Watch the Food Lab Video Series Perfect Steamed Boiled Eggs

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

For the most evenly cooked, tender hard boiled eggs, forget the boiling water, use a steamer instead.

Why this recipe works:

  • Placing eggs into a pot full of steaming water cooks them evenly and gently with less risk of cracking than dropping them into simmering water.
  • Chilling the eggs immediately after boiling ensures that they come out perfectly shaped with no air space indentation on their fat end.
  • Starting the eggs hot and peeling under running water makes for easy, divot-free peeling almost every time.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Perfect Steamed Boiled Eggs

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes 6 Eggs
Active time:5 mintues
Total time:20 minutes
Special equipment:Large pot with steamer insert
This recipe appears in: The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs The Food Lab: Perfect Boiled Eggs


  • 1 tray of ice cubes
  • 6 eggs


  1. 1

    If serving eggs cold, add 1 tray of ice cubes to a large bowl and fill with water. Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water. Place steamer insert inside, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add eggs to steamer basket, cover, and continue cooking 6 minutes for soft boiled or 12 minute for hard. Serve immediately if serving hot. If serving cold, immediately place eggs in a bowl of ice water and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before peeling under cool running water. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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