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:

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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 its 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 egg salad, avocado egg saladclassic 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, 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.

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.

Hard Boiled Eggs Recipe (and Soft Boiled Eggs)

4.95 from 120 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 14 mins
Total Time: 21 mins
Servings: 6 eggs
Author: Lisa Bryan
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.


  • 1-6 large eggs


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Calories: 77.5kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.6g, Protein: 6.3g, Fat: 5.3g, Saturated Fat: 1.6g, Cholesterol: 186.5mg, Sodium: 62mg, Sugar: 0.6g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Boiled Eggs, Hard Boiled Eggs, How Long to Boil Eggs, How to Boil Eggs, Soft Boiled Eggs
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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369 comments on “Perfect Soft Boiled and Hard Boiled Eggs (Every Time)”

  1. Love this! Clear instructions, easy to do, and the eggs come out great! Thank you!!
    – Linda5 stars

  2. Great tutorial. Thanks, not sure why I always have to google how to boil a soft egg but here I am :) FYI, for easiest peeling, add salt to the boiling water, it works like magic! :) 5 stars

  3. 👍👍🌹🌹🇸🇦5 stars

  4. Hullo dear, I’m looking for a solid white and  yolk that is ‘creamy’ – for a salade Nicoise. What timings would you recommend? 

  5. It works exactly like that. Thank you very much for this solid piece of Eientology. My egg cooker is out the door. … Sometimes the eggs crack immediately when meeting the water (not from the boil ‘n bump but from the temperature difference). And … how long do 6-7 minute eggs need in the ice water to prevent further cooking so as not to serve cold breakfast eggs. 1 minute enough?5 stars

  6. Thank you so much! Your recipe worked to perfection… I’ve been “guessing” how my eggs would turn out every time…. I’m a fan!!5 stars

  7. I have somewhat fresh eggs that haven’t been refrigerated. Any suggestions for adapting cooking time? Many of us have our own chickens these days and don’t keep our eggs cold.

  8. This is the best method that I have found. I like mine in the six
    to seven minute range but if I need them for the potato salad recipe this still works wonders. I use only farm fresh eggs and the ice water bath is the trick. Always easy to peel. Just crack on the large end and peel gently from there. Glad I found this site.5 stars

  9. Hi Lisa,
    I have tried so many different ways to get a good hard boiled egg, but always ended up with a nasty looking green/gray ring around the yolk which isn’t vert appealing to the eye. I ran across your method for cooking eggs and decided to give it a try. I just cut one open after 13 minutes and I have to tell you it not only looked great in color, but it was so tender! Thank you so much!!! I have finally found my one and only method of cooking eggs!
    Carole5 stars

  10. A better method to assure easy peeling (it ALWAYS works). Before lowering in water take a needle or small diameter device. tap it against the large end of the shell (where the air bladder is). Make sure to poke it through the bladder lightly.
    Now the egg will relieve the pressure when placed in boiling water. When you place the egg in ice water it will suck in cold water between the membrane and the white. When cool crack the shell all around and peel off. You will not damage the cooked white and it will peel easily.

  11. What a great teacher you are…can’t wait to try your soft & hard boiled egg technique! Today they came out too runny, yesterday too hard…….so now I can try YOUR METHOD! Yay! Thanks!

  12. do you set the timer once the eggs are in the water, or once the water is back up to a boil?

  13. Great article. A little secret.  Eggs occasionally crack when immersing them in boiling water because of the sudden expansion of the air in the sac. Just gently prick the shell on the fat end (but not through to the inner skin),, with a very sharp steel skewer and your eggs will never crack.5 stars

  14. I’ve been using this recipe a while. It’s simple and quite fail safe. I will be intuitive about the time, I’m scared of boiling bouncey eggs so I usually turn the heat down to medium after I add them (they still bounce a bit) and then off at 6 minutes and leave them in hot water for another minute and a half and they come out like the 6 minute eggs :)

    when I add and remove the eggs I use a big metal spoon and use the saucepan wall as leverage to slowly add an egg at a time, when they’re done I have a strainer ready, then I also just run the strainer  under cold water for a while rather than use an ice bath. Convenient for straight peeling. I’m that lazy. Anyway thanks! 5 stars

  15. Found this recipe after a few epic fails. This is the perfect guide on how to boil an egg.5 stars

  16. I’m pretty fussy about my soft-boiled eggs. This is the first recipe I’ve used that gets me consistently jammy egg yolks without any guessing, Thanks!5 stars

  17. Did not work for me, eggs whites were runny. Also difficult to place eggs in slow boiling water

  18. Lisa,

    Thank you so much! I had a craving for soft boiled eggs and I wanted to see if there were any tips on how not to crack the egg shell. The tips were perfect… the time was perfect! Thank you for for sharing this knowledge! It was awesome! Haha… excited over the perfect egg consistently!!5 stars

    • Hi Treena – So glad these tips helped you peel the perfect eggs! Now you know you can always reference this method :)

  19. How long would it take to make hard boiled eggs at 7000 ft elevation? Water comes to a boil here at 198 degrees.. so would I cook them longer?

  20. Perfect recipe to soft boiled eggs. No more guessing. Thank you!5 stars

  21. Making perfect eggs has eluded me for years. I love soft-boiled or poached eggs, but getting them just right seemed an impossible task. I think I tried a different method every time. Thanks to you, adding eggs to boiling water and then simmering for 8 minutes led to absolute perfection! This is the winner, it worked just like your photos, so helpful to see. Eggs done right are so delicious, on buttered toast just heavenly.5 stars

  22. Enjoyed the quick and easy demonstration. Thank you.5 stars

  23. I totally agree, the ice bath after cooking stops them from cooking and also aids in peeling. The cold makes things contract, I don’t use vinegar but do add relish .5 stars

  24. Perfect eggs all day! 12 minutes is my marker and great for meal prepping throughout the week with a few strips of bacon, nuts, seaweed for a perfect healthy lunch.  Appreciate Lisa’s diagram on 6-14 minutes and what egg you should expect.  You may need to adjust the temp a lil bit…..on my stove I had it at a level 8 on the boil (came out too firm) my go to is level 6 (med high) and 12=perfect eggs but everyone is different so play around for what style fits you.  10 min marker is great for adding to your salads.  I got the OXO egg slicer and slice both ways for a killer salad protein pack!  Lisa does it yet again!5 stars

    • Hi Travis – Amazing! So glad you found a timing that works for you, so now you can make the perfect boiled egg every time :)

  25. Thank you for this great instructional video! (I had never made a soft-boiled egg before – and this first time – came out perfect!) :-)5 stars

  26. How long in the Ice bath??????

    Thank you!

    • If you plan to eat them right away (on toast, etc), you can just blanch in the ice water for 30 seconds or so to stop the cooking. If you’re storing for future use, I’d keep them in the ice water bath for 5 minutes to make sure they’re cooled all the way through.

  27. Great tips for poached eggs and hard and soft boiled eggs.  They are my favorite way to eat eggs😁🥚5 stars

  28. Great article. Note that the only way to guarantee that the shells will always slide, almost like magic, *right* off when peeling boiled eggs is to make sure the eggs are at room temperature, at minimum, before lowering them into the boiling water. Leave them on the counter for an hour (if the house is nice and warm) or two or three or four. Or soak them in lukewarm water for a half-hour.

  29. 7 1/2 minutes and perfect eggs for me. The instructions were spot on. When my timer went off I submerged them in cold water long enough to prepare a cup of tea. Gently cracked the eggs on the side of the sink and placed them under a slow stream of lukewarm water. As long as you get the water to go underneath that thin membrane underneath the shell you are good! Thanks Lisa!5 stars

  30. To peel easy after boiled take a pen I use a thumbtack and stick a hole in one end of the egg and boil. When you cool them all in the cold water they will pill very easily some of them slip off like a glove

  31. WOW! I need to try this! I always been putting the eggs with the water at the same time, not bad but i always endeed with a bad result because i like mi eggs hard boiled and sometimes the eggs came very soft and i don´t like that at all! So thank you so much for your advise!5 stars

  32. This is fullproof! The best method ever. Perfect every single time I make them and I am also making them so much more now that I know they are always going to be how I want them! 5 stars

  33. You ARE my hero (heroine)

    I stopped making these supposedly simple delicacies that my hubby and kids adore simply because in the process of peeling them I always ended up with a mess! It was so humiliating, and I TRIED all the methods on the INet.
    My husband started buying DE at the grocery stores — Yuck! Wow! I just did a test run with high grade organic eggs but around two weeks old (but still OK). Perfect! Thank you so much!!5 stars

  34. Great video very helpful.5 stars

  35. Are the eggs cold straight from the fridge or do you bring them to room temperature before you put them in the water?

  36. Yes yes yes! I totally disagree with the method of putting the eggs in water and then bringing to a boil. Every stove is different in terms of heat and how long it will take the water to boil. Because of that the eggs have already cooked for different amounts of time just getting to temperature. This method works perfectly every single time. Thank you!5 stars

  37. I have 2 nephews who love deviled eggs so i thought it would be nice to make them some to eat at Christmas dinner. I bought 18 eggs and let them age about a week before taking them out to boil last night. I tried the cold water method to cook 12 of the eggs and it was a nightmare getting those peeled. So feeling let down, i researched online for a while and found your website with the BEST deviled eggs recipe and from there i followed your link to the page on perfect soft boiled and hard boiled eggs and so from that same 18 pack of eggs, i cooked the remaining 6 eggs following your directions and they peeled absolutely perfectly. I was so thrilled and i even shared your method right away with my sister who was having similar problems with her eggs. Thank you so much!5 stars

    • Oh, that makes me so happy to hear Christina! It’s so frustrating when eggs don’t peel (or take half the egg white with the peel). I’m glad you were able to salvage the rest of your eggs to create perfect boiled eggs and then turn them into deviled eggs. Hope you all enjoyed!

  38. Thank you! I ate a perfect soft-boiled egg while I waited for the hard-boiled eggs to finish. They were beautiful, it was a shame to cut them up.5 stars

  39. Excellent and super easy. I now know my favorite is the 8 minute egg 🙂🥚5 stars

  40. Thanks Lisa. Good info.. I like my water only semi hot when I put the eggs in so they don’t crack. No need to be careful lowering them into the water then apart from having them at room temperature. Bring to the boil & then simmer them to suit desired result. Obviously, cooking times will need adjusting to suit compared to your recommended times.

  41. AMAZING!!!! Finally found a way to boil eggs properly, without EVER failing. Seriously – Thank you!5 stars

    • Hi Evangelia – I’m so glad this method worked out for you! Now you can have perfect hard boiled eggs every time :)

  42. This is fantastic. Especially love the photo with the cooking times on it, any time I cook eggs for anyone now I just show them the picture and ask them what number they want. I’ve got it printed and stuck to the fridge 😂5 stars

    • Hi Alexandra – Haha, I love how you have the image on your fridge :) Glad to hear this post helps you every time.

  43. Simple explanation. 5 stars

  44. This worked perfect for me! I always struggled to get them right. I cooked them 6 minutes and my egg was just how I like it. I use to always cook them for 4 or 5 minutes and they were way to soft and slimy so hadn’t tried them awhile. But I decided to look it and followed the recipe and they worked perfect! I am glad someone figured it out! Thanks!5 stars

    • Hi Ann – I’m so glad this method worked out for you! Now you can have the perfect soft boiled egg ;)

  45. You are amazing! This worked perfectly using extra large eggs.  Thank you! thank you! thank you!5 stars

  46. I’ve never written a comment on a recipe before. I’ve also never been able to get a perfectly soft boiled egg, until now! Why has it always been so hard? These directions gave me the absolute most perfect soft boiled egg. Thanks!5 stars

  47. This was my first time making soft boiled eggs. I followed your method, cooked mine for 6 minutes, and they came out perfect! Thank you!5 stars

  48. To crack eggs without peeling off whites you should crack them all over carefully as soon as you take them out of the water and do it either under cold running water, or put them in an ice bath to cool down fast for later use (you would crack them on the side of the ice bath bowl in this case).
    You don’t need to peel them right away, just cracking them well all over is enough. The shells will come off perfectly when you decide to peel the eggs.
    Try it :)
    If you cook them from cold use a 50:1 water to white vinegar solution, I would say 5 mins since the boil for hard boiled and 3.5 mins for soft, water simmering slowly, if you are using a stainless steel pot and induction stove. Then again as the post says, it depends largely on the pot and stove you are using.
    Else, you can cook them straight into boiling water in which case you should follow the 6 – 12(\14) minute scale above.

    Thanks for the post Lisa

  49. I have a simple tip for easy-to-peel eggs once they’re out of the ice bath:

    GENTLY smash (I know it sounds like an oxymoron, lol) the length of the egg on the counter (or any solid, flat surface) and then, with a LIGHT HAND, roll it back and forth one or two times, just enough that the egg cracks all over, but not so much that it resembles a mosaic. It will peel so fast after that. My eggs usually peel in two parts. It may take a few eggs to get used to the technique, but it works great nearly every time. (Nothing is perfect.) If you handle the egg too hard either while smashing or rolling it, you will damage the white.5 stars

  50. Fantastic!! Not a single egg cracked! I wonder how many years it has been since I could say that, lol. Timing was perfect. I tried 8 minutes and they came out great. So pleased. Thank you, Lisa!5 stars