This guest post is thanks to twitter, when someone asked me about pressure cooking eggs. I had never done them, but Laura Pazzaglia had. Laura is a pressure-cooker maniac living in Italy and blogging at hippressurecooking.com. My friend Annie LaG took her up on how to cook easy-peel hard-cooked eggs and pronounced them amazing. I have long been a fan of the egg and recently a fan of the pressure cooker (here's the one I use, via Opensky.com). I love it especially when I want to have a quick stew ready for a weeknight dinner. A 2 to 4 hour stew can be completed start to finish in under and hour. But the egg and the pressure cooker came together on twitter. I invited Laura to guest post and she eagerly agreed. In fact, she had so much cool stuff to share, and so many fun techniques, I'll be post a series of her stuff over the next few weeks. Herewith, two great egg techniques, in the shell (she uses an egg stand; this is useful, but optional) and in a vessel. Thanks, Laura.
Pressure Cooking Eggs
by Laura Pazzaglia
Pressure cookers are famous for their cozy stocks, stews and beans, or infamous, thanks to a chef-testant not being able to open, close or operate a one.
There are a few more tricks up your pressure cooker’s sleeve! I’ll start with the ones that caught Michael Ruhlman’s attention on Twitter (fresh easy-peel hard-cooked eggs and eggs en cocotte) and then throw in a few more unexpected things that can come from your pressure cooker. Some use the little-understood low-pressure setting, while others take advantage of accessories or a little technique.
Most cookbooks advise using your “oldest” eggs to make them easier to peel. Your pressure cooker creates a pressure difference between the inside and outside of the egg—inflating the little air pocket at the base of the egg and detaching white from the shell with pressure, instead of age and time allowing for a beautifully “boiled” egg that is a snap to peel.
HOW: With steamer basket, olive-oil cap egg stand, low pressure and exact cooking times. Up to 6 eggs at a time for Soft & Medium-boiled, as many as you can fit for Hard-boiled, also check out the egg cooking table on this page. [Note from MR: When I first tested these, my eggs were undercooked. Laura clarified for me how important it is to make sure full low- or full high-pressure is reached before you hit your timer. The yellow pressure button must not just pop up, it must be solid to the push, you should feel full resistance when you press it down, then begin timing.]
Soft, Medium & Hard Cooked Eggs
- 1 fresh egg, chilled (from the refrigerator)
- Steamer Basket
- Heat proof egg stand (optional)
- Fill the cold pressure cooker with one cup of water. Add steamer basket or trivet and steamer basket, egg stand, and egg. Close and lock the pressure cooker.
- Set the pan to cook on low pressure. Turn the heat up to high and when the pan has reached LOW pressure, lower the heat to medium and begin your timer: 3 minutes for a soft, 5 minutes for medium egg, and 6 minutes for a hard cooked egg.
- When the time has elapsed, open the pressure cooker. For soft and medium boiled eggs, use the Quick Cold Water Release. Bring the pressure cooker to the sink and run cold water over the top without obstructing valves to bring the pressure down quickly. For hard boiled eggs, use the Natural Release Method. Move the pressure cooker to a cool burner and wait for the pressure to come down naturally (about 5 minutes). If in 5 minutes the pressure has not released the lock on the pressure cooker, release the rest of the vapor through the valve.
- Open the pressure cooker and place the egg in a container under cold running water, for about 1 minute if you would like to serve them warm and 3 minutes to cool down completely.
With heat-proof shot glasses (or cups) and pressure steaming you can make a quick and delicious brunch in your pressure cooker. Pressure steam these little tightly covered for a soft yolk, or uncovered for a hard yolk.
HOW: With steamer basket and low pressure.
Oeufs En Cocotte
Pressure Cooker: 5 liters or larger
Accessories: Steamer & Ramekin
Pressure Cook Time: 4 minutes
Power Level: Low (1)
Open: Cold Water Quick
- 4 eggs
- 4 slices of meat, fish, or vegetables
- 4 slices of cheese or dash of heavy cream
- Fresh herbs for garnish
- Olive oil as needed
- Prepare the pressure cooker by adding one cup of water and the trivet and set aside. Add a drop of olive oil in each ramekin and then rub the oil around to coat the inside. Lay a slice of meat or vegetable inside the ramekin. Crack an egg into an un-oiled ramekin and then pour the egg into one with the meat or vegetable. Add cheese or cream on top of the egg.
- For a soft egg, cover the ramekin tightly with aluminum foil (this keeps the superheated vapor from having direct contact with the egg) and for a hard or fully cooked yolk leave the ramekin uncovered. Put the ramekins in the steamer basket and lower into the pressure cooker.
- Close and lock the lid. Set the pressure level to low. Turn the heat on the stove up high and when the pan reaches pressure, lower the heat and allow to cook for 4 minutes at low pressure. When time is up, carefully bring your pressure cooker to the sink and open it with the cold water quick release method- run water over the top being careful not to cover or wet any of the valves. For electric pressure cookers, cook at low pressure for just 3 minutes and release pressure using the Normal method-release vapor through the valve.
If you liked this post on pressure cooked eggs, check out these other links:
- My post and video on Ruhlman's Twenty: Food as Tools.
- Pressure cooker video clip from the popular Bravo series Top Chef.
- Brownie batter pancake recipe sounds great for Valentine's Day.
- Something a bit different from our friends at Ideas in Food: Chili and Cornbread Waffles.
© 2012 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2012 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved