Whether it’s the perfect partner to toast soldiers or even as a jammy topping to a bowl of ramen, there's little to beat a boiled egg. That said, I rarely boil eggs, because it’s a mighty and messy faff. So, when a TikTok came up on my FYP showing how easy it was to make boiled eggs in an air fryer, I decided to give it a crack, if you'll excuse the pun.
Let’s be real here: the concept of 'boiling' eggs in an air fryer is a bit ridiculous. They’re not boiled at all, because you can't boil water in most air fryers – in fact, to try and do so could be rather dangerous, so please don't even try that. So what we're really talking about is baked eggs, made in an air fryer basket – ironically, making fried eggs in most types of air fryer is also nigh on impossible. Still, what I saw on TikTok looked pretty much like the kind of boiled egg I’d eat for breakfast, and I was hopeful that I could replicate these results in my own kitchen.
Can you make a boiled egg in an air fryer?
Let’s cut to the chase: it turns out that you can make a pretty convincing ‘boiled’ egg in an air fryer, but a lot of rubbery trial and error has taught me that the trick to perfecting that air fryer egg is to cook slow and low, and immediately put the egg in an ice bath when you’re done.
The technique that worked best for me was to put the air fryer at 150ºC/300ºF for eight minutes. The TikTok I saw recommended nine minutes, but when I tried this I found that the egg was cooked past my liking.
How to make boiled eggs in an air fryer
Learn from my mistakes, because as it happens there is a bit of a knack for making air fryer boiled eggs. If you do give it a go, here are my do’s and don’ts.
Low and slow was the only way I was able to cook an egg that I was actually able to peel. It was tempting to cook at 200ºC, but when I tried this, the membrane of the egg had toughened and felt very rubbery, meaning it was hard to peel away the shell in large chunks. Instead, I set about rinsing it underneath some water, and ended up taking away large chunks of the egg itself until I deemed the first egg a failure. The colour was way off, with brown markings and a yolk that was very far past the perfect soft consistency I was going for.
It actually makes complete sense now I think about it. When you boil an egg it’s in a temperature of around 100ºC, so putting the air fryer closer to this temperature will give you a better result.
At least for your first few attempts, it’s likely that you’ll have a few failed eggs. Cook the eggs one at a time until you’ve figured out your perfect formula.
This made a big difference for me. I found that with one of the older eggs in my cupboard the yolk seemed to drop towards the bottom of the egg when I laid it in the air fryer basket. In boiling water, the egg tends to float, so this is less of an issue, but fresher eggs will keep the yolk evenly placed in the egg white.
Out of the air fryer, and into the ice bath. It’s the only way to stop the egg from cooking as soon as it’s done, and I found that it also really helped with peeling the egg when it had cooled sufficiently. I also found that it was easier to peel the egg when I had it submerged in water.
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But SHOULD you make boiled eggs in the air fryer?
Just because you can do something, that doesn’t mean it’s worth doing. Will I be making air fryer boiled eggs again? Not unless someone commissions me to write this article again. While I was able to get a decent boiled egg when trying out this hack, it did take two failed attempts to figure out the formula, and even then the egg simply wasn’t as easy to peel as an egg that’s been boiled.
The main downside to this technique is the smell, because three attempts later, there were no amount of scented candles that could get rid of the sulphuric scent from my kitchen. At one point my partner even emerged from his office to complain about the egg smell, and looked mildly horrified at the number of partially-peeled failed attempts sitting on our kitchen counter.
That said, if you find yourself in some bizarre situation where you don’t have access to a stove, or boiling water, but you do have access to an air fryer, this is one way to get the job done.
- More air fryer info
- How to use an air fryer – a beginner's guide
- Absolutely everything you need to know about air fryers
- How to clean an air fryer