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We put it to the test.

By Aly Walansky
March 04, 2021
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TikTok has been a great resource in the past year for all sorts of life and cooking intel, from the viral feta pasta to Dalgona coffee. The best TikTok hacks show simple ways to make delicious dishes — be it whipped coffee or cheesy pasta — but often also take an established kitchen and ingredient staple and teach a whole new way to work with it. And the latest kitchen hack to go viral involves a classic breakfast option — the hard-boiled egg, and greatly simplifies the process by using one of the trendiest home appliances out there.

It's a pretty established belief that making hard-boiled eggs involves, well, boiling. But a recent TikTok video calls everything we ever thought we knew about hard-boiled eggs into question. This includes the matter of whether a pot of boiled water needs to be involved at all.

What? Hard-boiled eggs without hard-boiling? Or, boiling at all? Apparently! TikTok user  @lainiecooks recently went viral after sharing her own method for making "hard-boiled" eggs in her air fryer.

In the video, she instructs those attempting to follow along the recipe at home to place the eggs in the air fryer, and set it to 250 degrees for about 15 minutes.

 "When you're done, you're going to want to put them in an ice bath. This just makes them easier to peel," she said in the video.

Laine's video does show her egg shell peeling right after as she runs the egg under water, and as she slices her egg on avocado toast, it does seem rather perfectly "hard-boiled!"

hard-boiled eggs on a dark plate
Credit: Dianne

Hard-boiled eggs may seem like a pretty simple thing to make, but there's all sorts of trial and error that goes into them. Whether overcooking eggs - which can result in dry, rubbery eggs — or skipping the ice bath (which also can result in overcooking), there's a whole lot to go wrong. This air fryer maneuver though suggests a "set it and forget it" option, no pot of boiling water required!

Air fryer hacks are nothing new, and of late, it seems that just about everything is being re-imagined for the air fryer, ranging from salmon dishes to roasted veggies. Why not use it to simplify breakfast?

But does it work? I tried throwing an egg into my own air fryer, doing the same 15 minutes at the 250-degree setting that was recommended in the TikTok video, and it actually did work. Not only that, but after the cold water bath, the eggs peeled in a snap. As someone who always personally struggled with grayish rubbery eggs and crumbly dry yolks, it was quite eye-opening.

aly made an egg in the air fryer
Credit: Aly Walansky

There's a lot of benefits to trying to make this breakfast basic in the air fryer, and at the top of the list is simply saving time. This method means no time spent waiting for water to boil, and keeping the process completely hands off - simply dump the basket of eggs into the ice bath when you are done. No burn risk and no fuss.  Just set the timer and go back to your morning coffee.As wild as this concept may seem, it's not that new. There's also a way to make hard-boiled eggs in the oven as well as the Instant Pot. Dash even makes a rapid electric cooker for eggs that sells for under $20. But just tossing it in a countertop appliance that you already have feels even easier.