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Spoiler alert: Yes, it DOES work! Here’s how to try it yourself.
Real talk: Making perfect hard-boiled eggs can feel like too much of a hassle to undertake for the final result, especially first thing in the morning. Instead of having to complete the tedious steps for making them from scratch, you may end up splurging on the overpriced bag of already-prepared eggs to spare yourself the effort.
However, what if we told you that we tried an incredibly easy viral TikTok hack for making them that actually works and saves you time? Shockingly, we discovered that the secret to making these protein-rich snacks in under 15 minutes and completely hands-free is enlisting your air fryer. Yes, your air fryer!
Forget ever having to painfully wait again for a pot of water to come to a boil to make your hard-boiled eggs. As we learned from many TikTok users, all you need is your air fryer and some ice-cold water to cook them to perfection—and, best of all, there's essentially no clean-up involved. TikTok user @kortneyandkarlee says to place the egg in the air fryer for 15 minutes at 270° F. Then immediately remove the egg and put it in an ice bath (bowl with water and ice) to stop the cooking process. After the egg has had a chance to cool down, peel it completely, and voilà: A perfectly cooked hard-boiled egg.
Sounds simple enough, right? We must admit, the hack sounded too good to be true, so we had to put it to the test. We experimented using two different air fryers at different temperatures that both yielded surprisingly accurate and satisfying results every time.
We set the first air fryer at its lowest temperature setting of 300° F and cooked the eggs for 9 minutes, 12 minutes, and then 15 minutes. As each egg was completed, they were soaked in an ice bath for about 3 minutes or until fully cooled. We recommend using the back of a metal spoon to lightly tap and crack around the egg's exterior to make peeling easier. If you're having trouble removing the shell, soak the egg in the water as you go to help release the small shards.
We found that this method yielded deliciously runny, slightly creamy, and then completely set centers at the 9, 12, and 15 minute marks. We also ran through the same process with a second air fryer set at 270° F for 9 minutes, 11 minutes, 13 minutes, and 15 minutes. This resulted in very runny; runny but set; set but slightly creamy; and fully cooked centers.
See here for delicious visual evidence—then choose your ideal amount oof cook time based upon which egg appeals to you most:
Through the testing, we concluded that the temperature could be modified plus or minus 30° F without risking burning or undercooking the eggs. However, time acts as the most critical variable for determining the doneness of each egg. If you add more time, you'll end up with ones suitable for your favorite deviled egg recipe; meanwhile, ones cooked for less time would be ideal for a brunch avocado toast. With the simplicity and minimal clean-up factor of this hack, it'll be very difficult to go back to cooking hard-boiled eggs the traditional way ever again.