How To Boil An Egg

how to boil an egg
how to boil an egg

Boiling an egg seems like a simple task, but achieving the perfect level of doneness can be a challenge. Whether you prefer runny yolks, soft-boiled eggs, or classic hard-boiled eggs, the key lies in mastering the cooking technique. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of boiling an egg to perfection, ensuring consistent results every time.

How long to boil eggs

How to boil eggs

Boiling eggs may seem straightforward, but there are a few factors to consider to achieve the desired outcome. Follow these steps for foolproof boiled eggs:

  1. Boil water first: Start by bringing a pot of water to a rolling boil. This technique ensures consistent results, regardless of the type of pot or stove you use.

  2. Gently lower in fridge-cold eggs: Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water using a slotted spoon. Using cold eggs straight from the fridge ensures better results, as they are easier to peel.

  3. Adjust the heat: Lower the heat slightly to maintain a gentle boil. This prevents the eggs from cracking due to excessive movement while ensuring the water remains at an optimal temperature.

  4. Set the timer: Depending on your desired level of doneness, set a timer for the following durations:

    • 6 minutes for runny yolks
    • 8 minutes for soft-boiled eggs (a personal favorite!)
    • 10 minutes for classic hard-boiled eggs
  5. Transfer to cold water: Once the timer goes off, transfer the eggs to a large bowl or sink filled with cold water. This halts the cooking process and helps cool the eggs quickly.

  6. Peel under water: To make peeling easier, peel the eggs under running water, starting from the base. This method helps remove any residual shell fragments and makes the peeling process smoother.

Boiling eggs
Boil water first then put the eggs in

Peel boiled eggs from the base
Crack the shell and peel from the base

And that’s it! By following these simple steps, you can achieve perfectly boiled eggs every time. But if you’re curious about the “why” behind these techniques, read on!

My egg boiling rules & the why

To understand the reasoning behind the steps outlined above, let’s delve into the “why” behind each rule:

  1. Boil water before adding eggs: By starting with boiling water, you eliminate the variability of when to start the timer. This technique also ensures consistent cooking times regardless of the quality of your pot or stove. Always start your eggs in boiling water to guarantee accurate results.

  2. Lower heat slightly once eggs are added: Lowering the heat prevents the eggs from cracking due to excessive movement. However, it’s essential to maintain a gentle boil to avoid losing heat. The goal is to find the optimal balance between water bubbling and egg cracking.

  3. Fridge-cold eggs: Using cold eggs directly from the fridge offers multiple benefits. Firstly, it results in creamier and runnier yolks. Secondly, it ensures consistent and easier peeling for all boiled eggs, providing a level playing field for everyone. A room temperature egg boiled for 8 minutes produces a hard-boiled result, while a fridge-cold egg yields a soft-boiled texture.

  4. Egg size: The provided cooking times are designed for large eggs, which are the standard size prescribed by industry regulations. For eggs of different sizes, adjust the cooking times accordingly:

    • Extra-large eggs (60g/2.2 oz): add 30 seconds
    • Jumbo eggs (65g /2.5 oz): add an extra 1 minute
  5. Don’t crowd the pan: Avoid overcrowding the saucepan, as this reduces the amount of heat each egg receives. For optimal cooking, use a pan size that allows the eggs to have enough space.

  6. Saucepan size: Use an 18 cm / 7″ saucepan for boiling six eggs or a 16 cm / 6″ pan for boiling four eggs. Choosing the right-sized pan ensures the eggs cook evenly.

  7. Save ice for cocktails: Instead of using ice to cool down the eggs, a bowl of cold tap water is sufficient. Preserving ice for other uses conserves this precious resource.

  8. Peel from the base: Peeling eggs from the base is easier than from the narrower top. Give it a try and experience the difference in ease and efficiency.

  9. Peel under water: Peeling eggs under running water makes the process even smoother. The water helps remove any shell fragments and facilitates a cleaner peel.

How to boil eggs

What type of boiled eggs I use for what

Different cooking times result in varying levels of doneness, allowing you to tailor your boiled eggs to different culinary applications. Here’s a breakdown of each level and their recommended uses:

  1. Dippy eggs for soldiers (3 minutes): These eggs are perfect for dipping toast sticks into, as the outer rim of the whites remains unset. The yolks are runny, as is the inner layer of egg whites, providing a delightful interactive breakfast experience.

  2. Runny yolks (6 minutes): Runny yolks can be a bit delicate to handle and peel, so they are less commonly used for boiling eggs. Consider using other cooking methods like poaching or frying sunny-side up for runny yolks. They’re ideal for dishes like Eggs Benedict or burgers.

    • Recommended uses: Caesar salad, toast with avocado, guacamole, or avocado sauce.
  3. Soft-boiled eggs (8 minutes): Soft-boiled eggs strike the perfect balance between a creamy yolk and a slightly firm texture. These eggs are ideal for salads like Nicoise or Gado Gado, as well as fish pie and egg sandwiches.

  4. Hard-boiled eggs (10 minutes): The classic hard-boiled eggs have fully set yolks and slightly firmer whites compared to soft-boiled eggs. They are suitable for the same applications as soft-boiled eggs but offer a different texture profile.

  5. Overcooked eggs (12 minutes+): If you prefer a firmer and drier yolk with rubbery whites, opt for overcooked eggs. However, it’s worth noting that the texture may not be as pleasing compared to perfectly cooked eggs.

Boiled eggs
Soft boiled eggs with avocado sauce


Q: How can I prevent eggs from cracking while boiling?

To prevent eggs from cracking while boiling, follow these tips:

  • Lower the eggs gently into the water using a slotted spoon or similar utensil to avoid dropping them from a height.
  • Reduce the heat slightly as soon as the eggs are added to prevent excessive movement and cracking.

Q: Why do some boiled eggs have craters upon peeling?

Eggs that are freshly laid tend to have a firmer membrane that adheres more firmly to the shell. As eggs age, the membrane degrades, making them easier to peel. Therefore, older eggs generally peel more neatly than fresh eggs. If you prefer neatly peeled eggs, consider using eggs that have been stored in the refrigerator for a week or longer.


Boiling an egg to perfection is an essential culinary skill that can elevate many dishes. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll achieve consistent results every time, whether you prefer runny yolks, soft-boiled eggs, or classic hard-boiled eggs. Embrace the joy of culinary exploration with Takeout Food’s dedication to excellence, creativity, and the delight of good food.

And remember, if you’re an egg boiling expert or have additional tips to share, we’d love to hear from you. Let’s continue learning and discovering new culinary techniques together. Happy egg boiling!

Takeout Food

Article by Takeout Food

Explore a world of culinary delights with Takeout Food. Discover mouthwatering dishes from top restaurants, delivered straight to your door

Related Post