Perfect Steamed Boiled Eggs Recipe

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

Perfect Steamed Boiled Eggs Recipe

[Photograph and video: J. Kenji López-Alt]

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

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Why It 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 indentations on their fat ends.
  • Steaming the eggs and peeling under running water makes for easy, divot-free peeling almost every time.
  • Yield:Makes 6 eggs
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes


  • 1 tray of ice cubes (optional, for serving cold)
  • 6 eggs


  1. 1.

    If serving eggs cold, add 1 tray of ice cubes to a large bowl and fill with water.

  2. 2.

    Add 1 inch of water to a large pot. 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 eggs or 12 minutes for hard-boiled.

  3. 3.

    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.