How To Make Soft-Boiled Eggs

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With a just-set white and warm, almost-runny and jammy yolk, soft-boiled eggs are wonderful for breakfast, or served over salads or ramen.

how to soft boil eggs

Soft-boiled eggs — those with a just-set white and a warm, almost-runny, and jammy yolk — are wonderful over salads and ramen. They also make a lovely breakfast nestled in an egg cup with some toast on the side. Surprisingly, soft-boiled eggs are made differently than hard-boiled eggs.

While hard-boiled eggs are started in cold water, brought to a boil, and then removed from the heat to finish cooking, soft-boiled eggs are lowered into boiling water and gently boiled until done. The reason for this is that there’s less room for error with soft-boiled eggs — with the drop-into-boiling-water method, you can time the eggs precisely because you know the exact moment they begin cooking. Keep in mind that I use standard large eggs — for smaller or larger eggs, the cook time would need to be adjusted by a minute or so in either direction.

How To Make Soft-Boiled Eggs

Bring a saucepan (large enough to hold the eggs in a single layer) of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower cold-from-the-fridge eggs into the water one at a time. Cook for exactly 6½ minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle boil.

Meanwhile, fill a bowl with cold water and some ice cubes. When the eggs are done cooking, transfer them to the water and chill until just slightly warm, about 2 minutes.

Gently crack the eggs all over and peel under running water.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Soft Boiled Eggs

With a just-set white and warm, almost-runny and jammy yolk, soft-boiled eggs are wonderful for breakfast, or served over salads or ramen.

Servings: Up to a dozen eggs
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Bring a saucepan (large enough to hold the eggs in a single layer) of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower cold-from-the-fridge eggs into the water one at a time (don't drop them in or they'll crack). Cook for exactly 6½ minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle boil.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a bowl large enough to hold the eggs with cold water and some ice cubes. When the eggs are done cooking, transfer them to the water and chill until just slightly warm, about 2 minutes.
  3. Gently crack the eggs all over and peel under running water.
  4. Tip: When peeling an egg, start at the wider end -- there's usually a small air pocket in there, which makes the egg shell easier to remove.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Weve now done soft boiled eggs! These taste so delicious and divine. But of pink sea salt and perfection.

    We had tried 4 min soft boil… white was still a bit undone on the fatter end. 5 minutes is better if you want the yolk 100% runny. But yes. 6 is the sweet spot. But jammy on the outside of the yolk. And still gooey in the center.

    Thank you!

    • — Dora Bialota on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi jenn, These eggs were absolutely perfect.no runny whites, just a lovely egg. Thanks so much for figuring this out.

    • — Dagmar Vanderkuip on January 22, 2019
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  • Great recipe. Easy to follow and the eggs came out just like the pictures.
    Many thanks.

    • — Steve on January 19, 2019
    • Reply
  • Perfect! Delicious!

    • — Michelle on December 15, 2018
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  • Excellent! I am a rookie and made these for my 17 yr old daughter at her request. PERFECT! She loved them! Thank you!

    • — Sharon on November 8, 2018
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  • Thank you. This was my favorite lunch as a child, and I’ve never figured out how to get them just right. The size eggs I buy and the temp of my fridge required exactly one extra minute, but I love that I can set a timer and have perfect eggs every time!

    • — Rebecca on August 11, 2018
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  • I read a suggestion that one could cook an egg in about 1/4 inch of water, brought to a boil, covered, and cooked (steamed?) for six minutes. I do this for a breakfast soft-boiled egg. If I want hardboiled eggs for salads or sandwiches, I leave them in the hot water for about ten minutes and then chill them in cold water. They peel easily and can live in the fridge for several days before using.

    • — Jack Poulter on February 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • This is what I love about this blog – helpful hints and instructions on how to perfect something as simple as a boiled egg. My husband noticed the improved taste and texture when I made boiled eggs following these instructions. Thank you!

    • — Tracy on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
  • Wonderfully helpful recipe as always. How long do soft-boiled eggs keep in the fridge?

    • — Nina Baxter on October 25, 2017
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! These will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.

      • — Jenn on October 25, 2017
      • Reply
  • Hi, Jenn.

    I love your how-to tips as much as your recipes! Question on the soft-boiled eggs – what size eggs did you use? Does the cook time vary based on the egg size? Thanks.

    • — Susan D on October 19, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, I use large eggs – and yes the size of the eggs would make a slight difference. I’ll note that in the instructions – thank you!

      • — Jenn on October 19, 2017
      • Reply
  • Finally – perfectly soft boiled an egg!!!
    Thank you

    • — Bernice Chesley on October 19, 2017
    • Reply

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