How to Make Soft-Boiled Eggs

For the perfect egg, skip boiling and opt for steaming instead.

The secret to perfectly soft-boiled eggs? Steaming. It’s faster and far more consistent than boiling eggs; there’s no guesswork required.
Even better, this method allows you to cook as many eggs as you’d like at one time and it requires very little water, so there’s no need to wait for an entire pot of water to boil. You can have your soft-boiled egg cooked, cracked and ready to eat in about the same amount of time it takes to toast and butter bread.

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1 Add water

Add about a half-inch of water to the bottom of your pot or skillet. Place a lid on top and bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. You can steam the eggs in either a skillet or sauce pot, as long as it has a tight-fitting lid to match. Use the smallest skillet or pot needed for your eggs to lie across the bottom in a single layer.


2 Steam the eggs

Once the water is boiling, use tongs to carefully place the eggs onto the bottom of the pot or skillet. A steam basket will make this process even easier, as it can be loaded with the eggs and then carefully lowered into the steaming water.
Place the lid back on the skillet and set a timer for six minutes. The lid will trap the steam, surrounding the eggs in a consistent 212-degree temperature as they cook.

Six minutes is standard for large eggs. Add 30 seconds more for extra-large and subtract 30 seconds for medium-sized eggs.

3 Remove the eggs and cool

After six minutes, use your tongs to carefully remove the eggs from the skillet and place them in a bowl. Place the bowl under cool running water for 60 seconds. The water will cool the eggs just enough to stop the cooking process, and ensure that the yolks remain in a delicious state of liquid gold.

4 Crack and enjoy

Your eggs are now ready to eat! Place the pointy end of the egg facing down into the cup, so that the wide end and yolk are at the top. Either tap the top of the egg with the back of a spoon, or use the angled side of a spoon to crack into the side of the shell. Scoop off the top of the egg, white and all, to expose the center.

If you don’t own a decorative egg cup, a shot glass from your university days will work!

What you do with your soft-boiled egg from here is up to you. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and enjoy it with a spoon, dip buttered toast “soldiers” (toast strips) into the yolk, or carefully peel and break the egg over an English muffin with slices of smoked ham. Whatever you do, enjoy that egg in all its magical, soft-boiled glory.

About Budget Bytes

Beth from Budget Bytes is a food lover and a number cruncher who dishes up  healthy recipes on her blog that won't put a huge dent in your wallet. She is the author of the cookbook, Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half, and she also works as a microbiologist in a hospital laboratory. Follow her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.