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How hard is it to make a soft-boiled egg?

My favorite way to eat eggs is to dip toast into a runny yolk. Whether that means a perfectly cooked over-medium or soft-boiled egg, it doesn’t matter. It just so happens that it’s really easy to cook one of those to perfection, the other not so much.

Here I tested out three different methods on cooking a soft-boiled egg, and the results actually surprised me. We’re looking for a firm white and runny yolk, folks. Here goes:

(Much like the hard-boiling process, but with less time on the clock)

Cold boil: 1 medium size egg – TheKitchn.com suggests cooking on simmer for 3 minutes
Fill up a pot with cold water, an inch over the egg. Timer starts when the water starts to boil. Keep the water on the heat but lower to a simmer once the water starts boiling. Cook for 3 minutes, then remove and place in ice-bath.

soft boiled egg

Result: Overcooked but on the softer side. I would suggest taking these out of the pot at 2 minutes (after the water hits boiling point).

Long boil: 1 medium size egg – Chatelaine.com suggests I cook the egg for only 3.5 minutes
Fill up a pot with cold water, an inch over the egg. Timer start when the water starts to boil. But this time, take the pot off the heat after the water is boiling, cover and cook for 3.5 minutes with no heat, then place in ice-bath.

soft boiled egg

Result: Way too overcooked! I should have listened! Instead I kept the egg in the pot, cooking for 5 minutes and the result was a way overcooked egg. Assuming the egg would need more time to cook, after hitting the boiling point, was way off. I would take these guys out at 3.5 minutes, just like Chatelaine suggests.

Hot boil: 1 medium size egg – Egg Master- A sophisticated Egg Timer app suggests cooking for 5 minutes
Boil a pot of water. When water is officially boiling, gently place eggs in pot and cook on the same high heat for 5 minutes, then place in ice-bath.

soft boiled egg

Result: Almost perfect. The whites were only slightly undercooked near the center, but the yolk was in all its runny glory.

It took a few tries, but I finally got it right. The easiest, most foolproof way to cooking soft-boiled eggs is hot boiling for 5.5 minutes. Get your soldiers ready, it’s time for dippin’!

soft boiled egg