Okay, raise your hand if you own a rice cooker. Keep your hand up if you don't use that steamer tray that comes with the cooker and it's somewhere lost in your cupboard (don't worry...I'm not looking!). Keep your hand up if you didn't even know what that tray was for! 🙂
No worries...you are one of MANY who fall into that group and I've got a recipe coming to the rescue! I'll show you one thing you can do with it and it's actually pretty cool!
Rice cookers aren't just for cooking rice. I'm about to show you how to cook eggs in a rice cooker! And you're going to use that mysterious plastic steamer tray that came with your rice cooker, so you'd better go look for it!
I know - you're thinking, "What? That doesn't sound good..."
I had my doubts when I first heard about it, too, and the idea seemed crazy! Cook eggs in a rice cooker?? Seriously?
However, as crazy as idea sounds, it works! I was of the old school -- put eggs in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for a certain number of minutes to reach the desired doneness. Sounds simple enough. However, boiling eggs in a pot did have its shortcomings.
Sometimes the shells cracks when they're bouncing around in the boiling water, and some of the egg leaks out. Well, then you've got a really messy pot and very unsightly eggs. You know what I'm talking about. It's like something out of a horror movie. And if you've got lumpy unsightly eggs, you can forget about perfect eggs for Easter decorating. Or deviled eggs. Or any dish where you need a nice looking hard-boiled egg.
But the rice cooker eliminates that problem. The steaming water cooks the eggs while they sit, undisturbed in the steaming tray. I guess you could consider it an egg sauna. 🙂 And because the cooking method is more gentle, it is also easier to achieve the desired doneness. No more unsightly grey color around the yolks from overcooking the eggs.
All you do is put water in the rice pot. Put the eggs in the steamer tray and set it in the pot. Close the lid and press ON. Turn on your timer.
Remove eggs at the appropriate time and place eggs immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Wait a minute before you get cracking! And then you get these!
Here's the formula: 20 minutes for hard-cooked eggs. 13-15 minutes for soft-cooked eggs (depending on how soft or runny you like them).
(NOTE: These times are based on my rice cooker and the time starts when put the eggs in and start the rice cooker. Your times may vary a little, give or take, depending on your rice cooker. However, these times are a good reference point and are a good place to start when trying this out.)
It's so simple, you can't NOT try this out.
How To Peel Hard Cooked Eggs
By the way, I'm going to assume that you can all peel an egg, but just in case... There is actually a method that works really well.
Tap on the fat end of the egg (opposite the small, "pointier" end) to crack it first. There is often an air bubble there and that is a good place to start peeling away at the shell, without digging into the egg itself.
Then gently tap on the sides of the egg, rolling as you go. You don't have to be rough with it...just tap hard enough to crack the shell.
Next step...gently roll the egg back and forth a couple of times on the counter. This helps to loosen the shell and you will feel the shell pull away from the egg as you roll. Then start peeling from that first bottom crack you made at the beginning!
You remember I mentioned you can make soft "boiled" eggs in the rice cooker, too, right??
Being Chinese, it is an assumption that I have a rice cooker. I will happily confirm that the assumption is correct! Of course, you don't have to be Chinese or of Asian descent to have a rice cooker. But if you don't have one, you're missing out on, not only, perfectly cooked rice every time, but also hard- and soft-cooked eggs!
Are you intrigued?? Seriously, I thought it was a crazy idea when I first heard of it, but it is now my preferred method to make hard cooked eggs. I still know how to do it in a pot, obviously, but I have never had as good as results as I do with the rice cooker. You should definitely cook eggs in a rice cooker if you've got one. You will be amazed how easy it is. Give it a try and leave a comment below!
How To Cook Eggs In A Rice Cooker
- 1 - 1 ½ cups water approximately
- Bowl of ice water (can be put together a couple minutes before eggs are done cooking)
- Add water to rice pot and set into cooker.
- Place eggs in steamer tray and set in rice pot. Close cooker lid.
- Set rice cooker to COOK and start the cooker and timer at the same time. (See Notes below for cooking times.)
- Once timer rings, transfer eggs immediately to a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking process. Let sit for about 1-2 minutes.
- Start cracking and enjoy!
- Set your timer when everything is cold and you put the eggs in the rice cooker and turn the rice cooker on.
- 20 minutes for hard-cooked eggs.
- 13-15 minutes for soft-cooked eggs (depending on how soft or runny you like them).
- These times are based on my rice cooker. Your times may vary a little, give or take, depending on your rice cooker. However, these times are a good reference point and are a good place to start when trying this out.
- Make sure your rice cooker is set to COOK, as if you are cooking rice.
- Be sure to set a timer for 20 minutes because your rice cooker will not automatically switch off since there is no actual rice cooking.
You might also like:
Check out these other How To posts!
** Recipe Instructions and Recipe Notes updated February 10th, 2021 in reference to setting the timer and cooking times.
My eggs came out well done perfect... I have an old old rice cooker... only and on off button no timers...... i did mine for 30 min not being sure i only did a few to test.... and i didn't put mine in ice water i just let them sit a few minutes then peeled and ate...yum yum. Now will make more to put in fridge to have ready. Thanks for posting the how to. I always cook my chicken...carrot...onion and potatoes together in the rice cooker and it comes out perfect all the time too.
Thank you, Cara!
My Philippina wife and I just throw some eggs in with the rice from start to finish and the shells fall right off cooked perfectly easily peeled
Thank you kindly. I grew up on homegrown beef and Mashed potatoes. I love bread! Rice has been a problem since I was in college and that was 1980's. In retirement I am open to healthier food. I usually use instant rice but what I have is real rice. I am going to mix it with white canned beans and bake it in a buttered casserole with 2 bone in chicken breasts on top and chicken broth. Sometimes this comes out great. Sometimes rice is under/over cooked. I think it will be easier to cook in this rice cooker.
I don’t have a steamer basket for my cheapo rice cooker is it different than the place you put the rice in?
Hi Janet! You don't want to place the eggs in the bowl of the rice cooker with the water because all you're doing then is boiling them, which is no different than doing it in a pot on the stove. The idea with a steamer basket is that it's just the steam and heat from the simmering water that is cooking the eggs.
Hey Janet....Before i got the steamer basket for mine i would put water in the rice cooker and set what ever i wanted steamed like fish' chicken breast and or veggies i would set it in a smaller bowl that would fit inside above the water line. Basically a bowl inside a bowl and that worked also but you can find Steamers in a lot of Asian markets and online for super cheap
What else is the rice cooker good for besides eggs? Any ideas???
Hi Kate..... Saw tour inquiry about what else to use a rice cooker for..... Its endless....when i don't feel like heating up the oven and it's just for me I'll throw in some chicken either a breast couple of thighs or a couple of legs a whole carrot a whole potato a whole onion and a couple of cups of chicken broth into the rice cooker with some herbs and or a dash of lemon juice or whatever I want and Let It Go for about 45 minutes and I've got a meal without heating up the kitchen. The broth reduces so much and coats the vegetables and chicken just right... give it a shot it's worth it.
I have a rice cooker with a steam function so I set it to steam and set the built in timer for 20 minutes. But the timer didn't start running until the water boiled. Is the 20 minutes supposed to be start to finish including boiling time, or 20 minutes after it boils?
Hi Diane. You want to use the cook function on your rice cooker, and the 20 minutes starts from when you start...not from when the water starts to boil, and it's better for you to set a 20 minute timer separate from your rice cooker. Hope that helps!
Thank you for this question and reply! I thought I was a complete moron for not knowing how to get perfect hard boiled eggs. I tried all the tips online and finally found this for the rice cooker. The peeling has been so easy! But the first two times I felt like I way overcooked them...then saw this that I should start the timer when I turn it on...not when the cooker's "steam" timer starts. The batch I just made with this note in mind is perfect perfect!
You're definitely not a moron, Nicole! Thanks for trying the recipe more than once and I'm glad it finally worked out! I've also updated the recipe instructions and notes to reflect when to start the timer so it's more clear.
Great tip. I was looking into buying an egg boiler but I can recycle my rice cook for the same purpose. The basic rice cookers like mine, just have a button to turn on and when the water runs out then it clicks off and that´s when you know is ready, for rice usually 2 cups of water for one of rice. It would be great to hit the right spot for the amount of water needed to boil the eggs and therefore we do not need to watch the time. You say 20 min is good, but does all the water ran out after the 20 min? if so, how much water are u adding in millilitres?
Hi Oscar! I also have a basic rice cooker with the one button and I add approximately 1 cup or 250 mL of water to the pot, and the water does not completely cook off after 20 minutes. If you want to only add just enough water so that it completely cooks off in the right amount of time, you will probably have to play with that a bit as different rice cookers may also operate differently. If you find the sweet amount of water to make it work, please come back and share your results! Thanks for the question.
Just got a new Instant Zest rice cooker. Used this 20 minute method and it worked like a charm. So easy. Thank you!
Hi Tracy! I'm glad it worked out and thanks for trying the recipe!
Hi my rice cooker doesn’t have a timer will it work if I put it on cook and use a separate timer? Thx
Hi Tanya! Yes! That is exactly how I do it. I set a separate timer and pull the eggs out when it's done.
I also have an 8 cup Zest instapot which is a rice cooker (buttons for white & brown), a quinoa cooker & oatmeal cooker. It also has a steamer button which I believe you set for the # of minutes you want after the water comes to a boil. Are your instructions to NOT use the steamer button & select white rice & time separately for 20 minutes or can I use the steamer function but start a separate timer from the time the lid closes? I am sorry for the question but I think it stems from the fact that newer rice cookers have extra button options.
No worries, Stephanie! I do not own an Instapot, but if it were me, I would set the Zest Instapot it to white rice, and start a separate timer for 20 minutes. Basically, I would go with the recipe as stated, and then see how the eggs turn out. If they're are good, then your son is good to go! I hope that helps!
I just bought my son a Zest for his first apartment & wonder if you used the steamer button or the white rice button? I am trying to teach him from 3000 miles away. Can you tell me exactly what you did? He has the little 8 cup Zest. Thank you, Stephanie
Thanks for a great instruction!
Still I got a question - time is based on water of ambient temperature, right?
Just thinking about to boil water in kettle first, my assumption that it will be faster and more efficient in terms of energy consumption, with downside of extra actions of course..
I'm not exactly sure how it would turn out or how long it would take to achieve a hard cooked egg if you did it that way. Let me know if you try it!
Can I cook rice and eggs at the same time in the rice cooker?
Yes, I think you could! Keep in mind that if your rice takes longer than 20 minutes to cook, your eggs will end up being more cooked as well. Thanks for the question, Levi!
Jacki R Madewell
Do the eggs need to be at room temperature before you start cooking them?
No, they don’t, Jacki. They can go straight from the fridge to the rice cooker. Thanks for the question!
90 F today and thought about boiling eggs on the patio instead of the stove. Found your recipe while looking for recipes to use stand alone appliances out there. 20 minutes was perfect for 6 eggs in my 30 year old Sanyo 5 cup rice cooker. Started with 8 ounces of water and had 2 ounces afterward so maybe less water next time...
Your egg peeling instructions were a definite bonus. Fastest and easiest boiled and peeled eggs ever.
Ps: your website won't allow me to subscribe- something about cheating, but I wasn't.
I'm so glad the eggs worked out, John! Also, I wouldn't worry too much about reducing the water...you don't necessarily want it to completely cook off. Thanks for sharing your comments, and I see that you were able to subscribe successfully, so thanks for that, too!