How To: Make Soft Boiled Eggs

Okay, this is my new obsession. So, I have to share.

This technique is so fast and simple that I can have a perfectly (and I do mean perfectlysoft boiled egg in the same amount of time that it takes to make my coffee.  Why soft boiled eggs? As my someone once described it, a runny egg yolk is like the perfect mix between melted butter and cheese. It’s creamy, smooth, and utterly divine. BUT, the tricky part is getting the yolk to be liquid and the white to be solid, because for every bit as awesome as runny yolks are, runny whites are equally disgusting (IMHO). 

I used to make sunny side up eggs, but that technique always left some of the white goopy or gave me half cooked yolks. Poaching can work, but that technique is all together a pain (and I’ve tried every trick in the book). This technique, on the other hand, is pretty much fool proof. I can do it at 5am when I’m half asleep and still get stellar results.

My favorite breakfast lately is a bowl of warm jasmine rice with a little coconut oil mixed in, whatever greens I have on hand, and a soft boiled egg. Oh, and sometimes a splash of sriracha. Soft boiled eggs are also awesome on an English muffin, salad, or roasted vegetables. They’re pretty much great for adding creamy, delicious, inexpensive protein to any meal. Give ’em a shot.

Are you ready to see how easy it is?

How to: Make Soft Boiled Eggs

Soft Boiled Eggs


Step by Step Instructions:


Fill a pot with about 1/2 inch of water. Yes, that’s all you need. Use the smallest pot you have that will house the number of eggs you’re making. I usually only do one or two eggs at a time, but this same technique can be used for any number of eggs.

Add Egg

Bring that 1/2 inch of water to a rolling boil over high heat (with a lid on top). This happens very fast because it’s only a 1/2 inch of water, after all.  That’s one reason this is so much faster than boiling an egg. Gently place the egg(s) into the pot. Tongs make this easier to do without burning your finger tips. Make sure to not drop the egg or else it can crack and the whole process will be ruined. Just gently set it on the bottom of the pot.

Two Eggs

So, now your eggs are sitting in a little bit of rapidly boiling water. It’s not actually the water that cooks the eggs, but the surrounding STEAM. So, we’ll need to put a lid on top to trap the steam and create a steam bath.

Six Minutes

After adding the eggs, place a lid on the pot and set your timer for SIX MINUTES (for large eggs). 

Cool Down

After exactly six minutes, turn off the burner and carefully pour out the hot water. Fill the pot with cool water to stop the eggs from cooking. After about 30 seconds to a minute in the water, they’ll be cool enough to handle.

Crack Egg

Carefully tap the egg on a hard surface to crack the shell, then gently peel it away. You’ll need to be gentle because the inside is still liquid and the egg will be somewhat soft and wobbly. Give it a quick rinse after removing the shell to get rid of any shell fragments.

Soft Boiled Eggs open

And now it’s time for that magic moment… OMG the yolk is liquid perfection! *squeal*

Soft Boiled Eggs half

Just so you can see a close up of the awesome results… The whites are completely solid (no snotty, goopiness) and the yolk is ALL liquid. How perfect is that? I feel like I won the lottery.



  1. Diana says:

    Thank you for this recipe. It’s the best recipe I have found to make a perfect soft boiled egg. It’s one I’ll use from now on.

  2. Lamia says:

    If I wanted to make hard-boiled eggs using this technique, could I just leave the eggs in there longer? Any suggestions on time?


    • Yes, you definitely can. I would guess around 9 minutes for hard boiled, but I haven’t tried it. It might take a little experimentation! :)

  3. Sarah says:

    I love poached eggs, but I can never make them at home without them breaking or getting soggy! Even when I order them at a restaurant, it still sits in a pool of water.

    I’d never even heard of soft boiling eggs before this. This method is so much easier, and the result is very similar to a poached egg. The only downside is the peeling – it’s very difficult to do this without breaking the yolk.

    With a little practice, this is going to be my new go-to for eggs!

  4. Melody says:

    I just tried this and while the yolk and whites turned out great I had a problem with the shell being hard to peel which ended up creating a mess when I broke through to the yolk before it was fully peeled. What can I do to combat the shell being hard to peel?

    • I’ve heard and tried many techniques, but I haven’t found anything that consistently makes a difference. Sometimes they’re easy to peel, sometimes not (even between eggs from the same package) and I don’t know what the determining factor is.

  5. Mrs. Easterday says:

    Perfect eggs! Thank you so much for sharing your method!

  6. I love the fact that you use the term ‘snot’ to describe uncooked egg whites.

    Now I can prove to my family that no, I’m NOT the only one that does that!

  7. Mandy says:

    Last September I spent two weeks in London, where I tried soft boiled eggs for the first time.
    Every morning at the breakfast buffet I would have a soft boiled egg and all sorts of other wonderful high cholesterol foods… Mmmm. Anyway, I haven’t had soft boiled eggs since then, because I didn’t know how to make them. This tutorial was super! I didn’t know it would be so fast and easy.

  8. I just made these with sautéed spinach and jasmine rice… PERFECTION!!! THANK YOU for this recipe!!!

  9. Perfect! I had not had soft boiled eggs since my mother used to make them for me (and mind you, I am now 60), and these were so much better than I remember! Perfect instructions, it worked exactly as you said. Thanks!

  10. Oh, my. These were SO good! You made this tutorial completely idiot-proof, thank you SO much!

  11. Ashley says:

    Tried this technique for breakfast this morning and it turned out perfect. I did cut the time down to 4 minutes or so though, because the eggs I was using weren’t that big.

    I’m definitely having my eggs like this again. Thank you so much! <3

  12. Shelly says:

    I just made a couple of eggs like this and they were delicious! I will be sure to pass this on! :]

  13. Bob Higgins says:

    I tried it and the eggs came out a little overdone. Next time I will cut down a little on the time. The method is great and saves the burnt fingers.

  14. Tammy says:

    I have eggs for lunch or breakfast several times a week and perfecting the soft boiled egg has always been a crap shoot. I’m now 4 for 4 using your method — perfect every time. Thank you!

  15. Deanna Bushman says:

    Thank you for this. I haven’t tried poaching or sunny side-up, for reasons related to impatience/laziness, but soft-boiled eggs are so wonderful. Probably my favorite way to eggs, to be honest.

  16. JaclynAmberJoy says:

    I used medium eggs so I guestimated cooking time to one minute less. They turned out a little overcooked, the yolks were dark yellow but firm, not the runny yolk I was hoping for. Next time I’ll try just 4 minutes for medium eggs. Still this is quick, easy & wonderful, thank you!

  17. I am in absolute /heaven/ now that I’ve been taught this technique. This morning I changed things up a little. I made sushi rice–mirin and all. I soft boiled the eggs. As they were boiling I quickly sauteed some Swiss Chard in sesame oil. I served the whole thing in a bowl and topped with a little soy sauce. Best breakfast ever! Thanks!

  18. Lindy Whitlow says:

    I just found this post on Pinterest yesterday. I love eggs and have always gone through the pains of poaching to get that fabulous creamy yolk. Your technique made for the perfect egg without all the trouble! I used a jumbo farm fresh egg and will probably give it an extra 30 seconds next time. Thanks for the share!

  19. Jennielynn says:

    I love soft boiled eggs, but have always had trouble getting them to that perfectly cooked stage – cooked white, runny yolk. This worked like a charm!

  20. Geoff says:

    I find this affects the cooking time, so I have to ask: did you start with room temperature eggs or were they straight from your fridge?

    • I believe they were straight from the refrigerator. Maybe out for a few minutes while I took pictures. :) Cooking time will vary with the size/depth of your dish, too, so you kind of have to just keep an eye on it.

  21. Alyssa says:

    I just made these and they came out perfect! I had a thick slice of pumpernickel and some black forest ham, then I grated a little asiago on it and toasted it all. Broke the eggs over the top and squeezed a bit of fresh lemon and tossed a little fresh basil on top. BEST BREAKFAST EVER!

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