Master how to soft boil eggs with custardy whites and jammy yolks. Soft-boiled eggs follow my hard-boiled method, just with a little less cooking time.

A soft boiled egg in a blue egg cup with toast sticks next to it.
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients notes
  2. Step-by-step instructions
  3. Recipe tips and variations
  4. How to Soft Boil Eggs Recipe

Ingredients notes

  • Eggs: It’s not true that older eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs, although sometimes that happens. Adding eggs to a hot environment fast will definitely break the bond between the egg white and membrane, though, and that is what makes them easier to peel.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Fill a saucepan with about an inch of water and bring it to a hard boil over high heat. For easy access, place the number of eggs you plan to cook into a steamer basket and carefully lower it into the pot (or just gently place the eggs in the bottom). Cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to medium-low, and set a timer for 7 minutes.
Eggs soft-boiling in a pot of water with a strainer.
  1. While the eggs are cooking, make an ice bath by filling a bowl with ice water. When the timer goes off, carefully take the eggs out of the water and put them in the ice bath to cool for 5 minutes, if you want them later. Or you can eat them while they’re still hot.
Soft boiled eggs cooling in an ice bath.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 6 soft-boiled eggs. Scale up or down as needed. If you’re soft-boiling more than 6, do so in batches of 6 or less at one time.
  • Storage: Always store raw and cooked eggs in the refrigerator.
  • Leftovers: Keep the soft-boiled eggs in their shell and peel them to eat on top of a salad , on avocado toast, or as part of breakfast when you’re hungry. Eat them within 1 week.
  • Make ahead: If you’re planning on serving chilled jammy eggs, you can make them a day or two before you need them. Refrigerate the soft-boiled eggs in their shells until it’s time to dine.
  • Cooking time: Depending on the altitude, the size of the pan, and the size of the eggs you bought, the process might take a few minutes longer, but based on multiple tests, we’ve discovered that this technique for how to soft-boil eggs is quite foolproof. 
  • Steamer basket: If you don’t have a steamer basket, use a spoon or tongs to gently place the eggs in the water. It doesn’t matter if the eggs are above the water or partially submerged. This will work for up to 6 eggs without changing the timing.
  • Make an extra: Since cooking times vary, plan on cooking an extra egg or two to take out and check for doneness at the beginning of your soft-boiling process. If it’s not quite ready, you’ll know to adjust the time up for future batches.
  • Serve: Nestle the egg inside an egg cup, then use the edge of a knife to gently tap the egg all the way around the top to remove it. Eat the egg right from the shell with a small spoon or toast for dipping. More firmly-cooked eggs can be carefully cracked, peeled like a hard-boiled egg, and served.
  • Peeling: Are your eggs difficult to peel? Try gently cracking the shell all around the egg without peeling it, then soak in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. The water will seep in under the shell and make it easier to remove.
  • Instant Pot soft-boiled eggs: If you own a multi-cooker, tag it in to make quick work out of soft-boiled eggs in larger batches. Add 1 cup water to a 6-quart Instant Pot. Place the trivet the pot came with inside the pot and add the eggs. Select the Manual setting; adjust the pressure to HIGH, and set time for 1 minute. When finished, wait 30 seconds and then quick-release the pressure using the vent. Cool the eggs in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute.

More egg recipes

A soft boiled egg in a blue egg cup with toast sticks next to it.

How to Soft Boil Eggs

Soft-boiled eggs follow my hard-boiled method, just with a little less cooking time. Master how to soft boil eggs with custardy whites and jammy yolks.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 6 servings (1 egg each)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 63

Ingredients 

  • 6 eggs
  • water

Instructions 

  • Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water (about 2 cups) and bring to a rolling boil on high heat. Place eggs in a steamer basket and transfer to the saucepan. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 6 ½ minutes.
  • Meanwhile, set up an ice bath by fill a large bowl with ice and water. When eggs are done, use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the hot water and submerge them under the cold water to cool, about 5 minutes.

Notes

  1. Eggs: It’s not true that older eggs are easier to peel than fresh eggs, although sometimes that happens. Adding eggs to a hot environment fast will definitely break the bond between the egg white and membrane, though, and that is what makes them easier to peel.
  2. Yield: This recipe makes 6 soft-boiled eggs. Scale up or down as needed. If you’re soft-boiling more than 6, do so in batches of 6 or less at one time.
  3. Storage: Always store raw and cooked eggs in the refrigerator.
  4. Leftovers: Keep the soft-boiled eggs in their shell and peel them to eat on top of a salad , on avocado toast, or as part of breakfast when you’re hungry. Eat them within 1 week.
  5. Make ahead: If you’re planning on serving chilled jammy eggs, you can make them a day or two before you need them. Refrigerate the soft-boiled eggs in their shells until it’s time to dine.
  6. Cooking time: Depending on the altitude, the size of the pan, and the size of the eggs you bought, the process might take a few minutes longer, but based on multiple tests, we’ve discovered that this technique for how to soft-boil eggs is quite foolproof. 
  7. Steamer basket: If you don’t have a steamer basket, use a spoon or tongs to gently place the eggs in the water. It doesn’t matter if the eggs are above the water or partially submerged. This will work for up to 6 eggs without changing the timing.
  8. Make an extra: Since cooking times vary, plan on cooking an extra egg or two to take out and check for doneness at the beginning of your soft-boiling process. If it’s not quite ready, you’ll know to adjust the time up for future batches.
  9. Serve: Nestle the egg inside an egg cup, then use the edge of a knife to gently tap the egg all the way around the top to remove it. Eat the egg right from the shell with a small spoon or toast for dipping. More firmly-cooked eggs can be carefully cracked, peeled like a hard-boiled egg, and served.
  10. Peeling: Are your eggs difficult to peel? Try gently cracking the shell all around the egg without peeling it, then soak in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. The water will seep in under the shell and make it easier to remove.
  11. Instant Pot soft-boiled eggs: If you own a multi-cooker, tag it in to make quick work out of soft-boiled eggs in larger batches. Add 1 cup water to a 6-quart Instant Pot. Place the trivet the pot came with inside the pot and add the eggs. Select the Manual setting; adjust the pressure to HIGH, and set time for 1 minute. When finished, wait 30 seconds and then quick-release the pressure using the vent. Cool the eggs in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute.

Nutrition

Serving: 1eggCalories: 63kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 62mgPotassium: 61mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 238IUCalcium: 25mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

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