Perfect Steamed Boiled Eggs Recipe

Steaming cooks eggs more gently, for easy-to-peel "hard-boiled" eggs with tender whites.

A perfect steamed boiled egg, cut in half lengthwise, on a blue plate.

Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

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 steaming 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.

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


How to Cook Perfectly Peelable Boiled Eggs

April 2014

Recipe Facts



Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Active: 5 mins
Chilling Time: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Serves: 6 eggs

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  • 1 tray of ice cubes (optional; for serving cold)

  • 6 large eggs


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

    A blue bowl filled with water and ice cubes, making a water bath that will be used to cool down the hot, cooked eggs.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  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.

    A two-image collage. The top image shows a metal steamed basket placed inside of a cream-colored dutch oven. The bottom image shows six eggs placed into the steamer basket.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Serve immediately if serving hot. If serving cold, immediately place eggs in bowl of ice water and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before peeling.

    The steamed eggs placed in the blue bowl containing the ice bath.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

  4. To peel, first gently tap hard-boiled eggs all over to thoroughly crack the shell, then remove shell under a thin stream of running water. (The water helps get under the shell and lift it off the egg.)

    A two-image collage. The top image shows one of the steamed eggs, cracked all over, placed on a stone background. The bottom image shows the egg being peeled by two hands underneath a thin stream of water.

    Serious Eats / Eric Kleinberg

Special Equipment

Large pot with steamer basket

Make-Ahead and Storage

Store shell-on cooked eggs in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Store peeled eggs in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
72 Calories
5g Fat
0g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 186mg 62%
Sodium 71mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 69mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)