Soft- or Medium- Hard Boiled Eggs

Soft- or Medium-Boiled Eggs

  • LOWER THE EGGS INTO THE WATER Choose a pot that will comfortably hold all the eggs you want to cook and still have room to cover them with 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and adjust the heat so the water bubbles gently. Lower the egg (or eggs) into the water with a spoon and let them fall off gently so they don’t crack against the sides or bottom.

  • MAINTAIN A GENTLE BUBBLE Adjust the heat so the water never returns to a rolling boil. Then cook the eggs for 3 to 7 minutes, depending on how runny you like them. A timer is handy, since the texture inside the shell changes pretty fast.

  • COOL THEM DOWN When the desired time is up, run cold water into the pot just until you can handle the eggs. Once you remove one, crack the shell and scoop the insides into a small bowl (or eat straight from the shell), or if the white is firm enough, just peel the egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

  • PUT THE EGGS IN A POT WITH COLD WATER The process is slightly different than for soft-cooked eggs. Choose a pot that will comfortably hold all the eggs you want to cook, add the eggs, and then add enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Put the pot over medium-high heat and bring it to a gentle boil; turn off the heat and cover. The average large to extra-large egg will be ready 9 minutes later.

  • GET AN ICE BATH READY Cooling the eggs quickly after cooking helps prevent the yolk from developing a harmless (but not too pretty) green ring. Fill a medium bowl with lots of ice and some water. After the eggs steep for 9 minutes, transfer them to the ice bath and let sit for a minute or so. Then eat right away or refrigerate for up to a week or two. To serve, crack the shell gently on all sides, peel, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Eggs cook in a flash. Check out the difference a minute makes.

A 3-MINUTE SOFT-BOILED EGG The yolk is completely runny and barely warm and the white still slightly liquid. If you want the white very soft but no longer liquid, let it go to 4 minutes.
B 5-MINUTE SOFT-BOILED EGG You’ll get a cooked but runny yolk with some soft white. 
For what I would consider
the perfect egg, shoot for 6

C 7-MINUTE MEDIUM-BOILED EGG The white will be fully cooked and almost solid, but some of the yolk may have hardened.
D 9-MINUTE HARD-BOILED EGG Firm, but not quite dry, yolk and white.
E 11-MINUTE HARD-BOILED EGG Still edible, but a little chalky—best for chopping into salads.

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