Perfectly Peel-able Steam-Boiled Eggs

There are few things I love as much as eggs. I love them fried, poached baked, steamed simmered, hard boiled and soft boiled. But I have always struggled with creating hard boiled or even soft boiled eggs that peeled easily reliably. I think of my boiling of eggs as Egg Lotto. Some times I will create perfect delightful eggs (usually when it doesn’t matter what they look like) and then on there hand, many of my eggs appear to be victims of some sort of slasher movie where machetes were involved in their peeling. So when I saw this in the NYT Cooking thing, I had to capture it and try it. They tested this using over 700 eggs so confidence is high!


Up to 12 eggs 

Note: On a regular home burner, you can cook as many eggs as will fit in a single layer in your pot, up to around a dozen. (Any more and the temperature in the pot will affect cooking.) A steamer basket is not necessary, but it can help you raise and lower eggs gently, preventing accidental cracks. If you have trouble with eggs cracking during cooking, use a pushpin to poke a small hole through the shell on the fat end of the eggs. (This can also help minimize the dimple that forms on the cooked egg white due to an internal air pocket.) The eggs in this recipe should be cooked straight from the refrigerator; reduce cooking times by 1 minute if using room-temperature eggs.


  1. Find a lidded saucepan large enough to allow your eggs to comfortably fit on the bottom in a single layer. Add 1 inch of water, cover, and bring to a boil.
  2. Gently lower eggs into the saucepan using a slotted spoon or a steamer basket. (It’s O.K. if the eggs are partly submerged on the bottom of the pot, or elevated on a steamer rack and not submerged at all.) Cook eggs, adjusting the burner to maintain a vigorous boil, 6 minutes for a warm liquid yolk and firm whites, 8 1/2 minutes for a translucent, fudgy yolk, or 11 minutes for a yolk that is just barely firm all the way through.
  3. Drain eggs, then peel and eat immediately, or transfer them to a plate and allow them to cool naturally before storing in the refrigerator for up to a week directly in their shell. (A small dot made with a permanent marker on the top of each cooked egg will ensure you don’t mix them up with the raw eggs.) Do not shock them in an ice bath after cooking; this makes them more difficult to peel.