Perfect Steamed Boiled Eggs Recipe

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

Photograph and video: J. Kenji López-Alt

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.


Recipe Facts

Active: 5 mins
Total: 20 mins
Makes: 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.

  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. 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.

  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.)

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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