What food blogger in his or her right mind would make a post on hard-boiled eggs?  If you are about to click away from this page, not without first canceling your subscription to my site, please stick around…  This is a life-changing method, I promise you.

I love hard-boiled eggs, they are often part of my lunch or dinner salads, but I hate when they are hard to peel. I have tried every single method around, including some recommended by cooking pros such as Ina Garten. In fact, her method used to be my default procedure: bring the water with eggs to a boil,  cover the pan, turn the heat off, wait 15 minutes. Let the eggs cool for a couple of minutes, peel and enjoy them.  The egg will be perfectly cooked, no green ring around the yolk, but peeling is another story. Most will be a nightmare to peel, some will behave well. Hit or miss.

Just last month my friend Cindy told me about steaming eggs instead of boiling them. She raved about the method from SeriousEats that she stumbled upon through eGullet. Having nothing to lose, I tried it.  It is AMAZING.  I recommended it in a cooking forum, and one of the members cooked 36 hard-boiled eggs, came back to say that every single one was perfectly cooked AND peeled flawlessly and easily.  Convinced yet?

I used the same method to make soft-boiled eggs, and it worked like a charm.  So here it is, plain and simply how to get Eggxhilaration in the kitchen.




Pour a couple of inches of water in a double-boiler and bring to a boil.

Carefully place as many eggs as you want from the fridge into the steamer basket, and add them on top of the boiling water, reduce heat to a simmer.

Immediately close the pan and start a timer.

For hard-boiled eggs, steam for 10 to 11 minutes, test to see how you prefer them.

For soft-boiled eggs, steam for 6 minutes. 

Have a bowl of cold water ready, when the time is up, use kitchen tongs to remove the eggs from the steamer, dropping them in the cold water to stop cooking. Store in the fridge to enjoy later, or peel right away.

Have a tissue nearby to wipe your tears of joy. 


What I love about the method is its simplicity.  Bring a little water to boil, place a steamer on top and cook to your level of liking, which is easily found in a couple of trials.  Imagine that you want to make a big batch of deviled eggs and would like them all to be gorgeous. Well, this method will save you a ton of grievance.

Messages to thank me can sent by email at sallybr2008 at gmail dot com.  I promise to share them all with Cindy.  😉


Steamed for 6 minutes, peeled and ready for an encounter with an Ak-Mak cracker…




46 thoughts on “THE PERFECT BOILED EGG

  1. Cooks Illus. Article on steaming eggs has been a major game changer.. Soft cooked eggs are now a breakfast favorite. Dip a toast strip in a soft cooked yolk.

    And peeling the hard cooked version is a breeze. Cooked a dozen very fresh eggs to make deviled eggs for a holiday party; everyone peeled perfectly.
    Thank you heaps, CI.


    • Amazing technique indeed! I changed the post to reflect where Cindy actually found it. But I have the impression that Cooks Illustrated also had something along those lines, and your comment makes me think my suspicion was correct. I don’t subscribe to the magazine, one of those subscriptions I let go


  2. I’m sitting here crying tears of joy right now! Hahaha! Way too cute. But seriously, there is nothing worse than trying to peel the shell off of an egg that just doesn’t want to give it up. I’m totally trying this. Thank you so much Sally.. this is VERY COOL. Love this… love you. ❤


  3. Interesting method. I’ll give it a try, though so far I didn’t have a problem with peeling.
    I use a French method of adding a bit of salt and vinegar to the water, cooking for 8 minutes over medium heat after boiling, then placing in cold water.
    For soft boiled eggs I prefer poached eggs – no need to peel! 🙂


    • I love poached eggs but hate the mess they make in the pan. I never seem to be able to avoid that little bit of egg white glued to the bottom of the pan, that is a pain to clean and always seems to be laughing at me…. Sorry, neat freak problem 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am definitely going to give this a go Sally – I love hard and soft boiled eggs but they can be so temperamental. I read somewhere that if you peel an egg under running water the shells slip off – that hasn’t really worked for me so this is definitely worth a try. Tissues at the ready!!


    • Oh, the running water trick… yes, tried that…. doing a full cracking of the egg shells before, rolling them on the counter, or going straight to the sink with a single crack on top… Nothing works 100% for me…

      you will love this technique!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Funny, I think there is no effort, you have to add more water to boil the eggs in a regular pan, or if you do the poached version, it is a lot more trouble. Plus, the control of the timing over the steaming is so precise that there is a lot more consistency in the results. Really, I would not be insisting that you give it a try if it wasn’t soooo amazing! 😉


      • I generally just cook 2 eggs for myself and am a lazy cook at the best of times. 🙂

        I don’t have a ‘real’ double boiler … just an improvised saucepan that I put a bowl on top of. As to a steamer basket, I have one of those collapsible ones which I put on top of a double ring stand so by the time I fussed with getting things set up and the water level right, my small pot of water would almost be boiling with a couple of eggs in it. At which point, I shut off the heat, put a lid on top of my saucepan and take it off the heat. For soft boiled eggs, about 7-8 min of standing usually does the job. For hard boiled, I use 11 minutes.


        • I guess it is a lot easier for me with the double boiler – it is part of the set of pans Phil had when we “joined kitchens” – probably a 30 year old set of pans but so convenient! Maybe some pans look their age, but heck… it’s part of being useful!


    • I keep a container of Momofuko eggs (Google it) in my fridge at all times. and so far the steaming method works best. My eggs are very fresh, as in laid the day before, so can be very hard to peel. My biggest issue now, is that some peel like a charm, but there is always one or two out of the six I make every two weeks, which will not release, so these eggs are not very pretty. I have found that the cooling process is very important, and I need to leave them in the ice water at least an hour. Then it is best to let them sit for awhile before peeling. I am usually in a hurry, to be things in my kitchen done, and do not let them sit for long.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. [laughter!] Use a lot of hard boiled eggs and have never had a problem in peeling them easy and clean: thought that was a factor of the freshness of the egg? But being an inveterate steamer [like everything steamable, including marinated chicken, all vegetables, potatoes etc et al ] I am absolutely fascinated by your method and shall try THE very soonest!! As you say: ‘pretty cool’ !!!


    • I thought you would like to try it, put it to test next to the method you use and blogged recently about – I wanted to try your method but did not get to it, and now I’m stuck in a steamer (that sounds a bit odd)


  6. darn, and I just threw out my steamer basket before moving to the US. It sounds like this method may be worth investing in a new one. I too love hard-boiled eggs (I’m a bit gauche in my preference for hard over soft in that way) and I also occasionally run into the frustration of peeling half the egg off with the shell (arghhh! always when I’m at my hungriest too). So happy to learn about this method Sally and can’t wait to try it. No clicking away from the page, I have a feeling this post will exceed eggspectations ;-).


    • I was hoping someone would bring the eggsceeding eggspectations, and of course it had to be you! 😉

      You brought an interesting point, I think it’s clear that the likelihood of the egg peeling easily is inversely proportional to the hunger of the one peeling it.


    • Just cooked 4 eggs today for our lunch, Phil once again was amazed at how easily they peeled… and, by the way, Cindy gets her eggs fresh from a farmer, and even 1 day old eggs peel like a dream!


    • Oh, I hear you! when you really need a beautiful egg for a salad or something, the darn thing comes out with the yolk and 30% of the egg white clinging to it. The remaining 70% decided to get up close and personal with the shell!


  7. I’ve heard of this method, Sally, and was impressed. Still, I’m not quite willing to jump on the bandwagon. I haven’t a steamer and I won’t be buying one anytime soon. This is what my life has come to. Nothing new goes into my kitchen without something old being removed. It’s a modified version of last year’s cookbook moratorium. It’s a hard knock life, all right. 🙂


  8. I don’t think you’re crazy for posting this. In fact I have saved it in my inbox. I knew you would come up with something genius! I can make a hard boiled egg no problem, but the peeling. Many a deviled egg has met an ugly fate. I can’t wait to try this!!!! (And deviled eggs happen to be Miss A’s favorite food!)


  9. I have a theory that eggs aren’t the same as they used to be, because they always used to peel just fine after boiling when I was a child. Just picked up the saucepan and ran the eggs under the cold tap for a bit before peeling them. But memory is a funny thing, and maybe I only remember the ones that peeled? I will definitely try your method and report back as the eggs have not been peeling at all well in recent years. You are a delight and a joy as ever ! xx


  10. OMG, I am so sorry! I saved this when you posted it and experimented with the steaming method and then recently updated my old hard-boiled egg post to include this method. And it wasn’t until I just saw this link in my list of bookmarks that I remembered where I had seen it. I’ve added a link to your post now, and my apologies for not doing that sooner!


    • Oh, don’t worry about a thing!

      very sweet of you to include the link… you know, I’ve done the same type of stuff and to be completely honest, in a couple of cases I was NEVER able to retrieve or remember the source…


      THANK YOU!


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