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Perfect Soft Boiled and Hard Boiled Eggs (Every Time)

Learn how to make hard boiled eggs (and soft boiled eggs) so they turn out perfectly every time. My hard boiled eggs recipe is super easy and allows you to cook a variety of eggs for the entire family – all in one pot.

Learn how to make hard boiled eggs (and soft boiled eggs) so they turn out perfectly every time. My hard boiled eggs recipe is super easy and allows you to cook a variety of eggs for the entire family - all in one pot.

When it comes to cooking hard boiled eggs there’s no shortage of tutorials online. And not surprisingly, they’re all pretty similar. Add eggs to a pot of cold water, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat and cook the eggs until hard boiled.

But I find that there’s one big flaw with this method that may be the culprit for folks accidentally overcooking their eggs (and I mention it on the video below). So what’s the flaw? The type of pot you use.

Watch this quick video of my hard boiled eggs recipe:

And subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!

Aluminum, stainless steel and cast iron are well known for their different rates of bringing water to a boil and retaining heat. So if your eggs are sitting in a pot of cold water in a cast iron pot and it takes two minutes longer to reach a boil than an aluminum pot (not to mention the water will cool at a much slower rate once removed from the heat), you’ve now inadvertently cooked your eggs a few minutes longer.

That may not be the end of the world for hard boiled eggs, but it does increase the likelihood of a green tinge around your yolk and a more rubbery white. In other words, less than perfect hard boiled eggs.

The other drawback of cooking eggs in cold water first is the difficulty in making soft boiled eggs. Soft boiled eggs are far more of an exact science when it comes to time, which is why most tutorials have you cooking them in hot water.

So that begs the question – why cook them two different ways?

Learn how to make hard boiled eggs (and soft boiled eggs) so they turn out perfectly every time. My hard boiled eggs recipe is super easy and allows you to cook a variety of eggs for the entire family - all in one pot.

How to Cook Soft Boiled and Hard Boiled Eggs – Together In One Pot

I see no reason to cook soft boiled and hard boiled eggs any different. And the method I’ve used my entire life (thanks mom) is pretty darn foolproof.

Just bring a pot of water to a boil with enough water to cover the eggs by about an inch. By boiling the water first, it also doesn’t matter which type of pot you use as the eggs only hit the water once it’s boiling (212 degrees fahrenheit).

Reduce the heat to low and use a skimmer to gently place the eggs in the water. By reducing the heat to low, you’ll prevent the eggs from bouncing around and cracking. Then, turn the heat back up to a boil.

Immediately set a timer and cook the eggs according to how soft or hard you’d like them. Here’s my general description of how long to boil eggs:

  • 6 minutes: A liquidy yolk and soft white. This is perfect for eggs served in an egg cup.
  • 6 1/2 minutes: A soft, jammy yolk. This is my favorite for eggs on toast or soft boiled eggs on a salad.
  • 8 minutes: A soft yolk but firm enough to hold it’s own.
  • 10 minutes: The early stages of a hard boiled egg, with just a smidge of softness in the middle.
  • 12 minutes: A hard boiled egg with a lighter yolk.
  • 14 minutes: Your traditional hard boiled egg with the lightest yolk and a firm white, but not overcooked.

Once the eggs have cooked, immediately place them in a ice water bath to stop them from cooking and maintain your perfect texture.

Eggs cooked between 12-14 minutes are perfect for all hard boiled eggs recipes, such as my classic potato salad and deviled eggs. For soft boiled eggs, I love a good 6 1/2 minute egg, but my parents prefer 7 minute eggs. It’s all just personal preference, so find the time that works best for you.

Learn how to make hard boiled eggs (and soft boiled eggs) so they turn out perfectly every time. My hard boiled eggs recipe is super easy and allows you to cook a variety of eggs for the entire family - all in one pot.

How Long Can You Store Hard Boiled Eggs

According to Foodsafety.gov, you can store hard boiled eggs in the fridge for up to a week in their shell. Most say that if you peel the eggs, you should eat them within a few days. But if you’ve watched my meal prep video where I make soft boiled eggs ahead of time, you’ll see I frequently store peeled eggs for up to three days no problem. Do what you feel comfortable with.

It should also be noted that eggs should never be stored in the refrigerator door, due to frequent temperature changes. Always store your eggs in the main part of the fridge.

Learn how to make hard boiled eggs (and soft boiled eggs) so they turn out perfectly every time. My hard boiled eggs recipe is super easy and allows you to cook a variety of eggs for the entire family - all in one pot.

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs Easier to Peel

Ahh, the million dollar question. There are many theories on how to make hard boiled eggs easier to peel, such as:

  • Use eggs that are at least 10 days old
  • Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the boiling water
  • Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the boiling water
  • Immediately place the eggs in an ice water bath

I’ve tried all of these over the years and found that none of these tactics created repeatable, easy to peel eggs except for the last one – the ice water bath. Many times, it’s just the luck of the draw with the eggs you’ve purchased.

Learn how to make hard boiled eggs (and soft boiled eggs) so they turn out perfectly every time. My hard boiled eggs recipe is super easy and allows you to cook a variety of eggs for the entire family - all in one pot.

And since I know I’ll receive this question in the comments, I’ll address it here. The number one question I receive on placing eggs into boiling water is “won’t that crack the egg open?” So here’s two things I do to ensure that doesn’t happen:

  • I remove the eggs from the fridge just as I start to boil the water. This allows them to warm up for a few minutes.
  • I reduce the heat to low while “slowly” placing the eggs in the hot water.  Never place the eggs straight into boiling water as you don’t want them bouncing around until they’re fully submerged and settled.

If you do those two things, you should be good. But of course, nothing’s perfect. I may have one egg for every 30 or so I make crack. Not bad odds if you ask me, especially when all the eggs that don’t crack come out perfect every time. And if you really don’t want to worry about cracked eggs, there’s always my poached eggs. *wink* Enjoy!

Learn how to make hard boiled eggs (and soft boiled eggs) so they turn out perfectly every time. My hard boiled eggs recipe is super easy and allows you to cook a variety of eggs for the entire family - all in one pot.

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Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe (and Soft Boiled Eggs)

My foolproof method for cooking both hard boiled eggs and soft boiled eggs (perfectly) is placing them gently in a pot of boiling water. Watch the video above to see my easy, step-by-step process.

Ingredients

  • 1-6 large eggs

Directions

  1. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Ensure there’s enough water in the pot to cover the eggs by about an inch.
  2. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, remove the eggs from the fridge (set them on the counter) and prepare ice water bath in a large bowl.
  3. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and use skimmer to gently and slowly add the eggs to the water. Then, turn the heat back up to a boil.
  4. Set a timer and cook the eggs for 6-7 minutes for soft boiled eggs and 12-14 minutes for hard boiled eggs. See the cook time notes above.
  5. Once the eggs have cooked to your preferred time, use the skimmer to remove the eggs and immediately submerge them in the ice water bath to stop them from cooking.
  6. Peel the eggs and enjoy.

Lisa's Tips

I love this skimmer as it can easily add and remove multiple eggs at the same time.

If you’re looking for new egg cups to serve soft boiled eggs, these terra cotta egg cups are cute!

I recommend not cooking more than 6 eggs at a time, as a crowded pot can start to alter the cook time.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 eggs, Serving Size: 1 large egg

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 77.5
  • Total Fat: 5.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6g
  • Cholesterol: 186.5mg
  • Sodium: 62mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0.6g
  • Sugar: 0.6g
  • Protein: 6.3g
All images and text ©Lisa Bryan for Downshiftology

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66 comments on “Perfect Soft Boiled and Hard Boiled Eggs (Every Time)”

  1. I tried this recipe it’s amazing and very eeezy.also my family members like Thanks for recipe

    Rating: 5
  2. This recipe makes fail-proof eggs! For hard boiled eggs! As well as soft boiled eggs! All made in the same pot! For the soft boiled eggs I boil for 5 minutes, then let the eggs sit on my plate while I make toast. By the time I butter my toast, and cut the tops off the eggs – the white is firm and cooked nicely. The yolks are the best part! Perfectly runny, soft boiled yolk for buttered toast! I’ve always cooked my eggs too little or too long. No more with this recipe! Even hubby complimented me on the perfect boiled egg.

    Rating: 5
  3. This works EVERY TIME!!! Thank you for sharing this xo

  4. I never comment on recipes, but this is the first time in 31 years that I’ve made perfect soft boiled eggs! THANK YOU.

    Rating: 5
  5. Perfect! This answered all my questions and left no doubt how I should proceed to make soft boiled eggs.

    Rating: 5
  6. How long do you soak the eggs in ice water after cooking?

  7. Very informative and to the point!

    Rating: 5
  8. I thought this tutorial was excellent. It’s short, articulate, and informative.

    Rating: 5
  9. Thank you for your egg cooking tips…want to share a bit of hard boiled humor….. we are celebrating our 53rd anniversary soon and I’ve boiled my fair ahare of eggs of course. But when it comes to.peeling, I fill an empty pickle jar about 1/4 full of water and drop in a freshly boiled egg. Shake it about 8 to 10 times then remove it and the shell easily falls away. I made a label for this jar … it reads”Futuristic Egg Peeler.”And, I.love it!

    Rating: 5
  10. Perfection. I agree on 6.5 min for the soft boiled egg. I don’t like any soft whites and that was perfect. Ready for my Brunch party!

    Rating: 5
  11. Loved this recipe for boiling eggs.. both soft and hard. I don’t eat soft boiled— but my husband does. He loved it! Great way to cook both at once. I did crack one putting them in. I ate it hard boiled and it was still great!  

    Rating: 5
  12. Spot on killer! Very clear and concise guidance. I’ve seen so many vids on how to boil eggs properly, yours is as good as it gets. Thanks for posting!

    Rating: 5
  13. I made a soft boiled egg it was great Iam getting cemo and that’s the only egg I can eat

    Rating: 5
  14. AWESOME and EASY!

    Rating: 5
  15. The best method of cooking eggs to perfection, thank you for great tip!

    Rating: 5
  16. Really helpful!! I’m making scotch eggs and soft boiled eggs for the first time. Can’t wait to see if my 6 and a half minute eggs do well. Do you increase the time for jumbo eggs?

  17. how will i know if i get a reply, i dont seldom come to this website, can i be e-mailed-instead, i just wanted to share my thought about egg,s, ——- that im addicted to-them, soft/hard/scrambbled/ up/down, just as long as its an egg, lol, opps, deviled, its endless, thank,s, im russ

    Rating: 5
  18. Do you start timing as soon as the eggs hit the water, or as soon as you’ve brought the pot back up to a rolling boil?

  19. Wonderfully rational logical instructive way to cook eggs. Wish more cooks would do this. My once a year foray into cooking for my wife and wanted it to come out right (part of a Cobb salad).

    Rating: 5
  20. what glass mixing bowls do you have? whats the brand?

  21. I used your recipe for hard boiled eggs and they turned out beautiful and not one problem peeling them. Thanks.

  22. This was a good read. Thanks for pre-answering questions so I don’t have to Google. 

    Rating: 5
  23. Oh my gosh…mine came out PERFECT! You have no idea how excited I am to have this method 🙂 thank you so much!!!

    Rating: 5
  24. Great video, short simple and easy to understand.Good idea to show all the different lengths of time.

    Rating: 5
  25. Hi Lisa, Thanks for the soft boiled egg tutorial! I had never thought about different pans and heat, although I boil my water in the electric kettle because I find it faster.  We never keep our eggs in the fridge either, there are even notes on lots of egg boxes not to!  But that may be a UK thing.  I think this would make more of a difference to the time it takes them to cook.  I never cook my hard boiled for longer than 10 minutes and 5 is above right for the soft and runny version.  Soft boiled eggs are a household favourite for Sunday tea!

  26. I think my option is 8 minutes cooking! :D I love how you explained the basics, because we are sometimes too much into some recipes and complication, but forget what it’s all about. Love it!

    Rating: 5
  27. This is so helpful! The 12 minute version looks perfect to me.

    Rating: 5
  28. This is so handy, it can be so hard to get it perfect every single time!

    Rating: 5
  29. What a great guide. So handy to refer to. Love it! Now I am craving boiled egg of course.

    Rating: 5
  30. So simple…copying the photo with the eggs/minutes and printing it for the pantry cork board.  Might even frame it…making the everyday extraordinary as we always promote to our design clients!

  31. What a great guide! I always cook my eggs way too much, but using this post I can finally get it right! Thanks :)

    Rating: 5
  32. Oh, dear.  How to adapt for high altitude?