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I am trying to hard boil my eggs so the yolk isn't mushy at all, and the yolk doesn't contain a greenish cast around the outside (which I think means they are overdone).

I am doing this in an "insta pot" style device, on a trivet above the water (the eggs aren't submersed).

Some of my eggs crack and leak, which is unappealing to the children (and for better or worse, that's a consideration).
Generally I lose 2 or 3 out of the dozen.

Any advice on how to stop the explosion?
* Am I releasing the pressure off too fast?
(I have tried doing it in short bursts instead of all at once with no noticeable difference)
* Is this caused by them starting too cold?
(generally they come straight from the refrigerator)
* Is it that I'm using large eggs instead of extra large?

All advice appreciated - sorry it is such a simple question for a site where I sometimes don't recognize the terms being used.

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  • Welcome! Don’t worry, we welcome users on all knowledge levels and sometimes seemingly trivial questions are amongst the most challenging. – Stephie Jan 31 at 22:32
  • Are you cooking your eggs in water (submerged) or steam (e.g. on a trivet over the water)? Could you edit your post with a few details about your current process and maybe what kind of pot you are actually using? – Stephie Feb 1 at 6:11
  • Had some success yesterday after experimentation. In case I forget to come back my answer was four cups of water instead of one to slow down the first phase (with one cup it was like... 5.5 minutes which is too fast) – J. Chris Compton Feb 3 at 13:35
  • @Stephie raised on a trivet, thanks! – J. Chris Compton Feb 3 at 13:35
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Pressure cooking is great for eggs. Once you've got your routine down, they'll be perfect every time and never crack. There are more ways to do it than there are cooks, but this works great for me. Of course, I'll give you baseline instructions in detail, but you may need to tweak the procedure to get your eggs just right in your machine. So I'll cover tweaking too.

mise en place

I use eggs right out of the refrigerator, large or extra-large (today's were AA Large, average 57 grams). I have also used room temperature eggs, and the difference was tiny. We can tweak for those variables.

The rack keeps the eggs at least a couple of centimeters above the water. This one has another tier so I can do up to a dozen eggs (actually fourteen) at a time. You can certainly jerry-rig something if you don’t have a rack. Keep the eggs vertical if you want them to be pretty.

Add 1 measured liter of cold water to the pan, put the rack in the pan, place the cold eggs on the rack, and set the cooker for 5 minutes at high pressure.

High pressure on the Instant Pot reaches 11.6 PSI. That’s lower than a standard pressure cooker (they run 15 psi), but it should be about the same as yours if it’s a similar type.

Now, this part's important regarding cracking: Time how long it takes your machine to warm up and start the clock. The warm-up should take at least about 10 minutes give or take a minute. You might even want to do this as a dry run with just the liter of water and tweak from there. If it takes significantly more or less time to heat up, that will affect your final result. So add more or less water as appropriate. You can also use warm or hot water, or add ice cubes to cold water to get that magic 10-minute warm-up. If your cooker got to temp faster than that, that could totally have caused your cracking (see GdD’s answer).

Once it heats up, it’ll cook for five minutes.

After it cooks for 5 minutes (the Instant Pot beeps), let it sit without venting for five minutes. Time it carefully! That’s called a five-minute natural release.

While it’s doing its 5-minute natural release, prepare ice water for plunging the hot eggs. I use a pan with a lid for that. I’ll show you why in a moment.

Once the 5-minute natural release is over, vent the pot (if necessary to open) and immediately plunge the eggs into the ice water.

Let the eggs sit in the ice water for 5 minutes. If you use a pan with a lid, now pour the water out and shake the eggs with each other and the ice. Peel. THIS is my favorite part of pressure-cooking eggs. Check this out, they just slip out of their shells.

slipping out of peel animated

And voilà!

perfect egg

Now, if you follow those instructions and they’re a bit overcooked or undercooked, adjust the natural release time. That you can control to the second. The 5-5-5 time routine has worked perfectly for me with cold, large eggs. If your eggs are extra-large, maybe add a minute to the natural release. If you start with room temperature eggs, subtract 30 seconds or so.

To illustrate how that works, check this out:

overcooked egg

I forgot that egg after it cooked, and it stayed in the unopened cooker 26 minutes after the pressure cycle was done. See how dramatically overcooked it is? The natural release time gives you complete control.

This last egg went straight to venting/ice water (no natural release) after 4 minutes on high pressure, then opening the pot and plunging the eggs as quickly as possible:

soft boiled

I had never actually done that until tonight. That was so yummy! An easily peelable, creamy, soft-boiled egg.

If you look at ten different blogs for eggs in an Instant Pot, you'll see ten different routines. This one is mine, I hope it works for you.

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Generally eggs crack when you boil them because they heat up too fast, if you pour boiling water on whole eggs and then cook them you'll get a similar result. When I hard boil eggs I start them from cold water, this reduces cracking drastically.

I suspect your instant pot is getting too hot, too fast. If your instant pot style device (IPSD - the world needs more acronyms) has a power setting try the lowest you can. You could also try heating your eggs up in hot tap water for a minute or two before putting them in the instant pot so they don't get shocked. If that doesn't work I'm thinking your particular instant pot isn't ideal for eggs.

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