Steaming - Boil

how to use egg cups for soft boiled eggs | Family Cuisine

Egg cups are a great way to make soft boiled eggs without breaking the yolk. They can be used for hard boiled eggs as well, but they aren't recommended because it's harder to peel off the shell.
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Learn how to make perfect soft boiled eggs every single time!

Soft boiled egg in an egg cup with top off and toast solider dipped in.

The perfect soft boiled egg has a gorgeous oozy, runny yolk and a soft non-rubbery white. Learning how to make them is an amazing basic cooking technique to master since they are delicious and so versatile.

I am going to be sharing my go-to method with you – the one that I use multiple times a week! There are lots of methods out there but this one works for me every single time.

One of the most common methods is the “boil and rest” method. It basically involves placing eggs in a pot of cold water, bringing it to a boil and then removing it from the heat and resting for a set number of minutes. However, this method never produced consistent results for me since there are so many variables affecting cook time. Different stoves and pots can impact the amount of time it takes to bring the water to a boil and retain the heat.

So what method do I use then? The best, most consistent method that I have been using for years is to place the eggs into water that is already gently boiling. This removes all the variables mentioned and consistently results in the perfect boiled egg.

Three soft boiled eggs in egg cups.

Why This Method Is Amazing

My go-to method for soft boiled eggs is to place the eggs into water that is already at a gentle boil. This is my absolute favourite way to make eggs for a number of reasons:

  • Easy: It doesn’t get much easier! All you need is eggs (obviously), a pot and some water.
  • Consistent: This super easy method consistently results in a perfect oozy, runny yolk and soft non-rubbery white.
  • No overcooking: There are no worries about overcooking your eggs using this method since it removes the issues that can impact cook time found in other methods like the “boil and rest” method. Since your water will already be hot before adding the eggs, you don’t have to worry about variables like how long your stovetop takes to bring the water to a boil.
  • Mess Free: Unlike scrambled or fried eggs, there are no pans to scrub clean afterwards.

How Long To Soft Boil An Egg

The cook time for soft boiled eggs is 6 to 7 minutes using this method. 6 minutes will produce a beautiful oozy yolk perfect for dipping toast soldiers, bacon or asparagus into. 6 1/2 to 7 minutes will produce a jammy yolk perfect for topping salads, bowls, toast and other dishes.

Graphic showing the difference between a 6 minute and a 6.5-7 minute soft boiled egg.

How To Make Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs

Let’s make some soft boiled eggs! Learn how to get the perfect oozy, runny yolk every time with this simple method. The same method can be used whether you are making one egg or six – just adjust the size of your pot accordingly.

Note: The cook times in this method are based on using straight from the fridge, large size eggs.

  1. Bring Pot Of Water To A Boil: Fill a pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Use a pot large enough to hold the number of eggs being made in a single layer. Reduce heat to a gentle boil. You don’t want the water to be rapidly boiling or it will throw the eggs around once you add them.
  2. Gently Lower In Eggs: Using a slotted spoon or tablespoon, gently lower eggs into the water one at a time. Dip them in and out of the water a few times before carefully lowering in. Dipping the eggs prevents the shock in temperature which can sometimes cause them to crack.
  3. Set Timer Immediately: Immediately set a timer for 6-7 minutes and maintain a gentle boil as the eggs cook (may need to adjust heat).
    • 6 minutes: Will produce an egg with a beautiful oozy yolk. Perfect “dippy eggs”: dip in toast soldiers, bacon or roasted asparagus.
    • 6 1/2 – 7 minutes: Will produce an egg with a jammy yolk. Great for slicing in half and placing on top of toast, salads or other dishes.
  4. Remove Eggs: Use a slotted spoon or tablespoon to remove eggs. Cool eggs slightly by running under cold tap water for 10-20 seconds.
  5. Enjoy: Enjoy immediately while still warm and yolks are runny!
Collage of photos showing how to make a soft boiled egg on the stovetop.

Note: The same method can be used for hard boiled eggs. Just increase the cooking time to 10-12 minutes and submerge in an ice water bath afterwards.

Detailed ingredient list and directions located in the recipe card below.

Storage Info

Soft boiled eggs are best eaten immediately (in my opinion). However, they will last in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. If you plan on storing them, submerge them in an ice water bath for 5 minutes after cooking. This will stop the cooking process and cool them down for storage.

Won’t the eggs crack if placed in boiling water?

This is probably the most common question I get when I show people this method. It very rarely happens to me since I make sure to do the following things which greatly reduce the risk of cracked eggs…

  • Make sure water is at a gentle boil. This is important since a rapid boil would violently shake the eggs around. Always lower the heat and maintain a gentle boil while cooking the eggs.
  • Dip the eggs a few times. Using a slotted spoon or tablespoon, dip your eggs in and out of the water a few times before lowering in. Dipping the eggs prevents the shock in temperature which can sometimes make them crack.
  • Carefully lower eggs into the pot. Using a slotted spoon or tablespoon, gently lower the eggs into the pot instead of dropping them in.
  • Use a pot large enough to hold eggs in a single layer. Adjust the size of the pot based on the number of eggs you plan to cook. You want to make sure that they can sit in a single layer at the bottom.
Three soft boiled eggs in egg cups with yolk running down the side of the last one and a spoon resting against it

Ways To Eat Soft Boiled Eggs

My favourite way to eat a soft boiled egg is simply to place it in an egg cup, crack off the top, sprinkle on some salt and enjoy. There is nothing like digging in while the egg is still warm and the yolk is runny! Here are a few other ideas…

  • Eat as is: Simply sprinkle on some salt or seasoning blend and enjoy!
  • Dip into it: Make dippy eggs and soldiers! Place your soft boiled egg into an egg cup and dip toast soldiers, bacon or roasted/steamed asparagus spears into it. One of my favourite breakfast ideas! (Looking for some egg cups? These are the cute egg cups I used but there are also lots of other options HERE to suit your style.)
  • Serve with toast: Serve with toast or a hunk of sourdough (or on top of avocado toast).
  • Top a salad: Use in salads like this Roasted Asparagus with Egg and Parmesan Salad.
  • Top a bowl: Place on top of a nourish bowl, ramen bowl, rice bowl or any other type of “bowl” recipe.
Soft boiled egg in egg cup with top off, yolk running down the side and spoon leaning on the edge. Pile of toast soldiers and salt shaker in the background.

More Egg Tutorials

Looking to master some other egg cooking methods? Then check these out…

  • Hard Boiled Eggs (both stovetop and Instant Pot cooking methods)
  • Poached Eggs
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Fried Eggs (this is a crispy version – try this recipe if you prefer soft whites)

What’s your favourite way to eat soft boiled eggs? Let me know in the comments!

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