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Soft Boiled Eggs

This is the easiest recipe for soft-boiled eggs. Anyone who loves eggs should give these a try. They are similar to hard-boiled eggs except that the yolk is runny instead of hard.

Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs on a stand

They are so easy to make, they only take 5-6 minutes, and they go well with some toast to soak up the runny egg yolk, just like when you eat an overeasy egg.

I know that over the years I always thought of soft-boiled eggs as an old-fashioned way to make eggs. It was the way my mother and grandmother would make their morning eggs every time they were on a diet. 

Now that I am older, I realize that soft-boiled eggs are really a good way to eat them because they are made with no fat, hence great for many diets.  I make a lot of over-easy eggs and when making soft-boiled eggs, they taste very similar so try them. 

If you liked them cooked a little more, then make sure to check out our guide on how to make hard boiled eggs.

What are Soft Boiled Eggs?

Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg

A soft-boiled egg is submerged in boiling water and cooked in its shell until the white is set but the yolk is soft and runny. They are cooked anywhere for 4-6 minutes, depending on how runny you like them. 

The whole process is very easy to follow and we will explain to you all the instructions later on in this recipe.

Difference Between Hard-Boiled Eggs and Soft-Boiled Eggs

I’m sure that you have heard of hard-boiled eggs and soft-boiled eggs, but have you made both kinds? Do you have a favorite way to eat them? Let me explain the simple difference between the two. 

They are both made the same way but the hard-boiled eggs cook longer in order to make the entire egg solid and thoroughly cooked. 

  • To make soft-boiled eggs, they cook for 4-6 minutes.
  • To make hard-boiled eggs, they cook for 9-11 minutes.

Soft-Boiled Eggs vs Poached

How to Soft Boil an Egg

The difference is minimal between soft-boiled eggs and poached ones. After all, they are similar in texture and taste and both are a good topper for your morning toast. Soft boiled eggs however are easier to make and come out more consistently.

There are a lot more steps involved in poaching eggs than soft boiling them. It can be very tricky because you have to add vinegar to the water, swirl the water around, and then quickly add the egg to the boiling water so that the momentum holds it together. 

Next boil the water, then simmer, then turn the burner off altogether, then hopefully your egg will come out the way it should.

My suggestion would be to have poached eggs in a restaurant while a professional cook is making them. Instead, it is very easy to soft boil eggs with that runny yolk that you are looking to soak up with a slice of toast. 

The only difference is that poached eggs lay flatter on your toast. It’s just harder to get them to come out perfect every time and there is a lot to be said about consistency!

What is a 3-Minute Egg?

A 3-minute egg is just what it sounds like…an egg that is cooked for 3 minutes. However, when an egg is only cooked for that amount of time, the yolk and the white are both very runny, so much so that you can’t remove them from the shell. 

I’ve tried cooking them this way but the egg always goes everywhere, all over me and the kitchen counter. I’ve also tried a 4-minute egg without much of a difference from the 3-minute one.

Soft-Boiled Eggs Methods

How to make Soft Boiled Eggs

There is more than one way to soft-boil eggs. Here are the most popular methods:

Boiled – The most common method and it’s the way that most people are familiar with. It is an easy way to make eggs. But stoves vary in heat so it might take several tries to learn the timing on your stove vs mine.

Instant Pot – The instant pot is a great tool for so many recipes and what I like about it is that it is quick and easy and the eggs come out the same every time. You can make one egg or 12 if you want to all at the same time without having to stand over the boiling pot on the stove. 

Sous Vide – I had never heard of making eggs this way so I had to look it up to see what was involved. It is a low-temperature and pressurized cooking process for longer than conventional cooking. You put your food in a plastic container or bag which separates it from the heating element and is cooked in a water bath.

Air Fryer – This is another sure-fire way of cooking your soft-boiled eggs in an easy and consistent manner in which they come out good every time. 

Microwave – Some people cook soft boiled eggs this way, but we do NOT recommend it because they will explode, which will not only make a big mess but it could also explode in your face and burn you. So don’t try it!

What is the Easiest Way to Soft Boil Eggs?

What is the easiest way to make soft-boiled eggs?

I would normally say that boiling the eggs on the stovetop is the easiest way because that’s the way I have always done it. My mother taught me that was the only cooking method to make them so we made this soft-boiled egg recipe the same way. 

It’s easy since everyone has a stove and a saucepan in their kitchen. 

However, now we have some other interesting cooking methods to try. Out of all of them, I like using the instant pot for making soft-boiled eggs because of its consistency. 

We make a lot of foods using the instant pot and it almost always comes out perfect. However, I do realize that not everyone has an instant pot in their kitchen so boiled them may be the way to go.

Soft-Boiled Eggs Ingredients

3 eggs on stands

Eggs – Large ones are the most common size and good for this recipe. White ones and brown ones are both fine. 

However, one word of caution…if the eggs are fresh ones right from the farm then wait a couple of weeks to use them because the fresher they are the harder it is to get the shells off.

What Size Eggs Should I Use?

You can use any size egg that you want to when you soft-boil an egg, but the most common size is large. That’s the size that we always use. It’s the size that most eggs are when you go to the store and the most cost-effective too.

Should I Use Fresh Eggs?

Fresh eggs are too fresh to use for boiled eggs, whether it be soft or hard-boiled because getting the shells off is a nightmare. 

It is best to wait until the eggs are at least a couple of weeks old, or better yet use the fresh eggs for fried or scrambled and then buy some eggs from the store to make soft boiled ones.

Tools to Use

Easy Soft Boiled Eggs Recipe

Making perfect soft-boiled eggs is easy when you have the right tools. It only takes a couple of things to succeed.

  • Saucepan – Use a medium-size saucepan because you will most likely only do 2 eggs at a time.
  • Slotted Spoon – To carefully lower the eggs into the pot of water and also to raise them out of the hot water.
  • Timer – Be sure to use a timer so that you don’t over or undercook the eggs.
  • Strainer – When the eggs come out of the pot I put them in a strainer until I peel them.

How Long to Soft Boil Eggs

We’ve made soft-boiled eggs using many different lengths of time. The most common is a 6-minute egg because cooking them less makes it easier to get the shells off and if you cook them longer the yolk will become overcooked and solid.

Soft-Boiled Egg Times Chart

How many minutes it takes to soft-boil eggs will depend on how runny you want the yolk to be and if you want the white thoroughly cooked or not.

  • 3 minutes – The white and the yolk are not set and totally runny. You can not get the egg out of the shell. 
  • 4 minutes – The white is a bit more set but still not cooked and the yolk is very runny.
  • 5 minutes – The white is formed enough to get the shell off but still delicate, and the yolk is runny but more formed. Now you can begin to dip your toast in the yolk. 
  • 6 minutes – The white is formed but not hard like hard-boiled and the yolk is runny and formed. You can get the shell off of this perfect soft-boiled egg.
  • 7 minutes – The white is formed and the yolk is showing signs of heading toward hard-boiled.

Variables to Cooking Soft-Boiled Eggs

Best Soft Boiled Eggs

There are a few factors to keep in mind before making perfect soft-boiled eggs.

  • The temperature of the egg – This makes the cooking time vary so much because when the eggs come directly from the refrigerator, they will take longer to cook than if they were sitting out on the counter for a little while.
  • The size of the eggs – Logically the larger the egg, the longer it takes to cook. Even if you buy large eggs, sometimes the cartons come in various sizes even though they are supposed to be the same size.
  • Egg to water ratio in the pot – Unless you measure the water that you put in the pan exactly the same each time, then your cooking time will vary.
  • The pot that you use – Some pots are heavier than others so as a result, they cook differently.
  • Stoves are different – This will affect how long it takes to boil the water, and as a result how long it takes to perfectly cook the eggs every time.
  • Steaming the eggs – You can steam the eggs by putting a small amount of water in the pan and when the water is boiled then you can cook the eggs cold, right out of the refrigerator or if they are more at room temperature. The cooking time will vary but either way will work.

How to Make Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs (Step-by-Step) 

Now we will share with you the easy steps and how to make soft-boiled eggs. 

STEP 1: The first step is to take the eggs out of the refrigerator to take the chill off of them.

2 dozen eggs in a carton

STEP 2: Get a medium-sized saucepan and fill it halfway with water. Bring to a boil.

pot of boiling water on the stove

STEP 3: Next, take your slotted spoon and carefully lower the eggs into the pan one at a time.

STEP 4: Once the water starts to boil again, set the time for the appropriate time. In my experience, 5 or 6-minute eggs come out the best.

boiling an egg

STEP 5: Take the eggs out of the pan and place them in a strainer and dump the hot water out. Place the eggs back in the pan and fill your pan with cold water.

The cold water will stop the eggs from cooking any further.

Now it’s time to peel the eggs…

Peeling Soft Boiled Eggs

Taking the shells off of the soft boil eggs can be tricky, but once you do it a few times you will get the hang of it.

STEP 1: When they are in the cold water, carefully crack them all over in order to loosen up the shell from the membrane.

Cracking Soft Boiled Eggs in water

Don’t dip the eggs for too long in the water, you just want the shells to cool. It helps if the inside of the egg is still hot because the shell will come off easier than if you let the inside become cold too. 

STEP 2: Take them out of the water one at a time and carefully begin to peel the shells off.

If the shell seems a little stubborn in spots then dip it back in the water and continue to peel. If you keep the egg wet it will peel easier. 

STEP 3: Now your eggs are ready to eat, so eat them on a piece of toast, or put the soft boiled egg in a cup or bowl and scoop it out with a spoon. You could also dip the toast into the runny yolk.

How to Soft-Boil Eggs

Why Won’t My Eggs Peel Easily?

If eggs are too fresh they will not peel well because the membrane sticks tightly making it impossible to peel. So it’s best not to use fresh farm eggs. Instead, use eggs that are 1-2 weeks old

Once the egg sits in the refrigerator for a few days the PH of the egg white increases making it easier to peel off the shell.

If the inside of the eggs get cold or the outside is dry then the shells will not peel off. Keep dunking the hot eggs in water until the shell comes off.

Making Hard and Soft-boiled Eggs Together in the Same Pot

Since everyone in your family may want their eggs cooked differently, some soft boiled and some hard-boiled, to simplify breakfast you can certainly cook them all in one pot. That way everyone is happy!

  • Make sure to use a big enough pan so that all of the eggs will have plenty of room to cook them evenly.
  • Just set the timer for soft boiled. When the timer goes off then take out the soft-boiled ones and set the timer again for the remains time for hard boiled. Keep the rest of the eggs boiling until the timer goes off for them, and remove.

FAQs & Best Tips

Yolk from Soft Boiled Eggs

We will attempt to answer any of the questions that may be running through your head, especially if you have never made boiled eggs before. Here are some of the tips we have learned over the years:

  • Do not use farm-fresh eggs or else you will have an impossible time getting the shells off. Save those fresh eggs for scrambled or over easy.
  • In order to get the shells off easily, make sure that you don’t let the eggs get cold or dry. Be careful removing the shells because the egg is soft and delicate.
  • Don’t forget to use a timer. 
  • Do not crowd the eggs in the pan or else there will not be an even flow of heat and the eggs will not cook properly.

What are Jammy Soft-boiled Eggs?

Jammy eggs are soft boiled with a thick but spreadable yolk, sort of like jam. The yolk acts as a sauce for the egg white. The yolk is firmer than a poached egg but looser than a hard-boiled egg.

How Do You Know When Soft-Boiled Eggs are Done?

The best way to tell if your eggs are done the way you like them is to set the timer. Doing that is foolproof to make sure that consistently, each and every time, the eggs come out soft-boiled to perfection.

It may take a few tries in order to perfect them according to your pan, stove…etc.

Do Soft Boiled Eggs Float When They Are Done?

If you have an egg that is floating in the water, it does not mean that the egg is done cooking. Instead, it means that the eggs are old and have lost their moisture and density. So beware of that and don’t eat any eggs that float.

Does it Matter How Many Eggs You Boil at One Time?

Yes it does. You only want to put as many eggs in your pan that can lay flat without overcrowding them. This is for a few reasons:

  • Cooking too many eggs at one time can alter the cooking time. The more eggs in a pan, the more cooking time it will need.
  • Too many eggs in the pot at the same time can keep the boiling water from properly heating the eggs evenly.
  • Too many eggs can crack easily.

Do You Boil the Water First for Soft Boiled Eggs?

To make the perfect soft-boiled eggs, I like to boil the water first before putting the eggs in. I do it for hard-boiled ones too. 

That way once the water has been brought to the boiling point it’s much easier to get the right timing on their doneness.

How Do You Make a Hard-boiled Egg Soft-boiled?

You can’t go backwards…once your egg is hard-boiled you can’t reverse the process. If you want soft-boiled you will need to start with new eggs.

How to Use Soft-Boiled Eggs

How to Make Soft-Boiled Eggs

The best way to use your soft-boiled eggs is to utilize that golden runny yolk that you tried so hard to achieve. It is perfect for either dipping your toast into or spreading on a piece of toast. 

  • Many people enjoy the egg with a spoon as they scoop it out of the shell in the egg cup.
  • You can also peel it and slice it in half and put it on your lunch plate with your favorite salad veggies…etc.
  • Serve soft-boiled eggs on top of your hash browns for breakfast with a side of bacon baked in the oven.
  • They also go well on top of a bowl of Ramen noodles.
  • You can serve soft-boiled eggs for dinner too with your favorite meat, like burgers, pork chops, chicken, etc.

How to Store

The best way to store your soft-boiled eggs is in an airtight plastic container. They will stay fresh for 1-2 days, which is less than hard-boiled eggs. Since the yolk is not fully cooked, it’s better not to keep them around for too long.

How to Reheat

You can reheat your soft-boiled eggs in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Make sure to cover it so that it doesn’t splatter in the microwave. Be prepared that it will obviously continue to cook as you heat it up so it won’t have the same runny center as it did when you first made them. 

You can also heat them in a saucepan with a slight amount of water in the pan and a lid on top. Just heat it for a minute or two to take the chill out of the egg.

Can You Freeze Soft-Boiled Eggs?

Raw eggs will freeze ok, but soft-boiled eggs do not freeze well and neither do hard-boiled ones. The egg becomes rubbery and who wants to eat it that way?

Soft Boiled Eggs on a plate

Are Soft-Boiled Eggs Healthy?

Eggs are a good food to eat because they are a good source of protein and by soft boiling them there is no added fat. The calories are low and only 1 carb per egg. Let’s see how nutritious they are:

One large egg has:

  • Vitamins A, B, D, E, K
  • Zinc
  • Selenium
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus

Eggs also come with Omega-3 in them which makes them even healthier.

How Many Calories in Soft Boiled Eggs?

Now let’s focus on the calories in soft boiled eggs:

  • 77 Calories
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of protein

Do Boiled Eggs Help You Lose Weight?

Boiling eggs can help you lose weight because they have very few calories and there is no added fat involved in cooking them. They are:

  • Low in calories – The easiest way to lose weight is to lower your intake of calories.
  • Rich in protein – Protein is a filling that will keep you from indulging in other things, pushing you over your calorie intake for the day.
  • Can boost metabolism – This is because of the increase in your protein.

Are Soft-Boiled Eggs Safe to Eat?

Soft Boiled Eggs on a plate with toast

A good question that you may have is if soft boiled eggs are safe to eat since they are not cooked thoroughly. 

Even though eggs are a pretty safe thing to eat, it is still possible to get one that is contaminated with salmonella. The good news is that salmonella is killed at 165 degrees. By boiling the eggs on the stove you need to bring the water to a boiling point which is 212 degrees which is safe to eat.

Diets This Recipe is Good For

  • Gluten-free – There is no gluten in eggs. It is a good source of protein.
  • Sugar-free – No sugar in eggs. 
  • Dairy-free – If you have a dairy allergy, no worries with eggs.
  • Nut-free – Again, no nuts in eggs.
  • Vegetarian – A good source of protein if you eat eggs as a vegetarian.
  • Paleo – Also a good source of protein.

Other Egg Recipes

In the mood for some other great egg recipes? Try some of our favorites:

Spinach Salad FB recipe

All of them are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will have your friends raving!

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Soft Boiled Eggs on a plate

Soft Boiled Eggs


  • Author: Leigh Oskwarek
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 21 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Egg (1 Egg Per Serving)
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Description

These soft-boiled eggs are so quick and easy to make, low in calories and carbs, and do not cost too much which makes them a good source of protein. They fit in perfectly with a lot of diet plans because there is no extra fat needed to cook them. If you like hard-boiled eggs and over easy eggs then you will also like these either alone with a spoon or spread on top of toast.


Ingredients

  • Large Eggs

Instructions

Notes

Zero  NET Carbs

If for some reason you can’t get the shell off the egg, then take a knife and cut it in half so that you can scoop it out of the shell to put it on your toast or eat it with a spoon.

Do not use fresh farm eggs to make soft boiled because it will be impossible to get the shells off. Instead, use eggs that you have had in your refrigerator already. If you have fresh eggs then use them for scrambled or over easy.

Be sure to use a timer so that your eggs will come out perfectly the way that you want them.

How to Store: If you have any leftover eggs, put them in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator, but only for a day or two because since they are not fully cooked, bacteria could set in.

How to Reheat: It is hard to reheat soft-boiled eggs because when you do the yolk does not stay so soft. It can be done in a microwave for 30 seconds but be prepared for your soft-boiled egg to become closer to hard boiled.

How to Freeze: Freezing soft-boiled eggs is not recommended because they become rubbery.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Soft-Boiled Eggs, Soft-Boiled Egg, Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs, How to Soft Boil an Egg, How to Make Soft-Boiled Eggs, Soft-Boiled Egg Recipe, How to Soft-Boil Eggs, Soft-Boil Eggs, Boiled Eggs, Jammy Eggs, Best Soft Boiled Eggs, Easy Soft Boiled Eggs

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