Best way to soft boil an egg?

  • Posted by: Pinot
  • January 5, 2013


Sam1148 January 5, 2013
I just boil room temp eggs for 5 mins. They come out just fine. I don't make more than a couple tho.

However, I'm egg cracking impaired trying to crack the top of egg and end up butchering it and getting bits of shell in the egg.
Greenstuff January 5, 2013
Here we go--just found the article. What they claim is that adding eggs to boiling water depresses the water temperature, and the amount of cooling depends (a lot!) on the number of eggs. Even a small drop can affect the cooking time. With steam, there is no temperature depression, and no difference with the number or size of the eggs.
Greenstuff January 5, 2013
Actually, erinbdm, the Cook's Illustrated method it quite different from yours. They do not cover the eggs, relying instead on the steam.
bigpan January 5, 2013
It depends on size of egg, number of eggs in pot and altitude above sea level, and 'your' taste.
For me, at sea level, I put two room temp large eggs in a pot of simmering- just below a boil- bring to a soft boil for 3 minutes 45 seconds. Rinse in cold water and serve, egg in cup style.
Firm white, runny warm yolk.
At the end of the day trial-and-error is the best method...keep track of times to end up with your perfect egg(s).
Linn January 5, 2013
I cheat. One day walking through Williams Sonoma I found this gadget called a Egg-Perfect Eggtimer. It's made of platice, oval in shap, flat on the bottom, and rounded on top. There is a white mark for HARD, MEDIUM, SOfT cooked eggs on a light red background. You put the eggtimer in the pot with with eggs. It is heat sensative and as the water warms, the light red turn very dark red until the desired mark is reached. As I say, I cheat. But it seems to work every time.
erinbdm January 5, 2013
I use a very similar method to Cook's Illustrated and my soft boiled eggs are always perfect. I bring enough salted water (like you would salt for pasta)to just cover the eggs to a boil. When the water boils I add the eggs and simmer them for 5 1/2 minutes. I remove them from the pot with tongs and serve. I've been told that the salted water prevents the eggs from cracking, and all I can say about that is that since I started salting the water I haven't had a single egg crack.
Greenstuff January 5, 2013
I use the sdebrango method and it works well for me, but I read that Cook's Illustrated article hardlikearmour quotes--anyone tried it?
hardlikearmour January 5, 2013
The most recent Cook's Illustrated has an article and technique for soft-cooked eggs: Bring 1/2-inch water to a boil in a medium saucepan, use tongs to transfer 4 fridge cold eggs to the boiling water (they won't be submerged), cover the pan and cook 6.5 minutes, remove cover and run eggs in pan under cold tap water for 30 seconds, remove eggs and serve.

Voted the Best Reply!

sdebrango January 5, 2013
I love soft boiled eggs, the way I do it is to first bring your egg to room temperature, if your eggs are straight out of the fridge place egg in a cup with warm water for about 1 minute. While your egg is warming bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, add a pinch of salt to the water, gently lower your egg into the boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. Set your timer for 5 minutes for a runny yolk but a well set white some say 3 minutes but I like a 5 minute egg, I sometimes find the white a bit too runny at 3 minutes. Remove egg with slotted spoon run under cool water for a few seconds. Serve in shell, cutting off top of the shell and spooning out your egg.
Recommended by Food52