Note: This recipe is a long-time Mark’s Daily Apple favorite. An earlier version was originally submitted by reader Vanessa Query.
You’ve probably heard of BLTs and BLTAs, but have you heard of BEATs? No, not the headphones by Dre. We’re talking Bacon, Egg, Avocado, and Tomato salad. It’s a favorite around here for a quick and easy meal that is ready in less than two minutes if you already have hard-boiled eggs in the fridge. The secret ingredient is a squirt of lemon juice, which heightens the flavor and adds brightness to this otherwise simple but very satisfying salad.
How to Cook the Perfect Hard-Boiled Egg
In the past, we’ve talked often about the health benefits of eggs and how to purchase and cook them to perfection. Still, the debate rages on regarding the best way to hard-cook an egg.
Boiling is the most popular method, but it frequently results in broken eggshells. Some people swear by adding vinegar or salt to the water. There are various opinions about how long to cook them and at what temperature, whether to add the eggs to cold or boiling water, and to cover or not to cover. Who knew something as basic as an egg could be so controversial?
Our favorite method for boiling eggs is:
Place eggs in a large saucepan full of cold water
Bring the water to a gentle boil
Turn off the heat and cover the pot
Let the eggs sit for 10 minutes, then transfer them to an ice bath
The truth is, though, we rarely boil our eggs anymore since there are better, more fool-proof options available. Here are our real favorite methods for hard-“boiling” eggs (without actually boiling them):
Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs – The 5-5-5 Method
This method couldn’t be easier:
Pour a cup of water into the Instant Pot and place a trivet, steamer basket, or egg rack inside
Place eggs on the rack
Close the lid and cook eggs for 5 minutes on high pressure
Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes
Release remaining pressure, open the lid, and transfer the eggs to an ice bath for 5 minutes
How to Cook Hard-Boiled Eggs in an Air Fryer
You’re already using your air fryer for wings, potato wedges, and fried guacamole (!!), so why not eggs? Simply heat your air fryer to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius) and cook the eggs for 16 to 17 minutes for firm yolks, or 13 to 14 minutes for softer yolks. If your air fryer doesn’t go that low, cook them at 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius) for 13 to 14 minutes. Either way, immediately chill your eggs in ice water to halt the cooking.
Baked Hard-Boiled Eggs in the Oven
No fancy countertop appliances? No problem! The best way to hard-cook eggs in the oven is to stand them up in a mini muffin tin to keep them from rolling around. A regular muffin tin works too. Most people seem to have good results cooking them for 30 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius), then placing them in an ice bath. However, since every oven is different, you might need to experiment a bit to find your perfect time+temperature combo.
If you want to stick to the stovetop, consider steaming your eggs instead of boiling them. Using a steamer basket to lift the eggs out of the hot water makes them less likely to break. Bring an inch or so of water to a boil in a large saucepan, then place the steamer basket and eggs inside. Cover and steam for 15 minutes to start. Experiment to find the steaming time that gets the yolks cooked to your preference.
How to Tell If Your Eggs Are Fresh
Fresh eggs are harder to peel than somewhat older eggs. This is a problem if you’re making deviled eggs or another recipe where you want picture-perfect smooth eggs. For this recipe, you’re chopping the eggs up anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
To test the freshness of your eggs, drop them gently in a glass bowl filled with cold water. The freshest eggs will sink to the bottom and lay on their sides. Slightly older but still edible eggs sink but stand up on one end. Discard any eggs that float.
Two-Minute Bacon, Egg, Avocado, and Tomato Salad Recipe
Serves: 1 to 2
Time in the kitchen: 2 minutes, plus previous time cooking eggs and bacon
1 ripe avocado, chopped into chunks
2 boiled eggs, chopped into chunks
1 medium-sized tomato, chopped into chunks
Juice from one lemon wedge
2-4 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together. Don’t stir too much—just enough to lightly smash some of the avocado and egg.