Can you soft boil eggs in advance?

I have been making six-minute eggs often and am wondering if there's a way to batch cook them. Modernist Cuisine says you can reheat them in 140° F water for 30 minutes, but maybe there's a quicker way?

Ali Slagle


Derek L. August 9, 2015
There is, in fact, at least one good reason to make them in advance. If you plan to serve a crowd, peeling the buggers takes forever. Some of them always break. You want to make sure you have enough good looking eggs ready to go. It's much easier to gently reheat the already peeled eggs a la minute. And believe it or not, that's how restaurants do it, too. I always use an immersion circulator to reheat, but it doesn't need 30 minutes. Six to ten usually does the trick at 148. Make sure you use a basket so the eggs don't get trapped under the circulator.
702551 August 9, 2015
I agree that special banquet-style applications would benefit from advance cooked soft-boiled eggs (because of the peeling requirement), but as a typical individual breakfast item, I don't see the benefit.

If I had to cook 8-10 for a dinner party, I still think I'd cook and peel on the spot, rather than try to reheat.

Anyhow, best of luck to Ali!

Voted the Best Reply!

702551 August 9, 2015
I don't get it.

Why would you want to spend 30, ten or even five minutes trying to reheat something that cooks in six?

Heck, even if you go to a fancy hotel restaurant for breakfast and you want a soft-boiled egg, they will cook it for you on the spot. There is no effort saved by reheating soft-boiled eggs and it is indisputably a waste of energy.

It's not like you can microwave a previously cooked soft-boiled egg for thirty seconds.
Susan W. August 9, 2015
I was reading some info both from Kenji, The Kitchen and Momofuko on reheating eggs in the shell. Eggs are tricky little devils. I also saw the method from Modernist Cuisine. Following the theory that the reason softly hard boiled eggs like to be started in cold water, maybe you could speed the process up by placing your cooked eggs in cold water, bring to a simmer (as in where the water is not bubbling, but just moving), take them off the heat and let them sit for (here comes the guesswork) 3-5 minutes? This last part will take some experimenting. Maybe just bringing the water up to simmer temp will be enough.
drbabs August 9, 2015
Ali, I'm taking a class in the science of cooking, and there's a video in the class explaining what happens to eggs when you heat them to certain temperatures and use an immersion circulator. 140 will heat the eggs without cooking them further, but it probably takes 1/2 hour for the heat to penetrate to the center. I haven't tried what you suggested, but I am totally addicted to these eggs: and make them in batches. This isn't scientific (I haven't made these since I've been taking the class.), but when I want to serve them, I heat liquid ( broth from the soup I'm serving them in) to just below boil, turn off the heat, and put the eggs into the liquid while I'm setting up the rest of dinner. (Maybe 5-10 minutes?) They're certainly warm enough to eat in soup, but this may not work as breakfast food. Heating them peeled certainly makes it go faster. Maybe peel them first, and then try heating them in hot water for a short time? I hope this helps.
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