Steamed “Soft-Boiled” Eggs

By January 25, 2013

soft boil egg 300x225 Steamed Soft Boiled EggsSubmitted by Julie S.

Editor’s note:  Pressure cooker boiled/steamed eggs have easy peel-off shells.  Apart from time and energy saving, this is another advantage.  Hard boiled eggs are good for making sandwiches, salad and other dishes. Julie has figured out the timing to do Soft-boiled eggs. Please read on.

I came across a couple websites describing pressure cooker hard boiled eggs, which sounded so simple and delicious!

However, being brand new to our Instant Pot (and pressure cooking), I was unsure how to adapt the “low pressure” directions and timing to our Instant Pot.  Got it right on the first try!  LOVE how easy the Instant Pot is to use!  Here’s my method:


  • Eggs

egg positions1 225x300 Steamed Soft Boiled EggsEquipment:

  • Steam rack and/or steamer basket
  • Canning lids or metal cookie cutters


  1. Pour 1 cup water into the pot and position a steamer basket or trivet atop the steam rack.
  2. Place 3-5 eggs, using canning lids or metal cookie cutters to separate/hold the eggs.
  3. Close lid and steam valve.  Press Steam setting, and adjust time down to 4 minutes.  (5 minutes for hard boiled).
  4. At end of cycle, place a cool cloth on the lid and quick release the steam valve. Use tongs to transfer eggs to a cold water bath for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Peel and enjoy!
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43 Responses to “Steamed “Soft-Boiled” Eggs”

  1. jan fletcher says:

    5 minutes hard boiled and beautiful… easy peasy to peel ! thanks


  2. Larry Fisher says:

    I wonder if some people set the time and then wait for the cycle to finish and others time it themselves from the start and end up with runny eggs. Setting it at 4 minutes steam actually took 9 minutes for me since it takes time to get it up to steam. In future I will set it for 3 minutes for a softer egg, which will bring it back to the 8 minutes total that it takes me with a ceramic pan, cold water start on a gas stove.


  3. Charlotte Webster says:

    Too hard for my liking – wanted soft boiled eggs not hard.


  4. Charlotte Webster says:

    2 eggs – 1 cup water – 4 mins. Far too hard for me, I was expecting nice soft boiled eggs.
    They were fresh eggs at room temperature.


  5. ShazInNV says:

    Perfect and so easy to peel.


  6. Dana says:

    This was super helpful! I put 5 eggs onto a steamer (an inch higher than the one that came with the instant pot, then steamed with 1 cup of water for 4 minutes, afterwards quick released and dunked into ice water. Got soft-boiled eggs. After 3 days, I put one egg into my nearly finished rice in a rice cooker and then washed the egg in cold water, and it still peeled beautifully. Awesome!


  7. Cara says:

    My new instant pot has high and low pressure steam, whereas my old one only had one steam setting. I am guessing high steam for this? What is low steam used for?


    Donna Reply:

    The pressure “Steam” program is adjustable, some use “Low” setting for delicate vegetables, for example.


  8. Stacy A says:

    Thank you so much! At 5 minutes on high pressure I was able to make a dozen beautiful hard boiled eggs with no green at all around the yolk. When I did another batch at 6 minutes it had a bit of green.


  9. Elsie says:

    Do the size of eggs make any difference re: time required to cook them? I currently have jumbo double yolk eggs weighing 87 grams (4 ounces) each. Thank you.


    Elsie Reply:

    Oopsie, that should be 3 oz.


  10. Helen Adams says:

    I cook my soft boiled eggs for three minutes at high pressure on the trivet with 1/2 cup water and they come out perfect. With 1 cup water they are more medium.

    I have used Julia Child’s method to reheat poached eggs many times in a restaurant and it should work for precooked soft boiled. Momofuko does it. Myself, I would peel the eggs before reheating and probably I would store them pre-peeled.

    But Julia dumped them in simmering water for a minute as does Momofuko IIRC.


  11. Ben S says:

    Reference to the above recipe and subsequent comments, I hate to bust everyone’s bubble here but the fact that the Instant Pot cooks up a eggs in this manner (5 minutes pressure , cool down time etc) is no time saver whatsoever. You can do eggs in a good pot on the stove, bring it to boil with eggs in it and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, keep covered and let stand for 15 minutes. Carry over to the sink and pour cold water over the eggs to stop cooking. When cooled, peel and you’ll have perfect eggs every time. Compare: Instant Pot pressure cooking time: 4 – 5 minutes. Conventional stove top: 1 minute


    Donna Reply:

    Hi Ben,

    There are many paths… many find the controlled heat and timing of the Instant Pot to be a true convenience, and to easily produce reliable results.


    Heidi Reply:

    it’s the easy peel that makes this the superiod method for me.


    Jerry Garcia Reply:

    Uhhhh … more like 10 minutes to bring the water to a boil … one minute moil … 15 minutes covered … say 3 minutes in the cold water bath … 30 minutes plus or minus total.


    Brenda Reply:

    Turn your steamer on and let your water start getting ready to boil before you put the lid on. That’s what I do with everything I cook and my Insta pot and it comes to pressure whole lot faster


    Helen Adams Reply:

    My instant pot takes about 10 minutes with quick release and 1/2 cup water.

    Not the time savings that I care about, because how long does it take to boil an egg.

    It is the fact that I just put it in, take it out when the beep sounds and it gives me a great egg with no hovering over the pot etc.

    It seems a tad silly to use a large pressure cooker to cook two eggs but overall it is so much easier.


    Arianna Reply:

    That is exactly right! It is a game changer! Now I am happy to make hard boiled eggs just to have them on hand for lunches and salads! They come out perfect every single time, no babysitting.


    Margie Reply:

    Yeah…I hate watching for when the pot boils! This is definitely faster and more getting-ready-in-the-morning/doing-other-things-at-the-same-time friendly.

    And to Helen’s point, with the Instant Pot, I’m willing to bet it uses less electricity to do it than it does to bring water to a boil on the stove (unless it’s a gas stove, haha…).


    JENNIFER Reply:

    I find boiling eggs on the stove a complete pain. Standing watching for the water to boil then you can guarantee that they will crack and ooze white all over the place. As for the peeling, I generally end up with half the egg left due to not being able to get the shell off properly. Give me pressure cooked eggs anytime so easy and the simplest peeling


    Sharon Morton Reply:

    I can agree up to a point. The advantage of the iPot is that it uses LESS electricity than the conventional stove. To each, their own.


    Kathy Reply:

    We already know how to do it stove top, here we’re talking about utilizing a piece of equipment we’ve all bought. Imagine there’d be a reason to use the instant pot to do that when you didn’t have a stove or pot or like me I just did my bacon onion garlic pepper spinach and soft boiled eggs all in the instant pot with almost nothing to clean up because the water to steam the eggs cleans the bottom of the instant pot liner. I don’t think we’re here comparing cooking times of various methods I think we are here to learn more about using our instant pot as much as possible for various reasons according to the purchaser… when I travel I don’t plan on bring the whole kitchen but I can cook an entire meal in the instant pot, three meals a day !


  12. Mona Wachsler says:

    Followed directly as stated for hard boiled (steam button 5 minutes) and got soft boiled eggs with runny whites. Could not peel. 1 cup water, quick release, ice water. Ruined 4 eggs.


    Anna Reply:

    There’s so much variety with cooked eggs – store-bought eggs or backyard eggs; egg age/freshness; egg size; egg temperature (cold from fridge or room temperature); starting temperature of the water; amount of steaming water; not to mention people’s individual preferences and perceptions on what constitutes a perfectly cooked egg.

    One general method isn’t going to work perfectly for everyone. Consider cooked egg directions as starting suggestions.

    Try cooking one egg at a time. Keeps notes as you tweak only one variable until you figure out which details result in “your” perfect egg consistently. Then repeat your method the same way every time. Your way may not work well for someone else with different variables.

    Then try your single egg method with multiple eggs to see if it makes a difference (if multiple eggs come out differently and repeat the experimentation, and take notes).


  13. Robert H says:

    “Teresa B. Graham · Top Commenter · Works at Self Employed Fine Artist
    Now, because of the pressure cooker, I am into the soft boiled eggs……perfect every time…steam for 2 mins. Sit for 3, then release pressure and peel. So delicious. I think you can use any time combinations….you have to try it.”

    I tried your timing with 4 USDA extra large eggs, directly on the Instant Pot trivet, and put them in a cold water bath while I peeled them. They came out what I call medium, soft with no runniness. Next time I while try 3 minutes of steam and 1 minute warm, then skip the cold water bath as the eggs cooled too much for my liking. I hope to get some runniness and a warmer egg to eat.


    Instant Pot Staff Reply:


    The cold water bath makes the egg easier to peel. You can try steam the eggs for 4 minutes and use quick release.


  14. Robert H says:

    “Marcia Woodland · Earth
    Can I just put the eggs on the trivet without the basket?”

    Try it…. what is the worst that can happen, spoiled eggs?

    I have tried it and it seems to work fine up to as many eggs as you can comfortably put, and retrieve, on the trivet.


  15. LenaL says:

    3 vegetarian fertile eggs, 1 cup of water, steam rack that came with the pot, canning lids to separate the eggs. Steam for 3 minutes, quick release with cold paper towel. PERFECT eggs with not too liquidy but still soft and a touch runny on the inside yolks and well formed whites that kept the egg together! Peeling was a pleasure (as opposed to dreaded chore). Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe!


  16. Robert says:

    I don’t know how others are doing it but 4 minutes on low pressure resulted in an extremely underdone egg, couldn’t even peel.

    5 minutes only slightly improved the situation.


    Instant Pot Staff Reply:

    Hi Robert,

    We tried 4 minutes at High pressure and get running yolk. It turns out as my daughter’s favorite. I put the steamed egg in cold water to cool it down and after that, the egg is very easy to peel.


  17. Barbara T. says:

    Thank you all for posting your egg-cellent egg recipes. Placed 6 eggs on trivet, added 1 cup of water to Instant Pot, pressed “steam button” and decreased to 7 minutes. Let the pressure fall on its own. Perfect and easily-peeled hard-boiled eggs.


  18. Chance B says:

    I did 4 minutes, 2 after and then into cold water. They came out just barely “hard boiled.” I will try to either take them out quicker or maybe go down to 3 minutes to get soft boiled. They peeled PERFECTLY and that was pretty awesome!


  19. Barb M. says:

    Just tried this with 3 Jumbo eggs in the steamer rack, using canning rings to separate eggs and 1 cup of water. I set it for 5 minutes to steam and then forgot it for about 20 while it counted down……Then plunged into cold water for a couple minutes and peeled like a picture-perfect egg in a magazine. Unbelievable. My husband loved the taste!!


  20. Ruth says:

    We did 6 farm fresh eggs @6 mins quick release….1 came out almost soft boiled. We are aiming for hard boiled. We used the cold cloth over the top. Next we did 8 mins & 8 eggs. Cold cloth, quick release. We laid them in the pot and did not separate them. The last 8 one 1 egg partially broke but, it was no different than if you hard boiled them on the stove and one or two broke. They came out perfect for color…no gray looking eggs which we all know is a no, no. It looks to me that it takes 1 min per egg cooking time.


  21. Artt says:

    I did 12 brown eggs on trivet for 8 mins on steam high setting.. Quick release.. done perfect.

    Also did 12 brown eggs for 7 mins on regular low pressure with 10 min release.. yokes were a little better but both good!


  22. Emily says:

    Hi Julie, I would like to note that I think your method needs more tweaking for hard boiled eggs besides just adding 1 min of cook time. I tried it for 5 minutes and only got soft-boiled eggs. What worked for me was 6 minutes of steaming AND then 5 additional minutes of sitting in the pot on the keep warm function. Then I turned it off and used the quick release method for the remaining bit of steam and put the eggs in the ice bath. Still peeled very nicely :-)


    Emily Reply:

    P.S. I used cold eggs, I can imagine that might make a difference too?


  23. Tina M says:

    My eggs were extremely underdone at 4 minutes. Wouldn’t even hold their shape to peel as the whites were not cooked at all except at the very outer shell. I only buy large, pastured eggs from my farmer, maybe that had something to do with it. Will try 6 minutes next time.


  24. Carrie says:

    I did 5 eggs at 5 minutes to make hard-boiled – I think 6 minutes would have been perfect. This is a great technique. Also, I didn’t separate the eggs with anything and they did not crack. Very easy to peel. I love warm boiled eggs in the morning and this couldn’t be easier. Thank you.


  25. JM says:

    Thanks for this.
    After trial and error, I do 2 minutes for soft boiled with a minute in the cold water. Comes out perfect every time.


  26. Susan A. says:

    Enjoying my eggs !!



  27. Susan A. says:

    THANKS !!
    Going to try this RIGHT NOW !!


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