Food and Nutrition

If You Haven’t Tried Air Fryer Eggs, You’re Seriously Missing Out

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Photo: Getty Images/azgek
Science and your mother have collectively established that skipping breakfast is a bad idea, but sometimes, it just feels as though there simply isn’t enough time to start your day with a square meal. After all, if you’re barely able to down your cup of coffee before that first Zoom meeting, is it really reasonable to expect you to prepare a full-fledged healthy breakfast before your boss begins making demands?

The answer is yes—so long as you're well-equipped with some nutrient-rich breakfast ideas that are quick to cook. While we won’t expect you to perfectly poach an egg or griddle some Beyond Sausage at the break of dawn, there is a simple solution that is as delicious as it is efficient. The magic comes in the form of the hard-boiled egg, packed with protein, B vitamins, zinc, choline, and vitamin D and perfectly contained in its own portable shell. Whether you’re working from home or taking your meal on the go, hard boiled eggs will be there to energize you.

But despite the name of the technique, you in fact don’t need to boil your eggs. In fact, you don’t even have to bring any water into the equation. To make hard-boiled eggs that are perfectly cooked and completely fuss-free, try enlisting your air fryer.

Find out why a registered dietitian calls eggs 'nature's multivitamin' by watching this video:

How to make air fryer hard boiled eggs

While is frequently celebrated as the cooking appliance that turns out healthy foods with a deliciously crisp, crunchy texture and fried-like flavor, the air fryer is also the ideal device for speeding up a dish's cooking process. Read: While you may have tried your air fryer on favorites like french fries, crispy brussels sprouts, or wings, you may not have expanded your air fryer repertoire beyond, well, traditionally fried foods.

Here's the thing, though. The technology that makes air fryers ideal for perfecting the crunchy coating on your mozzarella sticks also works for quickly (and uniformly) cooking hard boiled eggs. In essence, an air fryer cooks by way of a convection fan that quickly circulates hot air around your ingredients. The high heat, dry environment, and air circulation inside the air fryer baskets make for a surprisingly ideal environment for hard-boiling—or technically, baking—eggs in practically no time.

The number of eggs you can cook at the same time and the time required will vary a bit depending on your air fryer model and personal preferences. But generally speaking, you’ll want to begin by preheating your air fryer to 270°F (or as close as you can get to that temperature). Once the device is preheated, add your eggs to the fryer basket, and set your timer for between 12 and 17 minutes depending on your ideal doneness.

If you love a jammy, soft-boiled center, you can set the timer for as low as 10 minutes and work up from there until you find your just-right texture. 12 and 14 minutes typically gives you perfect medium-boiled eggs, but again, this will depend on the brand and power of your air fryer. Finally, for a harder-cooked, solidified yolk, leave it in for 16 minutes or so. As with traditional hard boiled eggs, experimentation is key, so be sure to try out a couple batches to determine the right temperature and timing for you. (You'll be surprised how hard it is to screw this recipe up.)

While the eggs are cooking, go ahead and prepare an ice bath so that you can quickly drop the internal temperature of your finished eggs so that they don't continue cooking past your desired texture or become difficult to peel. Once the eggs are done, plunge those babies into cold water, and peel them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle. (You can also stick your shelled eggs in the refrigerator and peel them when you’re ready to eat).

There’s no pot of boiling water to wait for, no danger of forgetting about the eggs in their too-hot bath, and no concern of chalky, overcooked, green-rimmed yolks. With an air fryer, you need just your one ingredient and the appliance's built-in timer to ensure perfectly-cooked eggs every time.

Top-Rated Air Fryers

Ninja Air Fryer
Ninja AF101 Air Fryer — $90.00

Originally $120, now $90

The Ninja’s small but mighty appliance gets top marks from the folks at CNET, who noted its simple, easy-to-navigate control panel and quick cooking time.

Instant Pot Air Fryer
Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Basket Air Fryer — $99.00

If you’re already a devotee of the Instant Pot, you’ll be thrilled to know that this air fryer from the brand is just as good. It gives your veggies an even crisp and has a sizable basket, which comes in handy when cooking for the whole family (or one very hungry person, no shame).

Cuisinart Toaster Oven Air Fryer
Cuisinart Chef's Convection Toaster Oven — $200.00

Running out of counter space for single-use appliances? This convection toaster oven (beloved by Wirecutter) functions as an air fryer, but can also bake, boil, or toast.

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