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How To Make Soft-Boiled Eggs

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

A step-by-step video and easy recipe for how to make perfectly SOFT-BOILED EGGS |

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 like 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!

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Soft-Boiled Eggs

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  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x


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


  • 1 egg (refrigerator temperature)


  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 like 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:

A step-by-step video and easy recipe for how to make perfectly SOFT-BOILED EGGS |

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23 comments on “How To Make Soft-Boiled Eggs”

  1. Can your photos be any more specific? I’m loving this series so far, since the only eggs I can make are hard-boiled eggs! (and even THAT took years of trial…)

    Charmaine Ng

    • We’re glad you’re enjoying the tutorial videos, Charmaine!

  2. These tutorials are awesome! Somehow I’ve never learned how to cook eggs other than scrambled. ?

  3. My father loved a soft boiled egg. His grandmother always made them for him. Your post reminded me of him today. Of course, he would have never eaten an avocado :)

  4. Thanks for this! I love your tutorials

  5. THANK YOU for sharing this! soft boiled eggs are my all-time favorite, especially with avocado, but i haven’t mastered the correct amount of time to boil them for. you may have just saved my life (and my breakfast)!

  6. Yummies! I’ve grown to love soft boiled eggs- couldn’t stand ’em as a kid but now appreciate the tastes with just about anything – top of a burger, sure, with avo toast, yes please! I think I read someplace to cook for 2 minutes per egg? Does that sound right? The ice water afterwards is key! Thanks for sharing the video – your videos are super helpful. xo

    • Isn’t it funny how our palates change?! We’re so glad you’re enjoying the videos and finding them helpful! :)

  7. My husband & I love soft boiled eggs but I never seem to make them at home. I’ll have to save these tips!

  8. Hi Ali,

    I’m loving these guides, and those eggs are beautiful. Have you tried boiling eggs in your Instant Pot? All it takes is a cup of water and a steamer rack/basket. I promise these are the easiest-peeling eggs you’ll ever make. My timing is 5 minutes, quick release, then into ice water until cold for hard-boiled, 3 minutes for soft-boiled (2 for a runny yolk). 

    Bonus – cooking potatoes and eggs at the same time for potato salad. 

    • Thank you, we’re glad you’re enjoying them! We haven’t tried boiling eggs in the Instant Pot yet, but that is so cool, and we’re definitely going to have to give that a try — thanks for the tip! :)

  9. Hi

    Does the size of the egg affect the amount of time?


  10. Thank you Ali. Ninety-nine percent of articles/recipes about cooking eggs do not mention what temperature the eggs should be when you start.  I was so happy to see that you covered that.  You rock!

  11. make this very recipe regularly and nice to have these guidelines since I “wing” it every time, sometimes too hard boiled for my taste and preference so nice to keep these times in mind for levels or hard boiledness, thank you!

  12. We’re touched to hear that, Suzanne! :)

  13. Thanks, Judy, we’re so glad to hear that, and we hope you’re enjoying your Instant Pot! And thank you so much for sharing that egg method, we’ll have to give it a try (Cook’s Illustrated always seems to be right on the money!) :)

  14. Your time is soooo wrong!! The best soft-boiled eggs are done thusly: Keep the cold eggs in a wire basket spoon. Once the water is boiling put the eggs in the water and time them for 3 and¾ minutes then remove the eggs with the wire basket spoon and begin to open them immediately! I use a box cutter to wiggle a hole in the side of the egg until it cracks. Pull the two halves apart and begin scooping from the side with the yoke then the white side. making sure to not leave any of the whites behind. Salt and pepper to your taste and enjoy. Little pieces of buttered toast floating in the chopped up egg is tasty. By the wa, chop the eggs with the side of the spoon with which you are eating. If you cook more than the pre-mentioned time you have already ruined a perfectly soft boiled egg.