Learn all the tips and tricks to make perfect soft-boiled eggs EVERY SINGLE TIME! 

Light yet packed with protein, cheap, super easy and speedy – You can’t help but love perfectly done eggs.

They are also naturally gluten-free & dairy-free, which is an added bonus.

Did I mention that to make one of the easiest meals ever invented, all you need is eggs, one pot, and some water?

It really doesn’t get easier than this!

eggs in a wood bowl covered with a white napkin

How to soft boil eggs step-by-step

The perfect soft-boiled eggs should have a creamy but firm white and a melt-in-your-mouth runny yolk.

It takes less than 5 minutes to make your eggs just right for scooping them gracefully from their shell with a spoon, or directly with warm toasted bread.

what you need for soft-boiled eggs: a small pot, water, egg

  1. Place one or more eggs into a pot of lightly boiling water.
  2. Let it gently simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Remove them with a slotted spoon, and place them in cold water to cool them down, and BAAM, you’re done!

The consistency is similar to poached eggs, with firm but soft egg whites and gooey yolk.

Serve with toasted bread or a colourful salad for a quick, nutritious meal that you can enjoy any time of the day.

How long to boil eggs

I know from experience it can take a lot of wrong-guessing to reach the perfect result.

And that’s why I decided to write these tips, so they can hopefully help you next time you want to give it a try.

So, the hunting question is, how long do you need to boil them for? Well, it’s rather quick – the perfect soft boiled egg time is just 4 minutes. 

If you’re looking for boiled eggs instead, 7 minutes is the perfect time in my opinion.

You can go for 8 minutes, but I wouldn’t suggest more than that.

soft-boiled egg on an egg holder plate, teaspoon on the left side side, top of the egg shell on the right side

Tips for Perfect Eggs

Choose super fresh eggs, with a similar size to ensure they’re cooked evenly. I personally like to go for the organic free-range ones whenever possible.

Use them at room temperature. If you store them in the fridge, take them out one hour before cooking.

– If you want to make sure they’re cooked to perfection, use a timer instead of a clock. Because ultimately it’s all about timing.

Poke a hole in the top of the eggs with a needle or egg-puncher before you start.

This prevents them from cracking, but if you lower the heat to a light simmer when the water boils they shouldn’t crack either.

– Fill a pot with cold water and place it over high heat. Make sure you add enough water.

I cover the eggs with enough water so that there is about 1 cm of water above them.

– Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly, plunge the eggs into it with a spoon and allow 4 minutes of cooking before taking them out of the hot water.

Add a dash of vinegar or lemon juice to prevent any spillage if by any chance the shell cracks.

– If you prepare more than 2 eggs at once, allow a few more seconds of cooking time.

– If you wish to prepare them ahead to enjoy later, keep them in a water bath at 60°C.



Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook! Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!

soft boiled egg on a plate next to a spoon
Print Recipe
4.85 from 33 votes

How to Make Perfect Soft-boiled Eggs

Learn all the tips and tricks to make perfect soft-boiled eggs EVERY SINGLE TIME! 
Cook Time4 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Starter
Cuisine: Quick Meal
Keyword: breakfast, dairy-free, eggs, gluten-free, how to cook eggs, how to make soft boiled eggs, soft-boiled eggs
Servings: 2
Calories: 72kcal


  • 2 medium-large eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bread cut into strips and toasted to serve


  • Fill a pan with water and bring the water to a boil.
  • When water boils, lower the heat to a gentle simmer.
  • Place the eggs on a slotted spoon and carefully lower them into the boiling water.
  • Simmer for 4 minutes
  • Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and immediately place under cool running water to stop the cooking process.
  • Transfer the eggs onto the egg-cups. To remove the cap, gently tap around the top with a dented knife or use an egg-cutter.
  • Season your perfect soft-boiled eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy straight away with toasted bread on the side.




Egg size: For small eggs, allow 30 seconds less cooking time. For large eggs, allow 30 seconds more cooking time.
Did you try this recipe? Tag @thepetitecook or use the hashtag #thepetitecook - Looking at your pictures makes my day!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 72kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.4g | Protein: 6.3g | Fat: 4.8g | Saturated Fat: 1.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.8g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 69mg | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 5.4IU | Calcium: 2.2mg | Iron: 4.9mg

*Post originally published in November 2015 and updated with more info!*

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