Steaming is my new favorite method for making hard-cooked eggs at high altitude. With this method the egg yolks and whites are perfectly cooked, there is no ugly green layer on the yolks, the eggs peel quickly and best of all...it's easy.
My old method took twice as long to make because two quarts of water had to be brought to a rolling boil and then there was additional cooking time. Often the eggs were hard to peel and had that dreaded greenish tinge on the yolks.
The Cook's Illustrated magazine method for steaming hard-cooked eggs was my starting point. With the help of friends and family steaming eggs all over the state, I was able to develop some recommendations for steaming times for a variety of elevations.
This recipe has been adapted from a method that first appeared in Cook’s Illustrated magazine. This recipe works for Steamboat Springs, Colorado, elevation 6,795 feet above sea level. In the Notes at the end of the recipe, I have included recommendations from friends and family at other elevations that you might find helpful.
- 6 large eggs
Pour one inch of water into a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Place an empty steamer basket over the water and turn heat to high until the water begins to boil.
Gently place the eggs in the steamer basket. When the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and continue steaming for 17 minutes. (Adjust this time to your elevation - see note below.)
While the eggs cook, prepare a large bowl with 2 cups of ice and 2 cups of water. Plunge the steamed eggs into the ice water for 10 minutes.
This recipe will also work for a dozen eggs when you place the steamer basket in a large stainless steel dutch oven with tight-fitting lid.
Steaming time recommendations from contributors across Colorado:
- Steam for 13 minutes at sea level (Cook's Illustrated recommendation)
- Steam for 15 minutes at 5,000 feet above sea level - Longmont & Fort Collins, CO (Elisa & Lyndy's recommendation)
- Steam for 17 minutes at 6,800 feet above sea level - Steamboat Springs, CO (Karen's recommendation)
- Steam for 20 minutes at 10,000 feet above sea level - Leadville, CO (Elisa's recommendation)