How To Cook The Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg Every Time

Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs – A Couple Cooks

How To Cook The Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg Every Time

Here’s how to make soft boiled eggs! This cook time results in a golden runny yolk and firm whites every time. Perfect for breakfast or atop ramen.

Ahh, soft boiled eggs. Smooth and glossy whites, golden and jammy on the inside. They’re perfect on toast for breakfast, or atop a steaming bowl of ramen. How to perfect this elusive state where the egg is cooked with a gooey center? We’ve got answers. (PS If you’re looking for how long to hard boil eggs, go to Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs.)

How to soft boil eggs? Cook time 6 to 7 minutes

The cooking method for the eggs is easy: the only hard part is trusting that they’re done! Since you can’t open an egg to find out, you’ll have to rely on faith for this one. The cook time for soft boiled eggs is 6 to 7 minutes. Use the lower time if you your eggs extremely runny, the higher time for yolks that are just barely starting to set. Here’s what to do:

  • Simmer a pan of water, to where the water is just quivering.
  • Add the eggs and cook 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove the eggs and place them in a bowl of ice water for 2 minutes. Then peel!

How to peel soft boiled eggs

After the hard-boiled eggs sit in the ice water, peel the ones you want to eat immediately. You can store leftover unpeeled eggs in the fridge for up to 1 week. Here are a few tips on how to peel eggs:

  • Use the correct cook time (or try in the Instant Pot). Using the right soft boiled eggs cook time should also make them easy to peel. An Instant Pot also makes easy to peel eggs. Go to Instant Pot Soft Boiled Eggs.
  • Gently tap the larger bottom end of the egg so that the shell crushes. Lightly tap the larger end of the egg so that the shell crushes. The bottom end of the egg has an air bubble, which makes it easier to crush the shell. Then start to peel off the shell. Continue peeling the shell until all the pieces are removed.

How long are soft boiled eggs good for?

Once you’ve made your eggs, can you store them for later? Good question. Soft boiled eggs last for about 2 days refrigerated with the shell on. They don’t save as long as hard boiled eggs, since the yolk is not fully cooked. We’d recommend making these “to order” since they’re best warm. But if desired, you can save leftovers in the fridge.

Egg nutrition

Sometimes they get a bad rap, but eggs are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. What’s the nutritional break down? One egg has:

  • 75 calories
  • 7 grams of protein
  • Lots of nutrients

Recent research has found that instead of avoiding eggs for cholesterol reasons, they can increase the good cholesterol the body needs. Eggs are an affordable and easy-to-eat source of high quality protein. They’re also especially helpful for vegetarian diets as a natural source of B12.

Recipes with soft boiled eggs

Once you’ve cooked up some soft boiled eggs, there are many ways to use them! Here are a few of our favorite ways to serve them:

Try a soft boiled egg on Miso Ramen

This soft boiled eggs recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Here’s how to make soft boiled eggs! This cook time results in a golden runny yolk and firm whites every time. Perfect for breakfast or atop ramen.

  1. Bring water to a simmer: Fill a medium pot of water and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer where the water is just vibrating.
  2. Simmer 6 to 7 minutes: Gently lower the eggs into the water with a spoon. Simmer for 6 to 7 minutes (6 for a very runny yolk and 7 for still runny and barely starting to set).
  3. Prepare ice water: Meanwhile, prepare a bowl filled with water and ice cubes. When the eggs are done, immediately place them in the ice bath and let them cool, about 2 minutes.
  4. Peel: Peel the eggs by lightly tapping the bottom end (larger end that has the air bubble). When the shell crushes, gently peel off the shell in pieces. Slice in half and serve.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Eggs

Keywords: Soft Boiled Eggs

More with eggs

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How to Get Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs Every Time

How To Cook The Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg Every Time

This January I decided I wanted a new breakfast routine. With my husband and I both working from home (and consequently eating three meals, two snacks, and copious cups of tea at home every day) the dishes really pile up.

I can’t stand having a load of dishes to attend to in the morning; I want to be able to eat and get on with my work day. So in an effort to eliminate pots and pans cleanup from my morning schedule, I decided we should move from fried and scrambled eggs to soft-boiled eggs.

(My obsession with Downton Abbey and all things Regency may have influenced this choice a bit.)

So we dove in with confidence on our first morning and boiled ourselves up some eggs. I did a little research and found all kinds of advice. Our first attempt was adequate, but the white was still a bit runny. Plus the whole thing had been a bit fiddly.

Put the eggs in before or after the boil, turn off the heat or not – we found lots of conflicting advice online. We’d expected this to be simple and so far it wasn’t. Also opening the egg up was an additional challenge we hadn’t anticipated.

And our spoons were too big, and we were using Sake cups for egg holders. Clearly we had not done enough research.

We took a trip to Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma in search of egg accessories. My husband, the engineer, wanted to find the perfect egg decapitator. I just wanted some cute egg cups. One forty dollar pair of egg scissors, two fancy chicken-shaped egg cups, and a weird plastic submersible egg timer later, we were ready to try again. Surely we couldn't fail, right?

Failure: thy name is soft-boiled.

We persisted. What we found out is that fancy egg decapitators, color-changing egg timers, and the , are completely unnecessary and a waste of money. Through trial and error we finally arrived at our perfectly cooked egg.

Coupled with a cup of tea and some gluten free toast (I highly recommend Rudi’s multigrain) our soft boiled adventure has become our favorite breakfast. Cleanup is minimal and every morning the whole ordeal just feels so very civilized.

Clever eggcups and dainty spoons are simply a fun way to start your morning. Carson would approve.

Here I share our soft-boiled wisdom with you dear reader, so you will not have to spend the absurd amount of time and money that we did figuring out something that really, should be very simple.

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.TIP: we have an instant hot tap on our sink, we use this to fill a small saucepan just high enough to cover two eggs. It comes to a boil in about a minute, and is a great time saver.
  2. With a large spoon place eggs in pot of boiling water. TIP: use eggs from free-range chickens.
  3. Set a timer for 6 minutes. TIP: Your mileage may vary with the time depending on how you your eggs. For us, 6 minutes results in the perfect egg: hard white and a yolk that is thickened but still runny.
  4. While your egg is cooking prepare your toast. If you , you can cut the toast into strips for dunking into the yolk. This is a popular English tradition where the toast is referred to as “soldiers”.
  5. When time is up bring the pan to the sink and immediately being running cold water in it. This will stop the cooking but will not make the inside of the egg cold. You’ll still have a hot breakfast.
  6. Place your eggs in the egg cups and just tap the top of the egg with your spoon to crack it. With your fingers, peel off the shell from the top of the egg. Or you can insert your spoon and remove top of the egg, shell and all, in one scoop.


  • #Cooking and Recipes
  • #eggs
  • #recipe

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How To Make Soft-Boiled Eggs

How To Cook The Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg Every Time

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Learn how to make soft-boiled eggs with this step-by-step video and easy recipe!

Hey friends!  I’m back today with the second post in our week-long series on how to cook eggs, continuing on with a new video tutorial on…

…how to make SOFT-boiled eggs. ? ? ?

Tomorrow, we’ll tackle the art of hard-boiling.  But today, it’s all about those ooey, gooey, runny, delicious soft-boiled egg yolks.

 You know, those eggs that are the perfect topping for a freshly slice of avocado toast at breakfast, or maybe a nice and hearty green salad for lunch, or a piping hot bowl of ramen for dinner.

 Or, of course, any delicious time you’re feeling some extra protein in between.

Soft boiled eggs are always a winner.

So let’s talk about how to make them!

Soft Boiled Eggs Recipe | 1-Minute Video

When it comes to boiling eggs, timing is everything.  As I mention below, I highly recommend that you don’t chance it — set a timer the second those eggs go down in the water so that you can be avoid having your eggs accidentally be over- or under-cooked.

 But hey, if you happen to forget to set a timer — or if you’re cooking a large batch of eggs and are nervous about how they’re doing — feel free to “sacrifice” one egg in the middle of cooking by cracking it open to see if it has reached your desired level of doneness.

 Then you can either remove or continue cooking the rest of your eggs accordingly.

Also, the general rule of thumb with soft-boiled eggs is to boil them for 5 minutes if you want the yolks to be super-runny, or 7 minutes if you want the yolks to be a little more firm yet still soft and scoop-able.  Or — hey — 6 minutes is always a lovely compromise.

Here are my best tips!

  • Use Good Lookin’ Eggs: As in, eggs that do not have any visible cracks.
  • Use Older Eggs: You can soft-boil fresh new eggs.  But they tend to peel best if they are at least 3-5 days old.
  • Use Chilly Eggs: This recipe is designed for eggs taken straight from the refrigerator, not warmed to room temp.
  • Don’t Crowd The Pan: You want the eggs to be in a single layer on the bottom of the pan.  So choose the size of your pan accordingly.
  • Set A Timer: Timing for soft-boiled eggs is everything.  So don’t risk it — set a timer the second they go in the water, and you’ll be good to go.
  • Eat Warm: Soft-boiled eggs are obviously best immediately after they have been cooked.  So dive right in!  🙂

Happy soft-boiling!


Learn how to make perfectly soft-boiled eggs with this easy recipe and step-by-step video tutorial!



  1. Fill a saucepan with about 3 inches of water. Heat over medium-high heat until the water reaches a rapid simmer.  Reduce heat to medium (or medium-low) to maintain the simmer.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the egg(s) into the water.
  3. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, depending on how runny you would the yolk(s).

     (5 minutes for a super-runny yolk, 7 minutes for a firmer-yet-still-soft yolk, adding an extra 20 seconds if you have more than 3 eggs in the pan.)

  4. Remove the egg(s) with a slotted spoon.  Place in an ice bath or run under cold water for 1 minute.
  5. Peel and serve immediately while the egg is still nice and warm.

Also be sure to check out our recipes for:


Jammy Soft-Boiled Eggs Recipe

How To Cook The Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg Every Time

Fantastic. I went ahead and listened to some of the commenters and cooked the eggs for 7 minutes and they came out perfectly. I only cooked two eggs, so the pot was not overcrowded, and I let the eggs rest about 10 minutes before cooking them.

Hbsmith9691Memphis, TN01/21/20

Followed to a T and I too ended up with eggs very underdone – interior whites were liquid. I adore your recipes but this one clearly isn’t complete. Please add what temperature the eggs should be at before going in (take fridge an hour before?), what size egg, and a description of a “gentle boil“. Too vague.


They came out perfect. My eggs were cold when I started, I was too impatient to wait until they were room temp. I was worried they wouldn’t come out right- I’ve never had luck making boiled eggs with soft yolks. I was pleasantly surprised and am almost ashamed to admit I’ll probably eat these all myself, and make more tomorrow. Thanks BA!


Calm down everyone. There are several variables. The temperature of the egg when you start and the size of the egg used. Altitude is another but not an issue for most of us. For my eggs from my backyard, they are XL, I add a little time. And I always start my eggs at room temperate. Recipe is a guideline. Make adjustments

AnonymousPinellas County, fl11/17/19

Followed directions exactly and my yolks were just a little bit too runny to be considered “jammy”. Next time I'll try 7 minutes!


Love you BA, but for some reason, 6.5 minutes just doesn’t work for what you have in the picture, at least for me… The yolk was completely runny. I’d go more for 7-7.5 minutes next time. I wonder why it didn’t work for so many of us, though?

AnonymousSt. Louis10/18/19

One important thing you might want to bring to the attention of your readers. What works at sea level does not work at 8000 feet. Time needs to be adjusted for altitude. I have been making soft boiled eggs for 60 plus years at altitudes from sea level to 6700 feet. Boiling time needs to be adjusted for these changes


This came out perfect. Thank you!


Came out perfect….the only recipe so far that works! YAYYYY


I added twenty seconds to my egg's cooking time since they were straight from the fridge and they turned out perfect 🙂


I would make this again except adjust time for longer than called for. The yoke was a little too runny for me.


thank you so much for this recipe! they came out so perfect and just my favorite ramen eggs that i jumped up and down. i am now a jammy egg master.


Followed the directions as written and had a set white and liquid yolk. Not a good recipe.


Recipe should state that eggs need to be at room temp before cooking.


Fridge temp and especially egg SIZE are relevant here people. You may have to increase cooking TIME accordingly.

bblickleFlorida Keys04/12/19

I followed the directions to a T and the yolks of the eggs were way too runny to be considered soft both boiled. Maybe a bit longer than next time.


I hurried to the kitchen after I read this. The eggs looked just your photos! It was perfection.

cdpquilter50Orange County, CA11/25/18

I followed the directions to the T. And got perfect results, my husband is very picky about his eggs. He'll say he's not but I know how his Mom cooked his eggs we talk alot!

RockinrhondaSouth Dakota11/12/18

I seriously must have done something wrong. I made these and cooked exactly 6 and a half minutes as written. Water was boiling, I put down to a gentle boil as they were cooking. My whites weren't quite set around the yolk. Talk about hitting the gag reflex, ew. I love a good gooey yolk but not with a wet white.

The outside was firm enough to hold in my hand so I thought it was fine until I cut into it. I must admit that this is the first time I've ever attempted these and I can't say for sure that I didn't mess it up. No offense is meant at all, just an honest review of my experience.

That said, this is not the recipe for me.



Perfect Soft Boiled and Hard Boiled Eggs (Every Time)

How To Cook The Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg Every Time
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Learn how to make hard boiled eggs (and soft boiled eggs) so they turn out perfectly every time. My hard boiled eggs recipe is super easy and allows you to cook a variety of eggs for the entire family – all in one pot.

When it comes to cooking hard boiled eggs there’s no shortage of tutorials online. And not surprisingly, they’re all pretty similar. Add eggs to a pot of cold water, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat and cook the eggs until hard boiled.

But I find that there’s one big flaw with this method that may be the culprit for folks accidentally overcooking their eggs (and I mention it on the video below). So what’s the flaw? The type of pot you use.

Watch this quick video of my hard boiled eggs recipe:

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Aluminum, stainless steel and cast iron are well known for their different rates of bringing water to a boil and retaining heat.

So if your eggs are sitting in a pot of cold water in a cast iron pot and it takes two minutes longer to reach a boil than an aluminum pot (not to mention the water will cool at a much slower rate once removed from the heat), you’ve now inadvertently cooked your eggs a few minutes longer.

That may not be the end of the world for hard boiled eggs, but it does increase the lihood of a green tinge around your yolk and a more rubbery white. In other words, less than perfect hard boiled eggs.

The other drawback of cooking eggs in cold water first is the difficulty in making soft boiled eggs. Soft boiled eggs are far more of an exact science when it comes to time, which is why most tutorials have you cooking them in hot water.

So that begs the question – why cook them two different ways?

How to Cook Soft Boiled and Hard Boiled Eggs – Together In One Pot

I see no reason to cook soft boiled and hard boiled eggs any different. And the method I’ve used my entire life (thanks mom) is pretty darn foolproof.

Just bring a pot of water to a boil with enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch. By boiling the water first, it also doesn’t matter which type of pot you use as the eggs only hit the water once it’s boiling (212 degrees fahrenheit).

Reduce the heat to low and use a skimmer to gently place the eggs in the water. By reducing the heat to low, you’ll prevent the eggs from bouncing around and cracking. Then, turn the heat back up to a boil.

Immediately set a timer and cook the eggs according to how soft or hard you’d them. Here’s my general description of how long to boil eggs:

  • 6 minutes: A liquidy yolk and soft white. This is perfect for eggs served in an egg cup.
  • 6 1/2 minutes: A soft, jammy yolk. This is my favorite for eggs on toast or soft boiled eggs on a salad.
  • 8 minutes: A soft yolk but firm enough to hold its own.
  • 10 minutes: The early stages of a hard boiled egg, with just a smidge of softness in the middle.
  • 12 minutes: A hard boiled egg with a lighter yolk.
  • 14 minutes: Your traditional hard boiled egg with the lightest yolk and a firm white, but not overcooked.

Once the eggs have cooked, immediately place them in a ice water bath to stop them from cooking and maintain your perfect texture.

Eggs cooked between 12-14 minutes are perfect for all hard boiled eggs recipes, such as my egg salad, avocado egg salad, classic potato salad and deviled eggs. For soft boiled eggs, I love a good 6 1/2 minute egg, but my parents prefer 7 minute eggs. It’s all just personal preference, so find the time that works best for you.

How Long Can You Store Hard Boiled Eggs

According to, you can store hard boiled eggs in the fridge for up to a week in their shell. Most say that if you peel the eggs, you should eat them within a few days. But if you’ve watched my meal prep video where I make soft boiled eggs ahead of time, you’ll see I frequently store peeled eggs for up to three days no problem. Do what you feel comfortable with.

It should also be noted that eggs should never be stored in the refrigerator door, due to frequent temperature changes. Always store your eggs in the main part of the fridge.

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs Easier to Peel

Ahh, the million dollar question. There are many theories on how to make hard boiled eggs easier to peel, such as:

  • Use eggs that are at least 10 days old
  • Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water
  • Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the boiling water
  • Immediately place the eggs in an ice water bath

I’ve tried all of these over the years and found that none of these tactics created repeatable, easy to peel eggs except for the last one – the ice water bath. Many times, it’s just the luck of the draw with the eggs you’ve purchased.

And since I know I’ll receive this question in the comments, I’ll address it here. The number one question I receive on placing eggs into boiling water is “won’t that crack the egg open?” So here’s two things I do to ensure that doesn’t happen:

  • I remove the eggs from the fridge just as I start to boil the water. This allows them to warm up for a few minutes.
  • I reduce the heat to low while “slowly” placing the eggs in the hot water.  Never place the eggs straight into boiling water as you don’t want them bouncing around until they’re fully submerged and settled.

If you do those two things, you should be good. But of course, nothing’s perfect. I may have one egg for every 30 or so I make crack. Not bad odds if you ask me, especially when all the eggs that don’t crack come out perfect every time. And if you really don’t want to worry about cracked eggs, there’s always my poached eggs. *wink* Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 14 mins

Total Time: 21 mins

Servings: 6 eggs

Lisa Bryan

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My foolproof method for cooking both hard boiled eggs and soft boiled eggs (perfectly) is placing them gently in a pot of boiling water. Watch the video above to see my easy, step-by-step process.

  • Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Ensure there's enough water in the pot to cover the eggs by about an inch.
  • While you're waiting for the water to boil, remove the eggs from the fridge (set them on the counter) and prepare ice water bath in a large bowl.
  • Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and use skimmer to gently and slowly add the eggs to the water. Then, turn the heat back up to a boil.
  • Set a timer and cook the eggs for 6-7 minutes for soft boiled eggs and 12-14 minutes for hard boiled eggs. See the cook time notes above.
  • Once the eggs have cooked to your preferred time, use the skimmer to remove the eggs and immediately submerge them in the ice water bath to stop them from cooking.
  • I love this skimmer as it can easily add and remove multiple eggs at the same time.
  • If you're looking for new egg cups to serve soft boiled eggs, these terra cotta egg cups are cute!
  • I recommend not cooking more than 6 eggs at a time, as a crowded pot can start to alter the cook time.

Calories: 77.5kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.6g, Protein: 6.3g, Fat: 5.3g, Saturated Fat: 1.6g, Cholesterol: 186.5mg, Sodium: 62mg, Sugar: 0.6g

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Boiled Eggs, Hard Boiled Eggs, How Long to Boil Eggs, How to Boil Eggs, Soft Boiled Eggs

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