How To Cook The Perfect Boiled Eggs

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 21 July 2020

Perfectly boiled eggs are a delicious, nutritious breakfast

It truly seems simple, but getting the perfect soft boiled egg is not the easiest of feats! Here’s a guide on how long you should leave the eggs in the water - for the perfect soft boiled and hard boiled eggs.

Soft boiled

Before you put the eggs in the water

  • Use an egg that’s at room temperature, not one straight out of the refrigerator - otherwise cooking times will differ.

  • Have water on a gentle simmer, not egg-stremely hot and furiously boiling water

  • Use a small saucepan


Put eggs into the saucepan, and cover with cold water (until the water level is 1cm above the eggs).

Bring the eggs to boil over a medium heat, then reduce to simmer. For eggs that have the whites just set, and a yolk that is creamy and semi-runny (think oozing), simmer for 3 minutes.

Hard boiled

Prefer your yolks a bit on the firmer side? Follow the same instructions, but cook for 10 minutes before removing from the saucepan.


What the experts say on how to make soft boiled eggs

Heston Blumenthal

"My method for cooking soft-boiled eggs is so simple but it works perfectly every time. The trick is to use freshly laid eggs then to let the residual heat do all the work."

Place the eggs in the smallest pan available and only add enough cold water to cover them. Put the lid on the pan and place over the highest heat possible.

When the water comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat and wait for 6 minutes.

After the time has elapsed, remove the lid and carefully remove each egg. Cut the top of each egg before serving in egg cups. Season to taste.

Jamie Oliver

A good tip to remember is that if you add a small pinch of salt to the water it will help to prevent the eggs cracking.

Get yourself a small saucepan, fill it three-quarters full with water, and bring it to a fast boil

Add a good pinch of salt and, using a spoon, dip in and out (dipping helps prevent the shock of the change in temperature from fridge to boiling, which sometimes makes them crack open) and then lower the eggs into the water, slowly, so the shells don’t crack on the bottom.

Cook for the following times, depending on how you like your eggs: 5 minutes for runny, 7½ minutes for semi-firm,10 minutes for hard-boiled

Gordon Ramsay

Heat an inch of water in a small saucepan over medium high heat until boiling. Add the egg, reduce the heat to medium, and cover with a lid. Let the egg cook for 6 minutes then remove it from the stove.

And there you have it! Do you have a better way to get the perfect soft boiled and hard boiled eggs? Comment on our Facebook page and tell us!

Regardless of how you boil them, your eggs will always taste better when they come from your backyard chickens! They’re even proven to be nutritionally better for you. Read more here on why our backyard chicken eggs really are the best kind you could ever eat.

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This is why I recommend Chickenpedia to all my readers. They have comprehensive online courses on everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, you’ll find beginner-friendly courses that’ll give you the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens.

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Sources and further reading