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How to Reheat Soft-Boiled Eggs (and the Search for a Better Way)

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I seem to be on a mission to treat soft-boiled eggs like we do hard-boiled: I want to add them to all my pack-and-go lunches, have them around for whenever I want one, carry one around as a pet.

3 P.M. Salad

3 P.M. Salad by Kendra Vaculin

Spring Salad with Asparagus and Soft-Boiled Eggs

Spring Salad with Asparagus and Soft-Boiled Eggs by Girl Farm Kitchen

But soft-boiled eggs (a.k.a. 7 minute eggs) are finicky. They have to be hot when served and the yolk still has to run (so be between 110 and 140° F), which makes its make-ahead potential smaller—but not impossible!

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For a while, I’d been following Molly Wizenberg’s cousin Katie’s advice and microwaving peeled eggs for 20 seconds. Everyone I told this to had the same question: “Do your eggs explode?”

Nuking a peeled egg for 20 seconds (where's the yolk run?)
Nuking a peeled egg for 20 seconds (where's the yolk run?)

Mine have never exploded but I admit I had been settling for a yolk that was mostly hard—and the whites hardly creamy. But it meant I could bring soft-boiled eggs to work!

Then I found the better way—at Cook’s Illustrated.

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It does require that you get a pan out, wait for a half-inch of water to boil, and peel the egg while it’s still warm (which sometimes is tricky), but now I can pack soft-boiled eggs for work and warm them with ease—and the psychology of “reheating” versus “cooking” does increase the chance that I won’t totally abandon the egg.

Reheating an unpeeled eggs in boiling water for 3 1/2 minutes (look at the yolk ooze).
Reheating an unpeeled eggs in boiling water for 3 1/2 minutes (look at the yolk ooze).

Here’s how to reheat soft-boiled eggs:

  • Bring a half inch of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  • Carefully plunk your soft boiled eggs into the water.
  • Cover the pan and cook for 3 1/2 minutes.
  • Scoop out your eggs, peel, and eat!

While this is method works like a charm, I haven’t found a promising way to reheat soft-boiled eggs in the microwave. And I want to! For me, but also for all you without stoves at work.

I'm thinking a mash up of Molly Wizenberg and Cook’s Illustrated’s methods might work, but I haven't found the right concoction. I've tried microwaving unpeeled soft-boiled eggs in both room temperature and hot water for various seconds. I have only tried unpeeled because I have a feeling peeling before means the egg gets too much direct heat.

Some eggs did explode. Others’ yolks were ice cold. Some were sort of warm. I’m going to keep trying—I’m committed—but maybe you can help so I don’t use up all of New York’s eggs?

Any ideas about how to reheat soft-boiled eggs in the microwave? Tell us in the comments!

Tags: eggs, reheating