5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Eggs in the Pressure Cooker

published Sep 9, 2016
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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

For anyone who’s a fan of soft- and hard-cooked eggs, the pressure cooker just might turn out to be your very best friend. Cooking a big batch of eggs in the pressure cooker takes a fraction of the time that it would on the stovetop, and, best of all, pressure-cooker eggs are so easy to peel — the shell practically falls off.

It sounds like a dream, and as long as you don’t make these mistakes, it can also be your reality.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Eggs in the Pressure Cooker

1. Not adding water to the pressure cooker.

Liquid (in this case, water) is an essential ingredient to cooking with an electric pressure cooker. This appliance works by trapping steam inside the sealed pot. The steam builds up, ultimately creating a high-pressure environment that cooks food faster, but in order for this to work, there must be a liquid present.

Follow this tip: In order to function properly, you must add water to the pressure cooker. When cooking eggs, add one cup of water to the electric pressure cooker before getting started.

2. Setting the eggs directly in the pressure-cooker insert.

Eggs can be added directly to a pot of water on the stovetop, but the same rules don’t apply with the electric pressure cooker. Placing the eggs directly in the pressure-cooker insert, partially covered in water, leaves them prone to being jostled and cracked during cooking.

Follow this tip: To prevent the eggs from being damaged during cooking, set them in a steamer basket or rack inside the pressure cooker so they’re not sitting directly in the water and against the pressure-cooker insert.

3. Cooking the eggs at the wrong pressure.

It’s best to avoid the high pressure setting when cooking eggs. It creates too much of a volatile environment for the delicate eggs, leaving them prone to cracking or leaking during cooking.

Follow this tip: For the best results, keep the pressure cooker set to low when cooking eggs. This will ensure the eggs don’t crack during cooking.

4. Cooking the eggs for the wrong amount of time.

Part of the beauty of the pressure cooker is that once the pressure has built, even a big batch of eggs cooks in a fraction of the time it would normally take on the stovetop. Do watch the timer, though, because even a minute too long can leave them overcooked.

Follow this tip: Cook times can vary slightly from pressure cooker to pressure cooker, and will be different based on how cooked you prefer the yolk. As a general guideline, once the cooker comes to pressure, cook at these times:

  • Three to four minutes for soft-boiled eggs
  • Five to seven minutes for medium-boiled eggs
  • Eight to nine minutes for hard-boiled eggs.

5. Using natural (not rapid) release at the end of cooking.

After active cooking is complete, the pressure built up inside the cooker needs to be released. As its name implies, natural release allows the pressure to slowly drop over time. While this method works well for some foods, it will leave delicate, quick-cooking eggs overdone.

Follow this tip: Always use rapid release at the end of cooking to drop the pressure.