Soft boiled eggs are all about timing and temperature. Learn the steps to cooking perfect soft boiled eggs, and how to eat them too, right here.
There is nothing like a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg. The whites are set and firm with no jiggles, and the yoke is liquid gold.
Trick for Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs
How do you achieve this perfection though? I’ve seen a lot of different methods and timing on the Internet and elsewhere but nothing works as well as my mom’s method (I’ll take this moment to say that I’m grateful to my mom for a million things, not only for teaching me how to make perfect eggs).
My mom’s perfect method for soft boiled eggs involves bringing the water up to a boil first, before you add the eggs. This way, the egg is going into hot water and starts cooking immediately. Some people put the eggs in cold water and then bring it to a boil. The problem with this is that the amount of time it takes to heat up depends on how much water you have and then the timing is difficult to control, and potentially different every time.
Using the boil-first method, the water comes up to temperature and then the eggs go into that boiling water for exactly 4 minutes. Then, you remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit for 20 more seconds. Finally, drain off the hot water and add cold tap water, as much as you can. Let them sit for 30 seconds. Now you’re ready to dive in.
Photo Tutorial for Making Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs:
Fill a sauce pan 3/4 full with water. Cover it and bring it to a boil over high heat.
Once it’s boiling, lower in the eggs.
Be sure not to crowd the eggs. It’s crucial for your water to still be at a rapid boil once all your eggs are added. For a small saucepan like this, I do at most 4 large eggs. If you want to do more than 4, use a larger saucepan and more water. The more water you have, the less likely it is that the cold (or room temperature) temperature of the eggs will reduce the water temperature by much. When in doubt, err on the side of more water rather than less.
Let the eggs cook in the boiling water for exactly 4 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the eggs sit in non-boiling water for 20 seconds.
Drain off the hot water.
Add cold tap water, as much as can fit into the saucepan. Let the eggs sit in the cold tap water for 30 seconds.
Now the soft boiled eggs are ready to eat. How do you eat soft boiled eggs? Here we go!
How to Eat Soft Boiled Eggs
Transfer the eggs to egg cups. Tap the top of an egg lightly with a spoon to crack the shell.
You want it to have a spiderweb of cracks across the top, like this.
Use your fingers to peel away the cracked parts of the shell.
The shell from the top will be gone, exposing the cooked egg whites.
Use a small spoon to cut into the egg whites just where it meets the shell.
Cut through the egg and lift off the top bit of egg white.
Now your egg is ready for dipping. Plunge some buttered toast into that yolk and enjoy!Print
- Tap water
- 2 large eggs
- Fill a small saucepan ¾ full with tap water.
- Cover it and set it over high heat until it boils.
- Use a spoon to lower in the eggs.
- Boil the eggs for exactly 4 minutes.
- Remove the sauce pan from the heat and let it sit not boiling for 20 seconds.
- Drain off the hot water.
- Fill saucepan with cold tap water. Let eggs sit in cool water for 30 seconds.
- Drain eggs and serve in egg cups.
This post originally appeared in May 2018 and was revised and republished in April 2021.