Photo by Jennifer Causey
Total Time
20 Mins
4 eggs

It may seem weird to call for a soft-boiled egg cooking time down to the second, but bear in mind that the temperature difference between a creamy yolk and a solid one is a mere 8°F. If you like your yolks only thickened, without any slightly set parts on the edges, boil them for 6 minutes. Egg yolks cook faster than egg whites, so we call for cold eggs; cold yolks cook slower, insulated in the shells by the whites. 

Soft Boiled Eggs

photo by daniel day via Getty IMages

This recipe originally appeared on

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Gently add eggs, straight from the fridge. The boil will halt for a moment as the water temperature drops. When boiling resumes, adjust heat as needed so the eggs don't bounce hard on the bottom of the pan, cracking the shells. Cook 6 minutes and 15 seconds for thick, creamy yolks that have just barely begun to set around the edges. 

Step 2

Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice and water. The second the eggs are done, pull them out with a slotted spoon, and plunge them into the ice bath. Let stand 2 minutes. Cut off tops or crack eggs, and remove shells gently; soft-cooked eggs are wobbly and fragile. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper after cutting in so the yolks get seasoned, too.

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