The best way to make hard boiled eggs for Easter or hard boiled egg recipes is either in an Instant Pot or on the stove top. Get perfect hard boiled eggs that are easy to peel with these simple tips.
Hard boiled eggs are the base for delicious appetizers like deviled eggs and side dishes like potato salad or chef salad.
They also make an amazing go-to snack to keep on hand in the fridge.
Even though it is so easy to make hard boiled eggs, the process can cause a bit of confusion for new cooks:
- Which method is the easiest?
- Should I use an Instant Pot or make them on the stovetop?
- How long should I cook the eggs?
- Why are my yolks always turning grey?
- Why are my eggs so tricky to peel?
If you've struggled to get perfect hard boiled eggs for your recipes, I'm here to answer your biggest questions and help you get perfectly fluffy yellow yolks with picture-perfect egg whites for any egg recipe you have planned.
The Best Eggs to Use
You can hard boil any fresh egg but the best hard boiled eggs are just a little bit older.
When I want to make a big batch of hard boiled eggs for Easter or for a recipe, I buy eggs at the grocery store at least one week, sometimes two weeks, before I plan to boil them.
This helps make easy peel eggs that have perfect yolks and a pretty presentation, especially for a dish like deviled eggs where the whites need to hold a pretty shape.
How to Make Easy Peel Eggs
If you want your hardboiled eggs to be easy to peel, the very best trick is to start with slightly older eggs.
Keep them in your fridge for two weeks before boiling.
I've also found that Instant Pot hard boiled eggs are much easier to peel than stovetop boiled eggs.
Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
Making easy hard boiled eggs is one of our very favorite reasons to use our Instant Pot.
When Instant Pot is Better than Stove Top
I use both my Instant Pot and stovetop for making hard boiled eggs.
I turn to the Instant Pot when I want:
- No fuss cooking in a rush. It takes just a minute of hands-on time and the eggs basically cook themselves.
- Easy peel hard boiled eggs.
- Cooked eggs for using in a recipe. If I'm not worried about some of the shells breaking and plan to peel them right away anyway, I use the Instant Pot.
- Perfect yolks every time. I never have to worry or guess that my yolks will turn out.
The Instant Pot Method
Place an egg rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot bowl. We have a set of two of these egg holders.
In a large Instant Pot, you can stack a second rack over the first layer of eggs but in my mini Instant Pot, I just put one layer:
Pour 1 cup of cold water into the pot and place one egg on each of the round circles. The rack holds 9 eggs.
Sometimes if I'm really in a rush, I'll add a few more eggs in the spaces between, but only what I can fit in a single layer.
If you crowd them in tightly, expect the shells to break.
Place the lid on the pot and seal it.
5 x 5 x 5 Method for Hard Boiled Eggs
The formula for cooking hardboiled eggs in the Instant Pot is so easy to remember. Just think of the 5x5x5 rule:
Cook on HIGH Pressure for 5 minutes.
When the cooking cycle timer goes off, set a new timer (just a timer on your phone or microwave, not a new cooking cycle) for 5 more minutes to let the eggs rest inside.
Release the pressure and use a spoon to transfer the hard boiled eggs to an ice water bath for 5 more minutes.
To ensure the timing, I always prep a big ice water bowl and let it sit next to the Instant Pot so it is ready when the eggs are.
Stovetop Hard Boiled Eggs
Sometimes I make hardboiled eggs in a pot on my stovetop even though it takes longer than in my Instant Pot.
When Stove Top is Better than Instant Pot
I turn to the stove top when I want:
- Perfect egg shells for Easter eggs. I love how the Instant Pot cooks the eggs but it often will result with broken shells. If I plan to dye my eggs for Easter, I always use the stove top.
- A big batch of eggs. If I'm planning to cook a large quantity of eggs, I'll do them in batches with two large pots on my stove top all at the same time.
- Perfect egg whites for deviled eggs. The eggs get cooked on end in the Instant Pot which can leave you with flat bottomed egg whites. In a stovetop pot, they get cooked on their sides which leaves a thicker rim between the yolk and white so when you pop the yolk out and fill it with deviled egg filling, the open space is sturdier.
The Stove Top Method
Before you begin, set your eggs on the kitchen counter for 20 - 30 minutes before adding them to the pot. Less-cold eggs tend to always boil better for me.
Consider how many eggs you plan to boil and choose your pot accordingly.
You want to select a pot that:
- Has enough room for the eggs in a single layer without overcrowding the bottom.
- Doesn't have too much room for them to rattle around.
- Has a thick, solid bottom and a well fitting lid.
Place your eggs in the pot and fill it with COLD WATER so that the water comes up over the top of the eggs by just 1 inch.
The amount will vary depending on quantity of eggs and pot size.
Place the pot of eggs over a burner set to medium-high heat and bring the water to a full boil. The bubbles should be vigorous enough to break the surface of the water.
Once the water starts to boil, turn the heat off but don't remove the pot from the burner. Place the lid on the pan and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes.
Slowly drain and rinse the eggs in cold water and transfer to an ice water bath to stop the cooking.
If you are struggling with your eggs, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Stovetop Method Variables:
If you're cooking via stove top, there are a lot of factors at play:
- your pot size
- the number of eggs
- the temperature of your oven
- your stovetop burner strength
- gas vs. electric
So if you're having trouble getting perfect yolks, I strongly recommend:
- Dedicate one pot to boiling eggs and keep using the same one until you get it perfect. This takes out one major variable.
- Don't try more than one layer of eggs in the pot. You may be tempted to rush the process, but the best results I've had are always with one layer of eggs.
- Be sure to start with cold water.
- If your yolks are turning out grey, they cooked for too much time. Try again with 2 minutes less next time. Keep going until you have the time that works best for your pot and make a note!
Easter Egg Tips
Whether you use the Instant Pot or the stovetop method for cooking the eggs, the trick to making perfect shells for Easter egg dying is to not overcrowd your pan.
I prefer the stovetop method and add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to the boiling water. This helps the eggs seal if one develops a minor crack during the boiling process.
Hard Boiled Egg Recipes
The most famous hard boiled egg recipe is probably deviled eggs. They are such a popular and easy appetizer to make for special events, brunches, and parties.
You could also make my favorite deviled egg salad sandwich.
When I'm using chopped hard boiled eggs in these easy recipes, I love using this handy egg chopper tool.
Hard boiled eggs should be stored in the fridge and will last for 7 - 10 days.
You can pack one into a chilled lunchbox or let it sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours.