pressure cooking pot.

You can cook a single egg or as many as will fit in your steamer basket and the cook time will be the same.

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originally published September 30, 2012 — last updated April 7, 2020
Categories: Eggs, Tips