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How to Cook a Soft Boiled Egg

How to Cook a Soft Boiled EggLearn how to cook a soft-boiled egg on the stovetop and in the Instant Pot. Using our step-by-step method, you’ll enjoy soft-boiled eggs with perfect cooked egg whites and deliciously gooey yolks. We use them to top everything from toast to salad, grain bowls, and soup- like our Korean Low Carb Ramen or Vegetarian Kimchi Jjigae.

A perfectly cooked soft boiled egg cracked open.

Soft-boiled eggs transport me to my granny’s kitchen in the nineties. I picture her cracking into the soft-boiled egg she would eat with half a grapefruit or sliced tomatoes. It doesn’t matter how you decide to eat them; soft-boiled eggs are perfect as is or use them to dress up your favorite dish. They also add protein and healthy fat to any meal.

WHAT IS A SOFT BOILED EGG?

Soft boiled eggs are submerged in water and cooked until the whites completely set but their yolks are still runny (or gummy, since that’s what I prefer).

HOW TO COOK A SOFT BOILED EGG 

When it comes to soft-boiled eggs, one question surfaces. How long does it take to cook soft boiled eggs? Let’s get into the methodology and cooking times needed to get perfect eggs to your table.

How to Cook a Soft Boiled Egg on the Stovetop

Add cold water to a saucepan, cover, and bring it to a gentle simmer (just below boiling) over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, lower the eggs into the water straight from the fridge. Cover and cook for 6 minutes.

Lower the eggs into the water.

Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes.

Cook for 6 minutes.

Remove the eggs and immediately add them to an ice bath.

Add the eggs to an ice bath.

How to Cook a Soft Boiled Egg in the Instant Pot

Place the eggs in a single layer on the trivet in an Instant Pot and add 1½ cups of water.

Secure the lid and set it to manual low pressure for 2 minutes. Then, allow the Instant Pot to release naturally for 1 minute followed by a quick release.

Add the water and eggs to an Instant Pot.

Remove the eggs and immediately add them to an ice bath.

Add the eggs to an ice bath.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SOFT BOIL AN EGG?

People often ask, “how do you cook the perfect soft-boiled eggs?” A few factors influence the result of your eggs coming out the way you want them to. The temperature of the eggs, your stove, the type of pan you use, and the length of time. Here is a timetable for soft-boiled eggs so you can determine which consistency of egg you prefer.

TIMEDESCRIPTION
4-5 minutesThe whites are set but the yolk is runny.
6 minutesThe whites are set and the yolk is gooey and a little runny.
6½-7 minutesThe egg whites are yet, and the yolk is is also set but still jammy.

These cooking times are for stovetop cooking.

COOKING TIPS

  • Use eggs straight out of the fridge. Room temperatures varies based on home and season, so fresh-from-the-fridge eggs produce a more consistent result. Room temperature eggs, if that’s what you’re using, will cook more quickly, for about 5 minutes.
  • Water-to-egg ratio matters; the more water you have compared to eggs, the longer the cooking time will be. 
  • When it comes to the stovetop cooking method, the more eggs you add to the water, the slower the cooking process will be. I cook four eggs at a time and about eight for a large pot. Something to keep in mind- fridge-cold eggs will cool the water around them, so adding too many will alter the cooking time.
  • Use a slotted spoon to gently lower the eggs into the water and prevent them from cracking.
  • Set a timer because soft-boiled eggs can be finicky, and prepare your ice bath while you wait.

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Multi-colored eggs on a hand towel.

HOW DO YOU EAT A SOFT BOILED EGG?

  1. Add the egg to an egg cup (or a shot glass).
  2. Use a small knife or spoon to crack the top of the egg.
  3. Cut an opening using a knife and remove the top of the egg- careful not to pierce the egg.
  4. Use a small spoon to scoop it out or dip some toast right in.
  5. If you want to peel the egg, insert a small spoon into the opening and gently slide it around the egg to loosen the shell; peel and enjoy!

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

Whether it’s tempered eggs in a soup like Chikhirtma or Hard-Boiled Eggs added to a cobb salad, eggs are a perfect addition to any meal. Here are some suggestions for how to eat those silky, creamy soft-boiled eggs.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • TO STORE – Store unpeeled soft-boiled eggs in the refrigerator for 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT – Warm up the eggs by boiling them on the stovetop for 3-4 minutes.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Are soft boiled eggs healthy?

Shorter cooking times help to retain the egg’s nutrients, and eggs are a great source of protein, fat, vitamin D, and choline.

How long to ice bath soft boiled eggs?

I let my soft-boiled eggs sit in an ice bath for 5-10 minutes.

How do you peel a soft-boiled egg?

If you’re not eating the egg straight out of the shell, I recommend peeling eggs under running water after they’ve been in the ice bath for at least 10 minutes.

Can soft-boiled eggs be made ahead of time?

Just like hard-boiled eggs, you can prep soft-boil eggs too; they will keep in the fridge for two days, but I wouldn’t go beyond that. Serve them cold on a salad or warm them up by boiling the eggs on the stovetop for 3-4 minutes.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY: 

A perfectly cooked soft boiled egg cracked open.

How to Cook a Soft Boiled Egg

Tressa Jamil
Learn how to cook a soft-boiled eggs on the stovetop and in the Instant Pot with our step-by-step guide for silky and jammy soft-boiled eggs!
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 6 mins
Course Preparations
Cuisine European
Servings 4 Eggs
Calories 70 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Stove-Top:

  • 4 large eggs, chilled
  • 5 cups water

For the Instant Pot:

  • 4 large eggs, chilled
  • cup cold water

Instructions
 

For the Stovetop:

  • Add cold water to a saucepan, cover, and bring it to a gentle simmer (just below boiling) over medium-high heat.
  • Using a slotted spoon, lower the eggs into the water straight from the fridge. Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes.
  • Remove the eggs and immediately add them to an ice bath.

For the Instant Pot:

  • Place eggs in a single layer on the trivet in an Instant Pot and add 1½ cups of water.
  • Secure the lid and set it to manual low pressure for 2 minutes. Then, allow the Instant Pot to release naturally for 1 minute followed by a quick release.
  • Remove the eggs and immediately add them to an ice bath.

Notes

Cooking Tips: 
  • Use eggs straight out of the fridge. Room temperatures varies based on home and season, so fresh-from-the-fridge eggs produce a more consistent result. Room temperature eggs, if that’s what you’re using, will cook more quickly, for about 5 minutes.
  • Water-to-egg ratio matters; the more water you have compared to eggs, the longer the cooking time will be. 
  • When it comes to the stovetop cooking method, the more eggs you add to the water, the slower the cooking process will be. I cook four eggs at a time and about eight for a large pot. Something to keep in mind- fridge-cold eggs will cool the water around them, so adding too many will alter the cooking time.
  • Use a slotted spoon to gently lower the eggs into the water and prevent them from cracking.
  • Set a timer because soft-boiled eggs can be finicky, and prepare your ice bath while you wait.
 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 EggCalories: 70kcalProtein: 6gFat: 5gSodium: 65mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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