Skip to Content
  • Pinterest
  • Save
  • Facebook
  • Email
  • Print

How to Boil an Egg Cheat Sheet

Created March 7, 2017
how to boil egg
The Easiest Way to Make Great Boiled Eggs (Soft, Medium, and Hard!)

Ah, the boiled egg. It seems easy enough—and it is, if your goal is hard-boiled eggs. Put them in a pot of hot water and wait. You’re basically done.

But if you’re interested in a little more variation in your boiled eggs, you’ll want to pay attention. This is the easiest way to make your eggs soft, medium, or hard-boiled.


I recommend using large eggs, and try to get ones that are a bit old. Not close to expiration obviously, but brand new eggs will not peel as easily. So try to find some that are a week or so old, if possible.

One big heads up before I show you this easy method: Boiling eggs is very dependent on the eggs you’re using, the pan, and the amount of water. This method is 90% accurate, but the only way to make it very accurate is to do it frequently in your kitchen. Eventually you’ll get the timing down perfectly for your environment!

Some people think you need a full pot of water, but the truth is that you only want about an inch of water in the pot. This allows the water to reheat very quickly after you add the eggs and create consistent temperature.


The water doesn’t even have to cover the eggs. It’s not important!

Cover the pot of water and bring it to a rolling boil. Then place your eggs (very gently) in the pot. If you just drop them in, they’ll crack. (See above!)

As soon as your eggs go in the pot, cover the pot again and return it to high heat. Your goal is to get the water boiling again as soon as possible.

Here’s the timetable I use for perfect eggs:

7 minutes: Soft boiled eggs. Very runny yolks.

9-10 minutes: Medium boiled eggs. The yolks will be somewhat set, but still a bit runny.

13 minutes: Hard boiled eggs. Completely solid and cooked yolks.

When the time dings for whatever stage you want, immediately move the eggs from the boiling pot to cold water. Run cold water over the eggs for at least 30 seconds to completely stop the cooking process.

Now it’s time to peel!


Anytime you’re peeling eggs, crack them a bit all over and then start peeling them on the bigger end of the egg. That end will have a bubble under the shell and that will make it easier to peel.


These eggs are awesome on all kinds of things.

Master the boiled egg and you’ll lose interest very quickly in overpaying for them at fancy brunch spots. Just make them at home!


Nick thinks everything is better with an egg on top! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon profile.