The experts weighed in, and the BEST way to make hard-boiled eggs requires steam.

By Sheena Chihak

It seems the debate over the best way to hard-boil eggs is over. Our Better Homes & Gardens®  Test Kitchen, the American Egg Board, and America's Test Kitchen (not to mention lots of food bloggers) all tested the many ways to hard-boil eggs and concluded our favorite way is to steam eggs. It's so similar to the classic way to boil an egg that you'll master the technique in no time.

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Here's how to steam eggs to make hard-cooked eggs this Easter season, any time you want deviled eggs, for adding to salads, or to snack on:

  • Place 1 inch of water in a 4-quart Dutch oven or deep skillet. Add a steamer basket. Bring water to boiling over high heat.
  • Carefully add eggs using a slotted spoon. Cover; do not reduce heat. Steam for 16 minutes.
    • Test Kitchen Tip: Don't let your pan boil dry while the eggs are steaming. If you run out of water, add more boiling water to the pan.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to cool.
  • When cool, crack lightly and remove the shell. Cover and chill up to 5 days.

Get the recipe: Steamed Eggs

Benefits of Steaming Hard-Boiled Eggs

Why cook eggs by steaming versus traditional boiled? We have a couple of reasons:

  • Easier peeling. Honestly, this is the only reason we need! Many suggest this works because you're adding eggs directly to the steaming hot temperature instead of putting in a pan with cold water that slowly comes to a boil. When the steam penetrates the shell to cook the egg, it causes the whites to quickly pull away from that pesky inner membrane that's so hard to peel versus when you start by submerging in cold water allowing the membrane time to adhere to the egg.
    • Test Kitchen Tip: It also helps to use eggs that are 7 to 10 days old. As eggs age, the air pocket in the shell grows, making it easier to remove the shell after "boiling." To know how old your eggs are, look at the packing date. The packing date of eggs is stamped on the carton. It's a three-digit code near the sell-by date where each day of the year is numbered 001-365. So, 001 is January first, 166 is June 15th, and 365 is December 31st.
  • Saves time. Waiting for water to boil is one of the most boring parts of cooking. To steam eggs, you're only bringing an inch of water to a boil instead of a whole pot of water so it takes less time for water to come to a boil.


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