Skip to Content

How to Cook a Soft Boiled Egg

Learn how to cook a soft boiled egg on the stovetop and in the Instant Pot to enjoy expertly cooked soft-boiled eggs with set egg whites and deliciously gooey yolks. Use them to top meals like toast, salad, grain bowls, and soup- like our Korean low-carb ramen or vegetarian kimchi jjigae.

A soft boiled egg cracked open.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

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. Whether you prepare them on the stove, Instant Pot, or in the air fryer doesn’t matter – they are delicious! Soft-boiled eggs are perfect as they are, 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

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

How to Cook a Soft Boiled Egg on the Stovetop?

Step 1: 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.

Step 2: Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes.

Cook for 6 minutes.

Step 3: 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?

Step 1: 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.

Step 2: Remove the eggs and immediately add them to an ice bath.

Add the eggs to an ice bath.

How to Cook Soft Boiled Eggs in the Air Fryer

You won’t believe how easy it is to make perfectly cooked soft “boiled” eggs in just minutes- try air fryer soft boiled eggs; this is a fool-proof method for even cooking, quick cooking time, and easy cleanup.

How Long Does it Take to Soft Boil an Egg?

How do you cook the perfect soft-boiled eggs? Mastering soft-boiled eggs requires the consideration of a few factors: egg temperature, stove type, pan choice, and cooking time. Here is a timetable so you can determine the consistency 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.

Expert Tips

  • For consistent results every time, use eggs straight out of the fridge, as room temperatures can vary. If you use room-temperature eggs, they will cook more quickly.
  • Water-to-egg ratio matters because the more water you have compared to eggs, the longer the cooking time will be. 
  • 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. Part of the reason is that fresh-from-the-fridge eggs will cool the water around them, so adding too many can 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 an ice bath while you wait.

Searching for More Like This? 

If you love this kitchen tip, try one of these egg recipes! 

How Do You Eat a Soft Boiled Egg?

  • Add an egg to an egg cup (or a shot glass) and use a small knife or spoon to crack the top of the egg.
  • Cut an opening using a knife and remove the top of the egg- careful not to pierce the egg.
  • Use a small spoon to scoop it out or dip the toast right into it.
  • 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.

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Are soft boiled eggs healthy?

Shorter cooking times help 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. Serve them cold on a salad or warm them up by boiling the eggs on the stovetop for 3-4 minutes.

More Kitchen Tips:

Your Feedback is Valuable

Did you try this recipe? Consider leaving a ⭐️ rating and comment below. And for more healthy international recipes for everyday cooking, sign up to have recipes emailed right to you.

A soft boiled egg cracked open.

How to Cook a Soft Boiled Egg

Tressa Jamil
Learn how to cook a soft boiled egg on the stovetop and in the Instant Pot with our step-by-step guide for silky and jammy soft-boiled eggs!
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Course Preparations
Cuisine European
Servings 4 Eggs
Calories 143 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
Expert Tips:
  • For consistent results every time, use eggs straight out of the fridge, as room temperatures can vary. If you use room-temperature eggs, they will cook more quickly.
  • Water-to-egg ratio matters because the more water you have compared to eggs, the longer the cooking time will be. 
  • 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. Part of the reason is that fresh-from-the-fridge eggs will cool the water around them, so adding too many can 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 an 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 Egg | Calories: 143 kcal | Carbohydrates: 1 g | Protein: 13 g | Fat: 10 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g | Trans Fat: 0.04 g | Cholesterol: 372 mg | Sodium: 161 mg | Potassium: 138 mg | Sugar: 0.4 g | Vitamin A: 540 IU | Calcium: 68 mg | Iron: 2 mg
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!
Recipe Rating




Megan S.

Monday 13th of February 2023

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to make soft-boiled eggs using this recipe! Both the stovetop and Instant Pot methods worked perfectly, and I loved the tips for getting that perfect gooey yolk. I can't wait to try these eggs on top of some of my favorite dishes. Thank you!